Monday, October 17, 2016

Strait of Messina - Autumn 2016

Some days ago our monitoring season at the Strait of Messina, ended. We counted about 18000 migrating raptors belonging to 19 different species from a single watchpoint located on the continental side of the Strait. 
The commonest species were, as usual, honey buzzards, marsh harriers and black kites. Among the rare species one saker falcon, one imperial eagle and one lesser-spotted eagle. Moreover a good numbers of ospreys (49 individuals) some booted eagles, short-toed eagles and pallid harriers. Among non raptor species some tens of white and black storks, 1641 bee-eaters, 7 dottorels some rollers and herons. The nocturnal migration of passerines recorded by our radars was very intense, with different migratory peaks.
Lower numbers were observed on the Sicilian side of the Strait where in any case the nocturnal migration was relevant. Among observed birds some hundreds of marsh harriers and 860 bee-eaters.

On our website (powered by Trektellen) you can find our detailed count:

I take this chance to say thanks to the people who worked with us and even more to the volunteers.

In the end I mention that there is opportunity to support the activity at the Strait of Messina in 2017 through a donation, of even few euros, through a crowdfunding project promoted by our associations together with the University of Pavia. If you would like to support us, please visit the following website: wings over the Strait


Friday, September 30, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina

In the last days we are counting only few tens a raptors per day since we are almost at the end of the migratory season here at the Strait. However the number of species is quite high with more than 10 raptor species per day. Yesterday one Long-legged buzzard, one booted eagle and two Ospreys. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina - Lesser-spotted Eagle!

Yesterday one beautiful juvenile Lesser-spotted Eagle has passed over our radar station at the Strait of Messina. Here below a picture of that bird taken by Giuseppe Cicero. During the weekend we recorded a good passage of juvenile Honey Buzzards together with several tens of kestrels/lesser kestrels. Moreover two days ago were observed other two dotterls. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina

In the last two days we observed about 1000 raptors migrating over the Aspromonte mountain. Most of them were Marsh harriers but we recorded also many other species such as 1 Pallid harrier, 7 Booted eagles, 5 Short-toed Eagles, 1 Red-footed falcon and several Kestrels/Lesser kestrels. However we are still waiting for a peak of the migration in the next days! In the picture below (by Alberto Pastorino) a male Marsh harrier.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Two new MEDRAPTORS papers out now!

Two new papers have just been published! Both papers are outputs of two long-term collaborations between MEDRAPTORS and two other European organizations. The first paper has been published on Ornis Fennica and is a result of the collaboration between MEDRAPTORS and Greek ornithologists belonging to the Hellenic Ornithological Society. This paper analyses the weather selectivity of raptors migrating in autumn across the Aegean Sea. The behaviour of European Honey Buzzards and Western Marsh Harriers shows both similarities and differences.The intensity of migration of both studied species is positively correlated with air temperature. The European Honey Buzzard selects days with strong tailwind assistance that helps to reduce flight time over sea thus decreasing mortality risk and energy consumption during sea crossing. On the other hand, the Western Marsh Harrier seems to be less wind selective reaching the island in good numbers also with headwinds, probably because of its higher ability in using powered-flapping flight.
The second paper deals with the spring migration of Honey Buzzards across the Central Mediterranean area. We analysed the influence of wind patterns during the peak days of migration of this species. Data were collected across 8 years at five different Italian sites during a monitoring project promoted by LIPU BirdLife Italy.
To download the pdf click on the links below.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Imperial Eagle at the Strait of Messina

Yesterday a juvenile Imperial Eagle was observed migrating over our watchpoint at the continental side of the Strait of Messina. This bird was born at the border between Slovakia and Austria and it is followed thanks to a satellite transmitter. Really an impressive sight! Here below a shot of that bird taken by Stiven Kociancijc.

Monday, September 12, 2016

News from the Strait of Messina

The weekend was a very good time to observe raptors migrating at the Strait. About one thousand individuals were counted from our main watchpoint. They were mostly Honey Buzzards but we observed also Booted Eagles, Osprey, one Short-toed Eagle (here below a picture of that bird) and some Montagu's Harriers. Black Kites and Marsh Harriers were quite commons. Among non raptor birds, saturday was a great day for Bee eaters with 580 individuals counted. Moreover 2 Black Storks, 2 rollers and one Great White Egret were observed.