The birdwatching on the Gargano is more and more practiced in the last years and it is expanding with a high level of success and interest from the many travelers that practice it.
Are you wondering what birdwatching is? Well my friends, if we want to practice a sustainable tourism on Gargano, the birdwatching is really the ideal; that in fact is nothing more but the hunting of the birds without using weapons but with binoculars, cameras and a lot of love for the nature.
The humans were always fascinated by the freedom of the birds and by the incredible grace of their flight, they always admired them and always wished to be like them; the birdwatching on the Gargano dear friends, is what will put you in contact with this wonderful sons of Mother Nature and it will give you a fantastic and unforgettable experience.
The birdwatching is a relaxant hobby since the Middle Ages, when it was an activity practiced only by the noble classes; but as the time passed by this beautiful passion was embraced more and more, and today is practiced by naturalists, biologists, ornithologists or persons who are simply fascinated of this marvels of nature.
The National Park of Gargano offers to the traveler who wish to live the experience of birdwatching various places, all rich of many species of birds who are ready to be admired. In the National Park of Gargano are mainly three environments where you can live this emotion: the humid area of the lakes and swamps, the forest area and the marine area.
We begin with the lakes and swamps nominating first of all the “Oasi naturalistica WWF di Lago Salso”. This special protected oasis is a coastal humid area of about 500 hectares situated in Manfredonia Bay. Initially it was projected as a rice field and with the passing of the years its destination was totally changed becoming the wonderful oasis of fresh water that we can admire today. Because this is a special protected area it’s possible to visit only with a booking and the organized groups are coordinated by the oasis staff.
The humid area of Lago Salso is a place with high interest for various species of birds and it is a preferred destination for many types of ducks like the teal, widgeon, mallards, garganeys, ferruginous pochard. In this oasis also lives a colony of white-headed ducks, a protected species and at risk of extinction that can only be admired here on the Gargano and in Veneto.
But for the birdwatching lovers we are only at the beginning, in fact many other breeds of birds are present in the oasis of Lago Salso; only to nominate some we remember the marsh hawks, coots, moorhens, kingfishers, pendulines, and then loons, cranes, black-winged stilts, peregrine falcons, ospreys, spoonbills, glossy ibis, bearded reedling, spotted eagle, hen harrier, white storks, black storks, flamingos, gooses, red herons, gray herons and sometimes even egrets and many more.
Still speaking about the area of the lakes and swamps and proceeding with our itinerary for bird watching on the Gargano we continue with a brackish water lake, the lake of Varano. Even this is an important place for the naturalistic point of view, is characterized by the presence of an impressive variety of habitats and is known at international level as a rest area for a high number of migratory birds as coots, common pochards, mallards, teals, grebes, great crested grebes, pintails, grey herons, egrets and many others. Between the other types of birds, that prefer the deepest parts of the lake we can find breeds like goosanders, red-breasted merganser, tufted ducks, the common goldeneye and many more.
The lake of Varano has the particularity of being used also for the cultivation of mussels and clams which offers along all year the perfect habitat for breeds like sandwich terns and cormorants and most of all in summer for common spoonbills, oystercatchers, Eurasian curlew, pied avocets and black-winged stilts. The rich vegetation form around the lake of Varano is animated even with the presence of kingfishers and common sandpipers which find here the perfect environment for nesting. Going forward with the breeds that you can admire in this paradise for the birdwatching lovers, we can also find birds of prey like marsh hawks and hen harriers
The lake of Lesina, similar like habitat with the lake of Varano and also very close to it, is another place where you can admire magnificent specimens of birds.
If you are not sure yet that birdwatching on the Gargano can be a fantastic experience, we proceed with the itinerary in the forest area of the Umbra Forest.
That is extended on about 12000 hectares, has an almost continue formation and is made of four natural reservations which form other ideal habitats for our feathered friends: the Natural Reservation Ischitella and Carpino, the Natural Reservation Falascone, the Natural Reservation Umbra Forest and the Natural Reservation Sfilzi. In these wonderful natural reservations of the National Park of Gargano live some very rare bird species like the white-backed woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, European green woodpecker, Eurasian wryneck or the smallest the song thursh, western Bonelli’s warbler, wood warbler, garden warbler, bullfinches, the collared flycatcher, the goldcrest, the hawfinch, orphean warbler, the coal tit and many more. But by making birdwatching on Gargano you can also see ravens, magpies, chickadees, nightingales, robins, blackbirds, and species of birds of prey like sparrow hawks, kites, goshawk, buzzards, eagle owls, owls, barn owls and a lot more that, I hope, you will discover.
Going forward with our list of ideal areas for birdwatching on Gargano we pass to the last zone, the marine area. Besides the high number of feathered friends you can admire on the coasts, the wonderful Tremiti Islands deserve a few more words. In fact this archipelago, another protected area of the National Park of Gargano has among the most beautiful expressions of its terrestrial fauna the birds. The peregrine falcon can be admired here together with the European kestrel, royal seagulls and shearwaters. Between the smaller birds of this wonderful islands we can also list the Sardinian warblers, chaffinches, wrens, goldfinches, white wagtails, yellow wagtails, serines, sparrows, swifts, black-headed buntings, blackcaps and for sure many other species. With all these breeds even the seaside area of the Gargano offers to the lovers of birdwatching a one of a kind experience.
But here we arrived at the end my friends; we finished our fascinating itinerary for the birdwatching on Gargano. We listed the areas where is possible to see more often the masterpieces of Mother Nature into a colorful mix of flora and fauna; we told you about some of the many breeds of birds you can admire throughout your passion for birdwatching; now you just have to try it, dive into this wonderful experience on the Gargano, and bring your children to see the wonders that the nature is offering us, you will see that it will repay.
Great experience on Gargano to you all…!!
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