Italy

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Riserva Naturale Regionale Biviere di Gela
Riserva Naturale Regionale Biviere di Gela
Accommodation in your favourite birding area. Search tripadvisor here for Hotels, bed & breakfast and other services
Accommodation in your favourite birding area. Search tripadvisor here for Hotels, bed & breakfast and other services

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Bosco Negri
Ria Bramante, close to the city of Pavia in northern Italy.The reserve was established in 1988.Size: 34 hectares
Habitat: The reserve is one of the few remnants of lowland forest in the upper Ticino River Valley.

Birds & wildlife: The reserve hosts a typical community of lowland deciduous forest birds with four species of Woodpeckers, including the Great Spotted, the Wryneck, the Green Woodpecker and the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker all breeding in the woodland of the reserve.

Visiting & access: The reserve has a visitors' centre and observation hides, a picnic area and educational pond, butterfly garden and camping for campers and vans. The reserve is open from March to July and September to November on Saturday, Sunday and festival days. Groups need to book in advance through the reserve visitors' centre. Phone: 0382-569402

Brabbia
The reserve is located close to the town of Varese in the wider Milan area, it is part of the southern edge of the Varese Lake.The reserve was established in 1953.Size: 459 hectares.
Habitat: It is a typical marshland created from an area of pit extraction, now protected as a regional nature reserve and declared a RAMSAR site. Main habitat types within the reserve are open waters, extensive reed beds, and little ponds and canals opened and managed through the wetlands vegetation.

Birds & wildlife: There are 140 species recorded in the reserve: mainly waterfowl and waders, including the endangered Ferruginous Duck. The reed bed hosts a population of reed passerines, such as the Great Reed Warbler, the Reed Warbler and Savi's Warbler, as well as Rails, of which are the most common is the Water Rail. There is also a breeding colony of Grey Heron, Purple Heron and Night Heron. In winter the Peregrine Falcon and the Merlin can easily be seen hunting in the area, while during the migration and breeding season Marsh Harriers, the Black-Kite and the Hobby are frequently seen.

Visiting & access: The reserve has a visitors' centre, nature treks, observation hides, and an educational pond. The reserve is open to the public from September to October and from March to June on Saturday and Sunday.


Campocatino
Northern Appennine Mountains near the village of Vagli di Sotto in the province of Lucca, Tuscany.The reserve was established in 1991.Size: 80 hectares
Habitat: The reserve is located in a spectacular mountain area of the northern Appennine Mountains, (which rise to 2000m) facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. Beach and other deciduous forest, alpine meadows and rocky cliffs are the main habitats of the reserve.

Birds & wildlife: Typical mountain bird life includes species such as Wallcreeper, Golden Eagle, Chough and the colourful Rock-thrush among many other mountain species that can be found in the reserve. In spring orchids, crocus and many other mountain flowers are spectacular.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year round, and has a visitors' centre and a number of nature trails. Phone: 0583-644242
Ca' Roman
Near the famous village of Chioggia in the municipality of Venice. On the sandy beach of the southern portion of the Venice Lagoon.The reserve was established in 1992.Size: 41 hectares.
Habitat: Typical sandy beach with pioneer vegetation and little sand dunes on the seaward front of the lagoon.

Birds & wildlife: The reserve was established for the conservation of the breeding colony of Little Tern, but it is also important for the migration of many waders and waterfowl. Another interesting species breeding there is the Kentish Plover.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open to the public from May to August. It is possible to observe the breeding of Little Tern and Kentish Plover from observation hides.




Carloforte
The reserve is located on the western part of the little rocky islands of San Pietro on the southwest coast of Sardinia.Size: 280 hectares.
Habitat: The reserve includes over 6km of pristine rocky cliffs made of volcanic rock, sometimes reaching over 100m above sea level. Progressing towards the interior, the area is covered with typical pioneer Mediterranean vegetation, which has gradually developed into a dense Mediterranean scrub or 'macchia'.

Birds & wildlife: The reserve is home to a number of species typical of Mediterranean cliffs and Mediterranean scrub such as Peregrine Falcon, Mediterranean Scrub Warblers and, at sea, a number of sea, birds, such as the Mediterranean Shag and in summer the Audouin's Gull. The real 'hotspot' of the reserve, however, is the huge breeding colony of Eleonora's Falcon, over 100 pairs breeding straight on the cliff itself from August to November, which are easy to observe from strategically located observation points. The reserve has organised a summer camp to study, collect data, survey and protect the breeding colony of Eleonora's Falcon from disturbance.
Visiting & access: Phone: 070-837458
Casacalenda
Near the village of Casacalenda in the remote southern region of Molise
The reserve was established in 1994.Size: 105 hectares

Habitat: Typical southern Appennine mountain habitat with Mediterranean oak and beech forest, rising to 700m.

Birds & wildlife: Typical community of forest birds including birds of prey such as breeding Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle and the rarer Red Kite and Lanner Falcon in winter.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year round on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The reserve has a visitors' centre and nature treks. Phone: 0874-841782


Castel di Guido
Close to the city of Rome in the famous Roman hills.The reserve was established in 1999.Size: 250 hectares.
Habitat: Typical farmland and Roman hilly countryside, with pasture, grassland, Mediterranean and deciduous woodland, hedges and arable land.
Birds & wildlife: Typical traditional countryside birds, including Stonechat, Larks, Shrikes, but also breeding Bee-eaters, Stone Curlew and during the migration and winter also the rare Red Kite.
Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year round and can be visited only on guided tours, by contacting the LIPU Reserve Office in advance. Phone: 06-39730903





Crava Morozzo
Near the village of Crava Morozzo in the province of Cuneo, not far from the town of Turin.Size: 300 hectares.The reserve was established in 1979.
Habitat: The reserve is located in the valley between the rivers Tanaro and Stura at the foothill of the western Italian Alps. Main habitats include riverine and deciduous woodland, open grassland and agricultural land, rivers, streams, stony riverbeds and recreated wetlands.

Birds & wildlife: Apart from all the typical woodland species the reserve is particularly used by a number of migratory and wintering waterfowl, including several species of ducks, herons and waders. Regular migrants are Marsh Harriers, Black-winged Stilts, and less regularly, Osprey. The riverbed is also a breeding site for the Dipper and a high density of Kingfishers.

Visiting & access: The reserve has a visitors' centre and guesthouse where it is possible to overnight. The reserve is open all year round from Wednesday to Sunday, groups need to book in advance at LIPU's office. Phone: 0174-587393





Gravina di Laterza
In the remote southern region of Basilicata, close to the village of Laterza.Size: 800 hectares

Habitat: The reserve includes one of the deepest and longest 'European canyons'. There is a deep gorge created by water erosion through the limestone of the Murge Plateau. The gorge has spectacular cliffs, and is covered with Mediterranean forest, while the surrounding plateau is a vast extension of terraces and agricultural areas.

Birds & wildlife: The reserve hosts a typical Mediterranean bird community with several species of Mediterranean Scrub Warblers, such as the Sardinian Warblers, the Sub-alpine Warbler, the Dartford Warbler. The rocky cliffs are home to the Blue-rock Thrush, and birds of prey such as Egyptian Vulture, Red Kite, Eagle Owl, Peregrine Falcon and Lanner Falcon. The highlight however, for birdwatchers is probably the Lesser Kestrel feeding in the area in great numbers.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open to the public. Group visits to be booked in advance.
Phone: 099-4590417

Lanca Bernate
The reserve is close to the village of Bernate Ticino in the Milan province, between the cities of Milan and Pavia.The reserve was established in 1997.Size: 21 hectares

Habitat: The reserve is part of a wetland area beside the main tributary of the river Ticino within the Ticino Regional Park. The main area of water in the reserve is actually a dead branch of the river itself, which is connected to a recreated shallow wetland. Main habitats, apart from the open water of different depths and stony riverbanks, is typical lowland riverine woodland with some traits of wetland vegetation.

Birds & wildlife: The reserve is particularly important for several species of migrating and wintering Ducks and also Grebes and Coots. It is important too for the breeding and feeding of several Herons including the Little Egret, Night Heron, Grey Heron and the less common Great White Egret and Purple Heron. Particularly during the migration many wader species are also present, as well as birds of prey, such as the Hen Harrier, Montague Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Black Kite, Hobby and others.

Visiting & access: There are nature treks and observation hides. The reserve is open every Sunday from March to June and September to October.
Phone: 02-29004366

Massaciuccoli
The reserve is located in the Massaciuccoli Lake also called Puccini Lake, named after the village where the famous opera composer lived: along the northern Tuscan coast
The reserve was established in 1997.Size: 47 hectares
Habitat: Typical marshland vegetation with extensive reed beds and other wetland grasses on the edge of the reserve, with shallow to deep open water towards the centre of the lake.

Birds & wildlife: Massaciuccoli Lake is one of the most famous birdwatching destinations in Italy, located on a major migration flyway along the Tuscan coast. The reserve is part of a wider protected area of the regional park, and mainly waterfowl species can be observed during the winter, breeding season and the migration. Particularly impressive is the mass migration of Little Gulls, Black, White-winged and Whiskered Terns during the months of March, April and May. The reed bed hosts a large breeding population of Bittern, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Purple Heron. Reedbeds and aquatic vegetation host a diverse community of marshland passerines including Penduline Tit, Cetti's Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Reed and Great Reed Warbler. Shallow ponds managed within the wetland vegetation host breeding pairs of Black-winged Stilt and Little-ringed Plover, as well as mainly migrant waders such as Avocet, Plover, etc.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open all year round. It has a visitors' centre, nature trails and observation hides. Phone: 0584-975567




Torrile
The reserve is located between the rivers Taro and Po, near the village of Torrile. Near the city of Parma, at the southern edge of the Po Valley.The reserve was established in 1988.Size: 32 hectares.
Habitat: This is entirely recreated wetland in what was intensive agricultural arable land. Main habitats today include a variety of levels of open water from shallow to deep-water areas, with marshland vegetation including reed beds and water lilies, muddy shores and riverine woodland. The water levels are managed to attract different species during the different seasons of the year.

Birds & wildlife: Located along the major Po river flyway, containing 250 bird species. Common sightings are several species of heron including Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Night Heron, Purple Heron and Squacco Heron. The reserve is also important for the migration and wintering of several species of ducks, of which some are also breeding, e.g. the Garganey. Torrile is famous for its breeding colony of Black-winged Stilt: up to 100 pairs in the most favorable years, Common Terns and Little Terns also breed there. In winter Peregrine Falcon and Lesser-Spotted Eagle often winter in the area, while in summer a rare colony of Red-footed Falcons also breeds nearby.

Visiting & access: The reserve has a visitors' centre and a number of observation hides around nature trails. The reserve is open all year round on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Visits can be arranged on other days if booked in advance. Phone: 0521-810606


Volta Scirocco
Along the River Reno, close to the Comacchio Valley in the province of Ravenna on the southern edge of the Po Delta.The reserve was established in 1997.Size: 30 hectares
Habitat: The reserve is a wetland area managed and partially restored with the aim of attracting bird life to feed and breed. It is considered to be part of one of the most famous birdwatching 'hotspots' in Italy, the Comacchio's Valleys.

Birds & wildlife: The list of birds that can be seen in the area is endless and includes virtually all waterfowl, terns, gulls and any other birds related to marshland and water habitats. In particular, 'hotspots' from a birdwatching point of view are: the Mediterranean Gull, the Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Little Bittern, the Bittern, Purple Heron, Great-white Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Spoon bill, Glossy Ibis, and also all ducks and several wader species, particularly during the spring and fall migrations.

Visiting & access: The reserve is open from March to September on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is necessary to book your visit in advance. Phone: 0544-66330

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