02/04 - 11/04/2004
Hans Matheve & Leni Denorme


This was not really a full-time birding trip, as I was accompanied by my non-birding girlfriend. We just mainly focussed on the 2 endemic full species (my only new birds this trip) and furthermore on some endemic or restricted-range subspecies. The 2 real endemics proved to be fairly easy to find.

Thanks go out to Wim Heylen for some useful birding tips.


2 apr

travel to Bastia by train (TGV) and ferry

3 apr

birding Cap Corse

3 apr

birding Desert des Agriates

4 apr

birding Fôret de Bonifatu

5 apr

birding Fôret d’Aitone

6 apr

birding Gorges de Restonica

7 apr

birding around Calzarello (Orbo river), Etang de Palo, Etang d’Urbino, Etang de Diane

8 apr

birding Etang de Biguglia

9 apr

travel to Nice by ferry

10 apr

travel to Brussels by train (TGV)



We hired a car for the entire trip.


We always camped in our tent, sometimes on campsites, mostly out in the wild...


Taxonomy strictly follows Clements' 5th Edition (incl. updates). The list only contains species positively identified by at least one of our group. Birds identified by guides or other people only are not included, presumed species neither...

[112 species]

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
ssp ruficollis - Several at different lakes

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
ssp cristatus - Several at Etang de Biguglia

Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
ssp nigricollis - Several at Etang de Biguglia

Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
ssp diomedea - Several flying offshore at Cap Corse. Several along the ferry (very close views) between Bastia and Nice.

Levantine Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
monotypic - 1 offshore at Cap Corse gave rather distant views. About 100 birds were feeding very close to the ferry between Bastia and Nice.

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
ssp unspecified - A few seen flying overhead around Cap Corse.

European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
ssp desmarestii - Several at Cap Corse. Encountered regularly on different stops along the coast elsewere.

Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
ssp unspecified - A few at Etang de Biguglia.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
ssp unspecified - A few at Etang de Biguglia.

Great Egret Ardea alba
ssp unspecified - 1 bird at Etang de Palo. 1 bird at Etang de Biguglia.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
ssp unspecified - Common around lakes.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
ssp unspecified - Only a few birds around Calzarello and Etang de Diane.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
ssp unspecified - Not really common, but encountered at several lakes.

Red Kite Milvus milvus
ssp unspecified - Fairly common throughout.

Black Kite Milvus migrans
ssp unspecified - Although less common than Red Kite, still fairly common throughout.

Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
ssp unspecified - 1 bird gave lousy distant views at Gorges de la Restonica.

Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
ssp unspecified - A few birds around Cap Corse, Etang de Diane and Etang de Biguglia.

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
monotypic - About 5 seen at Cap Copse and a few en route.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
ssp wolterstorffi - Rather scarce with only 1 at Fôret de Bonifatu and elsewere en route.

Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo
ssp arrigonii - Fairly common throughout.

Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
ssp unspecified - Fairly common throughout.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
ssp unspecified - Only 1 seen flying by en route.

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
ssp unspecified - Several parties seen en route.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
ssp unspecified - Only a few birds calling at Etang de Biguglia.

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
ssp unspecified - Rather scarce with only a few birds seen around Etang de Biguglia and en route.

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
ssp unspecified - Common on lakes.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
monotypic - 2 birds present at Etang de Palo.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus
ssp unspecified - 1 bird at Etang de Biguglia.

Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
monotypic - 2 birds at Etang de Biguglia.

Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii Near-threatened (NT)
monotypic - 2 birds at Cap Corse and about 15 at Etang de Biguglia.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
ssp michahellis - Common.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
monotypic - Some tens present at Etang de Biguglia were the only birds of the trip.

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei
monotypic - Only seen at Etang de Biguglia, about 20 birds.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
ssp unspecified - A few birds flying by at Cap Corse.

Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
ssp palumbus - Several birds en route.

Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
ssp decaocto - Common.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
ssp unspecified - A few birds calling on different places.

Barn Owl Tyto alba
ssp alba - 1 bird seen hunting at dusk en route.

European Scops-Owl Otus scops
ssp unspecified - Fairly common in lowland areas. Easy to tape in! ssp tchusii?

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
ssp flammeus - 1 bird flushed around Etang de Diane.

Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba
ssp melba - Fairly common.

Common Swift Apus apus
ssp apus - Common.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
ssp brehmorum - Only a few birds positively identified throughout.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
monotypic - A few flocks encountered like around Cap Corse and elsewhere en route.

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
ssp epops - Fairly common in lowland areas.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
ssp parroti - Fairly common in forest areas.

Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
ssp unspecified - Several birds at Cap Corse.

Wood Lark Lullula arborea
ssp unspecified - Fairly common.

Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
ssp unspecified - Only seen around Capo Corse.

Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
ssp riparia - Fairly common around lakes, especially Etang de Biguglia.

Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
monotypic - Fairly common in montane areas.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
ssp unspecified - Common.

House Martin Delichon urbica
ssp unspecified - Fairly common.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
ssp unspecified - Fairly common.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
ssp cinereocapilla - Only seen a few groups in lowland areas like Cap Corse, Etang de Biguglia and elsewhere en route.
ssp flava - Only seen a few groups in lowland areas like Cap Corse, Etang de Biguglia and elsewhere en route.

Gray Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
ssp unspecified - Several sightings along rivers such as in Fôret de Bonifatu, Gorge de la Restonica, Cap Corse.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
ssp unspecified - Several birds heard calling throughout when flying overhead.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
ssp unspecified - Fairly common in lowland areas.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
ssp unspecified - A few birds at Gorge de la Restonica.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
ssp unspecified - Fairly common in forest areas.

Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus
ssp unspecified - Only a few birds at Fôret de Bonifatu.

White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
ssp unspecified - 1 bird flying by along a river en route. 1 bird at Gorge de la Restonica.

Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
ssp koenigi - Common.

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
ssp collaris - 1 very tame bird was feeding along the snow border at Gorge de la Restonica, a few hundred meters above Berg. de Grotello.

Dunnock Prunella modularis
ssp modularis - Common.

Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius
ssp solitarius - 1 bird probably heard en route and 1 bird at Gorge de la Restonica around Berg. de Grotello.

Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
ssp unspecified - Common.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
ssp philomelos - Fairly common.

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
ssp deichleri - Fairly common.

Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis
ssp unspecified - A few birds at Cap Corse and around Etang de Biguglia.

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
ssp unspecified - Fairly common in marshy areas.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
monotypic - A few birds around Etang de Biguglia.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
ssp unspecified - Fairly common.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
ssp unspecified - Common.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
ssp unspecified - Common.

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
ssp unspecified - Only 1 bird heard en route.

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
ssp moltonii - Fairly common in suitable habitat.

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
ssp unspecified - Common.

Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
ssp unspecified - Fairly common in suitable habitat.

Marmora's Warbler Sylvia sarda
monotypic - Fairly common in suitable habitat. ssp sarda

European Robin Erithacus rubecula
ssp rubecula - Common.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
ssp gibraltariensis - Only one observation of 1 bird en route.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
ssp phoenicurus - Several birds, mainly around Cap Corse, but also elsewhere en route.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
monotypic - 1 bird at Cap Corse.

European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola
ssp rubicola - Common in lower areas.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
ssp unspecified - Several birds seen, but especially around Etang de Biguglia fairly common.

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica
ssp hispanica - 1 male in summer plumage bird gave stunning views at Etang de Biguglia.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
ssp irbii - Fairly common.

Coal Tit Periparus ater
ssp sardus - Common in pine forests.

Great Tit Parus major
ssp corsus - Common.

Eurasian Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
ssp ogilastrae - Common.

Corsican Nuthatch Sitta whiteheadi Country endemic
monotypic - 1 bird heard and seen flying away in Fôret de Bonifatu. Fairly common in Fôret d’Aitone, especially around Sentier de Sitelle. Reacts very well to taping.

Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
ssp corsa - A few birds in Fôret de Bonifatu.

Eurasian Penduline-Tit Remiz pendulinus
ssp unspecified - 1 bird heard and seen flying at Etang de Biguglia.

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
ssp badius - Several birds seen at Cap Corse, Etang de Biguglia and elsewhere en route.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
ssp corsicanus - Common.

Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus
ssp unspecified - About 30 birds at Gorges de la Restonica around Berg. de Grotello.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
ssp unspecified - Common. ssp sardonicus

Common Raven Corvus corax
ssp unspecified - Common.

European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
ssp unspecified - A few birds around Cap Corse.

Spotless Starling Sturnus unicolor
monotypic - Fairly common, but not always checked carefully for European Starling… it’s rather boring.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
ssp unspecified - Common. ssp italiae

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
ssp unspecified - A few birds around Gorge de la Restonica.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
ssp unspecified - Common. ssp tyrrhenica

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
ssp corsicana - Fairly common in Fôret d’Aitone.

European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
ssp unspecified - Common. ssp madaraszi

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
ssp tschusii - Common.

Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
ssp unspecified - Common.

European Serin Serinus serinus
monotypic - A few birds in urban areas.

Corsican Finch Serinus corsicanus Country endemic
monotypic - Fairly common throughout.

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
ssp nigrostriata - Fairly common.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra
monotypic - Common.