Sunday, 10 August 2014

San Marino

Bird watching is not my only hobby. I have two other serious ones. One of which is travel. I aim to visit every country in the world. San Marino was my latest and happened last week.

I based myself in Rimini, Italy and visited San Marino from there although it was only for one day.

While in San Marino I indulged in some birding, of course. This was necessarily near the top of the city (altitude 750 metres) where the tourists (like me on this occasion) get dropped off.

As in Italy, the house sparrow is missing. Italian sparrow is not really a house bird and was rare up at San Marino city. However  black redstart occupies the housing niche instead at least in summer. I saw many on roof tops and around houses as well as in trees.

I can't believe I am the first person to record this bird on the e-bird database and yet two others have recorded common redstart which I didn't see. 

black redstart

It was hard work finding a variety of species though I was helped by a mobile and niosy group of hooded crow making a brief appearance in a car park as we arrived.

view from the top

Apart from black redstart, the next most easily seen and common bird was blackbird. There were tame family groups everywhere.

juvenile blackbird

This tamest reminds me how they behave when I have birded in the UK and in New Zealand and is in stark contrast to Bulgaria, Azerbaijan and Kurdistan where they are really skitish.


Other birds were hard work. I got glimpses of Euoprean blue tit and of European serin before one or two of the latter kept still for a while.

very yellow serin

The male serin were very variable looking. The one above was at the colouful end of the spectrum. Taking this with it's pink bill and washed out mantle and wings made me contemplate whether it has some canary genes.

common buzzard

As well as looking down to see the views in San Marino, its worth looking upwards too. In the air I spotted a common buzzard. Furthermore common house martin were around all day.

European jay

I ventured down away from the old town for a while in search of different habitat and birds. I was only rewarded with a single jay in the distance. To build a better picture of San Marino's birds, spending more time down in the plains would be rewarding but I was only on  a tourist bus out of Rimini.

The next day, I did a spot of birding there too. I will blog about that next.

Species seen in San Marino and recorded on e-bird 

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