Costa cruise 201 (Medium)

5/9/15

On a coach from Milan to Savona to meet our Cruise.

We passed through lots of agricultural land with irrigation channels and canals and I thought I would spot all sorts of birds, but I didn’t; only the odd pigeon.

Saw a few egrets near water and one bird of prey which was probably a buzzard, but I wasn’t close enough to tell.

No crows, no swallows, no swifts or bee-eaters which I fully expected to see at this time of the year.

Once on the cruise ship we left Savona at five in the afternoon.

A few seagulls followed us for a few miles, mostly juvenile birds still with their mottled brown plumage.

I expected to see cormorants but didn’t.

John, up to Cruise 160 (Medium)

6/9/15

We sailed overnight to Marseilles, where we got off and went into town.

Again just a few pigeons, no sparrows, and more noticeably, no swifts screaming over the Cathedral, which you can usually guarantee anywhere!

I also thought we might see a parakeet or two, but the nearest was two canaries in cages in the old artistic section of Marseilles, where we stopped for a lovely coffee.

Tomorrow we arrive in Barcelona so I hope to see more birdlife there.

At this time of the year birds are exhausted after their busy Spring and Summer breeding, but not this quiet!

John, up to Cruise 162 (Medium)

7/9/15

Barcelona. Again I didn’t see much at all.

I know it’s a city, but except for loads of pigeons being fed, nothing.

Again, no swifts anywhere near Gaudi’s Sagrada Familial. Maybe there are birds of prey on the high parts, but with all the building work still going on for years to come, I doubt it.

John, up to Cruise 165 (Medium)

8/9/15

We left Barcelona and sailed overnight to Palma, Majorca.

Near the Cathedral there are some swans on a small pond, but I don’t believe they could have landed there as it’s not big enough.

At the same time I saw one sparrow!

Walking around the narrow streets of Palma, shopping etc I did spot a parakeet in a palm tree.

As we left Palma quite a few gulls landed on a roof outside our balcony, so I took a lot of photos.

Spot the parakeet!

Spot the parakeet!

10/9/15

Our next stop was Naples where we sat in a square and had coffee.

Quite a lot of people hustling and bustling around, but no birds.

Leaning Tower, but no birds!

Leaning Tower, but no birds!

11/9/15

We docked at La Spezia.

On a two hour trip to Pisa, and afterwards a visit to the marble quarry at Carrara up in the mountains, I saw no birds at all.

Again at Pisa I expected to see swifts or swallows. And in the mountains, crows, birds of prey, or finches of some sort, but nothing!

Carrara marble, but no birds!

Carrara marble, but no birds!

Hmm, where are all my pals?

Hmm, where are all my pals?

12/9/15

We flew back to Gatwick and on the journey home; about 45 minutes, I saw rooks, crows, jackdaws, a kestrel, pigeons and blackbirds.

I saw more birds in those 45 minutes than the whole week around the Med!

Yes, I know that I wasn’t sitting in one place the whole time, but I do find it very strange that apart from the gulls in the ports, there was virtually no bird life at all!

It’s a bit worrying!

Horse outside Palma Cathedral, but no birds!

Horse outside Palma Cathedral, but no birds!