Friday 20 July 2012


Alarm clock set at 04.40 am this morning and by 06.55 am I was already watching the monster above. It is a BLACK VULTURE indeed! But not just one...
After last year's repeated dips at the Cornino lake nature reserve (NE Italy) this spring another Black Vulture re-appeared at the same site. It was only yesterday that Oviedo (last year's bird - born and ringed in the Cevennes) returned again at the reserve and joined in.
Luckily this morning both birds were still around. When I arrived Oviedo (the ringed bird) was foraging at the feeding station with about 30 Griffon Vultures, 10 Black Kites and lots of Ravens. At 08.05 am when other Griffons started to descend from the mountains, the second bird joined the game. In flight it looked huge and overall very dark with almost no tail at all (see flight pics above). When foraging both birds appeared very agressive towards other Griffon Vultures and usually had the priority on them (last pic shows both birds in the same telescope view). They showed well until 08.45 am when I left the site.
In the area there were also several singing Western Bonelli's Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, Hawfinch and other common woodland birds.