Page 2 - Corso_Cardelli _2004
P. 2

Migration of Pallid Harrier across the central Mediterranean

                  Fig. 1. Key migration routes between breeding (green) and wintering areas (blue) of Pallid Harriers
                    Circus macrourus. Note the importance of the Middle East during autumn migration, and of a
                         central Mediterranean route through Tunisia and southern Italy in the spring.

            The Strait of Messina survey           of Messina were carried out daily, from 1st April
            Since 1986 (CC)/1990 (AC) we have partici-  to 27th or 28th May, from sunrise until dusk
            pated in the Strait of Messina survey, which was  (approximately 7.00 am to 7.00 pm local time).
            set up for the protection (from illegal shooting)  Counts were made in all weather conditions
            and counting of migrant raptors and storks (see  (since raptor passage may be heavy even during
            Corso 2001); this survey was initiated by the  strong rain and mist) but several observation
            Lega Italiana Protezione Uccelli (LIPU) and  points were used, the choice depending on wind
            organised and supported by the World Wide  strength and direction; all these are in the
            Fund for Nature (WWF) from 1990. From 1984  Messina town province and all but one are
            to 1995, data were collected irregularly during  along the Peloritani Mountains, from 100 m up
            April-May (Giordano 1991; Zalles & Bildstein  to 1,100 m above sea level. In strong southerly
            2000; unpublished data), but from 1995 to 2001  winds, an observation point at sea level (Capo
            inclusive we have both been permanent coun-  Peloro, at the northeasternmost point of Sicily;
            ters on this project, surveying raptors full-time  plate 142) has been used. This site is good for
            during April and May; data in these years are  counting migrating harriers, since they tend to
            from our counts, and those of other permanent  use active flight and to follow the coastline
            counters (G. Chiofalo, A. Giordano, D. Ricciardi  more than other (larger) species, which are
            and L. Romano). All our data on Pallid Harriers  more dependent on the thermals which develop
            from Messina come only from counts on the  over land as it warms up.
            Sicilian side of the Strait (since no detailed  Data from other sites in the central Mediter-
            comparison between Sicilian records and those  ranean are chiefly from literature research and
            from mainland Italy has yet been made, we do  fellow raptor enthusiasts, but also include some
            not include the latter).               personal observations; while those for the Middle
               From 1995 to 2001, observations at the Strait  East were derived entirely from the literature.

            British Birds 97 • May 2004 • 238-246                                   239
   1   2   3   4   5   6   7