Page 6 - Corso_Cardelli _2004
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Migration of Pallid Harrier across the central Mediterranean

            compare the results for 1997-98 with those for  Pizzari 1998). Of these, 44 (61%) were females,
            1999-2000 (fig. 6); these clearly show that adult  3 (4%) were males and 25 (35%) were 2CY
            males were migrating later in the latter two-year  birds; all males were seen in March, 63% of
            period than in the former, although the pattern  females were seen in April and 37% in May,
            for females and 2CYs is less clear-cut. A similar  while 96% of 2CY birds passed through in May
            delay in migration in 1999-2000 was noted in  (Gustin & Pizzari 1998). Some 20-40 individ-
            several other raptor species (Cardelli & Corso in  uals have been counted annually between
            prep.).                                March and May in recent years, with 40 in
                                                   spring 2001 (Mellone, Premuda, Gustin &
            Migration elsewhere in the central     Catoni pers. comm.). This site is the eastern-
            Mediterranean                          most point on the Italian coast, and may be
            In Sicily, away from the Strait of Messina, Pallid  used as a ‘springboard’ by raptors crossing the
            Harrier is a scarce but regular migrant, most  sea to the east (fig. 7). We presume that many of
            often recorded in the east of the island and  the Pallid Harriers crossing the Strait of
            along the south coast. In fact, on the island of  Messina pass through this area en route to
            Marettimo, off the west coast of Sicily, none was  eastern Europe and Russia or Turkey. Mt
            observed during a survey in spring 1998 (Agos-  Gargano, in northern Puglia, may also act as a
            tini & Logozzo 1998), although one or two have  springboard (there have been only occasional
            been recorded here during casual observations  observations here), while a third site is Mt
            in other years (Panuccio et al. in prep.). On the  Conero (near Ancona, Marche region) in
            island of Ustica, off northern Sicily, 44 were  central Italy (fig. 7). Counts here are typically
            counted between 22nd March and 20th May  much lower than at Capo d’Otranto, and prob-
            2002 (Agostini pers. comm.). In general, Pallid  ably only a small percentage of the harriers
            Harriers migrate on a broad front through  migrating through Messina reach as far north as
            Sicily between March and May, so that sightings  Mt Conero. Around 10-15 birds are estimated
            away from our standard observation sites for  to use this flyway each spring (although a
            the Messina survey are not infrequent. In par-  record count, of 33 individuals, was made in
            ticular, at Forza d’Agrò, to the south of the  2002; Borioni pers. comm.), most of which are
            Strait, over 45 Pallid Harriers (some males, but  adult males. This may mean that females/2CY
            mostly 2CY birds) were observed on 20th April  birds have not been identified on migration,
            1998 (D. & I. van den Velde pers. comm.), and  and that true passage is greater than suspected;
            these were not recorded by the Messina survey.  or that the males are heading for northernmost
            Away from regular count sites, 2001 was again a  breeding grounds, to which few immatures
            record year.                           travel. Farther north, Pallid Harrier is an irreg-
               Few Pallid Harriers migrate through Sicily in  ular migrant, and in most of northern Italy it is
            autumn. There is no organised survey at the  a vagrant. In autumn, the situation is similar to
            Strait of Messina, but casual observations reveal  that in the south, with very few records each
            up to five individuals per year between late  year.
            August and late September, most (c. 90%) of  Migrant Pallid Harriers passing Cap Bon, in
            these being juveniles (Cardelli unpublished  northeast Tunisia, are surely the same as those
            data). None was counted at Marettimo Island in  using the Strait of Messina flyway (fig. 7). There
            autumn in 1997-2000 (Agostini et al. 2000;  are no regular surveys here, but (for example)
            Agostini pers. comm.). At various sites in Sira-  17 were counted between 26th March and 14th
            cusa (southeast Sicily), typically up to five indi-  April 1974 (Thiollay 1975), 15 in roughly the
            viduals are seen each autumn, again    same period in 1985 (Gultier unpublished data)
            predominantly juveniles (Corso pers. obs.), and  and five on 25th March 1987 (Azafzaf unpub-
            occasionally one or two overwinter (Corso &  lished data). During a three-year spring survey
            Iapichino 1998).                       at Cap Bon, four were counted in 1990, seven in
               In central-southern Italy, Pallid Harrier is  1991 and five in 1992 (Kisling et al. 1994), the
            also a regular migrant, though much less abun-  timing of which fit well with Messina records in
            dant than at the Strait of Messina. The highest  the same years. At El Haouaria, on the north
            counts are from Capo d’Otranto, in southeast  side of Cap Bon, 189 Pallid Harriers were
            Puglia (fig. 7), where 72 were counted between  ringed between 1953 and 1966, of which seven
            10th March and 19th May 1989 (Gustin &  were subsequently recovered in Italy, and 12 in

            British Birds 97 • May 2004 • 238-246                                   243
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