Myself, Gina and Tom arrived here straight after Gina's Sunrise Birding Tour of Northern Italy.
Abruzzo National Park has high peaked mountains, beautiful rolling valleys full of flowers and butterflies, lots of birds and some very special mammals.
Based on the edge of the picturesque town of Pesscaseroli our first day was off to a great start. A pre-breakfast check of the surrounding hillsides found plenty of Red-backed Shrikes, a few Wrynecks, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Common and Black Redstarts, and a Lilford's White-backed Woodpecker. A family group of Wild Boar showed well and we also saw 2 Red Deer with full antlers, a Roe Deer. Brown Hare, Red Fox, great views of a Beech Martin and at 07.15 we watched a close Marsican Brown Bear our main target of the trip. This rare subspecies of the European Brown Bear numbers no more than 50 individuals and is almost entirely restricted to Abruzzo National Park in Italy. We were very fortunate to find this individual on our first morning of looking and we watched it for half an hour chasing Hooded Crows, standing up and turning over rocks in search of food. Who says you can't see the bears in July!
Our first Marsican Brown Bear
During the day we enjoyed the meadows full of flowers and numerous butterflies. What a great start!
Esper's Marbled White
Orange Lily (Lilium bulbiferum)
There were a few other distractions including this nice Southern Skimmer