Thursday, 9 July 2015

Abruzzo National Park, Italy

This fabulous park just 2 hours from Rome is a must visit destination for anyone interested in nature.
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


  1. Amazing images Steve.
    John and Sue.

  2. I like your article....its very simple and useful for me:
    Domestic tour

  3. Hi Steve - Beech Marten ! My nemesis.....just spent 6 days in Hungary looking for it again, and failed. Did get 33 sp. of mammals including Wildcat and Hamster and some nice birds and butterflies, so very good trip. Looking forward to catching up at the Birdfair. Steve.