Another urban trekking and birdwatching day trip in Turin in the company of the ornithologist Riccardo Alba, this time crowned by the wonderful autumn colors of the trees of the Valentino Park. The sky as always cloudy in the early morning soon gives way to a warm sun as we set out to discover the winged inhabitants of the park. Immediately we meet a Grey Squirrel, the most numerous alien species by now at Valentino.
Along the Po river, we observe some Mallards, Black-headed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls and two Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus). While we observe these birds, we see a blue lightning bolt whizzing on the river: it is a Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)!
On the tall trees that line the river, many small Passerines show themselves such as Great Tit, Eurasian Blue Tit, Common Chaffinch and Short-toed Treecreeper. We also see a species, apparently common, but which had never been encountered at Valentino during our treks: a Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica). The morning will soon turn out to be “the day of the Corvids”. In fact, in addition to the latter species, we will be able to observe Hooded Crows, Carrion Crows (and hybrids among them), Western Jackdaws and Eurasian Jays.
We then pause on a small view of the Po to observe other species, including Great Cormorant and Grey Heron. Meanwhile, we hear calls coming from above our heads. In a short time among some Blackbirds and Chaffinches, we can see a beautiful Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), a short-range migratory bird who has recently arrived at Valentino to spend the winter. In fact, towards the end of October, the park is filled with wintering species: at the end of the tour we counted more than 20 Eurpean Robins, as well as a small group of Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus), a species that in this period with large numbers is crossing the alpine passes to reach the Italian wintering sites.
Returning to the parking lot, we cross the Rock Garden again where we observe some Pallid Swifts (Apus pallidus) darting in the sky hunting for insects. They will stay in the city until November, to then overwinter in Africa and join their common and alpine cousins. At the parking lot, after saying goodbye, the last species is contacted, a White Wagtail flying over the Fountain of 12 months, which allows us to reach 30 species in our checklist!
- Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
- Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
- Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
- Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
- Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
- Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra)
- Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
- Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)
- Feral Pigeon (Columba livia var. domestica)
- Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)
- Pallid Swift (Apus pallidus)
- Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
- Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
- White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
- European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
- Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
- Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)
- Great Tit (Parus major)
- Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
- Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris)
- Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
- Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
- Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla)
- Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica)
- Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius)
- Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix)
- Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
- Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
- Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
- Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus)