Page 1

SKUA Nature

2017 - 2018

INTERNATIONAL NATURE ESTATES NETWORK

8000 Hectares of Exclusive Estates 304 Birds to Observe 182 Species to Photograph A new way to enjoy nature

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Our Ninth Year


OUR VISION A famous slogan conceived by the world most important conservation company says: “Conservation without money is only conversation”.To me, this is an invitation to face, without any reference points guiding me, this challenge. What I want to achieve is to give an economic value to nature and to make common people aware that a flowering meadow full of butterflies and orchids is worth more than a parking lot or than an industrial warehouse. When Skua was launched in 2008 I would have never thought to create, in a matter of a few years, a really unique project. We haven’t discovered anything new actually; there are dozens of reserve networks run by institutions or associations, but so far no one had really created a common denominator which could link even extremely different areas, which differ in terms of management and strategic targets. Landowners, conservation associations, public institutions, large protected areas and local companies, all working together for the creation of a new concept of nature tourism. The road we’ve made so far and the road ahead, is all but easy; different visions and priorities, different countries with varied cultures and habits, are only a few of the challenges we have to face on a daily basis, in order to keep the control of the project and guarantee that every area is run and developed with the same technical and quality standards. But the results obtained in only three years suggest us that we have found the right key. The network we present here is the first step of global scale project, whose aim is to prove that with the right technical skills, business vision, knowledge, passion and a special team, it is possible to create or restore natural areas for nature tourism, able to sustain themselves, to produce positive economic impact in the local territories and to support conservation actions. All of this without of course cause even a minimal disturbance to habitats and species... A utopia? Come visit one or more of our reserves and you will find yourself immersed in an extremely real world, tailor made for you, where to relax and indulge in your passion. Each new client is for us a precious detail in order to prove that the natural richness, if well managed, can become a resource and be preserved for the future.

F. Filippini

Massimiliano Biasioli SKUA Nature Group Managing Director

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5

Years of

INNATE

Five years ago the owner of a big estate contacted us.The land was already destinated to leisure activities like hunting and fishing but they were not profitable as the land owner had thought, even if conspicuous resources had been invested. We were asked if that land could be used for a different type of tourism which should be profitable and, at the same time, compatible with the wild nature surrounding it and the very difficult logistics necessary to reach this remote place. Nothing could be more difficult than this. We were just told that the area was full of different bird species but nobody knew if someone could be ready to afford such a long trip to reach it. We decided to go and see, taking a leap into the unknown. What we found was a pure, untouched Paradise land that could have been devastated if hunters and fishers kept going there: hundreds of birds but also reptiles, mammals, amphibians and insects astonished us. However, the difficult logistics and the very high management costs made us slow down thinking that this was an impossible mission. But...what does “impossible” mean if not “the fear to fail trying to realize your own dreams”? We are determined people, steadfast in pursuing our targets. And we always believe hard in what we do, from the beginning. So, we started to dedicate ourselves to this undefined and unique project. We spent the first year studying, making researches, living this beautiful land.

M. R. Romero

We wanted it to become a reference reserve for Nature tourism but we still didn’t know if we could make it. We didn’t give up and that 1000 hectares property became a reality where Nature conservation could coexist together with tourist and economic activities. Something unique. Ultima Frontiera was born.

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INNATE, acronym of International Nature Estate Network, is a SKUA Nature project launched in 2016 for the purpose of gathering under one single name nature conservation and eco-friendly activities that have one common denominator: to create sustainable and innovative development projects aimed at nature conservation.

Currently, our reserves consist in a set of heterogeneous lands which have different characteristics but are all destined for the same purpose.

M. Biasioli

All began five years ago when our first reserve in Danube Delta was born.

For sure, it is an innovative project that has demonstrated, in these first five years, how it is possible to preserve very high maintenance areas through eco-friendly and sustainable tourism strictly connected with nature conservation. Nature photography has certainly driven the project accelerating the process and

M. Biasioli

All the reserves are created after exploring them, working out economic plans, evaluating their naturalistic characteristics, the presence of target species and the possibility to build any features, like photographic dedicated hides or buildings.

convincing our partners that the enhancement of an estate can be achieved through nature conservation and local species preservation.

M. Biasioli

Our wish for the future is to be able to encourage and stimulate more and more people among land owners and private and public companies to apply this sustainable model which can combine eco-friendly tourism and profits.

M. Biasioli

It can be very emotional to see land owners concerning about the first Pratincoles arriving at the reserve or worrying about the water level necessary for the Black-Winged Stilts reproduction. This goes beyond any ordinary task. It rewards us for all the great dedication and commitment and makes us very proud.

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INNOVATION

Our will to improve constantly helped us to actualize unique and innovative experiences in Nature photography field. For instance, we have created nocturnal hides to watch and photograph species like Wild Cat, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Genet and Beach Marten without using barriers or remote control.

R. Lucietti

R. Lucietti

M. Steenhaut

R. Lucietti

In these hides, you can sit down enjoying the landscape view outside and photographing the animals without any additional instruments, thanks to the lighting system we have created.

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SKUA PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPHY AS A NATURE CONSERVATION TOOL

Everyday, many people support us with passion helping us improving, developing new ideas and collecting photographic material. SKUA photographers team consists in amateur and professional photographers who dedicate us their spare time testing hides and going to visit new places to collect new material, pictures and technical details useful for new projects.

MASSIMO PIACENTINO

CARLO GALLIANI

MARINO PREMOLI

MASSIMILIANO APOLLO

CRISTIANO PEDRIALI

RICCARDO LUCIETTI

ALIDA PIGLIA

JORGE RUBIO CASADO

IVAN FERRERO

M. Biasioli

Thanks to their support we can be aware of what happens in the Network reserves around Europe and keep improving perches and backgrounds, which are key photography features.

MANUEL LORENZO

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OUR NATURE RESERVES Our Reserves are exclusive and unique places rich in wildlife, developed to offer all what a nature lover looks for and to make him/her enjoying a special experience in yet lesser known biodiversity hot-spots. The Network includes reserves in several countries and that helps you to observe or photograph the main target species of the area where these are located. The freedom that such places offer allows people to explore wild lands on their own with relaxing walkings or by electric cars, or accompanied by our expert guides searching for not only birds and mammals but also butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians, reptiles, plants, etc. In addition to top birding and wildlife experiences, a special feature of our reserves is the new concept of hide photography: not only a mere daily use of a hide, but an entire world developed for photographers, where to find vehicles ad hoc modified (as boat hides or buggy hides), expeditions outside the reserve to enrich even more the portfolio and observations of species and go deeply into the atmosphere of the location; accommodation inside the reserve, to share with a limited number of people and only with people that share the same passion, and specially trained guides to make the experience memorable... And of course an high number of photographic hides to meet every photographer’s requirement (from towers to partially buried hides, from floating hides to the ones at the level of the tree canopy, and much more...)

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Merce R. Romero


8000 Hectareswhereweworkeveryday 11 NatureReserves 80 PhotoHides

M. Biasioli

... So far

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MORE THAN ... 150 15000

An incredible number of species to photograph in comfortable new generation hides. In every reserve, thanks to expert guides, you can find information and advices to take amazing pictures of target species, as well as to photograph less required but still very interesting and particular species. Depending on the season, you can plan your experience and enjoy close encounters with your favourite species.

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Bird species to observe

All our reserves are real nature paradises where every visitor is attended and supported with professionalism and courtesy. Even if nature photography is a very important feature in our work, in all our areas we do also organize high level birdwatching and wildwatching tours. Our reserves offer the opportunity to easily observe rare species or species that are otherwise difficult to find in the Western Paleartic, such as Pallas’s Gull, Paddyfield Warbler, Booted Warbler, Red-necked Nightjar or Black-winged Kite.

Merce R. Romero S. Giachello

Species to photograph

M. Biasioli

182

S. Giachello

People reached each year

S. Stignani

Photographers using our hides each month

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M. Andreini M. Biasioli C. Pedriali

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In order to make a distinction and gather the reserves that present similarities, we have divided them into 3 macro-groups to differentiate usability, logistics and organization. However, each reserve has its own features that pratically lead to the fact that every project is different from the others and unique; it’s our team’s job to develop these areas in a way that guarantees and provides the same high qualitative and ethical standards, be it for hides or nature guiding or accommodation services. The 3 macro-groups show the main features of each kind of reserve; from the most exclusive one to the local little jewels passing through projects that help not only nature but also the development of a local economy.The Reserves Network represents a new and secret world to discover and new photographic opportunities not to be missed!


3 WAYS TO EXPLORE NATURE IN TOTAL FREEDOM

ULTIMATE RESERVES Public or private large reserves (more than 500 hectares) where it’s possible to stay in exclusive lodges or hotels in the middle of nature, entirely organized for nature photography and nature tourism. Main features: • • • • •

Accommodation inside the estate open only to nature tourism groups Total freedom to move inside the reserve and choose among a high number of different photographic hides, all included in the experience Minimum number of 15 new generation photographic hides for several target species A number of facilities and paths inside the reserve and excursions in the surrounding areas to get the best of a full 8-days expedition. International clientele

WIDESPREAD RESERVES Reserves that are widespread in a vast territory with the collaboration of different public or private entities or companies.These areas can include and gather single hides as well as small nature reserves or private areas. Main features: • • • •

Overnight stay close to the reserve in affiliated accommodation Minimum number of 5 new generation photographic hides Open to international groups or individuals for long week-ends or daily visits This kind of reserve is the one that is most indicated for the development of a local economy as it involves agreements with local professionals, authorities and accommodation facilities

LOCAL RESERVES Small reserves, sometimes included inside public or private areas, that reach a mainly local fruition, even if they can also be included in itineraries of photographic and nature expeditions. Main features: • • • •

Minimum number of 3 new generation photographic hides Open to individuals or small groups for daily visits or 2-days visits Some of these reserves have affiliated accommodation in nearby town or in the surroundings Mainly for a local clientele but a good opportunity also for tourists and international photographers visiting the area.

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THE NETWORK Countries where we work directly Countries with active projects and partnerns Countries where we organize Nature Tours

Amsterdam London

Paris

Budapest

Milano Bologna

Roma

Bari

Porto

Napoli Madrid

Lisboa

Sevilla

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SKUA Nature Group has created and manages the first project of Nature Reserves entirely developed for and dedicated to Nature Tourism and Nature Photography. A new kind of offer, different from a simple itinerary in a destination or a photographic session in a hide, it’s a world entirely conceived and organised for nature lovers. Our team also works in different countries in the creation of nature itineraries for territorial enhancement, independently or in collaboration with local agencies and authorities, to provide great birding and photographic expeditions in remote and evocative places with the support of the most experienced group in Europe in this field. From North to South, from East to West, the Network aims to include the best and exclusive nature areas of all Europe and more, to gather them and strengthen their preservation. A large Network, made to photograph and observe all the target species of the different countries and to have the opportunity to develop useful and concrete conservation and research actions to preserve these beautiful but fragile areas.

Ivalo

Helsinki

ROMANIA ULTIMA FRONTIERA Dobrogea - Danube Delta

Riga

p. 16

ITALY CASCINA SPINOLA Piedmont - Vercelli’s Province

p. 44

PO RIVER & RICEFIELDS Piedmont - Vercelli’s Province

p. 54

VALLI DI ARGENTA Emilia Romagna - Po Delta area

p. 64

WILD LUCANIA p. 74 Basilicata - Lucanian Appennines N.P. LA MANDRIA p. 108 Piedmont - Torino Province

SPAIN FINCA LA PARRILLA Extremadura - Monfrague N.P. Bucarest Constanta

Sofia

p. 84

LAS VINAS p. 98 Extremadura - Caceres Province

PORTUGAL MONTE BARATA p. 110 Portugal - Castelo Branco

UNITED KINGDOM BLASHFORD RESERVE Extremadura - Monfrague N.P.

p. 106

LATVIA Wild Latvia p. 112 Latvia - Latgale Region

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2018 HIGHLIGHTS WINTER EXPEDITION AT UF Reserve

Ultima Frontiera - Danube Delta

M. R. Romero

M. R. Romero

Species

White-tailed Eagle, Bittern, Golden Jackal, Otter, Wild Cat, Woodpeckers

Dates

February 2018

Price

From 1650 €

WINTER WEEKENDS IN ITALY Reserves

Valli di Argenta & Cascina Spinola

Species M. Premoli

C. Galliani

Common Buzzard, Bittern, Kingfisher, Red Squirrel, Herons, G.S. Woodpecker

Period

February 2018

Price

from 290 Euro

BLACK WOODPECKER AT UF Reserve Ultima Frntiera - Danube Delta

Species M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

White-tailed Eagle, Golden Jackal, Wild Cat, Black & G.H. Woodpecker, Pelicans

Period

April/May

Price

1510 Euro

MATERA & WILD LUCANIA TOUR Reserve Wild Lucania

Species A. Conte

A. Conte

Lesser Kestrel, Red Kite, Black Kite, many passerines, orchids

Period

May/July

Price

1700 Euro

SPRING WEEKENDS IN ITALY Reserve

Po River & Ricefields - Cascina Spinola

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Ruffs and lots of Waders, Common Buzzard, Bittern, Kingfisher, Garganey M. Premoli

M. Piacentino

Species Period

April/May

Price

from 290 Euro


For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

WEST IBERIA PHOTO TOUR Reserve Finca La Parrilla

Species I. Maiorano

I. Maiorano

Egyptian, Black & Griffon Vulture, Red & Black Kite, Genet, Blue Rock Thrush

Period

May/June

Price

from 1620 Euro

LAS VIÑAS WEEKENDS Reserve Las Viñas - Acehuche

M. Rodriguez

A. Rodriguez

Species

Kites, Orphean Warbler, Rufous Bush Robin, Cirl Bunting, lots of passerines.

Period

May/June

Price

from 260 Euro

SUMMER WEEKENDS IN ITALY Reserve

Po River & Ricefields - Cascina Spinola

Species C. Galliani

M. Premoli

Purple Heron, Bittern, Squacco Heron, Sacred Ibis, Bee-eater, Little Owl

Period

April/June

Price

from 290 Euro

SUMMER AT ULTIMA FRONTIERA Reserve Ultima Frontiera - Danube Delta

Species M. Premoli

S. Giachello

White-tailed Eagle, Golden Jackal, lots of Waders, Terns and Pelicans

Period

July/August

Price

1510 Euro

2 WEEKS PACK AT ULTIMA FRONTIERA Reserve Ultima Frontiera - Danube Delta

Species S. Giachello

M. Premoli

White-tailed Golden Jackal, Wild Cat, Woodpeckers, Terns, Waders & more

Period

April & August

Price

2700 Euro

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Merce R. Romero

Ultima Frontiera


Location

Periprava - Tulcea Dobrogea - Romania

Opening period

From April to October Special opening in February

Contacts

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

Features

30 Photo Hides 1000 Hectars

Closest Airports

Bucarest (4 h.) to Tulcea Constanta (1,5 h.) to Tulcea

Suggested Accommodation

In the Reserve there is a four stars lodge with 16 rooms

Ultima Frontiera

ROMANIA Tulcea

Bucarest

Constanta

Reaching Ultima Frontiera is an adventure on its own; situated at more than 80 kilometres from the city of Tulcea and not connected by any road, you can only reach it by boat along the Danube river. An exciting trip that will enable you to enter one of the greatest wetland in Europe, and to discover its flooded woods, small picturesque villages and an astonishing amount of birds. An experience which, differently from the usual cruise tours, we describe as unique because it allows you to explore huge areas both in small boats and in comfortable 4x4 vehicles. The strategic location of the property means that you are able to visit remote and untouched areas such as the Letea Forest with its old oak trees and its large expanse of dunes, the salty steppes and flooded meadows, the huge system of lakes and ponds virtually untouched, and the Musura lagoon towards the Black Sea. This is a place where not only you can relax in perfect tranquillity, but where every visitor can explore on his own a vast area using small electric vehicles available at the lodge. Dedicated areas for birdwatching and dragonflywatching, professional photographic hides of the latest generation, a large set of vehicles and photo and nature excursions in the best places of the Delta will make you go home with only one thought in mind... Coming back!

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THE RESERVE The lodge at Ultima Frontiera is a real technical challenge which allows you to enjoy your stay in one of the remotest areas in Europe with the very same level of comfort of your home. It has been built renovating an old twentieth century building, and it is situated in the heart of the property. A unique atmosphere with the comfort of a 4-stars hotel: large rooms with satellite tv and large en-suite bathrooms; a restaurant with outside terrace where you can have dinner enjoying wonderful sunsets; free wireless internet connection available everywhere inside the hotel; The property around the hotel, during the communist regime, hosted a prison camp, subsequently turned into a fish farm; this troublesome past has given the area a peculiar aspect characterized by polygon shaped water bodies and basins, as well as by the presence of picturesque ruins and old buildings, now immersed in the natural vegetation and offering shelter to little owls, rollers and wildcats.This is one of the peculiar features of this place, the unequivocal predominance of nature, from the howling of the jackals at dinner time, to the frenetic activity of the hoopoes in the yard, from the nocturnal concert of the tree frogs, to the brawls among the grey headed woodpeckers on the thatched roof of the hotel: simply a unique place.

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M. Biasioli

M. Andreini

M. Biasioli

M. Steenhaut

M. Biasioli

One thousand hectares of lakes, reedbeds, woodland and bushy areas surround a very high-quality lodge.


M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

Only 12 visitors at a time are allowed to stay inside the estate, and therefore the network of over 30 kilometres of trails are at their exclusive disposal, to be explored on foot or on board the silent electric cars.These small vehicles are very good for approaching wild animals, and can be used as mobile hides for shooting great images. And there’s no need to worry about getting lost, as knowledgeable local guides will help you memorize easy landmarks which, combined with the useful maps (one in every buggy) and the signage, will make the discovery on your own being a unique and relaxing experience.

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230 bird species have been recorded so far inside the property: from Smews, Rough-legged Buzzards and Great Grey Shrikes in winter, to Red-breasted Geese, White-winged Terns and Red-breasted Flycatchers during migration, to 90 breeding species like Red-footed Falcon, Thrush Nightingale and Paddyfield Warbler, an exceptional heritage of ornithological diversity for such a small area. Furthermore, there are colonial breeding species you can observe during excursions in the surrounding areas: Black-necked and Red-breasted Grebes and Black and Whiskered Terns in the Merhei and Matita lakes, Collared Pratincoles and Avocets in salty steppes, Great Black-headed Gulls and Sandwich Terns along the Black Sea shores.Thanks to its geographical position, Ultima Frontiera, not far from the sea and inside the Danube delta, offers to birders an incredible list of potential vagrants and rarities, among which in these last years there are Lesser White-fronted Goose, Great Spotted Eagle, Demoiselle Crane,Terek Sandpiper, Citrine Wagtail, Siberian Stonechat, Little Bunting and so on. Among the easiest species to find, especially in early spring and late summer, there are the four woodpeckers breeding species: Black, Grey-headed, Lesser Spotted and Great Spotted, with the bonus of Syrian Woodpecker, more common in the villages of Periprava, Letea and Sulina (and only rarely inside the property). The immense reedbeds expanses support many interesting species, from Bittern, Little Bittern and Little Crake to various passerines perfectly adapted to this environment, from the light brown coloured Savi’s, Sedge, Moustached and Paddyfield Warbler, all breeding in Ultima Frontiera, to the more vividly coloured, and searched for by photographers, Bearded Reedlings, a common breeder even more numerous during migrations.

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M. Steenhaut

T. D’Arcangelo

B. Gil

L. Boscain

L. Boscain

BIRDS


M. Valentini

M. Biasioli T. D’Arcangelo

CONSERVATION PROJECTS Thanks to the funds raised with nature tourism, we develop and manage active conservation projects every year. Find more at page 128 & 130

M. Premoli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

F. Filippini

Pinoc-

M. Biasioli

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

T. D’Arcangelo L. Zuntini

D. Giuliani

230 bird species have been recorded so far inside the property

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M. Biasioli

MAMMALS

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M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

The island between the Danube branches of Chilia and Sulina hosts a population of wild horses, whose ancestors were brought here by the Tartars over 400 hundred years ago, and subsequently became wild. Nowadays a few thousands stallions and dams roam freely here, with their bay or black mantle, among sand dunes and meadows. They have no natural predators here, and therefore, in order to minimize the risks of overgrazing, it has been necessary to control their number and sterilise many of them, but still these beautiful animals are among the most longed for subjects by photographers, especially when they gallop freely in the steppe.

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ULTIMA FRONTIERA

M. R. Romero

M. Biasioli

C. Galliani

M. Biasioli

The remoteness of the property is one of the reasons why mammals live undisturbed here, and not rarely move also by day. Not only Jackals, but also Otters and Wildcats can be observed in broad daylight, both from buggies or from the hides. Dedicated night excursions offer the chance to spot the most reserved inhabitants of the property, like Racoon Dog, Badger, Beech Marten and Wild Boar. Some interesting smaller mammals are present, such as Northern White-breasted Hedgehog, Forest Dormouse and the tiny Harvest Mouse. The nearby Letea forest, where in the last century used to roam the last romanian Mooses, is a real hotspot for bats, with more than 20 species recorded, beside having good populations of Roe Deers, Jackals and Pine Martens.


L. Boscain

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L. Boscain

D. Giuliani

The concert of the amphibians is the soundtrack of the nights in Ultima Frontiera: thousands of Marsh Frogs, Fire-bellied Toads and Oriental Tree Frogs seemingly never lose their will to challenge one another in loud races. More discreet are Common Toad and Green Toad, pretty rare, and, moreover, the two newt species: Smooth and Danube Crested Newts. The cool summer nights hide the movements of the most searched for amphibian of the area, the Common Spadefoot: its underwater song is almost impossible to hear, but it’s not rare to find solitary individuals exploring the hotel garden, while the big tadpoles are regularly eaten by Squacco Herons.

L. Boscain

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES


C. Galliani

M. Biasioli

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

One of the most common preys of egrets, ibis and storks are snakes: the two more common species being Dice Snake and Grass Snake. The latter has often a peculiar colour pattern, with longitudinal stripes or melanic forms, with some individuals entirely black and without the typical collar. Regularly seen are also the native European Pond Turtles, with individuals crossing the trails or sunbathing in front of the hides. Much rarer are Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard, while two very interesting species have been recorded in the nearby Letea forest, Meadow Viper and Steppe-runner.

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M. Biasioli

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L. Boscain

L. Boscain M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

L. Boscain L. Boscain

L. Boscain

The property hosts damselflies and dragonflies belonging to over 30 different species: particularly rare and interesting are Dark Spreadwing, River Clubtail and Black Pennant, but more common ones are stunningly abundant, especially during the days when adults emerge and start flying. Less numerous are the butterflies, with around 35 species recorded so far, among which Large Copper,Yellow-legged Tortoishell and Large Chequered Skipper. Some large moths are present, like Giant Peacock Moth and French Red Underwing, as well as large beetles like Rhinoceros Beetle and Anoxia orientalis, while the praying mantis Empusa pennicornis is a real gem.


INSECTS & PLANTS

M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

L. Boscain

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

M. Biasioli

The huge expanses of freshwaters in the delta, beside obvious species like Yellow and White water-lilies, also host a multitude of other interesting aquatic plants: from Floating fern, to the Arrowhead, to the extremely delicate yellow flowers of the Greater bladderwort, a carnivore plant. May is the best month in order to appreciate all the extraordinary bloomings of Marsh orchid which paint in fuchsia the wet meadows, as well as for visiting the Letea forest, a real flowering garden with 10 orchid species, the splendid Hungarian iris and interesting species like Silk vine.

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M. Biasioli

M. Affini

M. Affini

M. Biasioli

PHOTO HIDES


M. Andreini

P. Dieudonne M. Biasioli

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

M. Andreini

A wide range of photo hides of the latest generation give nature photographers a chance to test themselves with a multitude of different subjects, and perspectives being everytime in a new habitat and setting; form floating hides at water level, to drinking hides for woodpeckers and the dune-hide for white tailed eagles.Wide windows with very high-quality glasses and soundproof walls allow to observe the wildlife in an innovative way, reducing the disturbance to a minimum and ensuring the best naturalness in the animals‘ behaviour. Additionally, there are excursions on off road vehicles, to explore the surrounding steppes and the Letea forest, a Biosphere Reserve, as well as boat rides on an innovative boat-hide for visiting the big lakes in the heart of the delta.

M. Biasioli

M. Andreini

A wide range of photo hides of the latest generation

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M. Biasioli T. D’Arcangelo M. Valentini

P. Dieudonne

M. Premoli L. Boscain T. D’Arcangelo

M. Biasioli

M. Vigo M. R. Romero M. Valentini

The photo opportunities you can find in Ultima Frontiera are endless: each hide is focused on some target species, but the area is so exceptional that surprises arrive on a daily basis. A wildcat may appear on the edge of a drinking spot, black or grey headed woodpeckers may choose to drum on the trees where white tailed eagles usually perch, or the whiskered face of an otter may emerge close to pigmy cormorants and Ferruginous ducks in front of a waterside hide. The large mirrored windows will allow not to loose any of these scenes, ensuring the chance of trying inventive flying shots of even the more wary raptor.

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M. Biasioli

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

PHOTOGRAPHY

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M. Steenhaut


D. Giuliani

M. Premoli D. Petrescu

Ultima Frontiera is the best site in Europe for observing and photographing the Golden Jackal. It’s an afro-asiatic species, reaching also eastern Europe, that is expanding towards western and northern Europe, having already reached Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Golden Jackals are regularly seen from our hides, and it’s not rare to see them interacting with White tailed Eagles: it’s not easy to predict who will win during such battles, and therefore everytime it’s a different situation, and witnessing these scenes leaves you open-mouthed. White tailed Eagles have their nests in the nearby Letea forest and regularly come inside the property for hunting, and they can be photgraphed all year round form our hides

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ULTIMA FRONTIERA

T. D’Arcangelo T. D’Arcangelo

JACKALS & EAGLES


1 - DRINKING NORTH Species

Grey Headed Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redstart, small birds

Best Period D. Giuliani

S. Giachello

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

2 - JACKALS NORTH Species

Golden Jackal, Marsh Harrier, Buzzards, White-tailed Eagle

Best Period A. Topi

S. Giachello

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

6 persons

3 - TAMARISKS EAST Species

Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, Black Winged Stilt, Sandpipers

M. Steenhaut

S. Giachello

Best Period July-Aogust

Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

4 persons

4 - TAMARISKS WEST Species

Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, Black Winged Stilt, Sandpipers

Best Period S. Giachello

S. Giachello

July-Aogust

Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

5 - PIGMY CORMORANT Species

Pigmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Kingfisher

Best Period D. Giuliani

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

4 persons

Winter expeditions at Ultima Frontiera

Winter time, with its appeal, offers the chance to photograph emblematic species like Otter, Bittern, Dalmatian Pelican, Smew and, of course, Jackals and W.T. Eagle Coming up at February 2018 ... Contact Us!!

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6 - BERENE’ Species

Mute Swan, Ferrouginous Duck, Pigmy Cormorant, Little Crake, Kingfisher

Best Period Price

J. Zorrilla

M. Biasioli

All year round --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

4 persons

7 - MARSH TERNS Species

Common Tern, Wiskered Tern, Pigmy Cormorant, Great Cormorant July/September

Price

D. Giuliani

M. R. Romero

Best Period --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

8 - LAGOON Species

Mute Swam, White Pelican, Pigmy Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Ducks

Best Period Price

R. Lucietti

M. Biasioli

All year round --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

9 - LITTLE GREBE Species

Little Grebe, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Pigmy Cormorant

Price

P. Ravasi

M. Biasioli

June/September --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

10 - WOODLAND BIRDS Species

Redstart, Flycatchers, Black Woodpecker, Grey Headed Woodpecker

Best Period M. Premoli

S. Giachello

April/July

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

From mid April to Mid May Jackals show all their beauty.

If Golden Jackals are your target species, early spring is the best time to photograph them with their thick and shiny fur. . Coming up at April 2018 ... Contact Us!!

35

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

Best Period


11 - KINGFISHER Species

Kingfisher, Herons

Best Period S. Genovese

S. Giachello

April/July

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

12 - WILD CAT Species

Wild Cat, Golden Jackal

Best Period P. Serrano

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price --

Lens

150/200 mm

Seats

4 persons

13 - LITTLE OWL Species

Little Owl, Roller, Grey Headed Woodpecker All year round

M. Biasioli

M. R. Romero

Best Period Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

14 - BARN OWL Species

Barn Owl and sometimes Tawny Owl, Little Owl and Wild Cat

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price --

Lens

150/200 mm

Seats

2 persons

15 - BEE-EATERS Species

Bee-eater, Hoopoe

Best Period A. Maestri

A. Maestri

June-July

Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

April offers daily fresh opportunities!

This is the best time to photograph Picchio nero but also to witness the migration of many species ma anche il periodo migliore as Red-footed Falcon, terns & passerines! Coming up at April 2018 ... Contact Us!!

36


16 - DRINKING HOTEL Species

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, little passerines

Best Period I. Maiorano

A. Maestri

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

3 persons

17 - PURPLE HERON Species

Purple Heron, Great Egret, Roller, Marsh Harrier, Garganey, sandpipers

Best Period M. Biasioli

A. Maestri

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

18 - W.T. EAGLE IN FLIGHT Species

White-tailed Eagle, Dalmatian Pelican

M. Steenhaut

M. Biasioli

Best Period

June/September

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

19 - REEDBED’S BIRDS Species

Bearded Tit, Little Crake, Little Bittern, reedbed passerines

M. Premoli

A. Maestri

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

20 - WHITE TAILED EAGLE Species

White-tailed Eagle, Golden Jackal, Marsh Harrier, Jackdaw, Rook

Best Period M. Premoli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

6 persons

The end of June is the time for new arrivals!

Chicks from many species like Great & Red-necked Grebe, Collared Pranticole, Terns, Kingfisher and more will be visible Coming up at July 2018 ... Contact Us!!

37

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

Best Period


21 - NURSERY Species

White-tailed Eagle, Golden Jackal, Marsh Harrier, Jackdaw, Herons

Best Period M. Premoli

S. Giachello

All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

22 - DRINKING SOUTH Species

Grey-headed Woodpecker, Hoopoe, small passerines All year round

I. Maiorano

M. R. Romero

Best Period Price --

Roller,

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

23 - JACKALS SOUTH Species

Roller, Hoopoe, Bee-eater, Marsh Harrier, Golden Jackal

M. Steenhaut

M. Biasioli

Best Period All year round

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

T1 - ROLLER 1 Species

Roller, sometimes Little Owl

Best Period M. Premoli

S. Giachello

May/September

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

T2 - MARSH HARRIER Species

Marsh Harrier, reedbed passerines

Best Period M. Premoli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price --

Lens

500/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

Pratincoles are July target species‌among others!

Starting from July glassworth starts getting red and Pratincoles are clearly visible offering great photo opportunities Coming up at July 2018 ... Contact Us!!

38


T3 - ROLLER 2 Species

Roller, Kestrel, Hoopoe

Best Period Price

M. Premoli

S. Giachello

May/September --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

4 persons

T4 - ROLLER 3 Species

Roller, Kestrel, Little Owl

Best Period Price

M. Biasioli

S. Giachello

May/September --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

T5 - REEDBED Species

Savi’s Warbler, Reedbed Bunting, Sadge Warbler and others reedbed’s passerines

Best Period Price

L. Boscain

M. Biasioli

May/September --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

1 persons

F1 - LAGOON NORTH Species

White Pelican, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Terns, Waders, Ducks

Price

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

F2 - KINGFISHER 2 Species Kingifischer

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

May/July

Price --

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

Try Ultima Frontiera “Residential Holidays”.

Imagine to be able to live Ultima Frontiera magic atmosphere for longer periods (2 weeks or even one entire month) at special prices! Coming up at April, August & September 2018 ... Contact Us!!

39

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

Best Period


F3 - LAGOON CENTRE Species

Dalmatian Pelican, Spoonbill, Waders, Ducks, Herons

Best Period Price

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round 50 Euro

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

F4 - LAGOON SOUTH Species

Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Shelduck, Herons, Waders

Best Period Price

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

2 persons

BOAT HIDE - LAKES EXCURSION Species

Pelicans, Black & Wiskered Tern, Rednecked & Great Grebe, Squacco Heron

Best Period Price

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

3 persons

4X4 HIDE - BLACK WOODPECKER Species Black Woodpecker

Best Period Price

G. M. Zaino

M. Biasioli

April-May --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

3 persons

BOAT EXCURSION - MUSURA Species

Pallas’s Gull, Capian Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Little, Capian & Sandwich Tern April/September

M. Biasioli

P. Deudoinnet

Best Period

Waders paradise is from mid August up to mid September!

Low perspectives and close encounters with species like Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Broad-billed Sandpiper, and more! Coming up at August and September 2018 ... Contact Us!!

40

Price --

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

14 persons


4X4 ESCURSION - STEPPES Species

Collared Pranticole, Glossy Ibis, Redfooted Falcon, Waders, Herons & Ducks

Best Period

Lens

300/600 mm

Seats

Price

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

April/September --

9 persons

4X4 EXCURSION - NIGHT SAFARI Species

Tawny Owl, Nightjar, Long-eared Owl, Golden Jackal, Wild Boar, Wild Cat

Best Period --

CORRELATED TOURS Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at info@skuanature.com

20-21 pag. 88 pag.

150/300 mm 9 persons

WEEKLY PACKAGE Due to a not easy logistics (Ultima Frontiera is indeed a remote and wild location), our tour are scheduled for an 8 days experience that gives you the opportunity to enjoy at best your holiday. In an entire week you will take part to excursions to an area of boundless steppes and wetlands, a visit to old picturesque villages, a boat trip to the inner lakes of the Delta and another one to the Black Sea. And of course you can enjoy trips by electric cars to discover the 1000 hectares estate and use all the available hides (more than 30 at the moment!). Our tours are tailored differently depending if you are a birdwatcher or a wildlife photographer.

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

A. Maestri

SKUA Card Members

M. Biasioli

OTHER INFO

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

Follow us

M. Premoli

pbase.com/skua_nature

Day 2 -6 Day 7

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Our ISUU Archive

By minibus & boat

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

issuu.com/skuanature

Maximum of 7 clients per group; maximum of 2 groups per week.

Arrival within 13.00 am at Bucharest airport and Transfer to Ultima Frontiera Ultima Frontiera with excursions and photo hides sessions Day 7 Excursion to the Black Sea and transfer to NH Hotel in Bucharest for dinner.

INCLUDES accommodation, half board service, local transfers, use of the hides and the electric cars available, excursions, services of the english speaking local guides.

41

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

You can find our tours to Ultima Frontiera in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens

Seats

Price

M. Biasioli

M. R. Romero

April/September


M. Premoli

In Ultima Frontiera it is possible to take beautiful pictures in many periods of the year but, without any doubt, the longer is the staying at the reserve, the better are the chances.The golden Jackal puppies, the mating of the Red-necked Grebes, the breeding of the Black-woodpecker chick and other target species are all special occasions that would require more time at the reserve. We have therefore created some holiday packages to allow our clients to stay more than one week at the reserve: we offer special rates for one-month journeys, winter time expeditions, two-weeks tours in the months of April, July and August, which are considered high-season periods, enjoying what migration can offer. Ultima Frontiera is considered the European best hotspot for Nature photography. More than 30 photo hides dedicated to several species, boat and all-terrain excursions are thought to give the chance to explore one of the wildest places in the world.

M. R. Romero

M. R. Romero

A. Maestri

M. Andreini

SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

42

Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator


WINTER EXPEDITION

M. R. Romero

10 - 24 February 2018

3000 Euro - 300 E SRS

For the first time, Ultima Frontiera opens its doors in winter time, offering the chance to take memorable pictures. Species like Bittern, Black Woodpecker, White Tailed Eagle, Otter and Jackal are our target in this period of the year.This tour suits the exigences of birdwatchers and photographers, as well.The low temperatures offer stunning landscapes and make the target species more visible: due to the scarce availability of food they must cover the frozen roads looking for it and this is something unique that we suggest not to miss.

TARGET SPECIES Bittern Dalmatian Pelican W.T. Eagle Smew Black Woodpecker G.h. Woodpecker Otter Golden Jackal Wild Cat

TWO WEEKS EXPEDITION

(*) just in April

TARGET SPECIES Pelicans W.T. Eagle Black Woodpecker (*) G.h. Woodpecker Greebs Terns Roller & Hoopoe Golden Jackal Wild Cat

ULTIMA FRONTIERA

When Spring starts, numerous migrant birds elect Ultima Frontiera as the place to stay for a long period, year after year.The Danube wild waters and the landscapes become perfect coloured backgrounds thanks to the numerous species that find shelter here. Now our clients can take the chance to watch this show, staying two weeks at Ultima Frontiera in the months of April, July or August.

M. R. Romero

2500 Euro - 300 E SRS

April - July - August 2018

ONE MONTH EXPEDITION

M. Biasioli

August - September 2018 Summer time is one of the most requested periods. Migration is at its best and the number of species has considerably increased. Considering that some of these species cannot be easily seen in a short period of time, we offer the possibility to stay at Ultima Frontiera for one entire month with the chance to photograph a high variety of species in the best period of the year.

3500 Euro - 300 E SRS TARGET SPECIES Pelicans W.T. Eagle G.h. Woodpecker Collared Pranticole Caspian Tern Gull Billed Tern Lots of Waders Golden Jackal Wild Cat

43


44

M. Premoli

Cascina Spinola


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

Livorno Ferraris - Vercelli NW Italy All year round

Contacts

Torino

Milano Bergamo

ITALY

Milano Malpensa (1,5 h.) Torino Caselle (1 h.)

Suggested Accommodation parcoil babi.com trattoriaorso.it

Bologna

Cascina Spinola

F. Rovedo

F. Rovedo

info@skuanature.com 0141-918403

30 Photo Hides 15 Hectars

F. Rovedo

The Lowlands of the Vercelli’s plains are an area extremely favourable for farming, and the rice fields in the last century have become an almost uninterrupted extension. An old but still very efficient canal system has been providing the necessary water supply, and the whole area has been nicknamed “the squared sea”: Until very few years ago, these rice fields have played a key role as stop over sites for migrating herons and especially waders, as well as being of great importance for amphibians and insects. But nowadays the situation is getting worse, mainly due to massive use of pesticides and a lesser use of water during springtime.This introduction is necessary to understand the importance of creating new wetlands and the need to restore habitats: traditional rice fields can’t no longer act as substitutes for natural wetlands.Therefore the role that Cascina Spinola is set to play is absolutely unique and extremely precious: more than a hundred hectares of cultivated farmland will be turned into a wet natural habitat, which will include open body of waters, reedbeds and wet meadows.

45


Even if the restoration project is not finished yet, the place is already frequented​by lots of species along the year and some rarities has alredy appeared, such as Red Phalarop, Little Stint and Marbled Duck;These first observations give us hope for the future of this area.This oasis represents also a very important support to all those migratory birds that have to deal with the difficult Alps crossing, being located in one of the most famous italian migratory way, just at the Alps entrance. Moreover,​the place has already been chosen by lots of ​ wintering ​Herons (Sacred Ibis, Great Egrets, Little Egrets and Grey Herons) In front of the several hides that overlook the wetlands,​Black Winged Stilt, Ruffs, Spotted Redshank, Blacktailed Godwits, Sandpipers, Snipes, Jack Snipe, Spotted Crake, Water Rail, Lapwings and Cormorants c​ an be usually seen​. You will also find Common tern, Black Tern, Wiskered Tern, in addition to the above mentioned Herons, also Squacco Heron, some individuals of Purple Heron, Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill and Little Bittern c​ an be photographed. Among ducks, the colourful Shelduck, Garganey,Teals and Shoveler use to get together in the water bodies. Lots of passerines usually s​ pend time among the hedges and banks of Cascina Spinola, from the colourful Yellow Wagtails to the shy Bluethroat. The incredible biodiversity of this area includes also several raptors as Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard, Hen harrier, Little Owl and Barn Owl, normally easy to see from different hides.

CONSERVATION PROJECTS Thanks to the funds raised with nature tourism, we develop and manage active conservation projects every year. Find more at page 126 & 130

46

M. Piacentino

M. Biasioli

C. Galliani

M. Premoli

BIRDS


R. Lucietti

M. Biasioli

C. M.Galliani Biasioli

M. Biasioli

R. Lucietti L. Zuntini M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

CASCINA SPINOLA

After just 4 months from the end of the restoration works, 58 couples of Black-Winged Stilts started nesting in the area.

47

C. Galliani

R. Lucietti

M. Piacentino


OTHER WILDLIFE

48

F. Rovedo

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

S. Stignani

The 12 hectares of wetlands represents an amazing ecotone among marsh vegetation and the one proper to rural italian countryside. Inside the area Typha Latifolia ​​reeds ​​and big bushes of ​​Cornflowers ​can be found, as well as ​​Amphibious Bistort and Chamomile, little groups of​lilies a​ nd papavers. In springtime beautiful ​I​ris ​pseudacorus ​can be s​ een along the water drains. Hedges includes several arboreal and shrub-like plants, from roses​to w ​ illows and Alders.​New lines of hedges have been planted and every year the botanical importance of the area increases. Cascina Spinola is not only an Oasis for birds but also a refuge for several kinds o ​ f mammals as European Polecat, Western Hedgehog, Eastern Cottontail, foxes. Focusing on other​wildlife s​ pecies ​we can appreciate the view of several amphibious like edible frogs and different kinds​of newts, reptiles as Grass Snake and Western Whip Snake and also a multitude of dragonflies as Ischnura elegans, Platycnemis pennipes, Orthetrum cancellatum e albistylum, Crocothemis erythraea, Aeshna cyanea, Aeshna mixta, Anax imperator, Sympetrum depressiusculum, Calopteryx splendens. Among butterflies the most common are Vanessa atalanta, Papilio machaon e Inachis​.They fill the colours palette of this picture called ​ “Cascina Spinola”.


M. Premoli M. Premoli

Thanks to 10 photo hides located in strategic places inside the estate, photographers can enjoy new ​daily p ​ hoto possibilities and species ​all​year ​round​. Each hide has been designed to be perfectly integrated with the surrounding nature and to offer the best opportunities in terms of perspectives (from the water level to higher view for birds in flight), light and backgrounds. High quality glasses help getting​pictures of ​ some behaviours difficult to photograph in other conditions. ​ Paths ​leading to the hides are easy to cover and sheltered not to bother animals.

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

CASCINA SPINOLA

C. Galliani M. Premoli

C. Galliani

PHOTOGRAPHY

49


50

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

F. Rovedo

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

PHOTO HIDES


M. Premoli

HIDE 1 Species

Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Sandpipers & Waders

C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Seats

2 persons

HIDE 2 Species

Stints, Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwit, Garganey, Black winged Stilt, Waders

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 3 Species

Great Egret, Shelduck, Common Tern, Shoveler, Great Cormorant

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

51

CASCINA SPINOLA

Best Period


HIDE 4 Species

Grey Heron, Glossy Ibis, Little Grebe, Night Heron, Garganey, Ducks

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 5 - MEADOW Species

Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Ruff, Common Buzzard

Best Period C. Galliani

M. Premoli

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 6 - BITTERN Species

Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Snipe and other lots of Waders

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 7 Species

Black wiged Stilt, Jack Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Crake, Hen Harrier

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 8 Species

Bittern, Teal, Water Rail, Spotted crake, Lapwing, Garganey, Waders

Best Period C. Galliani

F. Rovedo

All year round

Price

40 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

52

Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons


HIDE 9 - LITTLE OWL Species

Little Owl, Redstart, Black Redstart

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

C. Galliani

M. Premoli

All year round 60 Euro

2 persons

HIDE 10 - VISITOR CENTRE Species

Sacred Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Marsh Harrier, Night Heron, Herons and Waders

Best Period All year round R. Lucietti

40 Euro

info@skuanature.com

pag.18-19

4 persons

WEEK-END PACK Cascina Spinola estate offers the possibility to book s​ ingle ​ photo-sessions​but it is also a perfect destination for week-end long photo experiences that can be c​ ombined with the use of the dedicated​hides of t​wo INNATE reserves located c​ lose to Cascina Spinola. During an entire week-end you can relax and really enjoy your visit to these nature areas in the middle of Vercelli ricefields, focusing on its wildlife and tasting the local food excellence. Our hide keeper will welcome you and suggest you the best hides to use.

SKUA Card Members

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

C. Galliani

OTHER INFO

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

Follow us

Day 2

C. Galliani

pbase.com/skua_nature

Day 3

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Our ISUU Archive

Not included

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

issuu.com/skuanature

Maximum of 4 people per group

Arrival at Livorno Ferraris (Vercelli’ province) and meet with our hide keeper. Possible first hide session at Cascina Spinola estate Cascina Spinola estate – hide sessions San Genuario reserve & Fontana Gigante reserve– hide sessions and departure.

INCLUDES accommodation, half board service, local transfers, use of the hides and the electric cars available, excursions, services of the english speaking local guides.

53

CASCINA SPINOLA

F. Rovedo

Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at

300/600 mm

Places

Price

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to Cascina Spinola in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens


In collaboration with:

54

C. Galliani

Po River & Ricefields


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

Fontanetto Po VC Tricerro VC All year round

Contacts

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

10 Photo Hides 50 Hectars Torino

Milano Bergamo

ITALY

Milano Malpensa (1,5 h.) Torino Caselle (1 h.)

Suggested Accommodation parcoil babi.com trattoriaorso.it

Bologna

Po River & Ricefields

Fontana Gigante Natural Reserve Tricerro VC

San Genuario Natural Reserve Fontanetto Po VC

In the northwestern part of Italy, the Vercelli province is famous for the traditional rice-fields where in the past the seasonal job of mondine was fundamental to protect the growing rice plants from weeds (the mondina’s life has also been represented in lots of movies). Rice fields are important rural habitats and feeding stations for several species, used as core areas or stepping stones. In this particular landscape we have developed local photographic reserves to help supporting conservation actions thanks to nature photography incomes. The Palude di San Genuario Natural Reserve is part of the larger Parco fluviale del Po e dell’Orba, a regional Protected Area and it’s an important wetland with spring waters, entirely surrounded by rice fields. Declared SCI (Site of Community Importance) and SPA (Special Protection Areas), this reserve is one of the few places where Bittern, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier Little Crake and Purple Heron nest side by side. The second reserve called Fontana Gigante Natural Reserve, also included in the regional Protected Area, consists of marshes with spring waters where to find water bodies with abundant floating vegetation, reedbeds and a beautiful marsh forest.

55


M. Premoli

BIRDS

These reserve offers opportunities to photograph species as Common Buzzard, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Long tailed Tit, Great spotted Woodpecker, Bittern, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Little Crake, Water Rail, Great reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Spotted Redshank, Black winged Stilt, Little Egret, Night Heron, Eurasian Coot, Garganey, Shoveler, Sacred Ibis and more. In spring 2015 the Marsh Harrier decided to nest just in front of the Bittern Hide, allowing amazing shots. Among mammals the Red Squirrel is the star of the drinking hide, often interacting with the Great-spotted Woodpecker, as well as the Red Fox that comes to look around. The Palude di San Genuario Reserve is also a well known hotspot for dragonflies and damselflies, with well over 30 species in the checklist. Hides are available all year round, except for the Common Buzzard Hide and the Floating Hide (Fontana Gigante NR) that are open from october to march and the Bee-eater Hide open from may to july. Spring is a good time of the year for different species, while winter is good especially for Common Buzzard and summer for waders.

56

M. Steenhaut

C. Galliani

M. Premoli

CONSERVATION PROJECTS Thanks to the funds raised with nature tourism, we develop and manage active conservation projects every year. Find more at page 124 & 130


M. Biasioli

M. Premoli M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

L. Zuntini C. Galliani M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

PO RIVER & RICEFIELDS

In the Reserve there are two among the most important breeding colonies of Bittern and Purple Heron

57

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

M. Premoli


OTHER WILDLIFE

C. Galliani C. Galliani

C. Galliani

C. Galliani L. Boscain

D. Giuliani

C. Galliani

In Po and Orba Park many are the habitats that are present: woods, wetlands, long river banks, meadows and fields. For this reason, the number of fauna and flora species is elevated and some of them are locally emblematic. Among mammals, Red Squirrell, Roe Deer, Polecat, and different colonies of Bats species like Lesser Horseshoe Bat and Lesser MouseEared Bat. Among reptiles and amphibians, Italian Agile Frog, European Pond Turtle and Italian Crested Newt are common in all the area. Even in terms of enthomology it is possible to see a great species diversity, owing to different habitats, among which Lycaena dispar, Zerynthia polixena, Saga pedo.The area is considered one of the best hotspots for the observation of dragonflies. As it regards flora, many particular habitats and species are present. Orchids are certainly the most emblematic among the local plant species since the area is rich of rare species that can be localized and photographed.

58


PO RIVER & RICEFIELDS

M. Premoli

These reserve offers opportunities to photograph species as Common Buzzard, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Long tailed Tit, Great spotted Woodpecker, Bittern, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Little Crake, Water Rail, Great reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Spotted Redshank, Black winged Stilt, Little Egret, Night Heron, Eurasian Coot, Garganey, Shoveler, Sacred Ibis and more. In spring 2015 the Marsh Harrier decided to nest just in front of the Bittern Hide, allowing amazing shots. Among mammals the Red Squirrel is the star of the drinking hide, often interacting with the Great-spotted Woodpecker, as well as the Red Fox that comes to look around. The Palude di San Genuario Reserve is also a well known hotspot for dragonflies and damselflies, with well over 30 species in the checklist. Hides are available all year round, except for the Common Buzzard Hide and the Floating Hide (Fontana Gigante NR) that are open from october to march and the Bee-eater Hide open from may to july. Spring is a good time of the year for different species, while winter is good especially for Common Buzzard and summer for waders.

M. Premoli

C. Galliani

L. Boscain

PHOTOGRAPHY

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M. Biasioli

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

M. Biasioli

PHOTO HIDES


M. Premoli

In the reserves 10 hides are available. Here you can use drinking hides, fixed hides, as well as a floating hide and others in front of ponds to get perspectives at the water level. The bee-eater hide is placed inside another nearby area (near the village of Brusaschetto, on the other side of the Po river) and it’s included in a project of habitat restoration where a gravel pit was present. The 3 areas are closed to each others and this allows to visit them in just one day or a week end. These are exclusive natural areas open to photographers upon hide reservation. The local guide and photographer is happy to welcome you in this particular territory where traditional agricolture has to be preserved for biodiversity purpose. A photographic excursion around the ricefields can be easily organized too.

BITTERN - S. GENUARIO Species

Kingfisher, Bittern, Little Crake, Spotted Crake, Water Rail All year round

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

MARSH HARRIER - S. GENUARIO Species

Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher, Bittern, Little Crake, Spotted Crake, Water Rail

Best Period I. Zuccolo

F. Rovedo

April/July

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

DRINKING POOL - S. GENUARIO Species

Great-spotted Woodpecker, Nightingale, Dunnock, small passerines

Best Period R. Lucietti

M. Premoli

All year round

Price

40 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

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PO RIVER & RICEFIELDS

M. Piacentino

M. Premoli

Best Period


PURPLE HERON - S. GENUARIO Species

Purple Heron, Marsh Harrier, Little Bittern, Little Grebe, Night Heron

Best Period

Lens

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

April/July

300/500 mm

Places

Price

70 Euro

2 persons

RED SQUIRREL - FONTANA G. Species

Red Squirrel, Dunnok, Jay, Turtle Dove, Great-spotted Woodpecker, small passerines

Best Period

Lens

C. Galliani

M. Premoli

All year round

300/500 mm

Places

Price

50 Euro

2 persons

BUZZARD - FONTANA G. Species Common Buzzard, Fox

Best Period M. Premoli

M. Premoli

Winter time

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

FLOATING HIDE - FONTANA G. Species

Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Garganey, Pochard, Gadwall.

Best Period I. Zuccolo

I. Zuccolo

Winter/Spring

Price

50 Euro

Lens

500/600 mm

Places

2 persons

NIGHT HERONS - FONTANA G. Species

Night Heron, Herons, Snipe, Blackwinged Stilt, Waders, Kingfisher

Best Period I. Zuccolo

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

50 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

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Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

400/600 mm

Places

2 persons


BEE-EATER - BRUSASCHETTO Species

Bee-eater, Melodious Warbler, Redbacked Shrike

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

C. Galliani

M. Premoli

All year round 50 Euro

4 persons

HIDE NIGHT HERONS Species

Night Heron, Herons, Snipe, Blackwinged Stilt, Waders, Kingfisher

Best Period All year round M. Premoli

50 Euro

info@skuanature.com

pag.18-19

2 persons

WEEK-END PACK Both of these INNATE reserves can be easily combined to offer you an photographic experience longer than a single session in one hide. It is indeed worthwhile to stay more time and enjoy at best your visit to these nature areas in the middle of Vercelli ricefields, focusing on its wildlife and tasting the local food excellence. Adding also the use of the photo hides in the Cascina Spinola estate, the tour will give you the opportunity to return home with a good portfolio. Our hide keeper will welcome you and suggest you the best hides to use.

SKUA Card Members

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

M. Premoli

OTHER INFO

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

Follow us

Day 2

M. Premoli

pbase.com/skua_nature

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Our ISUU Archive

Not included

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

issuu.com/skuanature

Maximum of 4 people per group

Day 3

Arrival at Fontanetto Po (Vercelli’ province) and meet with our hide keeper. Possible first hide session at San Genuario reserve San Genuario reserve & Fontana Gigante reserve– hide sessions Cascina Spinola estate – hide sessions and departure.

INCLUDES accommodation, half board service, local transfers, use of the hides and the electric cars available, excursions, services of the english speaking local guides.

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PO RIVER & RICEFIELDS

F. Rovedo

Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at

300/500 mm

Places

Price

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to Po River & Ricefields in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens


In collaboration with:

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S. Stignani

Valli di Argenta


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

10 Photo Hides 1200 Hectars

Argenta - Ferrara Emilia Romagna

Torino

Milano Bergamo

Bologna (1 h.) - Treviso (2 h.) Milano-Bergamo (3,5 h.)

All year round

Bologna

Suggested Accommodation

Contacts

Agriturismo Vallesanta (Campotto)

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

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9

Treviso

Valli di Argenta

ITALY

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5 6

8 7

2

4

S. Stignani

3

S. Stignani

The Po Delta area is well known as one of the most famous italian birding hotspots, with more than 300 bird species, as well as a good number of other groups of animals and plants too (i.e. 41 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles, 1000 plant species, etc.).The National Park is divided into six “stations� around the southern area of the Po Delta and the reserve is the sixth station. The Valli di Argenta reserve, with its 1650 hectares of fresh water valleys, wet meadows and a strip of hygrophilous wood (150 hectares) represents one of the most important and extended fresh water wetlands of Northern Italy.This area in 1976 has been declared as wetland of internacional importance as defined by the Ramsar Convention.This is the only inland part of the Po Delta National Park to present fresh waters, that come from the early XX century’s reclamation, now concentrated temporarily in overflow basins before being poured out into the Reno river; this is made in order to allow the area not to be hit again by disastrous floods, as it happened in the past. From the Reno river, the water follows its way to the Adriatic Sea. The main hydraulic function of these valleys is undeniable and fundamental to guarantee the safety of the Bologna lowland. But these wetlands have also a very high value in terms of biodiversity and are very important for the conservation of numerous water species: for example in our reserve there is one of the most important italian colonies of Whiskered Terns, nesting among the widespread water lillies, abundant in the area. The Valli di Argenta reserve is private: visits and the use of its available hides are upon reservation.

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BIRDS

S. Stignani

The oasis woods host many bird species whose call can be usually heard: Great Spotted Woodpecker, European Green Woodpecker, Common Cuckoo, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Goldfinch, Great Tit and Eurasian Blue Tit. In Autumn many Stock Doves and Common Wood-Pigeons live in this area. Ruffs and Balck-Tailed Godwit are very common. Among migrant waders, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Northern Lapwing, Black-winged Stilt and Pied Avocet. Waders love wet meadows, here they find their favourite food (worms, molluscs and plants living in lime). Reeds host many passirenes like Great Reed Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Bearded Reedling, Common Reed Bunting, Cett’s Warbler. More acquatic species are Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Gulls and Wyskered Tern. The flooded agricultural areas are fequented by Mallard, Gadwall,Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Garganey, Pochard,Tufted Duck.

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C. Pedriali

M. Biasioli

S. Stignani

CONSERVATION PROJECTS Thanks to the funds raised with nature tourism, we develop and manage active conservation projects every year. Find more at page 130


M. Biasioli

C. M.Pedriali Biasioli

M. Biasioli

L. Stignani S. Zuntini M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

S. Stignani

VALLI DI ARGENTA

One of the best areas where to photograph kingfisher using different photo techniques

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M. Gagliardone

M. Biasioli

S. Stignani


S. Stignani

Woods are sometimes flooded in case of heavy rain, so it is possible to find water-loving plants like Poplars, Ashes, Elms,Willows, Oaks but also shrubs like Hawthorns, Elders, Hazels, Dogwoods, perennials and grasses.Wet areas and waters host Italian Pool Frogs, Common Frogs, European Tree Frog and Common Toad and European Green Toad; With some luck it is possible to see Northern Crested Newt and Smooth Newt. Among reptiles European green lizard and Italian Wall Lizard live in the undergrowth. On the other hand, Common Wall Lizard and Green Whip Snake are ubiquitous. Among mammals, woods host Foxes, Crested Porcupine, Badgers, Stone Martens, Red Squirrel, European Hare, Roe Deer and Weasels that cannot been easily seen due to their nocturnal habits and their small dimensions.Wetlands host Typha and Reeds like Phragmites australis. Close to the water and along the banks, Carex, Lythrum and Butomus are common species.Waters host Coypu (a not native species) and amphibians & reptiles like Grass Snakes, Dice Snakes and European Pond Turltes. The flooded agricultural areas host Waterlilies and many other water plants, like Hydrocharys Morsus-Ranae and Nymphoides peltata.

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M. Biasioli

C. Galliani

S. Stignani

S. Stignani

A. Meliconi

I. Maiorano

OTHER WILDLIFE


S. Stignani

The reserve can count on a kind of fauna that represents this part of Italy. Depending on the period, among the target species you can photograph: Whiskered Tern, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Common Kingfisher, Great spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Jay, Great Cormorant, Pigmy Cormorant, Avocet, Common Shelduck, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Eurasian Spoonbill, and lots of waders (Black winged Stilt, Spotted Redshank, Black tailed Godwit, Ruff, Common Redshank). These species have been photographed in different situations, the Sparrowhawk bathing, Whiskered Terns feeding chicks, Kingfisher fishing, and more. Mammals such as Red Fox, Road Deer, Beech Marten and Crested Porcupine are present as well..

VALLI DI ARGENTA

S. Stignani

S. Stignani

S. Stignani

PHOTOGRAPHY

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M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

C. Pedriali

PHOTO HIDES


A. Meliconi

Inside the reserve 10 photographic hides are available. Hides are located in different kind of habitats, as for example in the hygrophilous wood, in the wet meadows, on the water, etc. They have been built in different shapes (i.e. partially buried hides, drinking hides, with or without glasses, etc.) to offer different kinds of perspectives and the best photographic opportunities. The star of this place is the hide called The Arca, a boat hide located inside a big extension of water lilies that faces perches for the Whiskered Terns and other interesting species. Hides are open all year round, except for The Arca Hide that is open from april to august and the Buzzard Hide that is available from september to may. All the seasons offer good photographic opportunities even if spring is the best in terms of quantity of species.

HIDE 1 - DRINKING POOL Species

Sparrowhawk, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Red Squirrel, small passerines

C. Pedriali

S. Tignani

All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 2 - BUZZARD Species

Common Buzzard, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Passerines

M. Piacentino

S. Stignani

Best Period All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/600 mm

Places

3 persons

HIDE 3 - KINGFISHER U.W. Species Kingfisher under water

Best Period E. Natali

A. Meliconi

Mainly Spring

Price

70 Euro

Lens

80/100 mm

Places

1 persons

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VALLI DI ARGENTA

Best Period


HIDE 4 - KINGFISHER Species Kingfisher

Best Period M. Biasioli

C. Galliani

All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

200/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 5 - KINGFISHER LOW LEVEL Species

Kingfisher, Bittern, Pigmy Cormorant, Great Egret, Herons

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

3 persons

HIDE 6 - ARCA Species

Squacco Heron, Great Crested Grebe, Whiskered Tern, Pigmy Cormorant

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

3 persons

HIDE 7 - WAIDERS LOW LEVEL Species

Black winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Teal, Shelduck, Waders, Terns

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/600 mm

Places

3 persons

HIDE 8 - WADERS Species

Black winged Stilt, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Teal, Shelduck, Waders & Ducks

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

60 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

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Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

500/600 mm

Places

2 persons


HIDE 9 - HERONS POOL Species

Grey Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Pigmy Cormorant, Spoonbill

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

S. Stignani

M. Biasioli

All year round 60 Euro

2 persons

HIDE 10 - ARBOREAL DRINKING Species

Red Squirrel, Stone Marten, Woodpeckers, small passerines

Best Period from 2018 M. Biasioli

R. Lucietti

Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at

300/500 mm

Places

Price

60 Euro

2 persons

WEEK-END PACK

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to Po River & Ricefields in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens

The number of hides in the reserve is also perfect for week-end experiences.You will overnight in one of the comfortable affiliated accommodation close to the reserve and our hide keeper will suggest you the best hides to try. Especially during migration number of species to photograph can increase and it could be worthwhile stay longer.

info@skuanature.com

SKUA Card Members

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

A. Meliconi

OTHER INFO

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

pbase.com/skua_nature

Day 2

Follow us

M. Piacentino

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

Day 3

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Our ISUU Archive

Not included

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

issuu.com/skuanature

Maximum of 4 people per group

Arrival at Valli di Argenta reserve (close to Ferrara) and meet with our hide keeper. Possible first hide session. Valli di Argenta reserve – hide sessions Valli di Argenta reserve, moring hide session and departure.

INCLUDES accommodation, meals, use of the available hides, services of the local hide keeper.

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VALLI DI ARGENTA

pag.18-19


A. Conte

Wild Lucania In collaboration with:

74


Location

San Martino d’Agri Basilicata - Italy

Opening period

Napoli

3 Photo Hides 9 Hectars

Potenza

Bari Matera

Closest Airports

All year round

Naples - Capodichino Bari - Pavese

Contacts

Suggested Accommodation

Wild Lucania Palermo

Agriturismo Zia Elena agriturismodaziaelena.it

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

ITALY

Features

The WILD LUCANIA widespread reserve is located in the very heart of Appennino Lucano-Val d’Agri-Lagonegrese National Park, a large protected area situated in Basilicata, whose perimeter includes some of the highest summits of the Lucanian Apennines, delimiting the upper valley of the river Agri. Being close to Pollino and Cilento National Parks, it represents a connection and an area of precious environmental continuity.The reserve is also close to the impressive Murge plateaux of San Lorenzo: spectacular conglomerate pinnacles created by the erosive action of the Agri, river that has shaped the entire hill turning it into a gorge reminiscent of an American canyon. Here Griffon and Egyptian vultures, Peregrine, Black Storks and lots of other interesting rare species nest. A still uncontaminated land, where to find wild rivers, ideal habitat for Otter, and the Raparo mountains, where Apennine Wolf is present. At only a few kilometres from the reserve lies the evocative landscape of Aliano’s “calanchi” (barren, sandy soiled, rocky hills), which can be easily visited. In less than an hour driving it’s possible to reach the wonderful town of Matera, European capital of culture 2019, and home to hundreds breeding pairs of Lesser Kestrel; in 40 minutes driving there is the beautiful Ionian seacoast and in an hour the village of Maratea, with its picturesque coastal and mountain landscapes. The reserve consists of different kinds of habitats; from the holm-oak wood to the mediterranean scrub, from the mountain meadows (with Brachypodium, Bromus, etc.) to shrubs areas (with hawthorn, Spanish broom, European Wild Pear, dog-rose). All these habitats host endemic species and very important populations of Egyptian Vulture, Black Stork, Red Kite, Otter, the endemic Apennine Yellow bellied Toad and Spectacled Salamader. Because of that all the area represents one of the most important locations in southern Italy for biodiversity conservation. In spring mediterranean wild flowers and particularly wild orchids abound here.

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A. Conte

BIRDS

Among the greater birds, Black Storks take the place of honor. They nest in wet woods or forests close to rocky partitions where climate is mainly mediterrean. And this park has all the typical features that these great birds need. In addition, White Stark, Great Egret, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Spoonbill and Black-Winged Stilt can be easily seen, as well as Night Heron. Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture are an important presences and they breeds inside the park. Over 500 mt of altitude, it is possible to see Golden Eagles, Lanner Falcon, Peregrine Falcons and Common Ravens. In the woods of the park, it is usual to see Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Collared Flycatcher the Eurasian Eagle Owl and, on the hills, many Red Kites and Common Buzzard. Black Kites and Western Marsh Harriers live in wet environments.

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A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

CONSERVATION PROJECTS Thanks to the funds raised with nature tourism, we develop and manage active conservation projects every year. Find more at page 130


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A. Conte

M. Biasioli

M.Conte A. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

L. Zuntini M. Premoli Biasioli

M. Biasioli

WILD LUCANIA

M. Piacentino

M. R. Romero

G. Pesce


A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte A. Conte

A. Conte A. Conte

78

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

Wild orchids are a particularly threatened group because of their ecological peculiarities that make increasingly difficult for them to find suitable habitats. Inside the park there are about 18 genera and 65 species of wild orchids (100 species for the whole Basilicata are known). Many of them are endemic, such as: Ophrys argolica subsp pollĂŹnensis, Ophrys pseudoatrata, Ophrys holosericea subsp. posidonia, Ophrys fusca subsp. lucana, Epipactis meridionalis. Orchids tours can be easily organized.


A. Conte A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

ENDEMISMS & RARITIES

The best place in southern Italy where to watch wildlife

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

A. Conte

WILD LUCANIA

In the area of the reserve there are several amphibians and reptiles of great conservation importance, as endemic southern Italy or particularly rare species. These species are the Apennine yellow-bellied toad (Bombina pachypus), the Italian stream frog (Rana italica), the Spectacled salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata), the Four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata), the Italian Aesculapian snake (Zamenis lineatus), the Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex)

79


A. D. Stefano

OTHER WILDLIFE

Val d’Agri park is famous for the presence of Italian Wolves. Among mammals, other species are visible: European Polecat, Wild Cat, Wild Bore, Europea Hare, Pine Marten, Red Squirrel (black morph), Fox, Crested Porcupine, and Otter. It is usual to see Otters alone or gathered in groups climbing up river Agri or just in canals, ponds or small lakes. Among valley bushes, it is usual to see some reptiles, like Asp Viper and Four-lined Snake.

I. Maiorano

R. C. Rosembauer

Since the park is full of waters, many amphibians live here. Among them, the captivating Yellow-bellied Toad and the Southern Spectacled Salamander.

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Among the crostaceous living in the waters of Persutillo Lake, there is River Crab and European freshwater crayfish.


A. Conte

A. Conte

The warm and colorful light that it’s possible to find in this part of Italy (similar to the kind of light typical of Spain) gives to pictures a magic touch. Close pictures of Red kite landing or vultures fighting or curious red foxes are just some opportunities offerd by these hides, as well as natural behaviour scenes of common life of species as, for example: Red and Black Kite, Eurasian Griffon, Egyptian Vulture, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Short toed Eagle, Raven, Magpie, Hooded Crow, European Stonechat and Whinchat, Red backed and Woodchat Shrike, Blackcap, Blue and Great Tits, Linnet, Subalpine Warbler, Corn and Cirl Bunting, Red Fox ... And Wolf!

A. Conte

A. Conte

WILD LUCANIA

A. Conte

A. Conte

PHOTOGRAPHY

81


A. Conte

PHOTO HIDES

HIDE KITES Cornito Species

Red Kite, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Buzzard

J. M. Rosa Silva

A. Conte

Best Period All year round

Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE KITES 2 Sant’Angelo Species

Red Kite, Black Kite, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Common Buzzard

Best Period A. Conte

A. Conte

All year round

Price

60 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

82

Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons


HIDE “POZZO” Species

Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Subalpine Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Woodchat Shrike,

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

A. Conte

A. Conte

September/June 40 Euro

2 persons

LESSER KESTREL IN MATERA Species

A specieal photographic excursion focus on Lesser Kestrel in the stunning old Matera

Best Period 50 Euro

Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at info@skuanature.com

300/600 mm 6 persons

WEEK-END PACK

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to Po River & Ricefields in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens

Places

Price

A. Conte

A. Conte

May/July

Every year, from may to july, there’s the possibility to book a tour to observe and photograph these amazing raptors.The wonderful Matera city, Unesco World Heritage, hosts one of the biggest colony of Lesser Kestrels, with about a thousand breeding pairs!! Matera is close to our Wild Lucania reserve and photo sessions in our hides makes this experience even more exciting. Not to mention the superb Lucania local cuisine!!!!

pag. 22-23

SKUA Card Members

A. Conte

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery pbase.com/skua_nature

Follow us

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 J. M. Rosa Silva

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Our ISUU Archive

Not inclusive

issuu.com/skuanature

Arrival at Bari and transfer to our Wild Lucania estate Wild Lucania hides Lesser Kestrel daily tour and depart Bari* *more days can be added on demand.

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

WILD LUCANIA

OTHER INFO

Maximum of 6 people per group

INCLUDES accommodation, half board service, local transfers, use of the hides and the electric cars available, excursions, services of the english speaking local guides.

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M. Biasioli

Finca La Parrilla


Location

Serrejon - Caceres Extremadura - Spain

Opening period All year round

Contacts

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

Features

10 Photo Hides 900 Hectars

Closest Airports

Madrid Barajas (3 h.)

Suggested Accommodation

In the Reserve there is a lodge with 8 rooms

SPAIN

Porto

Madrid Caceres

Lisbona

La Parrilla

La Parrilla estate is inside the famous Monfragße National Park, which, with its 18.396 hectares, has been the first protected area to be declared in Extremadura, in 1979, and subsequently became a National Park in 2007, as well as being a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It’s a real jewel of biodiversity, protecting mediterranean forests and shrubby areas, famous worldwide for its invaluable environmental and particularly ornithological heritage: it hosts a huge population of different vultures species, it has one of the highest densities of the endemic and very rare Spanish Imperial Eagle, and during the winter impressive numbers of Common Cranes are present.

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M. Steenhaut

86

The old Casa Rural in La Parrilla, now completely renovated and ready to accommodate its hosts, is situated in the heart of a 1250 hectares private estate. High on a hill, it offers a privileged view over the Tago river valley, over the dehesa and on the rocky cliffs of the Sierra La Parrilla. It is an eco-lodge with well-finished and charming furniture, modern and spacious rooms with en-suite facilities, a couple of living rooms where you can relax and a large table in the patio for open air dinners, so you will be constantly entertained by the flight of vultures: a real oasis of peace, where to adapt your pace to the pace of nature, with no hurry, for the Griffon Vultures are not in a hurry when they fly effortlessly in the blue sky .  

M. Biasioli

M. Steenhaut

M. Steenhaut

M. Steenhaut

THE RESERVE


87

M. Biasioli

FINCA LA PARRILLA

M. Piacentino

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Piacentino

M. Piacentino

M. Biasioli


M. Mendi

M. Mendi

M. Mendi

BIRDS

88

So far 180 bird species have been recorded in Monfragüe National Park, with more than a hundred breeding: La Parrilla estate hosts a lot of this biodiversity, including arguably the biggest colony in the world of Cinereous Vulture and the second biggest of Griffon Vulture. And these are by no means the only raptors present here: at least three males of Eagle Owl sing from the rocky cliffs in front of the lodge, while a pair of Spanish Imperial Eagle has its nest nearby; Red Kites, Golden Eagles, Bonelli’s Eagles and Sparrowhawks fly over the area almost every day.Typical mediterranean species such as Thekla Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, Blue Rock-thrush, Woodchat Shrike and Spotless Starling can be seen in the more open areas, while the shrubby areas host a plethora of Sylvia warblers: Dartford, Subalpine, Sardinian, Common, Western Orphean and Iberian Chiffchaf. In the more humid areas, like the valley floors where streams flow, there are high densities of Golden Orioles, and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Jays, Azure-winged Magpies and Hawfinches are all present. It is possible to organize expeditions for finding and photographing particular birds inside the estate or in the immediate surroundings, dedicated night sessions for spotting owls, and also to set up temporary hides in order to maximise the photo opportunities. Find out how to do it!


C. Romano

M. Lorenzo

M. Mendi

FINCA LA PARRILLA

M. R. Romero

C. Galliani

Inside the estate one of the biggest european Black Vulture colonies

89

T. D’Arcangelo


MAMMALS

C. Galliani

Merce R. Romero

I. Maiorano

Galliani P.C. Jaez

M. R. Romero

Since La Parrilla includes a wide section of the integral natural reserve of the MonfragĂźe National Park, a lot of the over 50 mammal species present can be seen, with a bit of luck. Not only the Red Deer coming close to the lodge in their rutting season, but also Red Fox and Beech Marten often come close to the buildings at night. Even Wolf has been seen inside the property, while very interesting species present are Wild Cat, Common Genet and Egyptian Mongoose, typical african species, as well as Otter and Badger. Among smaller mammals, Garden Dormouse and Southern Water Vole are worth mentioning. It is possible to organize special expeditions for finding and photographing particular plants, insects and mammals, with dedicated walks and jeep rides, both at night and during the day, and it is also possible to set up nocturnal photo sessions. Find out how to do it!

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INSECTS & PLANTS

FINCA LA PARRILLA L. Boscain

A. Battisti

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

R. Sindaco

The landscape of the property is made up of two main environments: the dehesa, with scattered holm oaks and huge cork oaks, whose existence is guaranteed artificially through the grazing of goats, sheep and pigs; and the mediterranean scrub, of natural origin. Both these two environments host a large variety of plants and insects species. There are extraordinary bloomings of Common Gum Cistus and Broteroi Peony, along with a lot of other mediterranean species like Spanish Foxglove or Tongue Orchid, among which fly elegant butterflies like Spanish Festoon, Spanish Swallowtail and Two-tailed Pasha.

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C. Galliani

T. D’Arcangelo R. Sindaco

R. Sindaco

C. Galliani

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES

92

Though arid, the mediterranean scrub and the dehesa of Monfrague host an unexpected abundance of amphibian species, which reveal themselves during wet days and nights: Iberian Ribbed Newt, Pygmy Marbled Newt, Iberian Painted Frog, Western Spadefoot, Natterjack Toad, Mediterranean Tree Frog are only a few of the numerous species present here. It is possible to organize special expeditions for finding and photographing particular reptiles and amphibian species, with dedicated night walks and jeep rides, and it is also possible to set up nocturnal photo sessions and temporary terrariums and aquariums to maximise photo opportunities. Find out how to do it!


G. Bissattini C. Galliani L. Boscain

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

FINCA LA PARRILLA

P. Jaez

M. Biasioli

The peculiar geological history of the Iberian Peninsula has strongly influenced its reptilian fauna: the temporary closure of the Gibraltar Strait has guaranteed an exchange between european and north african species, while glaciations have only lightly touched northern Spain, thus allowing the survival of tertiary fauna, unlike in the rest of Europe. All of this, together with the orography of the Iberian Peninsula and the climatic peculiarities typical of the mediterranean habitats, has made the Iberian Peninsula, and even more so the Monfragüe National Park, a real herpetological biodiversity treasure: a large part of the species are endemic or sub-endemic, like Iberian Worm Lizard, Ocellated Lizard, Ladder Snake, or species for which Spain represents the very core area of their distribution, like Spanish Pond Turtle, Iberian Wall Lizard, Horseshoe Whip Snake and Lataste’s Viper.

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PHOTO HIDES

94

E. Natali

L. Cuaresma

L. Cuaresma

A. Rodriguez

One of the very few hides in Europe where to photographing Golden Oriole


C. Galliani

A drinking-hide built up in a tree immediately takes us in the shady atmosphere of a valley floor grove, where Golden Oriole and Hawfinch come to drink. A perfectly camouflaged rock-hide disappears among the rocks and stones on top of a cliff, offering a fantastic view over the dehesa down below and on the vultures coming back to their nests in the sunset light. A large drinking trough acts as a magnet for passerines in the surroundings of the lodge, from Linnets to Red-rumped Swallows and Crested Larks. A floating-hide allows to take pictures of very intimate moments, when scavenger birds take a bath after their meal.These are only a few of the many opportunities you have in this reserve. 

HIDE 1 - PIZARRA Species

Azure Winged Magpie, Linnet, Swallows, Larks, Spotless Starling, Small Birds

R. Lucietti

J. G. Aguado

All year round

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

6 persons

HIDE 2 - TOCON Species

Blue Rock Thrush, Woodchat Shrike, Mistle Thrush, Larks, Redstarts

Best Period I. Maiorano

R. Lucietti

All year round

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 3 - ARBOREAL DRINKING Species

Golden Oriol, Azure Winged Magpie, Hawfinch, Warblers, Nuthatch

Best Period L. Ercoli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

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FINCA LA PARRILLA

Best Period


HIDE 4 - RED DEER Species

Red Deer, Fox, Orphean Warbler, Mediterranean Warblers

Best Period G. Bissattini

M. Steenhaut

All year round

Price

50 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 5 - SIERRAS Species

Blue Rock Thrush, Redstarts, Kites, Red-legged Partridge, Vultures

Best Period R. Lucietti

C. Romano

All year round

Price

80 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 6 - ENCINA Species

Red Kite, Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle

Best Period M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

80 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 7 - MULADAR Species

Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Kites, Raven

Best Period I. Maiornao

I. Maiornao

All year round

Price

80 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

4 persons

HIDE 8 - FLOATING HIDE Species

Herons, Storks, Vultures in the water, Kites, Sandpipers

Best Period C. Romano

M. Biasioli

All year round

Price

80 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

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Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons


HIDE 9 - DEHESA Species

Spanish Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Mediterranean Warblers

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

R. Lucietti

R. Lucietti

All year round 50 Euro

2 persons

HIDE 3 - NIGHT ARBOREAL Species Genet, Stone Marten

Best Period R. Lucietti

M. R. Romero

All year round

Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at info@skuanature.com

300/500 mm

Places

Price

80 Euro

2 persons

WEEK-END PACK

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to La Parrilla in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure.

Lens

La Parrilla estate is open to individual photographers and groups. Apart from single photo sessions you can also experience a weekend long stay, enjoying the local home-made cuisine and La Parrilla casa rural, the cosy accommodation on a hill inside the estate, surrounded by nature, from where you can often hear the eagle owl calling. An additional day can be added to visit the nearby Las Vinas estate, where you will have the opportunity to use hides for other species that will make your portfolio rich of different target species that the picturesque dehesa landscape hosts.

pag. 8-9

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

pbase.com/skua_nature

Day 3

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

Our ISUU Archive

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

issuu.com/skuanature

J. M. Rosa Silva

Follow us

Day 2

I. Maiorano

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

FINCA LA PARRILLA

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

I. Maiorano

SKUA Card Members

I. Maiorano

OTHER INFO

Welcome at La Parrilla estate and photo sessions La Parrilla estate – photo sessions Optional: Las Vinas estate – photo sessions and departure

Not Included twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. Maximum of 6 people per group

INCLUDES accommodation (at La Parrilla Casa Rural), full board service, use of the available hides, services of the local guides.

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98

M. Biasioli

Las ViĂąas


Features

Location

4 Photo Hides 15 Hectars

Acehuche - Caceres Extremadura - Spain

Closest Airports

Opening period All year round

Madrid Barajas (3 h.) Lisbona Portela (3,5 h.)

Contacts

Suggested Accommodation

Madrid Caceres

Lisbona

Our lodge at La Parrilla is just 1 hour far from the Reserve. In the surroundings there are other accommodation too

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

SPAIN

Porto

Las Viñas

Finca Los Morales M. Biasioli

Finca La Juliana

M. Biasioli

Acehúche is a small village in Caceres region, close to Portugal border. The area includes different ecosystems where the typical “dehesa extremena” is dominant.The combination between wineyards and Olive Trees make this land the perfect place where to meet and photograph several species. It has a unique wealth in terms of bird species, like Black Stork, Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Eagle Owl and Vultures, that have chosen this land for nesting. Las Vinas has been elected as the first place in Europe where a very important Egyptian Vultures colony (120 individuals) overwinters.The abundance of food and the mediterrean climate, typical of this land, contributed to make this reserve the Holy Temple of this scavenger species.

M. R. romero

Finca El Infierno

Finca EL Infierno

Finca Los Morales

Finca La Juliana 99


The number of species that can be photographed in this reserve depends on the period. Without any doubt, spring is the best time of the year. At that time Black Vultures, Griffon Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, Black and Red Kites, Rufous Bush Robins, Golden Orioles, Shrikes and Hawfinches become the stars of the hides offering many chances to take awesome pictures. Rufous Bush Robin prefers specific areas for nesting and live. With no doubts, it seems that one of the drinking hides of the reserve has the typical features that these birds love enough to come back every year from mid May up to the end of September. From April to November the drinking hides become the unique place where many birds can find water. Many passerines come in large numbers, delighting us with their baths, fast passages and funny ways of eating. On the other hand, the big birds of prey make this place unique. Black Storks, Golden Eagles, Spanish Imperial Eagles and Booted Eagles choose this territory to live and grow their chicks. Not only them‌Red and Black Kites, Raven,s Griffon Vultures and the majestic beauty of the Black Vultures. They all come in sequence to eat the banquet we offer to them from the dedicated hides. And, close to one of our hides dedicated to birds of prey, the Golden Eagle breeds. From these hides it is possible to observe the low flight of the Short-toed Eagle, the Shrikes assaulting Black Kites which come too much close to their nests. Black and White Storks visit the hides, as well as curious foxes and funny Egyptian Mangooses and Badgers. The high number of species, the climate and the stunning landscapes make this land a Nature Sacred Temple that nobody can miss.

100

A. Rodriguez

R. Lucietti

M. Apollo

A. Rodriguez

BIRDS


R. Lucietti

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

A. Rodriguez

M. Biasioli

A. Rodriguez L. Zuntini M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

LAS VINAS

M. R. Romero

Two drinking hides can produce up to 27 species in less than 3 hours

101

M. Biasioli


M. Lorenzo

OTHER WILDLIFE

102

M. R. Romero

R. Lucietti

C. Pedriali

R. Lucietti

M. Rodriguez

L. Boscain

Such a varying land can host a great number of animal and plant species, among which some are very emblematic in terms of conservation and photography. Among mammals, in addition to foxes, at sunset in dense vegetation, it is usual to see Badger, Mongoose, Genet, Stone Marten and, in open spaces, Deer. Among reptiles and amphibians, interesting species are Ocellated Lizard, Ladder Snake, Western Montpellier Snake,Viperine Snake, Marbled Newt, Iberian spadefoot toad, Ladder Snake. Many species of plants and orchids colour extremena spring offering shelter and food to lots of insects, among which it is worth naming Nemoptera bipennis.


M. Lorenzo

LAS VINAS

Developed as a local reserve, La Vinas is equipped with 4 latest generation dedicated hides. Two drinking hides can produce up to 27 species in less than 3 hours and these include Rufous Bush Robin and Orphean Warbler. The other two hides are dedicated to scavenger birds and Eagles (in perspective), with special backgrounds which give the chance to take terrific pictures. “Infierno” hide is located on the highest part of a hill and it is equipped with 4 seats useful to photograph the flying birds of prey. The background has been thought to allow photographers to take awesome pictures avoiding the sky. Acehúche is the only place in Europe where Egyptian Vultures overwinter.They attract many people who want to come, see and photograph them as this is something unique which had never happened before. Despite its dimensions, Las Viñas offers a great number of species. For this reason, we offer to our clients the possibility to stay for the week-end, accommodating in a “Casa Rural” located at just 15 minutes from the hides. In this way, clients can take photo sessions and, at the same time, try the tasty local food in a genuine atmosphere.

M. Lorenzo

M. R. Romero

M. Lorenzo

PHOTOGRAPHY

103


M. Apollo

PHOTO HIDES

HIDE 1 - DRINKING INFIERNO Species

Rofous Bush Robin, Golden Oriole, Orphean Warbler, many little passerines All year round

R. Lucietti

M. R. Romero

Best Period Price

60 Euro

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons

HIDE 2 - DRINKING JULIANA Species

Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike, Spanish Sparrow, many little passerines

Best Period R. Lucietti

A. Rodriguez

All year round

Price

60 Euro

For info and reservations, please contact our Office. We speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian

info@skuanature.com From UK 020 81449814 from other Countries +39 0141918403 Working hours Monday to Friday - 09.00AM to 06.00PM

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Paola Traspedini

Secretary & Logistic Coordinator

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

2 persons


HIDE 3 - FLYING RAPTORS Species

Red Kite, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture

Best Period

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

M. Biasioli

M. Steenhaut

All year round 60 Euro

4 persons

HIDE ALZACOLA Species

Red Kite, Black Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture

Best Period 60 Euro

CORRELATED TOURS You can find our tours to Las Vinas in the Ornitholidays 2018 brochure. Download it from our website or send a request by e-mail at info@skuanature.com

Lens

300/500 mm

Places

Price

M. Biasioli

A. Rodriguez

All year round

2 persons

WEEK-END PACK At Las Vinas reserve, apart from booking single photo sessions, you could plan a week-end long experience to try all of the extisting hides. Close to the reserve different accommodation are possible to find, but we do suggest to stay in our close La Parrilla estate’ Lodge to get the chance to enjoy a quiet and relaxed holiday surrounded by nature and the possible use of the Parrilla hides too. Our hide keeper will welcome you and suggest you the best hides to try.

pag. 8-9

OTHER INFO R. Lucietti

SKUA card owners can get discounts on all the activities we offer.You can get a skua card at the Visitors’ Centre

OUTLINE ITINERARY

P-Base Photo Gallery

Day 1

Look at the pictures taken at the reserve several hides here:

Day 2

pbase.com/skua_nature

Day 3

Follow us

Don’t miss our news! Follow us at real time on Facebook, Pinterest e Youtube

M. Lorenzo

issuu.com/skuanature

Welcome at Las Vinas reserve and photo sessions Las Vinas reserve – photo sessions Optional: La Parrilla estate – photo sessions and departure Not included

Our ISUU Archive

Download our catalogue or the reserves pdfs

LAS VINAS

SKUA Card Members

INCLUDES Use of the hides and local guide. Maximum of 6 people per group

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In collaboration with:

106

M. Biasioli

Blashford Reserve


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

UK

2-3 Photo Hides 200 Hectars

Ellingham, Hempshire England

Oxford

Blashford Reserve

Southampton London (2,5h.)

Inauguration before the end of 2017

Contacts

London Bristol

Winchester

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

The Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve is situated on the western edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire, England. It is composed of a series of flooded former gravel pits, now used for nature conservation and drinking water storage.The lakes are surrounded by willow, birch and alder woodland, as well as grassland.The reserve attracts thousands of wildfowl in winter as well as bittern and good numbers of woodland birds including redpoll, siskin and brambling, not to mention the colourful kingfisher in summer. With 26 species of dragonfly recorded to date, it’s also a haven for intervebrates. Wildlife watching is easy with access to six accessible bird hides and a number of “viewing screens” around the site, and, being included in the INNATE Network, the reserve will also have professional photographic hides to satisfy even the most demanding photographer’s needs.

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

C. Galliani

M. Biasioli

M. R. Romero

The 490 acres (200 ha) wildlife reserve is managed by the Wildlife Trust.

107


M. Biasioli

La Mandria In collaboration with:

108


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

4-5 Photo Hides 3000 Hectars

Venaria Reale, Turin Piedmont - Italy

La Mandria

Torino

Turin - Caselle (0,30’) Milano - Malpensa (1,5 h.)

Inauguration before the end of 2017

ITALY Bologna

Suggested Accommodation

Contacts

Milano

cascinaoslera.it

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

G. Bissattini

I. Zuccolo

R. Lucietti

G. Bissattini

G. Bissattini

In La Mandria Regional Park, history and nature intertwine creating a perfect combination of emotions and culture. In XIX Century this was one of King Vittorio Emanuele II’s game reserves. He asked to build a high bundary wall that surrounds this 3000 hectares estate and this allowed to preserve this portion of flat forest that used to be so properous in all Padana lowlands. La Mandria is just a few kilometres from Turin, so it is a real privilege to observe birds of prey, Black Storks, Cranes, Great Egrets, Curlew and much more species so close to such a big city. Osprey, European pond turtles, Grey herons’ heronry, tufted duck can be seen close to the inner lakes. As a former game reserve, this estate hosts many mammals, like Deer, Doe and Wild Boar. Several dedicated hides will be built inside the estate and it will become another photographic destination among Innate reserves.

109


M. R. Romero

Monte Barata In collaboration with:

110


Features

Location

Castelo Branco

10 Photo Hides 400 Hectars

Monforte de Beira Castelo Branco - Portugal

Leiria

Closest Airports

Opening period

PORTUGAL

Madrid (4 h.) Lisbona (2,5 h.)

Inauguration before the end of 2017

Lisbona

Suggested Accommodation

Contacts

Monte Barata

Evora

In the Reserve there will be a new lodge with 8 rooms

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

With more than 400 hectáreas, Monte Barata is located between the villages of Malpica do Tejo, Monforte da Beira and Municipios de Castelo Branco (Portugal).

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli G. Grandans

M. R. Romero

M. Biasioli

The reserve is located in “Tejo Internacional” Park. The high presence of Oaks allow many species which incude Deer, Wild Boar, Golden Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Red and Black Kites, Shorttoed Eagle, Genet, Otter, Black Stork, Egyptian Mangooses and Badgers (depending on the period, obviously).

M. Lorenzo

The typical landscape of this area is dominated the Mediterrean Hills, which host Holm and Cork Oaks, as well as Olive Trees and grazing lands. Close to Marmelal coast and Juncoso Valley Mediterranean scrub is present.

111

Campanarios de Azaba - G. Grandāns


M. Biasioli

Wild Latvia In collaboration with:

112


Location

Features

Opening period

Closest Airports

Contacts

Suggested Accommodation

10 Photo Hides 4 Hectars

Nagly - Madona Latgale - Latvia

Riga

LATVIA

Riga Airport (3 h.)

From spring 2018

Rezekne

Affiliated accommodation close to the estate. A new lodge with 8 rooms will be soon available inside the estate.

Wild Latvia

M. Piacentino

L. Ercoli

M. Piacentino

L. Zuntini

SKUA Nature will build a new reserve in this estate, in collaboration with Dabas Tures, a local company that has gained a lot of experience in this area.The purpose is to offer great photo opportunities. Agreements will be made with local owners of fishponds, and new structures and facilities will be created, both for accommodation and of course for photography purposes. Latvia will soon be another important part of the Network, offering a new environment and new habitats where to explore a wonderful nature. A huge numbers of ducks, grebes, raptors, woodpeckers and various passerines, as well Black grouses and Pigmy Boreal and Ural Owls. Ospreys and White tailed Eagles are particularly common, and it is not rare to see up to 9 Ospreys at the same time in summer and spring! Blyth’s reed Warbler, Booted Warbler, Citrine Wagtail are among the most interesting passerines present here. Common Goldeneye, Whooper Swan, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Marsh Sandpiper are other interesting species breeding here, not forgetting Three toed and Grey headed Woodpecker and Bittern.

M. Mendi

B. Gil

info@skuanature.com +39 0141-918403

Madona

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WORLDWIDE NATURE EXPEDITIONS 2018 will be a year full of further changes and leaps-forward. In fact, we will inherit the first tour operator in the world focused on nature torusm. 53 anni years ago, in England, Ornitholidays was born. A tour operator organizing holidays dedicated to the discovery of nature, animals and plants. It was an innovative and unprecedent project that traced a new way to manage tourism. From that moment, nature became en element able to generate benefits in the respect of the environment and the local communities. Nowadays, all over the world, tens of millions of people are estimated to take part to nature or photo expeditions. We are proud to be the heirs of this great project that is being handed down for decades. SKUA Nature has always been an innovative company able to face fresh challenges and projects and we are sure we’ll be able to offer holidays where our clients will be able to live in close contact with nature, which always has the leading role. In the following pages, you can find a foretaste of what we are preparing for year 2018. Since May 2018 we will undertake our operational role, so we suggest you to visit our website or ask for the new Ornitholidays catalogue to choose your future destination!

ornitholidays.com 114


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M. Biasioli


BLACK SEA EXPEDITION

Durankulak Lakes – Bulgaria and Danube Delta in Romania

M. R. Romero

Friday 9 February - Sunday 18 February 2018

2018 Cost €1690 SRS €146

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

HIGHLIGHTS

A unique experience along the Black Sea coast, seeing flocks of Red-breasted Geese in Bulgaria and White-tailed Eagles and Golden Jackals in the Danube delta in Romania, with good chances of getting great shots of both species in the snow. In winter, a large part of the total world population of Red-breasted Geese (1020.000 individuals) comes to spend the cold months here in the area of the Durankulak and Shabla lakes, in northeast Bulgaria. It’s a lowland area where they find perfect conditions for wintering, with relatively mild temperatures, thanks to the Black Sea, and with large extensions of wheat fields close to the lakes.We will see spectacular gathering of various geese species as well as seeing other interesting species such as Black-necked Grebe,Whooper Swan, Long-legged and Rough-legged Buzzard, Syrian Woodpecker and EagleOwl.

Red-breasted Geese White-tailed Eagles Black-necked Grebe Whooper Swan Bittern Long-legged Buzzard Rough-legged Buzzard Syrian Woodpecker

TOUR LEADER Max Biasioli

Black Woodpecker Grey-headed Woodpecker EagleOwl Bearded Reedlings Smews Dalmatian Pelicans Golden Jackals Otter

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1

Days 2-3 Days 4-7

60 twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities. By minibuses & Boat

We will then move to Romania,in the Danube delta, where we will stay in the amazing Ultima Frontiera property, being able to use the numerous photo hides present here. Not only White-tailed Eagles and Golden Jackals, but also 4 species of woodpeckers, Bearded Reedlings, Smews, Dalmatian Pelicans and (Whiteheaded) Long-tailed Tits.The lodge in Ultima Frontiera is in a remote, wild and beautiful area, with all facilities and comforts; the lodge in Bulgaria is again of very good quality and located in the very heart of one of the best areas for birds.

Day 8

Fly to Bucharest airport and transfer to Bulgaria Bulgaria and the Durankulak area Ultima Frontiera (Romania) photographic estate Depart from Bucharest airport

INCLUDES

all the ground services – accommodation, full board service, transfers, english speaking tour leader, photographic hides, excursions.

Up to 6 clients C. Galliani

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For further information please call from UK: 020 81449814 from other Countries: +39 0141 918403


ITINERARY Day 1 We will leave the Bucharest airport, drive untill Costanza and, from there, we will move south, crossing the border between Romania and Bulgaria and reaching the Durankulak area, where we will spend our first three nights in a birding lodge in the middle of one of the best areas for geese and other wintering species. Days 2-3 In these two days we will explore the area of the Durankulak and Shabla lakes and their surroundings, trying to get close to the geese flocks, which will include of course Red-breasted, but also Greylag, White- fronted and Bean Geese, and we also have chances of finding the very rare Lesser White-fronted Goose. Large flocks of ducks and swans spend their winter here, as well as Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes and Black-throated and Red-throated Divers; raptors should include both Rough-legged and Long-legged buzzards, Hen Harrier, White-tailed Eagle, Goshawk, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon, if not even the powerful Saker Falcon or a Great Spotted Eagle. The nearby Kaliakra promontory, one of the last steppe habitats in Bulgaria, will also be visited: high sea cliffs create a dramatic change between the marine habitat and the surrounding steppes. Other possible species here include Eagle Owl, Great Grey Shrike, Calandra Lark,Yellow hammer as well as, with a bit of luck, Wild Cat.

M. Biasioli

to get some fresh food; therefore we will have good chances of interactions between these two species, offering great and inforgettable photo opportunities. Marsh Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Caspian Gull, Raven, Jackdaw, Rook and Hooded Crow will also be present, offering great chances from the large windows of the hides. Other photo opportunities will include woodpeckers (Grey-headed, Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Black), Bearded Reedlings, Little Owls, Pygmy Cormorants and other waterbirds. Wintertime is also very good for photograph Otters, Bitterns and Wild Cat, not rarely seen in front of the hides. If the ice conditions allow us, we will also reach by boat the inner lakes Matita and Merhei, in order to see Dalmatian Pelicans and impressive numbers of Ferruginous Duck, Pochards, Coots,

Days 4 to 7 In the morning we will leave Durankulak and drive to Romania: in about three hours we should be able to reach Tulcea, and from there we will take a water-taxi to Ultima Frontiera, arriving probably in the early afternoon.We should have time for a first brief exploration of the property: a private area of 1.000 hectares, with a mixed habitat made of fishing lakes, riparian woods, steppes, lagoons and sand dunes, creating a real heaven for wildlife and birds. We will spend four nights here, in the beautiful and comfortable lodge in the middle of the property.There will be three of four photo hides dedicated to Whitetailed Eagles and Golden Jackals and, with a bit of luck, we could get photos of them in the snow. Wintertime will make the eagles more hungry and aggressive, while the jackals will have their long winter fur and will be ready to do anything

M. R. Romero

Website skuanature.com

M. N. R. Jones Romero

Tufted Ducks and Smews, with the possible chance of seeing a predation by one of the numerous White-tailed Eagles. Day 8 We transfer back to Tulcea, using a water taxi, and then drive back to Bucharest to catch our return flight.

M. Biasioli

N. Jones

E-mail info@skuanature.com

M. R. Romero

M. R. Romero

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INDIA - BARATPUR & KHANA Tigers and birds

M. Biasioli

Thursday 8 February - Monday 19 February

2018 Cost €4350 SRS €360

HIGHLIGHTS

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Sarus crane Red Junglefowl Black Bittern Indian Courser Asian paradise flycatcher Greater Racket-tailed Drongo Brown fish owl Shikra

TOUR LEADER Nicola Scatassi and local guides

200

Oriental honey buzzard Indian pitta Cotton pigmy goose Siberian rubythroat Greater spotted eagle Greater painted snipe Tiger Jungle Cat

One of the wonders of this journey is India’s amazing wildlife, which we discover as we explore the sal forests and bamboo thickets of renowned Kanha National Park, haunt of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the marshes of Keoladeo-Bharatpur, India’s famous bird reserve. Our journey promises to be a memorable experience. Bharatpur is famous for being one of the best wetlands areas in the world, and any visit to this wonderful place is always a memorable experience for any birdwatcher and nature lover, and many of the birds offer stunning photo opportunities. Besides birds such as Sarus crane, various storks and herons, wintering ducks and raptors including Greater spotted and Steppe eagles, siberian wintering passerines and local colourful species, this is also a good place for mammals: Jackals, Nilgai, Rhesus macaque, Chital and Sambar are numerous and normally quite easy to spot. But talking about mammals, of course Kanha stands out as one of the best places in the world for seeing a tiger, and not only! During are numerous jeep safaris, guided by expert local guides, we will see many different species, from the endangered local subspecies of Barasingha, to Barking deer and the huge and fascinating Gaur; Common Langur are also present, as well Sloth bear and Dhole. Obviously the Tiger will be our many target and we will maximize our chances by going on early morning and late afternoon jeep safaris, hoping to see this majestic animal crossing our track or hunting for a prey.

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Day 6 Day 7 Days 8-10 Day 11 Day 12

Arrive Delhi Delhi-Bharatpur Bharatpur Bharatpur-Delhi-Raipur Raipur – Kanha Kanha National Park Kanha-Raipur-Delhi Depart from Delhi

Very comfortable, in twin/double/single rooms, with private facilities. In Bharatpur we stay in the compounds of an old royal palace by minibuses driven by local drivers and scheduled domestic flights Maximum of 12 clients.

INCLUDES

Domestic flights, Meals, accommodation, local transport, services of the leaders, Entry fees with camarasM. Biasioli

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For further information please call from UK: 020 81449814 from other Countries: +39 0141 918403


ITINERARY Day 1 Arrival in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. First briefing about the tour.

and other wildlife, such as amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies. Not to mention that Indian wolf has been seen just outside the hotel!

Day 2 Transfer to Bharatpur (a few hours drive) and transfer to our beautiful and peaceful accommodation, whose gardens and grounds are a good habitat for many species, from Oriental magpie robin to Indian grey hornbill, from Indian scops owl to siberian wintering passerines. After lunch we will have our first taste of Keoladeo Ghana National Park by cycle rickshaw; we will be immediately captured by the peculiar atmosphere of this area, and birds will be very soon almost everywhere around us!

Day 8 Very early in the morning we will have our first game viewing safari by open jeeps inside the national park, an area of outstanding beauty and filled with wildlife. Kanha National Park is one of the largest national parks. It is also part of Project Tiger, one of the India’s most important conservation efforts. Safari through different habitats, including Sal Forest, Bamboo Thicket, Dadar (plateau grasslands), meadows and mixed forests.This beautiful area of forest and lightly wooded grassland with many rivers and streams supports an excellent variety of wildlife. Some of the species we may encounter include the endangered Hard-ground Barasingha (this being the only place where this subspecies of deer persists), Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, the largest of all bovines Gaur, Golden-backed Jackal, Jungle Cat, Common Langur, Sloth Bear,Wild Boar, Dhole or Asian Wild Dog, and the elusive Chowsingha. Kanha National Park also have a rich collection of bird species such as Asian Paradise Flycatcher,White Rumped Shama,White Bellied Drongo, Spangled Drongo. Racket Tailed Drongo,Twany Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Grey Francolin, Painted Francolin, Black Naped Flycatcher,Common Iora, Eurasian Blackbird, Gold Mantled Chloropsis, Jerdon’s Leaf Bird, Golden Oriole, Black Hooded Oriole, Common Grey Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Asian Brown Flycatcher,Tickell’s Flowerpecker,Verditor Flycatcher,Twany Fish Owl, Barred Jungle Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Brown Fish Owl, Indian Scops Owl, Mottled Wood Owl, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra, Common Kestrel, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Pariah Kite,White Eyed Buzzard, Oriental Honey Buzzard and Indian Pitta. An afternoon safari is scheduled too.

Day 3 Bharatpur Keoladeo Ghana National Park, known simply as Bharatpur, was originally a vast wetland developed for duck shooting.We’ll explore the 29 square kilometers on foot, and by bicycle-rickshaw (peddled by someone else!).Those whose overriding memories of bird watching abroad are dusty and bumpy roads and whistle-stop stake-outs will find this a marvelously relaxing time. Nevertheless, it will be very rewarding, with the possibility of over 150 species ranging from Sarus Crane to Small Minivet and Ruddy-breasted Crake to White-tailed Eagle. Among the numbers of water birds, Blacknecked and Painted Storks, Intermediate Egret, Cotton Pygmy-goose and Darter will vie for our attention as we search for less usual species such as Ferruginous and Red-crested Pochards and Greater Painted-snipe. In the trailside trees we’ll look for Marshall’s Iora,Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Common Wood-shrike, Asian Paradise-flycatcher,Whitebellied Drongo, Coppersmith Barbet, and Ashy Prinia. Beneath the bushes the slightest movement could herald a Blue throat or, with luck, an Orangeheaded Thrush or Siberian Ruby throat. In the sky above might be Greater Spotted Eagle, Red-headed Vulture or Crested Serpent Eagle. Dusk may bring us Collared Scops-Owl, Dusky Horned-Owl or a nightjar or two. It is also excellent for mammals like Golden Jackal, Striped Hyaena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck and wild Boar.The park is also rich in Otters, Monitor Lizards and during the cool winter months large Indian Pythons possible to see while sunning themselves. Days 4 & 5 Today we will do more birdwatching inside the park in the morning, and at the hotel we will have the chance to enjoy a very interesting cooking class followed by lunch. In the afternoon there is the chance to relax, enjoy the hotel’s gardens and grounds, or go back to visit the park, or perhaps the interesting local village. In the evening we shall witness Rass Leela dance performance at the hotel followed by dinner.Very interesting and picturesque indeed! The Next day we will have another full day visit to Keoladeo Ghana National Park with more chances to spot interesting species.

M. Valentini

Day 11 Today we will have a relaxing early morning birding in and around the hotel before to return to the hotel and then drive to Raipur airport (approx 4 hrs drive), in order to catch our flight to Delhi. Overnight in Delhi. Day 12 Today we will catch our return flight bringing home very good memories of this indian adventure.

Day 9 Today we will have again two jeep safaris, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, inside the park. Our local guides are extremely knowledgeable about animal behaviour, and they can often tell if a tiger is present somewhere near according to the various reactions and calls of the other wildlife, such as monkeys and deers: they can also spot all signs and tracks of the tiger, therefore we do stand excellent chances of seeing one or more of these marvellous creature. Brown fish owl, among birds, is a fantastic species which can sometimes be seen sitting on a branch overlooking a stream. Day 10 Today is our last full day inside Kanha National park, and depending on what we have already seen and what we have missed so far, we can decide to explore new areas of the park or remain in the best areas for tigers. As usual we will have two safaris.

Days 6 & 7 Today we will drive to Delhi (approx. 4 hrs drive), have lunch at local restaurant at Delhi and then continue to airport in time for flight to Raipur, where we shall arrive shortly after 7 pm and transfer to our hotel. Next day we will drive to Kanha National Park (approx 4 hrs drive): and have lunch at our accommodation. In the afternoon, we will have a visit to the local village, with its nice houses and other interesting features. Again, the hotel grounds and surroundings are well worth exploring for birds

Website skuanature.com

M. Valentini

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

E-mail info@skuanature.com

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ARCTIC PHOTO TOUR Finnmark & Finnish Lapland (Norway & Finland)

M. R. Romero

Thursday 15 March - Thursday 22 March 2018

2018Cost Cost£4,999 €2520 SRS £690 €290 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

King Eider Steller’s Eider Long-tailed Duck Puffin Razorbill Brunnich’s Gullemots Siberian Jay Siberian Tit

TOUR LEADER Igor Maiorano

Pine Grosbeak Arctic Redpoll Iceland Gull Glaucous Gull Gyrfalcon White Tailed Eagle Hawk Owl Snow Bunting OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

150

Days 4 – 6

Fly to Ivalo and transfer to the fisherman’ village of Kongsfjord Kongsfjord Photo hide and transfer to Vadso Vadso and excursion to Hornoya island Ivalo and surroundings Depart Ivalo

twin/double and single rooms, with private facilities.

Day 7 Day 8

By minibus & boat

Meals, accommodation, local transport, services of the leaders, Eider’s photohide VAT

up to 7 people

Arctic Scandinavia and, in particular, theVarangerfjord area are classic destinations for birdwatchers, ususally during late spring, when most migrant species have arrived on their breeding grounds but more northern species have already gone further north to even more polar latitudes. Our tour has a different timing, as we will visit the area towards the end of the winter season, thus seeing an unusual Varangerfjord, still largely covered in snow, and therefore even more f ascinating.We will have the rare chance to see and photograph the not many, but extremely charismatic species which dare to spend the winter in these re- mote areas:King Eider, Steller’s Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Iceland Gull,White-tailed Eagle, Gyrfalcon,SiberianTit,Siberian Jay,Pine Grosbeak,Ptarmigan and more.We shall visit seabirds colonies where we will closely approach Puffins, Brunnich’s and Black Guille- mots, Kittiwakes and Shags. Already actively displaying and busy nding a par tner.We will experience an unusual Varangerfjord, being able to photograph some of the more sought-after northern species with a snow-white background, while days are already long enough, and mild enough, to allow great photo oppor tunities while enjoying this arctic paradise.

INCLUDES

M. Valentini

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For further information please call from UK: 020 81449814 from other Countries: +39 0141 918403


ITINERARY Day 1 Arrival at Ivalo airport in the morning and meeting with the guide.Then drive north through bore- al coniferous forest and then more sparse woodland in Norway and eventually open tundra: various stops along the way for observations and photos, with chances for Pine Grosbeak and Arctic Redpoll among others. Night in Kongsfjord. Day 2 Today we have a full day to explore the very beautiful and wild areas of this remote part of Norway: the little harbours and sheltered bays might hold some interesting ducks, waders or gulls, while in higher, open areas species likeWillow and Rock Ptarmigan are present. On the mammal side, we have very good chances for Moose and Mountain Hare.White-tailed Eagle is widespread, Gyrfalcon is not rare but rather unpredictable. Night in Kongsfjord. Day 3 Kongsfjord is a little village by the sea, the Barents Sea, in extreme northern Norway: in these recent years it has become famous for being arguably the best place for taking stunning closeup photos of various sea ducks from a floating hide, inside the village harbour, and today we will take advantage of this wonderful facility. King and Steller’s Eider together with Long-tailed Duck are the most beautiful and most wanted species, but other ducks are present and, being at such a northern latitude,it is always well worth keep an eye on the gulls, hoping for some arctic rarities. After a morning session inside the hide, we will drive towardsVestre Jakobselv,on the properVaran- gerfjord, where we will stay for three nights.

M. Biasioli

be lucky enough to have snow akes falling as a backdrop. Other species might include Glaucous Gull,Twite and Gyrfal- con, often chasing seabirds here. Night in Vestre Jakobselv. Day 5 Today we will explore various areas of the Varangerfjord: at this time of year the ice should still be covering vast expanses of the sea surface, and there are great chances for stunning photos. The rst migrating birds will be on the move, and species like Short-eared Owl and various waders, including Purple Sandpipers should be around and active.White-tailed Eagle and Rough- legged Buzzard are present here virtually all year round, as well as the beautiful Hawk Owl and lovely Snow Buntings. Night inVestre Jakobselv.

Day 4 Today we will have the privilege to visit the rightly famous island of Hornoya, lying a few hun- dred metres offshore from the village of Vardo. Hornoya is a an absolute gem: over 100,000 seabirds breed here, on the steep cliffs of this small island, offering a truly amazing spectacle, and seeing these birds at very, very close range is an unforgettable experience. Puf ns, Black- legged Kittiwakes, Brunnich and Black Guillemots, Razorbill and European Shags are constantly on the move and very active at this time of year, and photo opportunities are simply exceptional, especially if we will

M. Biasioli

Website skuanature.com

Day 6 Today we will drive south, passing through wonderful landscapes, from open tundra back to dense taiga forests: there will be many chances for taking photos and birdwatching, hopefully finding species, such as Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit, and perhaps a Capercaillie and a Black or a Hazel Grouse. Night in Ivalo. Day 7 Depending on the ights schedules, today we might have the time for some more birdwatching and photo opportunities: in case we had missed it yesterday, we could visit the wonderful forest of the Ovre Pasvik area, close to the russian border.Transfer to Ivalo airport and departure.

M. Valentini

M. Biasioli

M. Valentini N. Jones

M. Valentini

E-mail info@skuanature.com

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NATURE CONSERVATION SKUA Nature is a private company with unique characteristics. The team is made up highly motivated naturalists, who strongly believe that the projects carried on by SKUA can give important contributions to nature conservancy, through concrete actions and by raising money for local research studies and actions. In all the reserves we develop, we activate actions dedicated to nature conservancy and biodiversity studies using funds coming from nature tourism activities and in collaboration with various public or private organizations. We have proved, in these last few years, that if the work is done fully respecting habitats and species ecology, and adopting dedicated actions to improve feeding, stop over or breeding sites, the results are immediate and positive also for rare or very localised species. And so our Network’s hides and reserves indeed broadens the range of opportunities and create an ever-growing laboratory on the relation between nature and human activities.

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M. Premoli


C. Galliani

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Premoli

M. Premoli

ITALY

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Po River & Ricefields This is our first reseve development in collaboration with a public company. Located in a area extremely devastated by intensive agricultural activities, the park preserves river Po and its banks for more than 90 kilometres. In addition, the park manages some isolated areas that, due to their small dimensions, need constant cares dedicated to their habitats conservation. These expensive activities need specialized staff and tools, that are not easy to be found in protected areas due to lack of money. For this reason, in 2012, we decided to develop a pioneeristic project with a coorporate company, for the purpose of preserving this area extremely delicate biotope by introducing new activities. The contruction of dedicated hides allowed to gain some funds coming from a low and controlled number of visitors compared to more usual activities, like school or group excursions that could disturb the local fauna. Some hides have been buildt close to reed beds and wetlands, bringing the degrading surrounding environment to optimal levels. During this time we have realized how species like Bittern, Purple Heron and Marsh Harrier got benefits from these improvements: they started breeding again close to hides, in areas that were getting woody again. Our activity allowed a daily control of the area, reducing vandalism. In addition, a percentage of the raised funds is used for the maintenance of the paths, the structures (in general, the entire areas), giving to the park a great support for the management and preservation of these areas.


C. Galliani

C. Galliani

Restoration activities of the last years include the placement of tens of bat boxes, restoration of reed beds and woods, as well as the naturalistic and safety control of the areas. Last winter, basing on the past positive experiences, we decided to build a new hide inside a Purple Heron important colony for the purpose of offering a unique experience that could improve visits to the area without disturbing and compromising the tranquillity and safety of the colony. As all experiments, risk was high and critics have arrived from the beginning but reality demonstrated that it is possible to work in limit considitions getting good results if competence and knowledge are present. This hide gives a great view of Purple Heron (and Bittern, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Knith Heron) habits and represents a great support for the study of the behaviour of the animals during the breeding period. At the beginning of Spring all Herons colonized the area without caring about the hide because it is completely sheltered and not visible.We even noticed an increment of the number of nests. Tens of visitors have been able to live a unique experience in contact with such an emblematic species in one of its life most delicate moments.Being aware that photographing nesting is not to be promoted, we can demonstrate that, collaborating with preservation institutions, it is possible to reach almost utopian results fully respecting birds and their habitat and gaining funds that can be used for the management of the area. species. And so our Network’s hides and reserves indeed broadens the range of opportunities and create an ever-growing laboratory on the relation between nature and human activities.

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ITALY

Cascina Spinola

Summer 2017 126

F. Rovedo

Winter 2016/2017

F. Rovedo

Arch. Cascina Spinola

M. Biasioli

F. Pino

This is certainly the biggest environmental rehabilitation project developed by our company. Cascina Spinola used to be an agricultural desert and has been drastically turned into a naturalistic oasis with a great strategic importance as many species of birds (and not only them) stop-over during migration and nest. Works started in winter 2006 in a private estate.The intensive rice farming areas have been turned into permanent wetlands with different water levels. For the purpose of producing as many habitats as possible, we have created deep ponds, drains, flooded meadows and dry islands. Hundreds of plants among shrubs, trees and aquatic plants have been digged-in. Paths are sheltered by plants, not to disturb animals. Latest generation dedicated hides offer great photographic opportunities and photographers appeciated this place from the beginning. The project is aimed to enhance these lands originally destinated to agriculture by creating natural areas which have a high potential in terms of nature tourism and can guarantee to the farm higher benefits respect to what traditional agricultural production could ensure. From the first year, we can valuate if the way we have taken is the right one in terms of species conservation and benefits, as preservation of the area and thinking about any future development.


Summer 2016

F. Rovedo

M. Biasioli

S. Stignani

The explosion of biodiversity has been visible from the beginning at Cascina Spinola, with monthly naturalistic remarks. Migration of many species of waders, Ruff in particular, is a key feature of this estate. Black-Winged Stilts and Black Terns nest here. Not far from the reserve, there is a nesting population of Black-Winged Godwit, unique in all Italy. From the beginning, we started working on the creation of the perfect habitat for this species preparing a safe and suitable area. From Spring 2017 we have been introducing artificial platforms for Sterne, bat boxes and nest boxes for Barn Owls. This is only the beginning. We’ve been working on species like Emys orbicularis, Water Vole and Herons.

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M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

L. Boscain

L. Berti

ROMANIA

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Ultima Frontiera Without any doubt, Ultima Frontiera is a real example of how big areas can be managed exclusively through nature tourism. Theory turns into practice and we are extremely proud of current and future results. After only five years from the construction of the hides and all the necessary features, this 1000 hectares high-maintenance paradise estate is giving real profits that can guarantee its future and the possibility to eliminate affecting activities like Fishing and Hunting. Not only this, benefits can be turned into conservation actions focused on some critical species. From 2015 up today, every year we place new nest boxes dedicated to different species like Roller, Hopooe and Red-Footed Falcon and we recover and manage habitats like meadows and reeds by mowing, controlled flame weeding and superficial ploughing for species like Forapaglie castagnolo, Basettino and Schiribilla. By ploughing the soil we create new wet areas and partitions suitable for the nesting of Kingfishers and Bee-eaters and by additional feeding programs we help the reproduction of White-Tailed Eagles whose number of individuals has increased by 200% in the last 5 years. Many research programs related to Ethology, interaction among species and Golden Jackal spatial distribution have been activated thanks to the help of volunteers, University students and professional researchers. The idea of nature tourism as real motion for the purpose of active nature conservation is now a reality and allows us to look further and further.


M. Biasioli

L. Zuntini M. Premoli

We are scheduling new activities, starting from Winter 2017, like the construction of artificial platforms for Dalmatian Pelican nesting, the preservation of species like Pratincole and other waders and the increment of the number of nest boxes dedicated to Red-Footed Falcon and Roller.

M. R. Romero

M. Ferrari

Thanks to the construction of a biological station, we will be able to guarantee a support to students and researchers for new studies on the local fauna.

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A. Conte

RESTORATION OF BREEDING SITES FOR AMPHIBIANS In the Wild Lucania reserve, in collaboration with the Center for Naturalistic Studies Nyctalus Onlus, various small drinking troughs for wildlife have been created, in an area where there were no more water reserves left, due to the general abandonment of the countryside.Various old wells have been recovered and are operating again, so that wildlife can use them safely, as these sites are protected and monitored. In one of these sites two very important southern Italy endemic species are now breeding: Appennine yellow-bellied Toad and Italian Newt.

M. Biasioli

NEW COLONIES FOR BATS Thanks to the contribution of Terna SPA and Schwegler / Natur Protection we have installed tens of bat-boxes in the reserves of Palude di San Genuario and Fontana Gigante, as well as on many high voltage pylons in the middle of rice fields: our goal is to increase the breeding and wintering sites for bats in an area hevaily compromised by intensive agriculture. A research on this topic has started, in order to survey the area and assess the result of this project.

S. Stignani

M. Premoli

ARTIFICIAL PLATFORMS FOR TERNS At Cascina Spinola, Po River & Ricefields Reserves and Ultima Frontiera we have erected artificial platforms dedicated to Common Terns and Little Terns. Some of these structures have already given positive results. Black-Headed Gull, Black Tern and Whiskered Tern have been already breeding on artificial dry islands and floating vegetation islands we have created. A NEST NEXT TO THE HIDE In all our Network’s reserves, when we build new photo hides we always pay particular attention not to build them close to nests, colonies, or sensitive areas. But our job consists also in restoring and improving the areas around the hides, in order to make them more interesting for birds. The results we have obtained in just a couple of years are incredible: rare species like Bittern, Black winged Stilt, Avocet, Western Marsh Harrier and others, have started to breed (often for the first time inside the reserves) in front of the hides or in their immediate vicinity.

M. Biasioli

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM LINKED TO CONSERVATION In many of our photo and nature tours, we look for situations (partners, areas) where nature tourism has allowed the creation of small local companies that work for preserving habitats and species. For instance, it will be possible to stay at Ultima Frontiera in winter time visiting the Shabla lagoons at Durankulak thanks to the support of local companies that work to preserve the Red-Breasted Geese we’ll see.

M. Premoli M. De Silvi

REED BEDS RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT

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In some reserves, like Po River ricefields, Cascina Spinola and Ultima Frontiera, in wintertime, every year, we work to improve management of reed beds for the purpose of preserve specific species like Bittern, Little Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron, Little and Spotted Crake and different passerines like Bearded Tit and Mustache Warbler.These activities include also more extensive methods like controlled flame weeding are used to favour plants like Typha latifolia,Typha angustifolia, Cladium mariscus and Juncus.


NEW EARTHEN WALLS FOR BEE EATERS

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

In the Parco del Po we have been working for three years now, each spring, for restoring, cleaning or creating new earthen walls for Bee eaters. These actions are made inside quarries where gravel is digged for, thanks to special agreements made with the local mining companies and the Park administration: year by year, we locate the more suitable areas for bee eaters , we stop the works in that particular area for the breeding season and we optimize the area for their needs. The number of breeding pairs is constantly increasing, without causing any trouble to the mining activity: and this proves once again how the relation between man and nature can be sustainable.

ADDITIONAL FOOD FOR VULTURES AND KITES

M. Biasioli

A. Mancuso

M. Premoli

In Spain (in the reserves of La Parrilla and Las Vinas) and in Italy (in Wild Lucania reserve), we run important feeding points for scavenger birds, which offer fantastic photo opportunities as well as a precious additional constant food source for protected species such as Egyptian and Cinereous Vultures, and Red Kites. The current management of the carcasses in the large breeding farms has caused a lot of problems in these last years for these species: a general lack of food, the use of antiinflammatories which are lethal for raptors and a growing competition with the more adaptable and widespread Griffon Vulture, have made necessary the launch of dedicated projects in order to ensure an important and safe controlled food supply.

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OUR RULES

Helping nature conservation means also following some good practices and habits when exploring and living the natural environment. Because of that, in addition to concrete actions to increase and conserve biodiversity, we do also invest time and resources to costantly improve our working system and most of all to help our clients to reach the best ethical standards. Our dispositions are very serious and include some fundamental rules that we do use and apply in every situation where we work. ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY FACILITIES

C. Romano

Wherever it’s possible we create and build hides and facilities that have a low environmental impact using natural local materials and taking into consideration also aspects as comfort and efficacy. In almost every situation it’s possible to avoid the use of concrete, therefore reaching an almost zero impact on the territory. PERIODICITY

M. Biasioli

Depending on the areas where we work and on the phenology of the species, we decide the best period when we can work to construct or modify facilities avoiding to disturb animals. Moreover field-works are reduced to a minimum as we do prepar ex-situ the majority of the hides.

Some species are not disturbed by the shooting noise of a camera or by a sudden movement of a wooden window, however we do prefer to use reflecting glasses in almost all the situations, to avoid any bother and guarantee to photographers closer pictures of animals in a more natural behaviour.

M. Andreini

GLASSES

Thanks to the support of Daniel Steenhaut, a series of very nice comics are available to inform people that use hides about the most common wrong habits. A funny but efficient way to inform our clients and make them feel responsible, but also to give advices on what should not be done in order to get the best photographic opportunities.

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P. Dieudonne

RULES AND COMMUNICATION


In collaboration with:

www.daniel-steenhaut.be

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BE A PART OF THE NETWORK

Our Network regularly adds new reserves and nature areas, that we carefully select among the several proposals of collaboration that we receive, on a weekly basis, from landowners or public institutions. Our idea to develop exclusive reserves entirely dedicated to nature tourism has proved to be a succesful project, as it allows nature areas, private or public, to have a specific connotation and become points of reference for this kind of responsible and respectful tourism. Networking indeed is the best way for a project to be successful and it leads to several other opportunities in terms of international collaborations.

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OUR TEAM SARA GENOVESE Marketing & Communication

PAOLO FUMAGALLI Technical Department Chief

MERCEDES R. ROMERO Iberia Coordinator & Guide

IGOR MAIORANO Italy Coordinator

PAOLA TRASPEDINI General Secretary & Logistic

NICOLA SCATASSI International Projects & Guide

M. Biasioli

FRANCESCO ROVEDO Vercelli’s Reserve Coordinator

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The SKUA team is composed of more than 25 people among which there are technicians, hide-keepers, reserve’s coordinators, photographers and biologists. Our team share a strong passion for nature, its conservation and communication. We have chosen an ambitious and not trouble-free project to develop, in which we strongly believe, and our work in these years has proved that with such a motivated and dynamic team even the most unimaginable aims can be achieved.


A NEW VISION

FOR LAND OWNERS AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

• • • • • • • •

M. Biasioli

SKUA Nature is leader in the development and management of natural areas; We know how to communicate to this quite demanding target of clientele and prepare ad hoc promotional materials; All our projects always follow the highest ethical and environmental standards; We participate to the most important international fairs of this field; We have contacts with a huge number of tour operators and professionals from different countries; Our team deals entirely with the development and long term management of the project; Calibrated initial investment; SKUA Nature starts to receive benefits at the same time when the owner/manager of the area receives the first incomes from the project; The fact that we manage a Network allows our company to offer the greatest percentage of the profits to the local partner, be it a land owner or public institution (on average the 60-70%); Our Network is already a success and it helps new projects to accelerate the achievement of their goals

M. Biasioli

L. Boscain

SKUA Nature is leader in Europe in the development and management of natural areas. Our international experience allows us to detect the right strong points to be enhanced, in order to develop projects that have all the necessary features to access the most important nature tourism networks. Our great experience in the field allows us to have a very good and intimate knowledge of nature and wildlife, which is of course necessary in order, for instance, to know how, where and when to build a new hide for taking photos of a particular species and which are the target species for each country. Our work is not “only” the hides construction, it’s the creation of the whole system, from the first recce of the area to the creation of a solid long term business plan, from the construction or renewal of specific facilities dedicated to this kind of tourism to the training of the staff, from the promotion and marketing through international fairs and contacts with the main worldwide tour operators of this market to the touristic groups management, from the creation of ad hoc promotional material (website, brochures, etc.) to the administration office, technical team, and lots more... In every SKUA’s activity, the most important thing is obviously the well being of the wildlife. We all are naturalists, biologists and conservationists, therefore we have always very clear in mind that we must NOT in any way have a negative impact on the nature’s delicate balance. Our attention is always very high in this regard, and dealing with wildlife we all have to be very careful.

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M. Andreini

CONTACT US info@skuanature.com

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M. Biasioli M. Biasioli

SKUA Nature’s consultancy work can basically be described as follows: we come to see your areas, your locations, what you have to offer in terms of wildlife species and photo opportunities, which is the standard of food and accommodation on offer. After having seen and checked all of this, SKUA will be able to make a development plan for the area, which will obviously be very different from place to place, depending on which are the real opportunities for each area. In some cases there will hopefully be the chance of setting up a photographic reserve, while in other cases SKUA will only offer its consultancy work, consisting in the realization of the dedicated website, leaflets, and in the chance of being part of our network, therefore being promoted in various fairs and events and with direct links on our main website and more. Obviously, such a collaboration agreement could be signed only if some necessary requirements are reached: SKUA will be happy to promote a certain destination, provided it can guarantee our standards in term of quality.

M. R. Romero

Arch. Ornitholidays

CONSULTANCY


M. Biasioli

Creating a photo hide or an area for watching wildlife is not difficult; on-line you can find plenty of examples with a multitude of photos and technical basics to copy. One of the differences that make our work unique is the deep knowledge, not only in terms of the technical skills which allow us to build different kinds of facilities, but also of the ecological dynamics which regulate wildlife’s movements and behaviours. Our intervention is not limited to the construction of a hide, but above all we locate the very best crossing points for wildlife and we restore small or big habitats in order to facilitate the stop over of migrating birds.

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

TECHNICAL SKILLS

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

M. Biasioli

In desert areas, in wetlands, in dense forests or highly anthropized areas, we always operate with outstanding expertise and dedication, making use of all the necessary means for a correct execution of the works. Our know-how about materials, technologies, equipments and working tools allows us to make very detailed pre-working plans and subsequently extremely accurate interventions, without wasting material, time or energies.

M. Biasioli

Thanks to our skilled and highly experienced team, we manage to work in every possible condition, always finding the best technical solutions in order to realize works with a minimum environmental impact but at the same time highly efficient.The best logistic solutions for a fast job and with an optimisation of the costs are guaranteed.

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Starting from 2018 Ornitholidays is a new Project developed by SKUA Nature Group

ornitholidays.com


SKUA Nature Group s.n.c.

Via Valle N° 4 - 15020 Castelletto Merli (AL), Italy tel/fax +39-0141/918403 www.skuanature.com info@skuanature.com

EDITOR Massimiliano Biasioli DEPARTMENT EDITORS Massimiliano Biasioli, Sara Genovese, Paola Maria Traspedini, Igor Maiorano TEXTS Massimiliano Biasioli, Sara Genovese, Paola Maria Traspedini, Mercedes Rodrigue Romero, Nicola Scatassi, Sergio Stignani, Antonella Negrini, Luca Boscain, Antonio Luca Conte, Igor Maiorano, TRANSLATIONS & TECHNICAL REVIEWERS Sara Genovese, Nicola Scatassi GRAPHIC DESIGN SKUA Nature Group ILLUSTRATIONS Daniel Steenhaut, Andrea Maestri, Max Biasioli PHOTO CREDITS Fabrizio Filippini, Nigel Jones, Massimiliano Biasioli, Sergio Stignani, Daniele Giuliani, M. Mendi, Tiziana D’Arcangelo, Luca Boscain, Ilario Zuccolo, Carlo Galliani, Patrik Dieudonne, Marino Premoli, Francesco Rovedo, Andrea Maestri, Simone Giachello, Marco Andreini, Martin Steenhaut, Mario Vigo, Marco Valentini, Marino Premoli, Daniel Petrescu, Basilio Gil, Andrea Battisti, Emanuele Natali, Carlo Romano, Alberto Carati, Jon Egert, Maurizio Ferrari, Iosto Doneddu, Roberto Sindaco, Sara Genovese, A. Verdugo, E. Micò, T. Németh, L. Quaresma, Guido Bissattini, Carlo Alberto Conti, Matteo Gagliardone, Cristiano Pedriali, Renzo Dionigi, Alberto Luca Conte, Ralph Christian Rosenbauer, Massimo Piacentino, Pablo Serrano, Antonio De Stefano, Lorenzo Zuntini, Franco Baccelli, Dayana Nicolae, Nicola Scatassi, Giorgi Rajebashvili, Marcello Libra, Ornitholidays.

www.zenelli.it


INNATE Network is a Project developed by SKUA Nature Group

skuanature.com skuanature.es innatenetwork.com ornitholidays.com General Headquarters

Cascina Picus - Via Valle 4 - 15020 - Castelletto Merli (AL) Piedmont - North West of Italy - Italy Tel/Fax: from UK 020 81449814 other Countries +39 0141918403 info@skuanature.com

Main Technical Sponsor

Cover Photo: Roller at Ultima Frontiera - Mercedes Rodriguez Romero

INNATE 2018 brochure  

INNATE is a project of SKUA Nature: a Network of exclusive locations entirely developed and managed for nature tourism, with a special focus...

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