Last October I went to Sicily with Yara and friends. Sicily is not the best herping destination in Autumn, but there are interesting species living there in small numbers. This trip was not just about that. It was more a fun trip with only a small number of wildlife encounters.
We stayed in an AirBnB near Finale. That is the name of the village by the way. Besides a Barn Owl (Tyto alba) flying over the car and the biggest Common Toad (Bufo bufo) I have ever seen the wildlife was not very exciting.
We did a lot of cultural trips. We went to Cefalù for example. Besides noticing that the icecream was delicious I will not mention more cultural things. This website is about wildlife.
During a search for wildlife in and around an old factory we did not find much. I did make a photo I like. It is an urbex-photography shot created with my new iPhone 8 Plus. The quality is not bad for a phone!
Etna National Park is definitely the best place on Sicily for landscapes and wildlife. Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily. It is, with 3,329 meter, the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps. ount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with its most recent eruption in 2017.
The first time we went to Mount Etna we went up to the snow.
During this day it felt like summer, like autumn (rain, wind and autumn leafs) and like winter near the top of Mount Etna (see the photos).
Our second visit to Etna National Park was a sunny day. We went to the southern slope. I had some interesting coordinates for reptiles. The habitat looked very promising with a beautiful forest.
The Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis siculus) was the most common reptile during our trip to Sicily. All of them were very shy and hard to photograph. They were almost as shy as a Western Green Lizard (Lacerta bilineata). Most of them start running when you are meters away. The two individuals on the photos are some of the rare individuals who tolerated me within two meters distance to make an in situ photograph with my telelens.
This day we did not go all the way to the snow. When we went down I had a clear view of Mount Etna. This time I used my telelens.
We also went to the southern coast of Sicily to look for the Sand Boa (Eryx jaculus) and the good weather for the beach. We did not have luck with the Sand Boa, but I can recommend Gelateria La Dolce Vita to eat the disappointment away.
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Feel free to ask me for information when you are planning your own adventure. You can find more about my techniques in the blog post about the gear I recommend and the blog post about flash photography.
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