Details and description
Sant’Antioco is an evocative and welcoming island, and not just for man. This part of Sardinia is a real paradise for birdwatchers: you will find many different species of bird by the lagoon, in inland areas and along the rocky coastline. Also, because of the open and unspoiled nature of the landscape, you can see many of these birds quite close to the town, and without the need for any sophisticated equipment. For example, if you go to the lagoon near the isthmus, you can admire the beautiful pink flamingoes, one of the island’s most iconic symbols. These are present in great numbers, as are various types of Heron: the Great Egret, the Grey Heron and the Cattle Egret. You may also see and hear the calls of Black-Winged Stilts, Little Egrets, Cormorants, Sandpipers, and Avocets: some of the many species that inhabit the marshes at the entrance to Sant’Antioco.
We told you the island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, didn’t we? If you go to the mouth of the Rio Sassu (near the hamlet of Santa Caterina), you should be able to spot Bitterns, Night Herons, Ospreys and Kingfishers. There are also various species that nest along the south coast, including Shearwaters, Buzzards, Goshawks and Little Owls. And what about the islands of La Vacca and del Toro? These are special areas, in every sense, because they are home to a very rare species of falcon, called Eleonora’s Falcon. It takes its name from a famous judge, Giudicessa Eleonora D’Arborea, who established a set of local laws in 1392, known as the Carta De Logu. A particular article in this code prohibits the taking goshawks and falcons from the nest, and so is the first example of legal protection for birds of prey. It is also possible to come across the Peregrine Falcon along this part of the coast, or even the very rare European Storm Petrel.
Finally, here’s a thing you should do one evening, just before sunset: go down to the south coast opposite the island of La Vacca, sit down, close your eyes, and listen to the sounds around you. You will hear many hundreds of birds flying overhead.