We came, we saw and we bloody lost!
I've just returned from a couple days in majestic and hot Rome after witnessing the slaughter of Manchester United at the hands of Barcelona in front of 70,000 baying fans in the Stadio Olimpico. It wasn't a pretty sight as United were reduced to a shadow of their usually mighty selves. They were simply out played.
Anyway, enough talk of football. It was my first visit to this noble city and unfortunately, I had absolutely no time to even walk down the street, let alone visit monuments or even go birding!
On the two mornings that had in the city, I managed to oversleep on both of them, instantly negating the opportunity for some urban birding. As I went with 3 totally football mad mates, my days were spent lunching, dining, talking about Manchester United (which was quite dull at times), being stuck in traffic jams and sleeping. It didn't leave much time for much else.
And as for the birds, the only ones that I regularly noticed were Pigeons, Swifts, House Sparrows, Jackdaws, Hooded Crows, Starlings and Yellow-legged Gulls. The only time I managed to raise my binoculars at any avian quarry was when I was watching the match. Whilst sitting in the stadium, I noticed that there were literally thousands upon thousands of moths flying around. In the dusk skies above the arena several hundred Swifts were busying themselves swooping on this food bonanza.
As the natural light faded with Manchester United's resistance to Barcelona's superior play, I looked up to notice multitudes of moths by the floodlights around the rim of the roof. In the night sky at least 200 Yellow-legged Gulls were gorging themselves on the moths whilst in flight. When I looked at them through my bins the sky was thick with moths. I even watched a White Wagtail moth catching within the stadium with the backdrop of celebrating Barcelona fans.
I will return to Rome one day to conquer its urban birding. That I can promise.