27-06-2005

This morning we had scheduled for the ‘Desert des Agriates’, west of Saint-Florent. Though not really a desert, this is apparently about the driest area on Corsica. With some difficulty we eventually found a track to Saleccia but within the first kilometre it became quite clear that this unpaved road was in too worse a condition to tackle with our conventional vehicle. We had to drive back and found another potentially interesting spot in the Ogliastro delta, 25 km west of Saint-Florent. To get to the beach and the delta we had to drive the old D81 for a few km and stop the car at a kind of a parking lot alongside the road. From this car park there was a trail leading down the slope to the beach. We had to cross two shallow rivers to get into the area. Unfortunately the birds were not that inspiring with only the common ones seen again. The butterflies and dragonflies were also not that inspiring, so we do not advice going there.
These actions gave us the feeling that we wasted our morning and we decided to do something completely different in the afternoon, so we went into the mountains again. We drove to Calvi and took the D81 passing the airport and into the ‘Foret de Bonifatu’, where the road stops at a car park with several nice hiking options.

Foret de Bonifatu

What to expect: 2 hours circular walk with a bit up and downhill, lower mountains, great streams
Getting there: take the D81 from Calvi to the airport and turn into the D251 to ‘Cirque de Bonifatu’. There is a small fee for the car park and they give you a map with walking trails in that area.
Targets: Golden Eagle, Lammergeier, Corsican Nuthatch (only possible if you visit higher elevations), Corsican Citril Finch.

Most people actually come to bath in the streams. An idea that inspired us and after a quick walk we found a terrific spot to chill with our feet dangling in the icy stream (definitely too cold for a complete skinny dip). BothIberian and Copper Demoiselle were present along this stream. The roadside held both Cardinal and Silver-washed Fritillary. After this relaxing intermezzo we walked along the rest of the red route, with finally aGolden Eagle and a Sparrowhawk.
We found a (large) campsite about 10 km east of Calvi and again we ended the day with yet another swim in the Mediterranean.