SGC Fi-Pi-Li, 57014 Collesalvetti LI, Italy
The “Oasi della Contessa” Nature Reserve is a surviving strip of the ancient system of coastal wetland that once typyfied the Pisa-Livorno plain. The land reclamation projects were firstly launched by the Medici family and, later on, by the Lorena.
Nowadays, the reserve is located east of the town of Collesalvetti, between the small villages of Stagno and Guasticce, and it is set within the premises of the Bellavista Insuese Estate (Tenuta Bellavista Insuese in italian).
It consists of roughly 22 hectares of land that still cherish paludal and alluvial sediments going back as far as the post-ice age era and serve as a natural habitat for many species of animals and plants. Furthermore, the area also boasts archaeological findings that have been linked to prehistorical pile dwelling communities.
The Oasi della Contessa is a privileged stop along the flyways of many waterbirds (which is possibly the most important peculiarity of the area) but it is also home to sedentary species and birds that nest in the surroundings of the reserve. Just to mention a few species, the Oasi hosts red herons, (little) bitterns, teals, water rails, marsh harriers, sedge warblers and marine jays.