An excursion to the Cornino Lake Nature Reserve, between the municipalities of Forgaria nel Friuli and Trasaghis, in the province of Udine, leads us to discover a corner of unspoiled nature and above all to a close encounter with griffons. These splendid vultures are exceptional diurnal raptors and live undisturbed in the Reserve, on the mountains overlooking a small lake: the Cornino lake.
An ancient body of water
Cornino lake originated in the post glaciation period. Today its dimensions are really small: 140 meters long, 8 meters deep. One of its peculiarities is that it receives water from underground springs and not from emissaries, as happens for most lakes. Hence the transparency of the water appears green-blue to the eye and contrasts with the trees that follow its perimeter.
Flora and fauna of the Nature Reserve
We also arrive at Cornino lake to admire the fauna that lives in this Friulian nature reserve. Here various rare species such as imperial crows, eagle owls, but above all the griffon vultures find a perfect habitat. A splendid bird that is part of the vulture family that hovers high in the sky among the vegetation that contrasts the lake and among the trees. Majestic holm oaks stand out among the vegetation of Cornino lake.
How can we admire griffins?
We can admire the griffins as they whirl in the sky from every corner of the small body of water, which is also ideal for a short walk. Along the perimeter of the Cornino lake, a path has been created that will lead us to admire this wonder from different angles.
Gryffindor and the Harry Potter movies
Inevitably thinking of this vulture we are reminded of the Gryffindor , one of the Houses of the Hogwarts School of Magic, in the series of books and films dedicated to Harry Potter written by the British author JK Rowling.
The colony of griffons that lives in the park
What strikes us, in addition to the beauty of the place, is being able to see this wonderful vulture twirl the sky. The griffon vulture, which lives in this corner of Friuli, has a wingspan of almost three meters and a weight that is between 7 and 12 kilograms. The park is populated by a colony that reaches 200 specimens of this bird of prey. Some of these vultures have been monitored, so as to follow their every movement and learn about the habits and behaviors of this bird. Each day these griffons can travel over a hundred kilometers.
The Cornino Lake Nature Reserve and its extension
As for the Regional Nature Reserve of Lake Cornino, it covers an area of approximately 487 hectares in the municipalities of Forgaria nel Friuli and Trasaghis, partly occupying the bed of the Tagliamento river.
As I arrive at the Cornino lake
The lake of Cornino is 35 Km from Udine and can be reached by ‘ Highway A23 exit Gemona-Osoppo, then following the SP49 and follow the SR463 up to Majano, SP84 then continue on to its destination.