Crete Birding

August 2007

AUGUST 2007.. REPORT FROM KISSAMOS BAY AREA

The following listed birds were seen daily throughout August and are not listed in the daily reports.

Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard, Collared Dove, Rock Dove, Crested Lark, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Buzzard.

True to form the Lammergeier put in its beginning of the month appearance giving some superb views on the 2nd , 3rd  with a glimpse on the 5th, on the 8th it was even better we had two birds giving an aerial display stooping on each other for about 15 minutes, with one or the other staying in view for most of the morning. Also on the 8th Eastern Imperial Eagle and a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle. An early flock of Little Egret on the 3rd, Along with a distant Golden Eagle. A Booted Eagle on the 7th. Lots of Eleonora’s Falcon sightings. A possible female Rock Thrush on the 5th . 10+ Kingfishers at Lake Agia on the 14th

More Turtle Doves than usual, hopefully they have decided that Crete is a better option than Malta. At least we have not heard any hunters about which is refreshing as there has been in the past some illegal shooting . The Agricultural Ministry announced on the 9th August that the hunting season starts 20th August and runs until 29th February.

Autumn migration has got underway this month with, Egrets, Purple Heron , waders/duck/ Cormorant /Kingfisher returning. Whilst on the 31st, Willow Warbler.

August 1st

Eleonora’s Falcon 1, Woodchat Shrike 2, Stonechat, Great Tit 3, Kestrel 1, Griffon Vulture 3 in the company of Lammergeier 1, Northern Wheatear 1, Woodlark 2, Barn Owl. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

2nd

Great Tit, Peregrine Falcon 1,Eleonora’s Falcon 3, Kestrel 1, Buzzard 4, Griffon Vulture 20 +, Lammergeier 1, Turtle Dove 1, Great Tit 4, Woodlark 4, Chukar 1, Black-eared Wheatear 1 juv. Stonechat 1, Swallow, House Martin, Alpine Swift. Plus the dailies listed at top of page. Plus the dailies listed at top of page

3rd

Peregrine Falcon, Great Tit, Lammergeier from 0700-1200hrs, Griffon Vultures 13 + 25 flying around and landing in the hills for most of the day, Kestrel, Little Egret 30+flew along the coast from Kissamos harbour out along Gramvousa peninsular. Woodchat Shrike juv. Northern Wheatear, Swallow, Stonechat, Golden Eagle high and distant on Gramvousa. Plus the dailies listed at top of page

4th

Stonechat, Griffon Vulture 6+1+2+1, Blue Rock Thrush, Northern Wheatear. Swallow/ Swift/ Alpine Swift/ House Martin in large numbers. Kestrel . Plus the dailies listed at top of page

5th

Great Tit, Northern Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush. A possible sighting of a f Rock Thrush, but it was off before a positive ID was made. Kestrel, Griffon Vulture 5. A possible Lammergeier seen disappearing over a distant ridge, Swallow, Alpine Swift, Woodchat Shrike 2 juv. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

6th

Woodchat Shrike, Swallow. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

7th

Swallow 100+, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike a pair + 2 juv. Swift 100+, Alpine swift 200-300+, Kestrel  2+1, Buzzard 5, Eleonora’s Falcon 3, Griffon Vulture 12+6, a dark morph Booted Eagle, Barn Owl. Several bats.

8th

Northern Wheatear, Swallow 50-100+, Stonechat, Isabeline Wheatear,Great Tit, Alpine Swift 300+, Woodchat Shrike 1 adult 2 juv, Griffon Vulture 4+2+1+6,Lammergeier, excellent views for most of the morning of two birds with some stunning aerial displays . Unfortunately the air quality was bad along with heat haze and photos are poor quality. Eleonora’s Falcon 1,Kestrel 1, Swift 100+, Eastern Imperial Eagle 1.A pair of Bonelli’s Eagle displayed over the house for some minutes before one made a very long stoop, disappearing into the far ridges of Gramvousa. Plus the dailies listed at top of page

9th

Northern Wheatear, Swallow and Alpine Swift in their hundreds, for 15 minutes in the morning and afternoon we watched a pair of Bonelli’s Eagle high over Gramvousa, Woodlark, Griffon Vulture 1+14, Woodchat Shrike, Peregrine Falcon , Kestrel, Stonechat, Great Tit, Yellow-legged Gull, Scops Owl. Plus the dailies listed at top of page

10th

Woodchat Shrike 2, Alpine Swifts , again hundreds for a few hours , Swallow,Eleonora’s Falcon, Griffon Vulture 5, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk1, Blue Rock Thrush 1, a pair of Hobby  gave superb viewing as they hunted through the olive grove, Northern Wheatear. . Plus the dailies listed at top of page

11th

Stonechat, Swallow, Woodchat Shrike, Swift, Alpine Swift, Northern Wheatear. Plus the dailies listed at top of page

12th

Swift, Woodchat Shrike 3 juvs. hunted together, Swallow, Alpine Swift, a Peregrine Falcon close to the house at eye level, excellent views, whilst just before dark aHobby upset the Blackbirds as it hunted in the olive trees. . Plus the dailies listed at top of page

13th

Swallow, Swift, Alpine Swift, Woodchat Shrike, Griffon Vulture 2, along the coast road a Common Sandpiper and Yellow-legged Gull. Eleonora’s Falcon, Greenfinch, a fPeregrine Falcon sat on the crags above the house for 20 minutes

14th

Today turned into a rather hectic day . 

An early trip to Lake Agia had us awake at 0500 and from the house we were lucky to see a Nightjar and hear its croaky call as dawn broke, along with 3 m Blackbirds setting about the apple peelings on the compost tip as 3 early Buzzard circled overhead.

Agyia Lake trip

Coast road

We set off for a look at the local coast road were we found a party of no less than 10 Great Tits moving through the plastic greenhouses, a Stonechat, Turtle Dove 2, Little-ringed Plover 3, Buzzard 1, Yellow-legged Gull 1, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Collared Dove at least 10 on the wires on the approach to Kissamos.

Lake Agia

Grey heron 2, Black Tern 1 juv, Whiskered Tern 1, Little Egret 2. Kingfisher 10+ we were lucky to see all at same time at various points around the lake with four birds at our location making a lot of noise with young being fed , hopefully they have bred somewhere nearby . Wood Sandpiper 14, Purple Heron 5, Shoveler 1 f , Ferruginous Duck 6 f , Gadwall 4 f , Common Sandpiper 3, Coot 100+, Moorhen 20+, Little Grebe 15, Swallow 15+, Raven 4, Buzzard 2,  Sardinian Warbler 1, Stonechat 2, Greenshank 2, White wagtail 2, Blue Tit 1,  Blackbird 1, Hooded Crow 4, Mallard 1 f .

On the way home we found an injured Barn Owl…..later that evening shipped to Athens on ferry from Souda

Later in the evening  at Souda Bay a flock of 20+ heron flew around as dusk approached

15th

Swallow, Alpine Swift, Short-toed lark, Little Egret 7, Prior to high winds [6 Beaufort ] a large number of Yellow-legged Gull flew around the bay. Peregrine Falcon. As we sat out at dusk a Hobby floated past the balcony within 8 feet , then melted away in the darkness. 

16th

Great Tit, Kingfisher, our first this summer on the coastal rocks. Stone chat, Woodchat Shrike, Yellow-legged Gull, Swallow, Griffon Vulture 4, Kestrel 1. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

17th

Great Tit, Blue Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Stonechat, Crested lark, Griffon Vultures 5, Buzzard 6, Kestrel, Swallow, Alpine Swift, Barn Owl. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

18th

Great Tit, Swallow, Woodchat Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, a flock of 15 Raven flew north. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

19th

Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Kestrel, a Peregrine Falcon dined on a small bird on the crags above as we ate our breakfast, with small feathers fluttering past we adjourned indoors ..a Turtle Dove, Hooded Crow numbers up again , into double figures today, our first Cormorant for some time, sunned itself on some nearby rocks. At dusk a single Hobby  again hunted through the olive trees. Plus the dailies listed at top of page.

20th

Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike,

21st-30th. saw us in UK. No recording done over this period. We arrived back late afternoon and saw….. Our Peregrine  Falcon sat upon the crag having a meal, Buzzard 2, Raven 1, Hooded Crow 4, Great Tit 1, Blue Tit 1, Sardinian Warbler 2, Crested Lark, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Collared Dove, Swallow, Goldfinch, as night fell we had an unknown species of Bat hunting around the house and a Hobby drifted past the balcony followed by a Little Owl that called as it headed into the olive trees.

31st

Great Tit 6, Sardinian Warbler 5, Blue Rock Thrush 2, our first Willow Warbler return, Stonechat, Blackbird, Crested Lark, Raven 11, Hooded Crow. A Kestrel called as it flew for some time around the house before shooting up to the crags to mob our Peregrine Falcon, Later it got into an Ariel fight with 10 + Hooded Crows and actually dived on one that was perched hitting it on the head and knocking it off the ledge where it gave chase, a wonderful sight with terrific speeds in and out of the boulders on the hillside. Rock Dove, Griffon Vulture 6, Goldfinch, Northern Wheatear, Swallow, Yellow-legged Gull, Greenfinch, Blackbird and Buzzard.