Crete Birding

                         December 2012

31st December

Weather...0900....12.9oC....Sea , swell and choppy....Vis.15miles....Cloud 99%....Wind, 1 NE... 1013mb....Cloudy with showers in evening

Kaliviani....Yellow-legged Gull....Hooded Crow....Raven....Goldfinch.... Chaffinch....         Cetti's Warbler..... Black Redstart....Common Buzzard.....Crested Lark.... Great Tit....         Corn Bunting ......Italian Sparrow....Booted Eagle 1 dark morph....Sparrowhawk 1.... Peregrine Falcon 1.

We found a long threadlike Nemaromorpha about 40cm long in a puddle of rainwater, not sure of the exact name of it but managed some pictures

 

From Harry .....

Visited Lake Agia this afternoon,but only managed about 10 minutes birding due to heavy rain,pleasant surprise in seeing 2 pairs of pintails,a first for me at the lake, also spotted flock of teal landing at far side of lake,wigeon,shoveler,little grebe,pochard,tufted duck,cormorants and marsh harrier were others spotted in a very short visit.

                         From left Shoveler, Mallard, Wigeon, Pochard  and Pintail.

    

            We both wish you all a very very happy and peaceful new year for 2013.

30th December

Weather....090014.7oC....Sea, calm.... Visibility, 20 miles ....Cloud 20%....Wind, 0....1012mb Sunny am, afternoon cloud increased with showers and the rumble of thunder.

A nice unexpected surpise of a Short-toed eagle this afternoon at 2pm, it came slowly in from the west with classic hovering and as it came over the small church a common buzzard saw it off, it slowly headed onto Gramvousa.  

Species Kaliviani....  Yellow-legged Gull, 160+ on the sea....Crag Martin, 20+ fed overhead . Sardinian Warbler....Goldfinch....Great Tit....Crested Lark....Shag, 4.... Sparrowhawk 2, hunting together.... Booted Eagle, 1dark morph.... Common Buzzard, 5 soaring over the house....Blackbird....Chaffinch .... Cetti's Warbler....Peregrine Falcon 1.... Kestrel 3.... Short-toed Eagle 1.

                                          Short-toed Eagle....Circaetus gallicus

                             

 and being seen off by a buteo

      

                                            Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

           

                                             Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

              

29th December

Weather....0900....Sea, calm....Visibility 20....Cloud 100%....Wind 0....1010mb.... Rain showers throughout the day some sun at the end of the day in the west.

Well you can't help a little twitch at times can you  ! so we headed to Moronis to see if we could see the Kittiwake, "the", should read two, as Nikos found an adult as well yesterday afternoon. The status of Rissa on Crete is rare vagrant and it appears that there are only a handful of sighting, so this is a nice find by Manos.

Species at homeCommon Buzzard....Yellow-legged Gull 50+....Robin....Stonechat.... Chaffinch.... Black Redstart,,,, Linnet and Hooded Crow....

We headed off in between the showers spotting a nice pale morph Booted Eagle on the outskirts of Chania

                                            Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata              

            

 Also several common buzzards. Rain was following us and we arrived at Moronis in the dry. We found Alan and nikos there with the adult kittiwake sat in the middle of the small fishermans harbour .

                                                 Kittiwake....Rissa trydactyla 

             

       Nikos and Alan were just about to leave so we headed to the other side of the port just as the bird flew. Nikos stayed a while longer as the bird flew around the harbour

  

  

 

 

then landed on a lamp standard metres away from us, where it was not troubled by us at all, enabling some excellent views ......

         

                              

         

                            

    

         

 We kept watch for the juvenile but all we could see were ......

                                Black-headed Gull....Chroicocephalus ridibundus

           

After Nikos left we had a look around the rest of the area and found.....Great Egret 1....   Little Egret 2....Redshank 1....Coot....Moorhen....Yellow-legged Gull... Black-headed Gull 15 . Cormorant 2....Italian Sparrow....Redstart....White Wagtail.                                             Behind the  fish processing plant we found the juvenile kittiwake sitting on the sea preening, it did not stay long a black-headed gull sidling up to it soon had it flying off

                                      Kittiwake....Rissa trydactyla.. Juvenile

 

Around lunchtime we headed for Agyia, the rain was by now tipping it down. Near the prison on the road to Omalos we found three cattle egret feeding in the fields.

                                            Cattle Egret .....Bubulcus ibis

         

We arrived at Agyia to find the sky full of crag martins, aprox 200 were feeding over the lake. That number soon reduced as one was carried off by the local peregrine falcon. Lunchtime for us also !!!! so we sat in the car with the rain falling as two marsh harriers hunted in front of us.

                                             Marsh harrier....Circus aeruginosus 

          

The rain cleared slowly away and small birds started to emerge from cover, a female stonechat......

                                               Stonechat ....Saxicola torquata

                            

 ....followed by five Serins....Great Tit....Chaffinch...Cetti's Warbler....Black Redstart....     White Wagtail....Chiffchaff....and fifteen Starling. The lake became more visible and we spotted. Coot....Moorhen....Little Grebe....Yellow-legged Gull 3.... Cormorant 1.... Mallard.... Shoveler....Pochard and a single Tufted Duck.

We set off to floow the coast back to Kaliviani , we spotted nothing at Gerani !!! and the same at Tavronitis river where they have levelled some of the river bed at the bridge and burnt and cleared a lot of old bamboo part way to the sea. At the coast three cormorant, where was everything ? we continued to Kolimbari , by now the light was fading and again we drew a blank, gave up and headed to Kaliviani where we found a Kingfisher sat on rocks at Gramvousa Bay. The icing on the cake the sun came out rather late in the day giving spectacular views of the Lefka Ori

         

          

 A great day in all, and with the kittiwake our Crete list now stands at 229 .

28th December

Thanks to Alan for the news that the Pygmy Cormorant is still present at Giorgopouli and to Nikos for the report that the kittiwake is still at Moronis

The Greek Ornithological Societys annual rarity report for 2011 is now online at http://www.ornithologiki.gr/page_cn.php?tID=1892&aID=925

Weather....0900....14.6oC ....Sea, calm....Vis 20 Miles....Cloud 90%....Wind NW 1....1017mb... Mostly cloudy rain showers.

Kaliviani list.... Robin....Great Tit.... Hooded Crow.... Cetti's Warbler .... Yellow-legged Gull.... Crested Lark....Chaffinch....Goldfinch.... Linnet.... Common Buzzard....Hooded Crow.... Peregrine Falcon 1. A scan through the scope produced lots of distant gulls , a single Kingfisher and a Shag.

                                           Small Copper.... Lycaena phiaeas                                                                                                                                                              

27th December

A Kittiwake was seen today at Moronis by Manolis. Not sure of the status of them here on Crete hopefully more news later.

Weather....16.0oC ....Sea, calm...Vis,20+ miles....Cloud 0....Wind 0....1021mb. Sunny in the morning mostly sunny in the afternoon.

 We found another crocus cartwightianus by the house , there are now five plants.     Anemone flowers are really on the increase after the warm sunny last few days.

We also found a False Black Widow Spider lurking in our log store.

Another walk around the area produced very little

Species.... Shag 2....Yellow-legged Gull....Common Buzzard....Linnet....Chaffinch.... Goldfinch Griffon Vulture 1.... Hooded Crow 20+....Rock Dove.... Sparrowhawk....

                                     False Black Widow .... Steatoda paykuliana

                             

                             Travelling Sealife.....washed up on the beach at Kaliviani

                                                    Hooded Crow....Corvus cornix                                                     

26th December

Weather....0900....15.6oC....Sea, calm....Visibility 20+ miles....Cloud 0....Wind 0....1021mb Later some cloud and light winds from south, mostly sunny

Some pictures from Nikos have been added to 25th report. He went to Katalyki and Asterousia yesterday and found some very nice birds !! Nine images added

Another nice day saw us take a 4 hour stroll around our patch and onto Gramvousa. First bird of the day spotted on the rocks , a grey heron. A very quiet birding day near us as the olive groves were being harvested so small birds had moved on. 

Kaliviani list ....Grey Heron....yellow-legged Gull.... Cetti's Warbler....Linnet....Black Redstart.. Common Buzzard 2.... Hooded Crow... Raven.... Sardinian Warbler.... Chaffinch.... Rock Dove Robin....

On our walk ....Crested Lark ....Blackbird.... Common Buzzard ....Shag....Sparrowhawk.... Stonechat.... Blue Rock Thrush .... Common Buzzard....Robin....Wren....  A large flock of Chaffinch and  White Wagtail...was seen feeding through one olive grove .....Common Sandpiper 1.                                                                                                                        The highlight of the walk though, was to see over 100 Crocus cartwrightianus in flower in an area of about 50m2 on Gramvousa. We also have another in flower next to the house.        We found another flower today which we are struggling to name at the moment, image below.

All pics today are from Gramvousa .............

                                              Shag....Phalacrocorax aristotelis

                              

                                          Common Sandpiper....Actitis hypoleucos

           

                                    Blue Rock Thrush....  Monticola solitarius                                    Bermuda Buttercup .... Oxalis pes-caprae                                                                                                                 Crocus Cartwrightianus

         

         

                

                                                          Crocus laevigatus 

                       Crown Anemone.....Anemone coronaria many more now opening

        

                                         Mandrake...Mandragora autumnalis

          

                                                               Unknown !!!

  

                                               Virgins Bower....Clematis cirrhosa

          

         

25th December

Weather....0900....13.6oC....Sea, calm....Visibility 20+ miles.... Cloud 1%....Wind 0.... 1020mb....Sunny

A wonderful Christmas day with wall to wall sunshine, a Booted Eagle circled overhead as we had coffee in the courtyard and a cormorant also flew over. Later in the afternoon a pair of peregrine falcons performed and called nearby.

Kaliviani Species.... Common Buzzard 3....Crag Martin ....Hooded Crow 20+....Cormorant.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Great Tit.... Booted Eagle 1 dark morph... Chaffinch....Chiffchaff.... Robin....Cetti's Warbler....Raven 2....Kestrel 1.... Goldfinch....Linnet....Stonechat.... Greenfinch Sardinian Warbler .... Blackcap....Peregrine Falcon 2. (1 adult 1 juv)

                                               Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

       

       

  

                                              Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

            

          Crown or Poppy Anemone .....Anemone coronaria. Now open in the sunshine

                            

               The snow covered White Mountains. ( Lefka Ori ) viewed from the balcony

   

 From Nikos.............

                                        Golden Eagle ....Aquila chrysaetos

     

                                                  Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus  

       

         

                                           Flamingo....Phoenicopterus roseus

                  

                                    Chough.......Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax                      

          

                                              Black Kite....Milvus migrans 4 of 15 seen

              

                                              Griffon Vulture..... Gyps fulvus  tagged B4

               

                                                 Raven....Corvus corax

                  

        A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW  YEAR         

                            FROM CRETE BIRDING

 

            Our card this year shows two of the winter plants now flowering on Crete.

            The endemic Androcymbium Rechingeri

            The Crocus Cartwrightianus

            And the bird to replace the traditional Robin....... This year the Stonechat 

24th December

Weather....0930....13.3oC....Sea, rough....Visibility 10 miles....Cloud 100%.... Wind N 5-6 ... 1018mb... Cloudy

Todays highlight, a Wren seen on the roadside feeding in fallen branches below the house, a new house species takes us to 145. We have a small group of linnet feeding just outside the courtyard.

Kaliviani list....Griffon Vulture....Common Buzzard.... Linnet....Stonechat.... Collared Dove.... Italian Sparrow.... Wren.....Chaffinch....Crested Lark....Goldfinch.... Raven.... Hooded Crow.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Kestrel.

                                              Linnet....Carduelis cannabina

        

        

        

                                    Crown or Poppy Anemone .....Anemone coronaria

      

23rd December

Weather....1000...12.2oC....Sea, rough.... Visibility 10 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind, force 8 18.4m/s.... 1010mb . Cloudy, and windy.

No birding today and no chance of a picture of the Anemone, the only birds seen were 65 Yellow-legged Gull's  on the ground in the grazing fields and a Hooded Crow !!!! Oh, and a Sparrowhawk has just shot past the kitchen window, the cwind carrying it quickly to the south. 

22nd December

Weather....0900...10.8oC....Visibility, 5miles....Cloud 100%....Wind 0....1007mb. ...Mostly cloudy, rain from the West.

Todays highlight, an adult male hen harrier passed over the car on the way back from Kissamos. We found our first Anemone of the season near to the crocus, its too windy for a photo, so hopefully tomorrow !

Species list Kaliviani.... Common Buzzard 2.... Hooded crow....Great Tit....Crested Lark.... Willow Warbler.... Blackcap 3 1m 2f....Raven.... Greenfinch.... Chaffinch....Goldfinch....     Corn Bunting....Italian Sparrow.... Collared Dove.... Cormorant 1.... Hen Harrier 1m.

From Alan ....

Still fairly quiet around the house with the occasional sighting of pale phase booted eagle.  A robin has made our garden its base for the winter, and blackcaps can be heard, but not yet seen.  Chiffchaffs are not seen as frequently as in previous years.

Down at Georgioupoli lake, the pygmy cormorant is still present, but not easily viewed for photographs.  this bird has been here now for at least three weeks. . There are still at least 4 ferruginous ducks on the lake, but too distant to get images.

                                    Pigmy Cormorant.... Phalacrocorax pygmeus                                                       

21st December

Weather....11.7oC....Sea, calm....Visibility, 20+....Cloud 50%....Wind 0....1010mb, Mostly sunny.

Possibly the same Long-legged Buzzard put in a brief appearance this morning. We found our fourth Crocus cartwrightianus just outside the house this morning. 

Birding... Kaliviani species... Common Buzzard 3.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Crag Martin.... Linnet.... Chaffinch....Long-legged Buzzard ....Hooded Crow....Crested Lark....Raven....     Blue Rock Thrush....Great Tit....Sardinian Warbler.... Goldfinch....Sparrowhawk....Kestrel..... Kingfisher (beach)....Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....Stonechat....Black Redstart....        Collared Dove....White Wagtail....After dark a presumably Grey Heron was heard flying over

From Harry...........

Managed to get some birding done this morning,great to have the bino’s and camera out again.

Walked from Kolambari to Tavronitis,fair amount of birds about,not much in the way of photos though.

Birds spotted, Buzzard (juvenile) Little Egrets (2 flew over) Woodlark, Goldfinch, Starling, Yellow-legged Gull, Meadow Pipit, Serin, Redstart, Black Redstart (seen very few of these 2 species + Robin around the house this winter) Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler, Greenfinch, Blackbird, White Wagtail, Shoveler, Stonechat.

20th December

Weather.... 1000....10.8oC....Sea, choppy with swell.... Visibility 20...Cloud 100%....         Wind N-NNW 2.... 1007mb. Mostly cloudy , showers.

Usual species, a very quiet day. Between the showers our local buzzards interacted, calling and diving on each other. Along the coast a kingfisher. Report of a gannet at Sitea, and 5 Flamingo's near Heraklion, heading east. 

18th December

Weather....0900....Sea, calm....Visiblity 20 miles....Cloud 70%....Wind NW 2-3B....1006mb   Mostly cloudy , rain showers , thunderstorm late evening.

A Kentish Plover along the coast, a nice sighting , waders are fairly scarce around here at the moment !    A sparrowhawk sat in trees near the house sheltering from the rain.                     We found another crocus cartwrightianus near the house today, three plants ! a nice find again. 

Kaliviani list....Common Buzzard.... Hooded Crow....Yellow-legged Gull....Chiffchaff.... Blackbird..... Chaffinch....Great Tit....Goldfinch....Crested Lark.... Meadow Pipit....Linnet.... Stonechat.... White Wagtail....Kentish Plover....Sparrowhawk 1juv .

                                  Kentish Plover.....Charadrius alexandrinus

    

                              Hummingbird Hawkmoth....Macroglossum stellatarum

16th December

Weather...0900...17.3oC....Sea, calm.... Visiblity 20 miles....Cloud 80%....Wind W, 2-3B.... 1020 mb.... Sunny intervals,  Temperature picked up 19.4oC at 1300.

After the wet weather we thought we would not see the Crocus cartwrightianus or Wild saffron crocus. Considered to be the wild ancestor of the cultivated saffron crocus which flowers in November and December at low altitudes in open rocky places.The one at our house is a week late this year usually flowering on the 9th. We think it may have flowered yesterday as one flower has been eaten. Whilst taking photos we found that we have got two plants this year another growing a couple of metres away !

                                                       Crocus cartwrightianus

         

         

 

 

15th December

Weather....0900...11.8oC....Sea, calm....Visibility 20 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind 0.... 1021mb mostly cloudy some isolated showers.

No birding today, we took the woodcock the peregrine caught the other day to the Natural History Museum of Crete in Heraklion. We have never been to the museum and it was well worth the visit. The displays are fantastic and the live section is really well managed and animal friendly. The childrens learning areas are well presented too and if you live on or are visiting Crete with children it is well worth going. Signing is in both Greek and English. If you have not been you are missing out !! The museums website is now on the "Links" pag.

A really big thankyou to Michalis Dretakis and "all" the staff  for the personal tour yesterday. 

                    NHM of Crete.....Located right on the coast in the city of Heraklion

 

14th December

Weather....0900....13.9oC....Sea, calm....Vis, 20+ miles....cloud 60%....Wind, 0....1021mb  mostly sunny

Kaliviani list.... Peregrine Falcon....Great Tit....Sardinian Warbler....Crag Martin....Goldfinch.... Black Redstart.... Hooded Crow....Rock Dove....Griffon Vulture 5....Common Buzzard 6.... Chaffinch.... Kestrel 2.... Ring tailed Harrier.... Booted Eagle 1 dark + 1 pale morph.... Sparrowhawk....Yellow-legged Gull....Italian Sparrow....White Wagtail....Crested Lark

At Agyia ...Bittern

At Elafonisi....Golden Plover, Wimbrel and Curlew

                                       Booted Eagle.....Aquila pennata ( Kaliviani)

               

         

The goats head to their winter grazing  on Gramvousa. A  much smaller herd than in the past. A change in times ?  will it affect the islands Vulture population  ? Wherever we travel on the island there seems to be less and smaller herds.

13th December

Weather.... 0900....13.1oC.... Sea, choppy....Visibility 20+ miles....Cloud 40%....             Wind, variable ....1016mb . mainly sunny am, cloudy pm.

With an improvement in the weather, we hoped for an improvement in the birding, we were not totally disappointed although there was one nature moment that hit us.  

Not the best way to see a bird we had our first for Crete and home addition today a Woodcock....Scolopax rusticola. Taken by Peregrine Falcon which which went tearing past our balcony with the woodcock in its talons, feathers were flying everywhere ! It tried to gain height but went lower and dropped the bird onto a piece of open grazing land whereupon the woodcock was attacked by a pair of ravens which had been watching the action,  they flew above it landed and pecked at it a few times. The peregrine and ravens within minutes left the bird and did not return. The peregrine returned to its rock some time later. Two hours later we observed three peregrines interacting some distance off, lots of noise. I went down to see the bird which was still alive but it died on being picked up. Our first woodcock, not the nicest way to see a bird for the first time !!!

Yesterdays, Hen Harrier again revisited the same rock, although the peregrine had just gone off hunting again !

Bonelli's Eagle could be seen distant over Gramvousa as two adults and a juvenile circled for some time in the afternoon

Kaliviani Species list....Common Buzzard, 6 soaring and calling overhead....Griffon Vulture 3. Hooded Crow....Peregrine Falcon 3....Woodcock 1....Robin....Great Tit....Bonelli's Eagle 3 Sardinian Warbler....Hen Harrier 1 male....Yellow-legged Gull....Crested Lark.... Goldfinch.... Chaffinch....Rock Dove....Corn Bunting....Linnet....Greenfinch....Chiffchaff....Cetti's Warbler.... Stonechat.....Sparrowhawk....Black Redstart

                                         Sparrowhawk V Hooded Crow 

     

                            The unfortunate Woodcock....Scolopax rusticola.

         

 

12th December

Weather....0900....13.7oC....Sea, calm....Visiblity 20+ miles....Cloud, 100%....Wind 0....    1010 mb... Occasional showers, later cloud cleared and it was mainly sunny.

Highlight of the day ... A male Hen Harrier  did a pass by on a juvenile peregrine falcon sat on the rocks just north of the house, then came by to do it again whereupon the peregrine dived on the harrier , they both quickly separated and wentoff in opposite directions. I was lucky to get the pictures as I had not seen the falcon and was just hoping to get some shots of the harrier ... 

Later in the afternoon at around 3pm we set off between the rain showers to see if the Androcymbium rechingeri were in flower, we found some, not as numerous as in other years and the wet weather may be to blame , there are still many that have yet to bloom. These endemic flowers only grow in a few locations in West Crete and are always a delight to see in December. The skies were nice and clear and from the top of Falasarna ridge we could see the mainland (Peloponnese) beyond Antikythera and Kythera.

Species list, Kaliviani.... Sardinian Warbler....Goldfinch....Corn Bunting....Yellow-legged Gull Shag 2....Peregrine Falcon 1.... Kestrel 2....Common Buzzard 4.... Chaffinch.... Blackbird.... Cetti's Warbler.... Great Tit.... Hooded Crow 30+....Italian Sparrow.... White Wagtail.... Linnet Hen Harrier, adult male 1.... Griffon Vulture 3.... Crested Lark.... Rock Dove....Raven....     Black Redstart

                                            Hen Harrier ....Circus cyaneus

   

                  Hen Harrier ....Circus cyaneus/ Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus                First approach........

                  

 

 Second approach !!!....

 

On route to Falasarna..... We spotted a lone yellow-legged gull along the coast and a single Starling, we do not see many starlings at this end of the island although numbers are steadily increasing in general . At Falasarna .....Kingfisher....Stonechat....Yellow-legged Gull  Shag 1.... Sparrowhawk....Goldfinch....White Wagtail

                                    Yellow-legged Gull ....Larus michahellis

        

                                                  Starling....Sternus vulgaris

                              

                                             Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

                             

                                                 Androcybium rechingeri

 

 

 From Alan.....

It has been a quietish week so far - I think the weather is to blame?

Have looked at the Georgioupoli Viewpoint most days and the pygmy cormorant has always been distant, as when you were there.  Today, though, a great cormorant had relegated the pygmy to another rock, a little closer than before.  Also included images of a great cormorant on the Almros River today and greenfinch in the garden, where there has been very little variety recently.

                                     Pygmy Cormorant..... Phalacrocorax pygmeus

                        

                          

                                        (Great) Cormorant....Phalacrocorax carbo

                              

                                                  Greenfinch....Chloris chloris 

   

11th December

Weather...1000....  16.3oC....Sea, calm.... Visibility, 20 miles....Cloud, 70-100%.....          Wind W 3-4B....1010mb

Storms again for the last few days. Sunday it rained all day, with showers on Monday. On Monday evening we went Chania to see a presentation of bird photographs by our friend Panos. Excellent images and evening, so thank you to Panos, a wonderful evening.

Today, well its rain and more rain, with winds again from the west, bringing us another new species seen from home, Black-headed Gull, a group of 30+ flew along the coast and headed off towards the west coast ( Falasarna) otherwise we are seeing few birds. 

8th December

Weather....13.5oC....0900....Sea, calm....Visibility, 20+ miles.... Cloud,95%....Wind 0.... 1011mb....cloudy

Species Kaliviani ....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Crag Martin....Shag 1....Cormorant 1.... Griffon Vulture 3....Goldfinch....Kestrel....White Wagtail....

4th -7th November

A lack of birds this week mainly due to gales and thunderstorms. Lots of snow can now be seen on the Lefka Ori ( White Mountains ). Usually at this time of year the anemones are out but we have seen nothing of them ! 

Species for the week ...Shag....Common Buzzard....White Wagtail...Kestrel....Corn Bunting.... Serin.... Linnet....Chaffinch....Yellow-legged Gull....Hooded crow....Goldfinch.... Stonechat.... Greenfinch....Great Tit....Cetti's Warbler....Hen Harrier 1adult male....Sardinian Warbler.... Liitle Egret.... Collared Dove...

3rd December

Weather....0900....19.7oC....Sea, choppy....Vis. 20 miles....Cloud, 70%....Wind W 3B.... 1010mb. Sunny intervals rain PM. Wind late evening gusting W, 9-10 B

No list today from Kaliviani we headed for Giorgopouli to see if we could sight the pygmy cormorant ! we took in Kournas lake as well to go watch the flock of black-necked grebe. Lovely views of the pygmy cormorant as it flew several times to feed, we spent 3hours there watching it. Alan turned up as well , nice to meet up again . Thanks to Nikos for the location, this takes our Crete bird species up to 227. 

Giorgioupoli.... Cormorant 3.... Pygmy Cormorant 1....Coot....Moorhen....Kingfisher 1..Teal 3 Mallard....Ferruginous Duck 4....Sparrowhawk 2....Little Grebe.... Common Buzzard 1.... Hooded Crow.... Greenfinch....Goldfinch....Chaffinch....Cetti's Warbler.

Kounas lake.... Yellow-legged Gull....Cormorant 16....Coot....Moorhen....Mallard....Teal 8....  Great Crested Grebe 1.... Little Grebe....Black-necked Grebe 100+.... Serin.... Blackbird.... Robin....Greenfinch.... Chaffinch....Raven.... Hooded Crow....Common Buzzard 3.

Back to  Giorgioupoli and Kalivaki beach on route back towards Chania, 

At Kaliviaki we spotted a nice first winter grey wagtail and two white wagtail 

A last look at the pygmy cormorant before heading back,  then near Kalives we spot a large aquila and common buzzard, a quick glimpse, we think a greater spotted eagle, but we are not sure and we will have to put it down as a large aquila.  

                                             Grey Wagtail....Motacilla cinerea

          

                                     Pygmy Cormorant....Phalacrocorax pygmeus

                            

                    Cormorant on stump, pygmy cormorant taking off past the coot

 

      

2nd December

Weather....0900....20.8oC ....Sea calm....Visiblity 20+ miles....Cloud 70%....Wind W 2B.... Mostly cloudy , wind changed to S 4-5 at midday/ temp 25.6oC

Highlight ....A marsh Harrier flew in from the  Gramvousa circled a couple of times over the house and headed off south, on our walk out onto Gramvousa in the afternoon we found a cormorant feeding along the rocky coast

Ther pygmy cormorant still present at Giorgioupoli, we think this is the 15th record of this species on Crete.

Species list Kaliviani.... Hooded Crow....Sardinian Warbler....Stonechat....Goldfinch.... Shag 1... Common Buzzard 5.... Marsh Harrier 1....Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Robin....Cetti's Warbler.... Linnet....Griffon Vulture 6.... Crested Lark....Italian Sparrow....Kestrel 1.... Cormorant 1

                                          Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

   

1st December

Weather....23.8oC ....0900...Sea, calm....Visibility 20+ miles....Wind S 2B ....Cloud 5% .... 1009mb  cloud moved in from the south along with stronger winds  at 1200.

A very quiet day again, not a good start to December !!

Species  Kaliviani....Black Redstart....Hooded Crow.... Chaffinch....Greenfinch...Robin...Shag 1  Cetti's Warbler.... Common Buzzard 2....Kestrel 1....Sardinian Warbler....Italian Sparrow... Sparrowhawk...Great Tit

From Nikos, a pygmy cormorant at  Giorgioupoli today, lets hope it stay's awhile, a species we have yet to see on Crete. So my previous comment does not apply, its a good start to December !!

                                   Pygmy Cormorant....Phalacrocorax pygmeus