Crete Birding

February 2007

Starts slowly but produces [for us ] a few 
early arrivals on
20th, 22nd, 25th , 27th 
& 28th 


February 1st 

Sardinian Warbler, House and Italian sparrow, 30+ Yellow 
Legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Black Redstart.

2nd
Blackbird, Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, 
Goldfinch.

3rd
Raven 2, several Buzzard, Light form Booted eagle, Peregrine 
falcon, Kestrel. Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Linnet, Yellow 
Legged gull, Hooded Crow.

4th
Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Stonechat, 1 adult with a juv. 
Cormorant, 36+ yellow Legged Gulls, Raven 1, Hooded Crow 12, 
Crag Martins 10+, several Buzzard could be seen at one time 
over the hills and the house, Griffon Vulture 2, Sparrowhawk 
1, Goldfinch.

5th
The morning dawned after a stormy night and snow could be seen 
on the lower hills, thunder and lightning crashed and flashed, 
for most of the day it was very quiet , hardly any birdsong .
Raven 2, Hooded Crow, Linnet, Black redstart, a Barn Owl was 
heard late evening.

6th
Goldfinch, Yellow Legged Gull, House Sparrow, Sardinian 
Warbler, Chaffinch [numbers increasing daily ], Crag Martin, 
Hooded Crow 18, Buzzard 3, Great Tit 1, Raven 2, Kestrel 1, 
Griffon Vulture 2, our Peregrine has been about again hunting 
from the hill above the house performing some incredible 
stoops past the front window, later in the afternoon a male 
Hen Harrier hunted across the fields below , stonechat and 
Black Redstart.

7th
Yellow Legged gull, Buzzard, House and Italian Sparrow, 
Sardinian Warbler, an adult Cormorant with 2 juv. Stonechat, 
Chaffinch, Rock Pigeon 40+.
A trip to Kolybari – Chania coast produced, Buzzard 5, 
Sparrowhawk 1, Cormorant 1, Shag 1, White wagtail 20+, 
Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Blackbird 1, Meadow 
Pipit 20 + in small groups, Linnet 6, Moorhen 2, Marsh 
harrier 1, Crag martin 20 +, Cettis Warbler. On the way home a 
party of 60-70 Hooded crow performed aerobatics near Nopigia.
On a section of beach we found another dead Loggerhead Turtle 
so far that’s one every year since we have been here, a 
postscript to this, in the summer of 2002 there were over 150 
nest sites along the cost registered by the L.T. Trust, this 
year I think they had counted 30 something.


8th

Cettis heard behind the house, Chaffinch, a Sparrowhawk hunted 
nearby, Yellow Legged gulls 200+, House and Italian Sparrow 
20 +, Hooded crow, Cormorant 1, Buzzard 3, Goldfinch 5, 
Greenfinch 2,. In Chania , Blackbirds 3, Chiffchaff 3, 
Starling 14 and later on the way home another 80-100, at night 
a Barn Owl called nearby.

9th
Yellow Legged Gulls 170+, Buzzard 6, Raven 1, many Chaffinch, 
House Sparrow, Cormorant 2, Crag Martin 6, Hooded Crow 14, 
Goldfinch in small groups of 4-6, Rock Pigeon 20+.

A trip to meet Roy and Raye at lake Agia, produced on the way 
and at lake….
Cormorant 1, Teal 100+, Shoveler 30+, Great Tit 1, Marsh 
Harrier 3, producing some fantastic aerial displays one even 
putting another into the lake, Buzzard 15+, Wigeon 20+, pale 
from Booted Eagle 1, later a dark form Booted Eagle , 
Chaffinch, Grey Wagtail 1, Sardinian Warbler 1, Crested lark 
3, Tufted Duck 12+, Hooded Crow 10, White Wagtail 1,later a 
group of 20+, Meadow Pipit 5, 80+ Yellow Legged Gulls, 80+, 
refused to settle and continuously rose from the lake on the 
thermals high into the skies above and then spiralled down 
again to start all over. Coot 200+, Moorhen 30+, Blackbird 1, 
Stonechat 6+, Chiffchaff 6+, Dabchick 50+, Kestrel 2, Gadwall 
18, Black Redstart 1, Crag martin 10 +, Cetti’s heard from 
three different locations .

10th
Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Yellow Legged Gull 50+, Hooded 
Crow 12, Chaffinch , House Sparrow, Cormorant 2, Linnet 16, 
Buzzard 2, Kestrel 1, Peregrine 1, Raven 1, Griffon Vulture 1, 
Sparrowhawk 1, greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird 1, Blue Tit 2, 
Crag Martin 6.

11th
Italian and House Sparrow , Yellow Legged Gull 20+, with a 
possible LBB Gull, Buzzard 3, Sardinian Warbler 2, Stonechat 
pair, Chaffinch, Goldfinch 6, Long Legged Buzzard 1, Black 
Redstart 1, Great Tit 1.

12th
Crag Martin, Buzzard 4, Sardinian warbler, Stonechat, Black 
Redstart, Yellow Legged Gull.

13th
Goldfinch, Hooded Crow 18 , Shag 1, Chaffinch, Yellow Legged 
Gull, Crag Martin, Crested Lark 4.

14th
Chaffinch numbers really building now the olive grove is full 
of song, Hooded Crow 14, House and Italian Sparrow, Crag 
Martin 7, Raven 2, distant views of we think a Long Legged 
Buzzard, Goldfinch , Buzzard 4.

15th
Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Yellow Legged Gull, Italian and House 
Sparrow, Robin 1, Hooded Crow 14, Crag Martin 6, White Wagtail 
1, Griffon Vulture 6, several Buzzard, Crested Lark 4, Black 
Redstart 1, Kestrel 1.

16th.
Yellow Legged gull, Hooded Crow 14, Chaffinch, Rock dove 30 +, 
Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard 4, Sardinian Warbler 2, Robin 1.

17th
High winds, storms, meant no birding today .

18th 
Yellow Legged Gull, Chaffinch, Buzzard 4, Italian and House 
Sparrow, Hooded Crow 16, Rock Dove 6, Griffon 1, Peregrine 1, 
Raptors 3,flew too high and distant, [heading north] to ID 
properly .

19th
Crag Martin 3, a pair of Kestrel, Buzzard 5, Hooded Crow 14, 
Raven 1, Sardinian Warbler 2, Italian and House Sparrow, Great 
Tit, Chaffinch, LL Buzzard 1, 150+ Yellow Legged Gulls, 
Cormorant 1, Blackbird 1, Greenfinch 2, Chiffchaff 2, 
Sparrowhawk 1, Stonechat 2.

20th * * *
GOLDEN ORIOLE male flew low north onto Gramvousa a very early 
bird, White Wagtail, Crested Lark , Sardinian warbler 6, 
Greenfinch 2, Chaffinch + + +, Chiffchaff 3, Hooded Crow 14, 
Yellow Legged Gulls, Blackbird 1, Cetti’s heard , Robin 1, 
Raven 1, Rock Dove 13, an early evening bat flew around the 
house before the sun had set

21st
Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Heard Golden Oriole in gulley behind 
house, at the same time a Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird 2, Blue 
Rock Thrush 1, Buzzard 4, Italian and House Sparrow, Rock 
Dove 6, Sardinian Warbler 5, Greenfinch 3, Stonechat pair, 
Peregrine 1, High overhead 11 raptors circled in and out of 
the clouds heading north .

22nd * * * 
HOOPOE 1, in olive grove next to ours, Italian and House 
Sparrows 20+, Raven 3, Greenfinch 3, Chiffchaff 2, a Cetti’s 
heard, Hooded crow 20+, Black Redstart 2, Blue Tit, 1, scores 
of Chaffinch, 
Rock Dove 30+, a pair of Sardinian Warblers building a nest in 
shrub alongside the house entertained us for some time, 
Buzzards 10+, Robin 2, BONELLI’S EAGLE 1, Griffon Vulture 3, 
Goshawk 1, Kestrel 3, White wagtail 3, Stonechat 2, Cormorant 
1, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Collared Dove 5, Crested Lark 4, Great 
Tit 1, Goldfinch 10+, Yellow Legged Gull 6, Linnet 1. late at 
night heard Scops Owl calling.


23rd

First bird of the day was our Peregrine Falcon as he stooped 
past the front door into the olive grove below where there 
are hundreds of Chaffinch busy feeding , a Cetti’s was heard 
again , Blue Rock Thrush 1, Sardinian Warbler 2, Rock Dove 
12, Hooded Crow 14, Raven 4, Yellow Legged Gull 100+, 
Blackbird 1, Buzzard 3, Black Redstart 1, Chiffchaff 3, Raven 
1, Sparrowhawk .

24th
A stormy day with rough seas strong NE winds had the Peregrine 
Falcon using all of his flying skills as he continued his 
forays into the Chaffinch’s below, Hooded Crow 14, Buzzard 2 
and Raven 2 added to the aerobatics, Yellow Legged Gulls 25+ 
and chiffchaff 2 .

25th
HOUSE MARTINS, half a dozen flew with the same number of Crag 
Martins when we hiked onto Gramvousa . Whilst out we saw ……
Buzzard 7, Chaffinch 100’s , Raven 2, Hooded Crow 20+, Griffon 
Vulture 2, Goshawk 1, Greenfinch 6, several large groups of 
Goldfinch 50+ each, Great Tit 2, Chiffchaff 10+, Woodlark 1, 
Blackbird 2, Stonechat 6, Black Redstart 1….. and an 
unidentified orange/red furry caterpillar about 6cms long.

26th
Italian Sparrow, Chiffchaff, Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, 
Yellow Legged gull, Buzzard, Blue Tit, pair of Blackbirds, 
Chaffinch, Robin, pair of Black Redstart, 6 Crag Martin, 
Goldfinch, still present a single Hoopoe, our first Thrush for 
a long time. We also found an injured Chaffinch in the olive 
grove unable to fly, we think it may have collided with the 
perimeter wire fence.

27th
The day had hardly dawned when continuous thunder was heard in 
the distance and for a few hours we had heavy rain and hail 
along with lightening as the rain cleared and visibility 
increased we saw a raft of 200+ Yellow Legged Gulls just off 
the coast. Our usual daily sightings were about , Hooded Crow, 
Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, House and Italian Sparrow, 
Buzzard and Goldfinch.
The weather cleared and turned out quite nice so we set off 
along the coast into Kissamos and a couple of miles the other 
side for a look on the beaches.
We found early Isabelline Wheatear 5, Northern Wheatear 2, 
Stonechat, several party’s of White Wagtail, Crested Lark, 
Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Meadow Pipit , a Buzzard, 
3 groups of about 50+ Yellow Legged Gulls along the shoreline, 
a Cormorant and a single Sandwich Tern, Corn Bunting 3.
An early wild flower… Salsify [ Tragopogon porrifolius ] 
flowering time April –June was found along a beach track.

28th
The day again started with rain but later brightened so 
another Gramvousa trip was the plan of the day, before setting 
off we saw…
Buzzard 3, Sardinian Warbler 2 [our pair nest building ] 
Italian Sparrow, Chaffinch, Blackbird 2 male, Great Tit and a 
pair of Kestrel hovering over the hills behind the house.
On our walk on W.Gramvousa we saw…… Raven 2, Sparrowhawk 1, 
Alpine Swift 1, small numbers of House and Crag Martin
Buzzard 4, Kestrel 1, Crested lark, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat 4 
pairs, Hooded Crow 5, Griffon Vulture 3, Black Redstart 1, 
Robin 1, Chaffinch, Greenfinch 1, Blackbird 1, Great Tit 1, 
Sardinian Warbler 4.
We found 3 species of Orchids and lots of other wild flowers.