Crete Birding

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31st January

Weather....0900....13.8oC....Sea, calm....Vis 20 miles....Cloud 0....wind 0....1012mb  Sunny am, cloudy pm

Todays highlights ...A sparrowhawk flew low through the olive grove, nearly taking Sue's ear off as it tore past her head  when it emerged from the trees. The closest Sue has been to a flying raptor, I don't know which of them was the most shocke, Oh yes I do... Sue!!! a short while later a male Hen Harrier flew past the house then doen into the lower fields where it sat for a time on a straw bale. A good day for raptors too with several species seen

Species  list Kaliviani....Common Buzzard 7....Yellow-legged Gull 30+.... Crag Martin 10+.... Woodlark....Chaffinch....Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler....Sardinian Warbler....Peregrine Falcon 1 Italian Sparrow....Kestrel 2....Black Redstart....Raven 14.... Crested Lark.... Robin.... Great Tit Sparrowhawk , three sightings....Hen Harrier 1m....Griffon Vulture 1....Blackcap....

                                              Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

     

                                                Hen Harrier....Circus cyaneus

   

30th January

Weather....11.4oC....Sea choppy with a swell....Vis,20+ miles....Cloud 70%....Wind, N 6m/s.... 1012mb.... Cloud cleared , mostly sunny

A dark morph Booted Eagle gave us a surprise this morning as we watched two griffons flying nearby it came in over our heads very low from behind seems the LLB is not the only one to get a shock !!

Later we went for a walk around the area, a thrush sized bird flew nearby with a strange call, a long chattering flight call that we have not heard before. It circled us twice at a distance calling all the while, it disappeared along the beach, we could only put it as a possible Song Thrush. Later a male Hen harrier flew across the road in front of us.

Species for the day....Griffon Vulture 4.... Booted Eagle d/m 1....Common Buzzard 5.... Chaffinch....Yellow-legged Gull 3....Raven 4....Kestrel 1....Cetti's Warbler ...Blackcap.... Sardinian Warbler....Blackbird....Serin....Robin....Linnet....Meadow Pipit....Stonechat.... Goldfinch ....White Wagtail....Italian Sparrow.... Greenfinch....Hen Harrier 1m.... and a possible Song Thrush

                                              Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo  

     

                                            Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

 

 Not the only one to get a surprise approach !!!!

       

 

                                                         Megachile sicula    

                               

 Anemones 

      

29th January

Weather....0900....12.1oC....Sea calm....Vis, 10miles....Cloud 100%...Wind, 0....1011mb cloudy , rain late pm and throught into the night.

 The Long-legged Buzzard put in another short appearance today but without the drama of yesterday and was left alone to fly through !!

Species....Yellow-legged Gull 13....Sparrowhawk 1....Common Buzzard 2....Greenfinch.... Goldfinch.... Chaffinch...Cetti's Warbler....Robin....Linnet....Crested Lark.... Hooded Crow.... Blackbird....Great Tit....Long-legged Buzzard.

28th January

Weather....0900....10.7oC....Sea, swell....Vis 20 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind 0....1010mb Cloud cleared to leave a mainly sunny day.

Todays highlight... A Long-legged Buzzard removed from its resting place in a sneaky attack by one of our local common buzzards. We have seen buzzards swooping onto other buzzards but have never witnessed one being thrown through the air , this poor rufinus wondered what had hit it as it did a full somersault and landed in a bush. The common returned and did a flyover but did not attack again. The rufinus, well he stayed put for some time beofre dropping down to a lower rock with some cover behind him !!!

Kaliviani list.... Yellow-legged Gull 30+....Shag 1.... Hooded Crow 15+....Chaffinch 50+.... Common Buzzard 4.... Long-legged Buzzard 1, ? 2cy ? ....Kestrel 1....Sparrowhawk 1.... Peregrine Falcon 1 adult....Collared Dove 2....Black Redstart 1....Linnet 15+....White Wagtail 1 Crested Lark 4....Blackbird 1....Great Tit 3.... Cetti's Warbler, possibly 3.... Greenfinch.... Woodlark....Blackcap....Chiffchaff

       Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo attacking Long-legged buzzard ....Buteo rufinus

     Minding his own !!     

 

 When along came BB.....Silently in from behind and connected full on the head!!

 

 Bowling BR right off its perch into a full somersault ....

 

 Before it landed with a crash into the bushes !!!

 

Keeping its head down as BB returns !!!!

 

Manos reports 18 golden plover on the south coast.

27th January

Weather...0900....11.7oC....Sea, swell....Vis,20 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind 0....1005mb  occasional sunny intervals mainly cloudy with thunderstorms.

Nothing special again, just the usual species...Sparrowhawk 1....Yellow-legged Gull 26.... Hooded Crow 18.... Common Buzzard 3.... Chaffinch.... Linnet.... Greenfinch....Robin....  Crested Lark.... Cetti's Warbler....Chiffchaff....Serin....Goldfinch....Italian Sparrow....Blackcap  Great Tit....White Wagtail....Woodlark....Crag Martin....Chiffchaff....Blackbird....Song Thrush... Black Redstart....Shag 1

From Alan.... 

Singles of green sandpiper and little egret have appeared at Kalivaki meadows, but the former is very wary.  The egret is very accommodating!

                                                 Little Egret....Egretta garzetta

                      

Had a drive out this morning to our favourite area south of Ano Mallaki.  Even here it was unusually unproductive, and only photos are of a distant pair of kestrels, and two chukars.  Only other birds of note were c50 jackdaws feeding near Aghios Andreas, Rethymno.

                                                 Kestrel...Falco tinnunculus

                          

                                                  Chukar...Alectoris chukar

                            

25th January

Weather...0900...16.2oC....Sea, choppy....Vis 15-20 miles....Cloud 60%.... Wind , SW 7 gusting 14 m/s.... 1004mb .... Mostly sunny am, cloudy pm  wind increased

A trip report has been added to the 2012 archive from  Jessica Fromont and Maël Lelièvre 5th -26th September with pictures added... A couple of nice sightings were  Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Pygmy Cormorant which we think may be the one Nikos found later in December. Thank you very much Maël and Jessica.

Still very quiet for birding we could only add a couple of Griffon Vulture and a Sparrowhawk Yellow-legged Gull 12....Hooded Crow 16.... Common Buzzard 1.... Chaffinch.... Linnet.... Greenfinch....Crested Lark....Cetti's Warbler....Chiffchaff....Serin....Goldfinch....Italian Sparrow Great Tit....White Wagtail. 

The anemones are really coming into bloom now with hundreds in flower in our olive grove

                                        Crown Anemone....Anemone coronaria

24th January

Weather....0900...17.6oC....Sea, calm....Vis,6 miles....Cloud 60%....Wind S,6m/s....1010mb.  Mostly sunny the wind increased (11m/s) as did the temperature 20.6oC at noon. Thunderstorm late in the evening.

Yellow-legged Gull 21....Hooded Crow 22.... Common Buzzard 2.... Chaffinch, more singing today....Greenfinch....Linnet....Crested Lark....Cetti's Warbler....Chiffchaff....Serin....Goldfinch Italian Sparrow....Great Tit....White Wagtail.

We found in bloom today.....

                                 Bunch-flowered Narcissus....Narcissus tazetta

          

                                Double Bermuda Buttercup....Oxalis pes-caprae

          

23rd January

Weather...0900....17.4oC.....Sea, choppy....Vi. 20 miles....Cloud,70%....Wind, W,5m/s.... 1010mb. Mostly sunny

At home we had few birds, Yellow-legged Gull 20+ Hooded Crow usual flock of 20+.... Italian Sparrow.... Chaffinch several singing a nice sound for January !....Linnet 2, also singing.... Meadow Pipit and Sardinian Warbler.

A spur of ther moment decision saw us heading for Aygia  ! Where on route we spotted alongside the road 3 Cattle Egret. A little later a dark morph Booted Eagle and a couple of Common Buzzard. White Wagtail....Stonechat....Crested Lark....Goldfinch....Black Redstart....  Italian Sparrow and 40+ Yellow-legged Gull.

Aygia ..... Shortly after we arrived we met (Panos 600 ) who told us that he had just been across the nearby fields and the 3 Cattle Egret were still there, so our assumption that the Kissamos three were those was blown away.  Panos also told us that there are now thought other Black Vultures on Crete, maybe 3 individuals....photos are being examined. !!!! more news we hope later.

Our Aygia list for the afternoon 1530-1800.

Mallard 2....Gadwall 20+ pairs....Pintail 1 pair....Shoveler 15+ pairs.... Wigeon 6....      Pochard 12.... Ferruginous Duck 2....Little Grebe 20+....Cormorant 27, 1 in full breeding plumage (displaying) ....Little Egret 1....Grey Heron 1....Booted Eagle 2, 1 dark 1 pale morph. Black Kite 1....Marsh Harrier 2.... Common Buzzard 1.... Sparrowhawk 2.... Peregrine Falcon 1 Moorhen 8.... Coot 200+....Yellow-legged Gull....Crag Martin 30+....White Wagtail 1.... Cetti's Warbler 3....Reed Warbler 1, very vocal but would not show.... Chiffchaff....        Hooded Crow 40+....Starling, several hundred....Italian Sparrow....House Sparrow.... Chaffinch.... Stonechat 1....

A good afternoon where we watched the cormorant coming in to roost with a superb adult displaying. The large flock of starlings was constantly harrassed by the pergrine and sparrowhawks as they sought somewhere to settle for the night. A great spectacle as they flew across the face of the moon and the White Mountains. The nice sighting of the black kite which in turn was harrassed by the hooded crows that  would not let it settle for the night either.

Our photos for the day....

                                                Cattle Egret...Bubulcus ibis

                              

         

         

                       Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata, the smaller bird is Crag Martin

     

      

                           Cormorant....Phalacrocorax carbo ssp sinensis juvenile

   

 25 birds at roost sight

 

                                              LittleGrebe....Tachybaptus ruficollis

         

                                                   Starlings ....Sternus vulgaris

        

        

                                               Black Kite....Milvus migrans

     

                          We left as darkness fell and the moon shone over the lake

        

21st January

SEE YESTERDAYS ENTRY FROM NIKOS..... NOW CONFIRMED AFTER A FEW YEARS OF SPECULATION ON THE STATUS OF BLACK VULTURE ON CRETE, NIKOS PHOTOGRAPHED TWO INDIVIDUALS SOUTH OF DHIKTI.... WELL DONE NIKOS .

CAN WE HOPE FOR A PAIR !!....TO BREED AND JOIN OUR LAMMERGEIER AND GRIFFONS. !!! (24th January....It is thought there may  be 3 individuals, photos are being examined ) 

 

Weather....0900....19.7oC....Sea, very choppy.... Vis 20.... Cloud 80%, high and thin.... Wind S, 4m/s, gusting 12m/s. ...1008mb.... Sunny intervals.

Reports added for 19th and 20th. 

nother day of having to get jobs done, so little in the way of birding.  Species are few as we had no time to look. Yellow-legged Gull 50+ still hanging around the fields.... Chaffinch.... Hooded Crow 20+....Greenfinch.... Sardinian Warbler....Raven.... Common Buzzard.... Kestrel.... Crested lark..

Awoke to the most amazing sunrise this morning , don't think I have ever seen one quite so spectacular....This image taken at 0720

Today it was fertilize the olive trees day. No artificial stuff for us, a local shepherd sent in  fifty sheep and their lambs, they munched their way through the grove for the morning and will return tomorrow for another go. Dung means insects, insects mean birds !!

20th January

Weather....0900....17.8oC....Vis 20....Cloud 20%.... Wind W, 1.... 1010mb.... Mostly sunny

Work today so not much birding !!! but we did see .............

Species....Yellow-legged Gull 50+....Hooded Crow....Cetti's Warbler.... Griffon Vulture 1.... Sparrowhawk 1.... Blackbird....Chaffinch....Chiffchaff ....Linnet....Sardinian Warbler

In the olive grove Anemones ....

                                    Crown Anemone... Anemone coronaria

         

FROM NIKOS ................

 SUNDAY TREK AT SOUTH DIKTI RIDGES...

HIGHLIGHTS: 2 BLACK VULTURES, NOTE DIFFERENT WING AND TAIL MOULT.. 2 BEARDED VULTURES, THE ONE IS THE TAGGED INDIVIDUAL.. 2 GOLDEN EAGLES, ADULT AND IMMATURE... GRIFFONS AT THE NESTS...

                                         Black Vulture....Aegypius monachus 

                        

         

                                     Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus note tag                                                  

                                            Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos

          

                              Griffon Vulture ....Gyps fulvus  at nest note single egg

        


HIGHLIGHTS: 2 BLACK VULTURES, NOTE DIFFERENT WING AND TAIL MOULT.. 2 BEARDED VULTURES, THE ONE IS THE TAGGED INDIVIDUAL.. 2 GOLDEN EAGLES, ADULT AND IMMATURE... GRIFFONS AT THE NESTS... 

19th January

Weather....0900....13.8oC....Sea, slight swell....Vis 20....Cloud 90%....Wind, W 6....1004mb . Sunny intervals.

A walk around the local area through olive groves and grazing fields then along the beach produced large numbers of White Wagtail seen in several flocks feeding in the lower fields. other birds seen ....Yellow-legged Gull 50+....Hooded Crow....Cetti's Warbler.... Blackbird.... Common Buzzard.... White Wagtail 100+.... Song Thrush 1.... Goldfinch .... Chaffinch....  Corn Bunting.... Linnet....Serin.... Chiffchaff....Meadow Pipit.... Starling 10....Griffon Vulture 1. Sardinian Warbler.

From Alan.....Called in at Moronis today and found several dogs roaming along the river, and fishermen - just a green sandpiper, little and great egret seen.  Nearer the harbour, two terns in different plumages.  We drove on through Tavronitis and Kolymbari, but nothing worth mentioning.  Nearer to Kaloudiana, we had a dark phase booted eagle, mixing with three buzzards. 

                                            Sandwich Tern.....Sterna sandvicensis

           

                             

                                      Booted Eagle.... Aquila pennata, dark morph

                 

18th January

Weather....0900....15.0oC....Sea, choppy....Visibility , poor....Cloud 100%....Wind S-SW 7.... 1002mb. Occasional sunny intervals , heavy hail and rain, very windy.

Not a good day for birding at all our list is very small, the lower fields took on the appearance of a superb wetland, much like it used to be before the farmers moved in !! . A Sparrowhawk was seen on there, where it put up Crested Lark.... Linnet and Corn Bunting  a large group of Yellow-legged Gull 70+....Hooded Crow 20+....Common Buzzard....Black Redstart... Chaffinch were all that was seen in this area from the window !!! A Cetti's Warbler was heard in the gully to the rear

From Nikos, seen at Moronis today three....

                  Black-necked Grebe ....Podiceps nigricollis .... Μαυροβουτηχτάρι

17th January

Weather....0900....15.3oC....Sea, choppy...Vis 20 miles....cloud 100%...Wind SW 5...1009mb Later, sunny intervals with rain threatening

The male Hen Harrier is still busy hunting around the area, we spotted him at 0915  and a report of 49 Golden Plover near Heraklion.   

16th January

Weather...0900....17.5oC....Sea, choppy....Vis, 20 miles....Cloud, 30%....Wind, S, 3....1011mb Sunny in the morning thunderstorms from 2pm

Nothing special at Kaliviani today.....Yellow-legged Gull 30+....Sparrowhawk 1....Stonechat 2 Hooded Crow 15+....Common Buzzard 2....White Wagtail 6....Crested Lark 10....Cormorant 1 Shag 1....Kentish Plover 1....Collared Dove 4.... Italian Sparrow 10+....Chaffinch 6....Black Redstart 1....Goldfinch 20+....Kestrel 1....Raven 2.

From Nikos ...At Chania Venician Harbour.

                                           Sandwich Tern....Sterna sandvicencis

          

Photos added to the 15th.... 

15th January

Weather...0900....15.1oC....Sea,calm...Vis 20+ miles....Cloud 0....Wind 0....1020mb. Mostly sunny. Wind later with cloud and the odd rain shower late afternoon.

The male Hen Harrier again passed by late in the afternoon , we first spotted it in the lower fields hunting, giving us good, but a little distant views .

Kaliviani species....Shag 1....Yellow-legged Gull 30+....Hooded Crow 15.... Sparrowhawk 1... Greenfinch 14....Chaffinch 20+....Raven 1....Great Tit  3....Sardinian Warbler 2.... Robin 2.... Blackbird 1....Goldfinch 30+....Griffon Vulture 1....Stonechat 2.... Collared Dove 4....          Hen Harrier 1 m.

                                            Yellow-legged Gull....Larus michahellis

          

           

                                               Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

                  

From Nikos.... Flamingo 1, 3 Dunlin, 6 Coot and lots of White Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Water and Meadow Pipit and Corn Bunting today at Katalyki. Griffon Vultures with nesting material and Bonelli's Eagle  going for jackdaws at Kourtaliotiko......Thanks Nikos

                                                Bonelli's Eagle ....Aquila fasciata

         

                                               Water Pipit....Anthus spinoletta              

                

                                                   Dunlin.... Calidris alpina

   

                                          Flamingo....Phoenicopterus roseus

         

                                              Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

         

14th January

Weather...0900....14.3oC....Sea, calm....Vis, 20+miles....Cloud 0....Wind 0....1020mb  Wall to wall sunshine !!

Highlights of the day ..On the way back from town a pair of Kentish Plover on the rocks along the beach road . A male Hen Harrier went very low and close past the house late in the afternoon heading onto Gramvousa. 

A busy day for us meant occasional birding. Our species today.... Yellow-legged Gull 50+... Crag Martin 6....Chaffinch....Hooded Crow....Sparrowhawk 1.... Cetti's Warbler.... Great Tit.... Robin.... Woodlark....Crested Lark....Blackbird....Kentish Plover 2....Common Buzzard 2.... White Wagtail.... Stonechat....Italian Sparrow....Collared Dove.... Hen Harrier 1male.

From Nikos..... 26 Cormorants, 4 the ferruginous ducks, 22 Pochards, 6 Tufted Duck,           5 Mallard, 1 bittern at  Agyia

Also from Nikos a nice find for this time of year a Great reed Warbler at Rapaniana near kolymbari  and a long-legged Buzzard at Potamida near Kissamos

                                        Long-legged Buzzard....Buteo rufinus 

                  

                             Reed Warbler....Acrocephalus scirpaceus

         

From Harry.... Called at Moronis this morning, have been there very infrequently this winter.    There was a few people fishing this morning, so not a lot in the way of birds, a couple of Shag out in the bay, a Great White Egret was at far end of bay, first time I have seen it this winter, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret was all that Pam and I spotted.

There was a few fishing this morning,so not a lot in the way of birds,a couple of divers out in the bay,too far away for me to be certain what they are,Great White Egretwas at far end of bay,first time i have seen it this winter,Ringed Plover,Redshank,Common Sandpiper,Little Egret was all that Pam and I spotted.

     

          cannot blame them for trying to earn a crust somehow.

 
                There was a few fishing this morning,so not a lot in the way of birds,a couple of divers out in the bay,too far away for me to be certain what they are,Great White Egret
                was at far end of bay,first time i have seen it this winter,Ringed Plover,Redshank,Common Sandpiper,Little Egret was all that Pam and I spotted.

13th January

Weather...0900...15.9oC....Sea, calm....Vis 20+ miles....Cloud30%....Wind NW,1....1018mb Mostly sunny.

A distant aquila over Gramvousa which we could not positively ID was either spotted or lesser spotted Eagle.                                                                                                                A griffon vulture appeared from low somewhere behind the house and flew into the lower fields. I went down with the camera to get some shots and was lucky to get the following ones, as the bird had landed in a field of crops and the farmer just happened to be there!!      I arrived minutes later and the farmer was shouting at the bird which soon took off and headed a short distance onto Gramvousa  where it landed and stayed for some time, it later flew over the house circling to gain height.

Species list....Yellow-legged gull 14..Common Buzzard 5....Sardinian Warbler.... Chaffinch.... Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 9.... Woodlark...Crested Lark....Italian Sparrow....Kestrel 1.... Cormorant 2....Sparrowhawk 2....Cetti's Warbler....Greenfinch....Goldfinch....Blackbird.... Great Tit.... Black Redstart....Robin....Chiffchaff..... Aquila,UID.

                                             Griffon Vulture ....Gyps fulvus

         

         

          

Thanks to Nikos for the following news from Agyia....... Kingfisher (1) Grey Heron (2) Cattle Egret (3) Cormorant (14) Marsh Harrier (2) Moorhen (30) Coot (700) Little Grebe (30) mallard (2) teal (4) Tufted Duck(4) Common Pochard (8) Shoveler(18) ferruginous suck(1) Gadwall (12) Wigeon (10) Yellow-legged Gull (4)

From Harry ....Had a drive around the Elos area today, very quite, drove back to Afrata for lunch. On the way home spotted a couple of Kestrels perched on trees, a Cattle Egret  flying along the coastline towards Kolymbari. Just through Kolymbari a Whinchat (immature 1st winter), I think, sat on a wall.


                flying along the coastline towards Kolumbari.Just through Kolumbari a Whinchat(immature 1st winter),i think,sat on a wall.
      Seven images by Nikos, from Moronis have been added to the 10th January

12th January

Weather...0900....15.2oC....Sea, light chop....Vis, 20 miles....Cloud 90%....Wind W-NW 2.... 1012mb... Heavy showers, occasional sunny intervals.

From Alan....The Pygmy Cormorant is still to be seen at Georgioupoli.

                                       Pygmy Cormorant....Phalacrocorax pygmeus                                   

   

                        

From Nikos, a brief visit to lake Kournas.

                                           Spotted Eagle ....Aquila clanga

 

10th January

Weather....0900...11.5oC....Sea, calm....Visibility, 20 Miles....Cloud 1%....Wind 0....1019mb  sunny.

Few species from home before we set out for the day to Omalos and late PM at Agyia. Yellow-legged Gull 20+  and Hooded Crow !!

On route to Omalos....along the beach road a single Kentish Plover....

                                       Kentish Plover.....Charadrius alexandrinus

     

Cormorant 1.... Stonechat ....Black Redstart....White Wagtail.  Just before Laki village a flock of 2000+ Starlings swirling above the road, making some spectacular patterns in the sky and a single male Blue Rock Thrush was seen a little farther on.

                                         Some of the Starling.....above Laki

         

The road up to Omalos past Laki is being " improved " the narrow road is being widened and is in a real mess with heavy machines removing the edges that made this area so scenic, what the tourists came to see is being being removed  !!  We managed to get through to the plateau having come across several cars that had attempted to get past the overnight ice and failed, we arrived on the plateau after some terrific snowy scenery and parked at the last taverna before setting off towards the entrance to Samaria on foot. The silence and chill up here is amazing but few birds were about, we only saw one common buzzard. The wonderfully blue skies were devoid of raptors and only a few hooded crows and a couple of raven made marks in that blue !!  We saw..... Woodlark....Jay....Raven....Blackbird....Goldfinch....Wren.... Italian Sparrow....Robin.... Greenfinch.... Common Buzzard  and a first for us up here on the plateau, a Song Thrush, which decided not to have its picture taken and was off like a shot.

                                            Woodlark.....Lullula arborea

   

 

          Note the long hind claw....

                          

   Normally we get most of our bird shots on the fences, today its the turn of the hoar frost

       

        

                                                  Raven....Corvus corax

        

Some general snow views have been added to the Omalos and White Mountain section in "Birding Sites" and some of Agyia added to that page also.

We arrived at Agyia at 4.45 in the late afternoon with the sun now low it was not too glarey... Our first sighting was Panos, who emerged from the reeds where he had been trying to photograph ducks, he was just leaving and we now had the lake to ourselves. We quickly located the pintails and other waterfowl and had the pleasure of watching 25 Cormorant coming in singles and pairs to roost in the tree on the eastern side....                                Our species for here.. Marsh Harrier...Sparrowhawk....Crag Martin....Hooded Crow....Chiffchaff...Cormorant 25....Coot....Moorhen....Little Grebe....Pintail....Gadwall .... Ferruginous Duck....Teal....Shoveler....Wigeon....Pochard....Grey Heron....Tufted Duck.... Common Buzzard....Starling....Cetti's Warbler....Mallard. On the way home a Barn Owl flew low over the road.

                                             Cormorant....Phalacrocorax carbo

       

       

          

   ........Roosting cormorants

                                       Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck , Mallard and terrapin  

                                                        Tufted Duck....Aythya fuligula

         

                  

                                                  Shoveler....Anas clypeata

                                                                                           Pochard....Aythya ferina and Wigeon....Anas penelope

                                                   Gadwall....Anas strepera and female wigeon

                                                               Wigeon....Anas penelope

                                                    Pintail, Pochard and Garganey

     

We didn't took the telescope today, so may have missed some species, especially the Great Bittern which we have yet to see here, but is overwintering and was seen today by Mike Meecham along with ....Booted Eagle (pale) , Marsh Harrier (fem) ,Great Bittern, Kingfisher, Stonechat, Cormorant, Gadwall, Widgeon, Mallard, Shoveller, Teal, Pochard, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe. Thanks for the report Mike.

Also thanks to Harry Lough who was also at the lake today !!...............................Pam and I spent a few hours at the lake today,snow line was a lot lower on the mountains after yesterdays weather,lovely sunny day today but rather crisp.
Nothing different from my last couple of visits apart from a Meadow Pipit, Ferruginous Duck, Gadwall(female) Stonechat(female) Grey Wagtail(juvenile).Thanks Harry

                                       Ferruginous Duck....Aythya nyroca

 

                                                  Gadwall....Anas strepera

       

From Nikos at Moronis....

                                       Common Sandpiper....Actitis hypoleucos

         

                                             Great Egret....Casmerodius albus 

        

                                           Night heron....Nycticorax nycticorax

         

                      Redshank....Tringa totanus and Wood Sandpiper....Tringa glareola

          

      and with Greenshank....Tringa nebularia

         

                                        Little Ringed Plover....Charadrius dubius

               

      Black-headed Gull....Chroicocephalus ridibundus and two Kittiwake....Rissa trydactyla

9th January

Weather....0900....8.4oC....Sea, rough....Vis, 20 miles....Cloud 90%....Wind N 4....1020mb Cloud cleared , wind dropped , mostly sunny

Todays highlights,  a nice adult male Hen Harrier drifted past and headed onto Gramvousa, Yellow-legged gulls were noisly feeding were lambs have just been born, fighting off the hooded crows to get at the birthing remains. Two sparrowhawks kept the pigeons alert as they repeatedly made mock dives into their small flocks.

Kaliviani list....Griffon Vulture 7....Yellow-legged Gull 50+.... Hen Harrier 1 male.... Goldfinch.... Hooded Crow.... Common Buzzard 6....Peregrine Falcon.... Sparrowhawk 2.... Raven....Great Tit....Linnet....Crested Lark....Serin....Greenfinch....Chaffinch...Chiffchaff.... Robin.... Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler

8th January

Weather....0900....9.3oC....Sea, rough....Vis, 15 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind, NE 6...1012mb Cloudy with strong winds .

 We took a two hour walk around the local area ( Kaliviani and Beach ) nothing much about at all apart from many gulls feeding in the fields. One possible Armenian Gull but with our limited gull ID skills we could not say for sure , so no tick in the box for that one today !

Kaliviani list.... Yellow-legged Gull 150+....Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 1.... Goldfinch.... Common Buzzard 6.... White Wagtail.... Serin.... Stonechat....Black Restart... Chaffinch.... Sparrowhawk 1.

From Alan....

Had a quick look along our local coastline for gull activity after the wet and windy weather.  At Petres a few Med gulls and yellow-legged were quite distant from the beach.  One 1st winter bird had me thinking it was a common gull - not much difference is there.  (please confirm though!) Think so Alan any gull experts out there ? Colin.  At Georgioupoli, an adult Med gull was patrolling the main car-park - this is only the second time I have seen this species at Georgioupoli.

                             Mediterranean Gull....Larus melanocephalus  ( adult winter )

                 

                             Mediterranean Gull....Larus melanocephalus 1st Winter

                   

7th January

Weather....0900....12,6oC....sea, choppy....vis 20+ miles....Cloud 5%....Wind N 1....1010mb. Mostly sunny

Highlight today was three Sparrowhawks that appeared to be hunting together, they came racing through the small trees behind the house, scattering what few birds were about .

Kaliviani species.... Yellow-legged Gull 10+....Cetti's Warbler....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch.... Great Tit.... Sardinian Warbler....Common Buzzard 4....Stonechat...Goldfinch....Blackbird.... Black Redstart....Sparrowhawk 3....White Wagtail....Chiffchaff....Raven.

From Harry ....Walked around the Tavronitis area this morning,lovely blue skies after the drenching yesterday.Hoped the foul weather from yesterday may have brought something
unusual,nothing doing though,birds spotted.
Cetti,s Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Black Redstart, Great Tit, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Serin, Chiffchaff, Kestrel, Siskin, Goldfinch

                                                 White Wagtail.... Motacilla alba

    

6th January

Weather....0900....12.6oC....Sea, calm....Vis 20 miles....Cloud, 50%....Wind 0....1004mb An hour later 8.8oC, sea rough wind 6 north hail rain thunder and lightning rain for the rest of the day.

All we spotted were 20+ Yellow-legged Gull ....Hooded Crow....Shag 1....Black Redstart 1.... Common Buzzard 3.

5th January

Weather....0900....14.3oC....Sea,calm....vis 20 miles....Cloud 40%....Wind 0....1013mb   Mostly sunny.

We had intended to take a trip to Elafonisi on Monday in the hope of seeing Alan's bird of yesterday the Goldcrest. A text from Nikos to say he would come by today to pick us up seemed to good an opportunity  to miss !  A big thanks to Alan for the location, were we found two birds still in the same tree !!!. We spent a good hour and a half watching these delightful little birds at they flitted , feeding in the Juniper trees. We broke for lunch and went in search of other species. We found the Adrocymbium rechingeri in flower in a largish area to the west of the lagoon and several different flowers/plants. Birding was pretty poor on specie numbers but we had some nice close common buzzard encounters and in all a generally good day. Thanks to Nikos and Angeliki for  a great day.

We have updated the Elafonisi page with some new images taken by Sue.

Three new images of Phoenix Palm in flowers album

Our Crete species list now reaches 230, a nice start to 2013

Kaliviani species ....0730-1015... Cetti's Warbler....Yellow-legged Gull 20+....Robin.... Blackbird .... Common Buzzard 3.... Chaffinch.... Sardinian Warbler.... Hooded Crow....     Crag Martin 30+.... Blackcap....Crested Lark....Woodlark....Black Redstart....Italian Sparrow Goldfinch.... Peregrine Falcon adult.... Raven...Great Tit....Stonechat....Raven.

On route to Elafonisi... Common Buzzard  8.... Raven 4.... Linnet....Yellow-legged Gull.... Kestrel.... Griffon Vulture 8 ( +2 sat Topolia )....Sparrowhawk

Elafonisi....Goldcrest 2....Linnet 40+....Robin ....White Wagtail ....Goldfinch....Chiffchaff.... Great Tit.... Black Redstart....Cormorant....Grey heron....Yellow-legged Gull...Collared Dove

                                                Goldcrest....Regulus regulus

        

        

      

Some variations of buzzards seen today...........                                                                      

                                                 Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo

                              

       

  

      

                         

     

  

                                         Collared Dove....Streptopelia decaocto

        

                                     Praying Mantis....Mantis religiosa Mantidae  
                                    Griffon Vulture....  Gyps fulvus at Topolia Gorge                 

                                                             Androcymbium rechingeri at Eleafonisi          

     

                         Prickly Juniper ( Cedar ).... Juniperus oxycedrus ssp macrocarpa

     

                                               Fungi found on Elafonisi beach

    

                                      ? Spergulaeia sea spurreys we think !! at Elafonisi

      

                                 Theophrastus Palm Tree.... Phoenix theophrasti

                         At White Beach  near Christoskalitisa Monastery ( Elafonisi )

   

4th January

Weather....0900....13.0oC.... Sea, calm....Vis,20 miles....Cloud, 70%....Wind 0....1022mb. Rain early cleared mostly sunny    

Report from harry at Agyia added to yesterdays blog.

After all the rain, olive harvesting resumed in the olive grove next to us and lots of smaller species were absent, we took advantage of the fine weather to prune olive, orange and our lemon trees.

We had another Crocus cartwrightianus flower again today, one of the original ones produced another flower after the first one got trashed by the rain

Kaliviani species....Common Buzzard 3....Yellow-legged Gull 30+....Hooded Crow.... Woodlark....Crested Lark.... Kestrel....Robin....Chiffchaff....Cetti's Warbler....Great Tit... Raven Chaffinch....Blackbird

From Alan.... We made the long trip to Elafonisi today, hoping for something unusual along the beaches and coastline.  All we had were yellow-legged gulls and a cormorant!  As we explored more of the beach eastwards, we found ourselves listening to the muted call of a goldcrest.  We pitched near one of the trees the call was coming from and had our picnic.  During the next hour we had intermittent sightings of two goldcrests with our binoculars, but frustration with the camera!  Only back home did I find that I had just caught one on camera.  This is a new Crete species for us.

                                                Goldcrest....Regulus regulus 

                             

3rd January

Weather....0900....14.8oC....Sea, calm...Vis, 20+miles....Cloud 40%....Wind,0....1023mb Mostly sunny

Highlight today... a sub adult Golden eagle flying along the ridge of Gramvousa

Yellow-legged Gull 40+....Shag....Hooded Crow....Cetti's Warbler....Great Tit....Rock Dove.... Common Buzzard 6....Golden Eagle 1....Griffon Vulture 7....Blackbird.

From Harry....

Took advantage of the glorious weather and spent a couple of hours at Lake Agia,the 2 pair of Pintails in the exact spot as 2 days ago,Tufted Duck,Pochard Garganey, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall,Mallard,Little Grebe,Coot,Moorhen,Ferruginous Duck,Kingfisher,Grey Heron,female Marsh Harrier,Buzzard,Booted Eagle,Chiffchaff ,Cormorants were birds spotted.

                                           Chiffchaff....Phylloscopus collybita

      

                                               Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                  

                                            Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

                 

2nd January

Weather....0900...13.4oC....Sea, calm....Vis,20+ miles....Cloud 80%....Wind0....1019mb..... the cloud cleared later , a nice sunny day !!!

Kaliviani list....300+ Yellow-legged Gull, rafting just off the beach....Hooded Crow....  Linnet Cetti's Warbler.... Crested Lark....Booted Eagle, dark morph.... Blackbird.... Sparrowhawk.... Blue Rock Thrush....Sardinian Warbler....Woodlark.... Great Tit....Greenfinch....Shag 2.... Common Buzzard.... Griffon Vulture 4.... Kestrel....Goldfinch....White Wagtail....Black Redstart Meadow Pipit....

A walk around the Kissamos port area did not produce anything different

From Alan....

What a washout yesterday!

Sunny this morning, so had a look at Kalivaki and Georgioupoli Viewpoint.  Nothing in and around flooded meadows at Kalivaki, other than small flocks of serins and pairs of stonechat.  At the Viewpoint, the pygmy cormorant has been evicted from its usual place by a pair of great cormorants, and today the little one could not be found.  Probably still there somewhere.  An unexpected sighting of a single female pintail, and just had time for a photo before it flew across the water to the far side.  At home, continuous sightings of common buzzard, often 3 or 4, plus crow, kestrel and sparrowhawk, but nothing more interesting at the moment.

                                                       Pintail....Anas acuta

                               

                                                     Serin....Serinus serinus

                                                                                                               

                                                  Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

                            

1st January

Weather....1100....11.6oC....Sea, choppy with a swell....Visibility 15 miles....Cloud 100%....Wind NE 1....1014mb. Rain continued through from last night

                                       A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE

Since starting the site we have had over 10,000 visits from 86 counties and are currently at 450 on the Birding top 1000.

A big thanks to Nikos, Harry, Alan and Viv for your reports, to all who have sent in your trip and holiday reports, thank you. Lastly thankyou to everyone for visiting us in 2012, we really appreciate it and have enjoyed sharing both ours and others Crete experiences. Any reports news and images are very welcome, so please keep them coming, it shows from visitor numbers, 50+ a day that Crete wildlife news is most welcome.

Hopefully more news later today,  it has not stopped raining since last night and looks set to be the same for the rest of the day !!!

630pm.... Well, rain most of  the day with the odd stoppage, so not too much about.  Was amazed to see a large mixed flock of birds coming and going into a nearby carob tree during a real deluge, Chaffinch were the main species , but robin, serin, greenfinch, white wagtail, great tit, blue tit, black redstart, spanish/house and italian sparrow, goldfinch and linnet  made this mass of birds that seemed to delight in flying out into the large raindrops before darting back undercover. Other species , just five in all, hooded crow, Yellow-legged Gull, kestrel, 5 starling and sardinian warbler. ..... and its still pouring down, with the forecast much the same for tomorrow !!! unless it improves it will be a bread making day !