Crete Birding

31st October  UPDATED  (1600)

Weather....0900....21.8oC....Sea, calm....Vis, 20+ miles.... Wind, W, light....Cloud 30%.... 1011mb

Four images added to the 15th, of flowers on Omalos.

Today with slightly lower temperatures and favourable winds before 1100 we have had a Lesser Spotted Eagle over and hope for some more migrant sightings. Robins are singing all around and chaffinch numbers are up. Sparrowhawks continue to hunt locally being chased around by the goldfinches !!! More hopefully later.

A good day it turns out with lots of raptors moving through.

Kaliviani List ....Stonechat....Blackbird....Woodlark....Goldfinch....Griffon vulture 4....Robin.... Common Buzzard 15+ very high ....Honey Buzzard 3+....Lesser Spotted Eagle 1.... Sparrowhawk 3....Chaffinch....Raven 10....Eleonora's Falcon 1....Kestrel 1....White Wagtail... Accipiters 3....Spotted Eagle 1.... ? Long-leggedBuzzard ? 1.... Grey Heron 1..... Great Tit .. Cetti's Warbler...Sardinian Warbler.

                                         Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                                             Honey Buzzard....Pernis apivorus

                           

                                     Honey Buzzard and Common Buzzard

    

 ? Long-legged Buzzard....Buteo rufinus (or a pale Honey Buzzard) and Raven....Corvus corax

                          

                                           Spotted Eagle...Aquila clanga

                          

                                            Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos

                          

                          

 second bird

                          

Two Golden Eagles

                           

29th October

Weather.... An horrendous night with winds from the south force 9 maybe even 10 at times  kept all of us awake most of the night as solar panels and water tank rattled and crashed about on the roo, One of our nicely established Ficus trees was uprooted, another small bird sanctuary lost !!!                                                                                                            The day dawned with the winds still with us, although they abated later.....                         0930....  30.0oC....Sea, rough....wind 6-7B S....Vis, 20+....Cloud 60%....1006mb

Our list today is very small, Hooded Crows braved and seemed to enjoy the winds.... Goldfinch, large flocks darted all over the place.... Sparrowhawks 3..... Common Buzzard 3 took to the air every time the wind eased.... Raven, a single headed north.... Linnet , sheltered along the beach road.... a lone Little Egret ..... Crested Lark. That was the day nothing could be heard or seen in the trees due to the movement and noise.

                                           Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

       

28th October

Weather...1000...28.9oC....Strong winds from the south, 3B gusting 8B.... Sea, choppy....     Vis, 20+... Cloud high 80%....1010mb.

Added a sighting from Nikos at Sfakia to yesterday's report, plus two images of Bittern and Lapwing at Agyia added to the 26th report.

Added a trip report from Ken Noble.

The high winds have kept the smaller birds hidden and the raptors seem to be non existant apart from a sparrowhawk that appeared briefly, we noticed our buzzards are flying very high where the winds are not too strong. Hopefully we will be able to add more later.

Kalivain List....Goldfinch, large flocks early....Stonechat....Common Buzzard....Sparrowhawk Hooded Crow....Great Tit....Robin....Yellow-legged Gull....Woodlark....Crested Lark....  Blackbird....Short-toed Eagle 1, distant....Griffon Vulture 1....Kestrel 1.

                                              Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

                           

                    Common Buzzard .....Buteo buteo, heading for its favourite rock

                           

                                         Short-toed Eagle.....Circaetus gallicus

                           

                           

Weekend news from Nikos................

                               Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciatus at Imbros Gorge

             

                           Lesser Spotted Eagle....Aquila pomarina over Agyia Lake

        

                                   Great Egret....Casmerodius alba  at Moronis

             

                                        Black Stork....Ciconia nigra over Sfakia

    

27th October

Weather...0900....22.2oC...Sea, calm....Cloud 10%....Vis, 20+ milesWind, 0 1010mb          At noon 25.5oC Wind S 3-4B

Highlights of the day. Six Short-toed Eagles, two left to the south and four stayed to the north where we watched them hunting then landing on the higher slopes, with the strong southerly winds they may stay for a while.

Also a small number of Black Redstarts arrived this morning , one very photogenic, stayed near the garden for a while.

NIKOS REPORTS, THREE BLACK STORKS ...CICONIA NIGRA  OVER SFAKIA

Kaliviani Species list....Crested Lark....Goldfinch....Raven....Greenfinch....Great Tit.... Woodlark.... Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 3.... Kestrel 1.... Short-toed Eagle 6....     Spotted Eagle ??? 2 very high and distant....Common Buzzard 2....Black Redstart....          White Wagtail....  Robin....Italian Sparrow....Peregrine Falcon 1.... Yellow-legged Gull 3.... Sparrowhawk....Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler.....Sardinian Warbler....Hen Harrier, 1male.... Scops Owl....Little Owl heard close to the house again !!

                                        Short-toed Eagle.... Circaetus gallicus

     

                                          Black Redstart....Phoenicurus ochruros

                            

26th October

Weather...1100...22.5oC....Sea, flat....Vis, 12+ miles....Cloud 0....Wind 0 ....1010mb

Kaliviani List....Crested Lark....Woodlark.... Chaffinch....Goldfinch....Hooded Crow.... Greenfinch ....Great Tit....Sparrowhawk....Kestrel....Blue Rock Thrush.... White Wagtail.... Common Buzzard.... Cetti's Warbler....( Greater) Spotted Eagle.... Scops Owl....                 Little Owl (heard)

                                   (Greater) Spotted Eagle.... Aquila clanga

                         

                  Kestrel...Falco tinnunculus and Blue Rock Thrush....Monticola solitarius

 

 From Nikos at Agyia....

                                    ( Great ) Bittern.... Botaurus stellaris

         

                                     ( Northern ) Lapwing.... Vanellus vanellus

        

 

 

25th October

Weather....1030....19.9oC.... vis, 20+ miles....Cloud, 99%, Showers....Wind 0 (N)...Sea, calm 1011mb.

Kaliviani List....Sparrowhawk....Goshawk....Greenfinch....Goldfinch ....Hooded Crow.... Woodlark....Crested Lark...Common Buzzard....Chaffinch....Stonechat....Short-toed Eagle, distant, north of us.... Robin....Corn Bunting....Italian Sparrow....White Wagtail....Linnet.... Scops Owl.

Due to the increase in reports and images, I have found that the page is loading slower and slower.  Because of this problem, starting November, each month will now be loaded seperately under "Blog Current", thence into the annual "Blog Archive" section. Hopefully this will make it easier for everyone to load the pages and find relevant dates and easier for us to do the blog each night !!

All the site locations are now under the heading "Crete Birding Locations"

A new trip report from Peter Mathisen added

                                 Report from Nikos at Agyia for 24th/25th

List (yesterday and today): distant osprey, 2 booted eagles, sparrowhawk, marsh harrier, mallards, garganey, teal, ferruginous, shovelers, tufted duck, pochards, snipe, little egret, 4 grey herons...

                                               Osprey...Pandion haliaetus

 

                                                  Pochard....Aythya ferina

                                             Ferruginus Duck....Aythya  nyroca

 

                                  Sedge Warbler.....Acrocephalus shoenobaenus

       

 From Alan... For week ending 25th

We are seeing sparrowhawk and booted eagle daily, but little else occuring down here, though did have our first robin in the garden today.  It's been a stormy week - one image taken from the house towards Almyros Bay.  At Kalivaki the ringed mute swan is attracting interest from holidaymakers - this is the third year this particular swan is spending winter here.  Also at Kalivaki, an Erhardt's wall lizard caught my attention - with a dragonfly about to be consumed!

                                                     October weather

                         

                                                Erhardt's Wall Lizard

           

                                             Mute swan....Cygnus olor

          

24th October

Weather ... Heavy and persistent rain through the night left everything looking fresh this morning, the dust and heat of the summer is all but washed away leaving plants looking spring like and rejuvinated

0900....19.7oC ....Sea calm with slight swell...Vis, 20+miles....Wind 0....Cloud 80%....Showers 1011mb.

Robin,, good numbers being seen and heard....Woodlark....Crested Lark....Cetti's Warbler.... Goldfinch....Greenfinch....Hooded Crow.... Blackbird....at 0850 a distant aquila, possibly Lesser Spotted ....Raven....Common Buzzard 2....Chaffinch....Great Tit....a very verbal Kestrel !!... Sparrowhawk 2....Peregrine Falcon 1, Griffon Vulture 2...1650hrs Spotted Eagle 1, from the north.

23rd report added.

A new page with images from Kaliviani ...... "OUR PATCH"

                                          Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                               

 With Common Buzzard and Kestrel 

 

 with Common Buzzard

                           

                                       Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

                           

                                            Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

 

23rd October

Weather......After heavy rain in the night the morning turned out to be rather nice although showers appeared in the afternoon with thunderstorms late pm which stopped us putting the report on for the day ! 

0900....22.0oC....Sea, calm with swell....Vis, 20+ miles.... Cloud, 80%....Wind 0...1012mb

Goldfinch....Crested Lark... Woodlark....Raven...Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 1.... Sparrowhawk 1....Blue Rock Thrush....Common Buzzrad....Great Tit.... Eleonora's Falcon 1

Three images from Viv added to 22nd blog.

22nd October

Weather....0900....21.6oC....Wind, North 1B....Cloud 70%....Sea, Slight swell and choppy.... Vis 20+ miles ....1012mb

Again not too many species about today .... Crested Lark....Hooded Crow...Raven...Goldfinch  Great Tit.... Common Buzzard 2.... Peregrine Falcon 1 adult and 1 juv.... Robin.... Italian Sparrow....sardinian Warbler

                                 Hedgehog....Erinaceus concolor ssp nesiotes

Taking a long drink from one of our bird troughs..

     

 From Viv....

We have had very little time to look out for birds since returning to Crete at the end  of September (visitors etc.) but managed to get to Lake Agias today. There was very little raptor activity except for one lonely kestrel being hounded by the crows. The usual were there including ferruginous duck, shoveler, mallard, little egret, grey heron.  One of the grey herons was well displayed practising a belly flop to catch koi - and quite successful at it too.  We also spotted a kingfisher and this lovely, but very nervous, great white egret.

                                             Great Egret....Casmerodius albus

                            

                                      Willow Warbler....Phylloscopus trochilus

        

       

21st October

Weather....0900...22.1oC....Sea, rough....Vis, 20+miles....Cloud, 70%.... Wind, N,5B... 1013mb

Our list is not looking too good today , we have family here for two weeks and a sixteen month grandson seems to take a lot of our time !!

Kaliviani list.... Greenfinch....Goldfinch...Hooded Crow.... Griffon Vulture 6.... Kestrel 1.... Booted Eagle dark morph 1.... Sparrowhawk 2 1 adult with 1 juv.... Eleonora's Falcon 1.... Robin....Blackbird....Crested Lark.... Corn Bunting

20th October

Weather....0900....21.4oC ....Sea, swell and light chop....Eind,NNE 1B later NE3B....Cloud 70%....Vis, 20+ miles....1015mb.

 Kaliviani List....Goldfinch several large flocks ....Blackbird....Common Buzzard 3.... Raven.... Hooded Crow 20+.... Sparrowhawk 2....Chaffinch.... Griffon Vulture 5.... Kestrel 1....    Golden Eagle 1....Bonmelli's Eagle 2 adult.... Italian Sparrow.... White Wagtail.... Robin 1....     Booted Eagle 1....Crested Lark.

We saw our first winter Robin...Erithacus rubecula today. Sue has been sure that she has heard them the last few days and today our first sighting.

Our first Short-toed Eagle ....Circaetus gallicus, of the season, a juvenile over the house this morning, a brief glimpse before it disappeared behind a ridge at about 0800, it came back at 0930 stayed a few minutes before being seen off by hooded crows. A couple of images for now.

                                         Short-toed Eagle ....Circaetus gallicus

    

     

                                

      

                                         Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos

                          

  Harrassing the mountain goats !!   As the goats run the eagle leaves !!

Only to be seen off by one of the adult Bonelli's Eagles  

  

                                 Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata dark morph

    

 Being harrassed by hooded crows.........

    

 

19th October

Weather....23.8oC....Sea, rough....Surface Wind, 3-4 B....Cloud 60%....Vis 20+ miles.... 1017mb  

Not a good day for birding with the wind from the north we noticed the clouds which were not that high scudding along from the east !

Highlight of the day an Osprey

The Kaliviani list is small today... Griffon Vulture 5.... Hooded Crow....Goldfinch....Kestrel.... Sardinian Warbler....Crested Lark.... Marsh Harrier (adult male).... Osprey....Raven....Collared Dove

The Osprey was seen, would you believe, when I was returning from town with no camera !! arrrgh, I managed to follow it along the coast road near home when I lost sight of it in the cover of the hillside. So no picture of one of these beautiful birds I'm afraid.

Pictures from Nikos at Agyia added to yesterdays blog.

18th October

Weather...0900...24.4oC....Sea, rippled....Vis,15+ miles....Cloud 10% and sea mist.... Surface Wind...E 1B, later NE 2-3B....1017mb

A quiet day  with a not to favourable winds. Lots of fair sized flocks of Goldfinch about and a few raptors staying around.

Species list Kaliviani.... Goldfinch....Hooded Crow....Great Tit.... Common Buzzard 7... Goshawk 1....Booted Eagle, 1pale, 1dark morph....Griffon Vulture 12+5.... Crested Lark.... Woodlark....Kestrel 2.... Sparrowhawk 2.... Chaffinch....Raven....Yellow-legged Gull 1....   Scops Owl

                                           Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

                      

 and being seen off by a kestrel................

         

Images from Agyia lake by Nikos...... 

                                             Osprey....Pandion haliaetus

 

                                             Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                            

                                             Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

        

                                         Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

             

                                          Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

        

 Any opinions on this one please... possibly Peregrine Falcon

       

17th October 

Weather....0900....24.8oC....Sea, calm....Vis, 20+miles....Cloud 40% thin and high.... Wind, 0 1018mb

Playing catchup today ...Nikos images from the 14th added.

Our trip with visiting birders Andy and Caroline to Agyia and Omalos on 15th completed.

16th completed.

We were woken this morning by a couple of barn owls screeching at 0430, nice but too early !!!

A good afternoon for raptors with the highlight being a flyby from a Spotted Eagle, the rest being very high but visible through the scope. Also a good number of griffons, 38- circled above the highest ridge

Species list Kaliviani ....Barn Owl 2....Great Tit....Common Buzzard 6....Blackbird.... Goldfinch. Kestrel 3....White Wagtail 2....Crested Lark....Collared Dove....Woodlark....Spotted Eagle 1.... Lesser Spotted Eagle 2....Griffon Vulture 10, am 38, pm....Sparrowhawk 6....Accipiter 2.... Booted Eagle 5 pale morph, 2 dark morph....Bonelli's Eagle 2 adult....Scops Owl

                                           Spotted Eagle ....Aquila clanga

            

                          

      

        

           

From Alan.....Brilliant Bonelli's Eagle pictures

Our best ever sightings of Bonelli's Eagle at Imbros Gorge.  As usual, there was a pair, which we also saw later from Anopolis.  Other sightings included four sparrowhawks, large numbers of griffons taking to the late morning thermals, and a single starling that posed well.

                                           Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciatus

        

       

  

 Love the crossed legs , casual flying !!

                                                 Starling....Sturnus vulgaris

                           

16th October

Weather....0900...25.6oC....Sea calm....Vis, sea mist, 20+ miles....Cloud 30%....Wind 0... 1015mb

Lesser Spotted Eagle 1....Common Buzzard 7....Marsh Harrier 1....Goshawk 1.... Sparrowhawk 6....Kestrel 2.... Booted Eagle 1pale morph ....Blackbird....Crested Lark.... Great Tit....Woodlark....Hooded Crow....Stonechat....Collared Dove....Rock Dove....Goldfinch

                                             Goshawk....Accipiter gentilis Juvenile

       

                                              Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

                          

                                  Lesser Spooted Eagle....Aquila pomarina

                          

                                        being mobbed by a marsh harrier

                          

 From Nikos at Moronis....

                                                Cuckoo....Cuculus canorus

       

15th October

 Weather....0800....23.2oC....Sea, Calm....Vis, 20+miles....Clou, High 20%....Wind 0.... 1012mb ....At Samaria there were some strong gusts of wind 5-6B  from the south 1200-1300hrs

We had the day with Andy and Caroline from the UK holidaying here, we met them at Agyia and then on to Omalos, Samaria and Greleska, returning to Agyia late evening when the sun was better for viewing the lake.

Whilst there met another birder from UK who was on Gramvousa yesterday who told me he had seen what he thought was a Long-legged Buzzard, this confirms my sighting from home nice to know that someone else had seen it !

On our trip we saw 48 species. Highlights were Lesser Spotted Eagle a Honey Buzzard we think ( image below )  and a large 186 + flock of Chough. At Greleska we had lovely views of griffons passing close but below us in the Gorge and  a close pass, by a Sparrowhawk.

At Agyia a ? bird, Garganey or Teal,  in the image it looks garganey but look to the rear of the bird and it has the green flash of a teal a possible hybrid ?

         

                   

Species list for day, includes birds at home .....Little Grebe ....Little Egret 2....Grey Heron 3...  Purple Heron 1....Mallard....Shoveler....Teal/Garganey....Pochard....Ferruginous Duck.... Griffon Vulture...Lesser Spotted Eagle.... Honey Buzzard.... Marsh Harrier....Common Buzzard Sparrowhawk....Kestrel....Eleonora's Falcon....? Chukar....Water Rail....Little Crake.... Moorhen Coot....Collared Dove....Scops Owl.... Kingfisher....Crested Lark....Woodlark.... Crag Martin.... Barn Swallow....House Martin....Wren....Stonechat....Blackbird....Blackcap....Sardinian Warbler Sedge Warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Great Tit....Blue Tit....Jay....Chough 186+....Hooded Crow Raven....Starling....Chaffinch....Goldfinch....Greenfinch

                              Sedge Warbler....Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

                         

                                       Chough....Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

        

        

 

        

                                            Wren....Troglodytes trogolodytes

              

                                              Honey Buzzard....Pernis apivorus

                             

                                               Woodlark....Lullula arborea

           

                                      Lesser Spotted Eagle....Aquila pomarina

                          

                           

                                          Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

      

                                             Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

           

                                          Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

          

                                    Carpenter Bee....Xylocopa violacea

              

                                      At Greleska...........Sternbergia sicula 

          

          

                                                  Colchicum pusillum 

          

          

14th October

Weather....0900....24.1oC....Sea, calm....Visibility, 20+ miles....Cloud, 0....Wind, 0 later N 1 B....1015mb

Nikos and Angeliki came over at 1130 and helped us keep an eye on the ridges for migrants. Nothing large but a possible Long-legged or Steppe Buzzard , showed briefly in the distance. A pair of adult Bonelli's Eagle were seen mxing it with Griffon Vultures and a good number of Sparrowhawks and several Eleonora's Falcon.

Kaliviani list....Goldfinch....Collared Dove....Crested Lark....Yellow-legged Gull....Great Tit.... Spotted Flycatcher .... Hooded Crow....Woodlark....Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler....Raven.... Common Buzzard 7....Griffon Vulture 9...UID Accipiter distant...Kestrel 2.... Stonechat.... Sardinian Warbler.... ? Long-legged or Steppe Buzzard ....Sparrowhawk 7....Griffon Vulture 9  Eleonora's Falcon 4+6.... Raven....Bonelli's Eagle 2....Scops Owl.

                                               Kestrel....Falco tinnunculus

                             

               

                                         Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

              

                                         Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

              

Hopefully later we will have a few images from Nikos, my distant pics of one of the Bonelli's Eagles were rubbish and I believe he got something better.

Nikos pictures from the day with us....

                                             Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

       

                                          Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

       

                                    Adult Bonelli's Eagle with Griffon Vulture

                           

13th October

Weather....0930....24.9oC....Sea, calm....Visibility, 20+ miles...Cloud 1%....Wind, SW2-3B.... 1015mb.

We were up before the sun came up over the opposite peninsula , it was a very quiet morning not much bird sound apart from a few woodlarks and hooded crows and it remained like that for most of the day. With the wind coming from the SW we had no migration at all here !

Ten Lesser Spotted Eagles were seen at the eastern end of the island near to Sitia today and  we heard from Nikos last night that a distant Lesser Spotted Eagle was seen from Agyia yesterday

                                  Lesser Spotted Eagle ....Aquila pomarina

        

12th October

Weather 1100hrs....24.6oC....Sea, calm....vis, 20+miles....Cloud 80%....Wind, 0....1015mb

A fairly quiet day today , with the upper winds and some cloud cover it looked favourable for some raptors on migration but none materialized so maybe the winds were not good further north ! We did however spot the 3cy Lammergeier again as it soared over Gramvousa with  four griffon vultures.

Late afternoon a group of 36 grey herons were joined by 4 little egret. they moved nervously along the beach, resting and preening for short periods, before moving, taking flight and moving another 100 metres or so. We watched them for some time from the veranda before they disappeared north along the bay.

Kaliviani list....Lammergeier....Griffon Vulture 4+6.... Sparrowhawk 3....Raven....Kestrel.... Woodlark....Chaffinch....Blackbird....Great Tit....Stonechat....Cetti's Warbler....Greenfinch.... Sardinian Warbler....Crested Lark.... Goldfinch.... Hooded Crow ... Common Buzzard 3.... Grey Heron 36.... Little Egret 4....Barn Owl....Scops Owl.

                                              Grey Heron....Ardea cinerea 

 

10th October

Weather....A few spots of rain today although it looked threatening with a lot more !!!             0900....24.6oC....Sea, calm....Vis 10  miles....Cloud, 70%....Wind , variable N-S,surface wind east.

Had more texts from Toralf on the southern tip of Kythera to say that several groups of birds had left heading this way 9 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 1 Booted Eagle....4 Short-Toed Eagle....50+ Buzzard and an Eastern Imperial Eagle. Later text said the LSE's had returned and joined 4 more so 13 of them waiting for favourable conditions. Thanks very much for the information Toralf !

We decided that work on the house could wait and set about taking scope etc onto the roof.

Quite an amazing time we had ! First off we heard a Wren, this is a first for us at home we spotted it working through nearby trees where it stayed for some time , next off, heading north onto the peninsula, several Griffon Vulture but the bird heading them stopped us short , its some time since we have spotted Lammergeier form home and this one was a nice surprise circling for some time but a fair distance off, we think its an autumn 3cy bird. Later we had 1 Eastern Imperial Eagle, 4 maybe 5 Golden Eagle and adult and juvenile together then 3 juveniles  and 2 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 5 Booted Eagles.

There were lots of large clouds that were high and so were the birds, they were very hard to spot today, but we managed a few distant pictures, especially of the golden eagles as they seemed to be coming from all directions at one point

Kaliviani list....Common Buzzard 9....Kestrel 2....Goldfinch....Hooded Crow....Lesser Spotted Eagle 2.... Golden Eagle 5....Booted Eagle 5 (3dark 2pale)....Sparrowhawk 7+....Accipiters 3 Eleonora's Falcon 2....Wren 1....Stonechat....Griffon Vulture 12+.... Eastern Imperial Eagle.... Lammergeier....Great Tit....Cetti's Warbler....Blackbird....Chaffinch....Woodlark....Crested Lark....Barn Swallow....White Wagtail....

                                        Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

                           

                                          Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

All images of our local birds

                            

 

                            

      

           

      

         

                                        Booted Eagle...Aquila pennata

            

                        

                                      Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos

The first two birds adult and juvenile, lots of diving and interacting !!

                            

      

          

                           

Later the three higher birds..

  

 Even later single birds appeared from the south, we believe they were the above three

             

                          

                          

Apart from the local buzzards everything else was really high we never got images of the Eastern Imperial or the Lesser spotted Eagles, we found them through the binoculars but through the camera we could not find them.. 

9th October

Weather.... We awoke to torrential rain, thunder and lightning at 0600 this lasted an hour then several heavy showers through the day....0900....23.9oC ...Sea, calm....vis 20miles....Cloud 40-75%....Wind 0....1010mb

Kaliviani list....Griffon Vulture 8.... Barn Swallow....Great Tit....Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler.... Woodlark....Accipiters 4 high and distant ....Sparrowhawk 3....Honey Buzzard 2.... Linnet Booted Eagle dark morph 1....Kestrel 1....Eleonora's Falcon 1....Common Buzzard 1.... Hooded Crow....White Wagtail.... Chaffinch....Stonechat....Barn Owl....Scops Owl

                                        Honey Buzzard ....Pernis apivorus

1st

 

    2nd bird  

                         

                    

                                           Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

                        

 From Alan....

Had a look at Georgioupoli Viewpoint this morning and nothing new on or around the water.  Unbelievably, the level is almost back to normal, such is the volume of water running in from the mountains.  I had my daughter Alison with me, and it was she that noticed a large bird overhead.  We watched this bird for some time - first hovering over the water, then being seen off by crows, appearing later just overhead, and then at distance being mobbed by four buzzards - great watching.  It seemed so much bigger than the buzzards, that I thought this was an Eastern imperial, or maybe Steppe.  All my photos suggest it was a lesser spotted.  On the way home a flock of c.30 noisy herons above - all were immature night herons.

                                   Lesser Spotted Eagle....Aquila pomarina

                

          

     

                              (Black-crowned) Night Heron.....Nicticorax nicticorax   

          

8th October

Nothing from us today we had too much work on the house and a heavy shower at lunchtime.

From Alan ....

Just a point of interest.  we noticed the water level at the Georgioupoli Viewpoint was extremely low - in fact it had been drained completely.  The spring water was rushing in and will no doubt re-fill over the next few days.  No new birds there today except one cormorant, but hopeful of an influx of something soon?  Above, a flock of c50 hooded crows seemed excitable.  Many landed on overhead cables, before making for the muddy areas on the previously water covered areas of the lake. 

      

                       

7th October

Weather...0900...25.6oC....Sea, slight swell....vis 20 miles....Cloud 0, later small and isolated....wind 0 , later 1B, N....1015mb

We had several texts ( midday-1445 ) from Toralf Tysse who is at present on Kythera, to say that 13 Lesser Spotted Eagles 1 Booted eagle, 1 juv eastern imperial eagle, 8 Short-toed eagle headed towards Antikythera and Crete. Apparently several turned back when the winds increased, they are very cautious of the sea crossing here where the winds are very variable.  In the last few days also, several Levant Sparrowhawks have left there headed this way . We will try to keep the camera and eyes on a lookout for these in the coming days, if the wind is right we could be in for a good lot of sightings . Already there have been Levants seen at Asterousia along with juv Red footed Falcon , juv Egyptian Vulture, Booted Eagle and a Nightjar.

Kaliaviani list....We were woken at 0530 by a Barn Owl calling as it went by our window !!! A good number of Sparrowhawks again today with about 10 seen maybe  a goshawk too but we could not be sure one of our images looks a little like one but appeared too small !....Hooded Crow...Goldfinch....Great Tit....Crested Lark....Chaffinch....Blue Rock Thrush 2....Raven.... Sardinian Warbler.... Peregrine Falcon....Kestrel....Common Buzzard....Sparrowhawk, 5 very high with high flying Griffon vulture 9.

                   Sparrowhawk v Hooded Crow again !!  "10 crows onto one hawk"

                          

                          

                           

     

                            

6th October

Weather....0900....26.1oC ..Wind,N-NE 2-4B....Cloud 40%....Vis 20 miles....Sea, choppy with swell....1016mb

Noth much happening at Kaliviani  our list is poor again....Greenfinch....Hooded Crow.... Crested Lark....Great Tit....Blackbird....Common Buzzard 4....Woodlark....Raven....               Sparrowhawk ....Peregrine Falcon 2....Griffon Vulture 1....Scops Owl.

From Alan....

A "stopathome" day today, except for a short local walk.  Before departing we had our first (from the house) sighting of jackdaws.  This was a small flock of 12 birds, very noisy as usual.  Before today, our nearest sightings have been at Petres Gorge, but unlike you, we do see many flocks in the Rethymno Prefecture, particularly at Antonis Gorge, and around the north entrance of Kotsifou Gorge.

Our little walk revealed our first chiffchaffs of the Autumn.  There is a "pond" which is filled with effluent from our local olive processing factory - very smelly! - where common snipe usually take up residence for the winter.  All quiet there today except for two white/pied wagtails (alba).

Trust you and Sue will be looking skywards again soon? ( half an eye to the skies, Colin !!! )

 3 images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                             Chiffchaff.... Phylloscopus collybita

         

                                              Jackdaw....Corvus monedula                             

                         

                                           White Wagtail....Motacilla alba       

                 

From Nikos at Asterousia.....

Seven images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                         Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos  

       

        

        

                                         Lammergeier....Gypaetos barbatus

         

                                             Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

         

                                             Goshawk....Accipiter gentilis

        

                                                 Black Kite....Milvus migrans

        

                                             Griffon Vulture.....Gyps fulvus

         

5th October

Weather....0900....26.3oC....Wind, NNW 0....Cloud 0 , later 30%....Vis, 20 miles....Sea, calm. 1012mb

A couple of nice sightings for us today  early on a Whitethroat scolded us noisily from a few metres away when we went onto the veranda for breakfast, remaining quite calm when we elected to stay and watch the sunrise. Later a Jackdaw was heard , quite a rarity for us this , we have had small numbers once or twice before as they pass through , this ones choice when we found it was to stay with the local population of Hooded Crows which did not quite know what to make of this bird muscling in on their group.

We are having our house repaired and repainted so John a local painter (if you need a painter, this is the guy , works hard and does an excellent job and comes highly recommended ) anyway little time to get the bins out today so once again a short list from Kaliviani....

Hooded Crow....Goldfinch....Great Tit....Whitethroat.... Blue Rock Thrush....Sardinian Warbler Common Buzzard....Italian Sparrow....Blackbird....Sparrowhawk....Kestrel....Jackdaw 1.... Griffon Vulture 2....Chaffinch....Peregrine Falcon....Scops Owl

 

              Sparrowhawk...Accipiter nisus  and Hooded Crow ....Corvus corone cornis

The Sparrowhawk for a change was giving the crowws a hard time chasing them all over the place

            

    

                                       Common Whitethroat....Sylvia communis

          

 From Alan, who had some nice raptor sightings today.

I had a three hour walk in the Kallikratis area today with a local friend.  We went purely for the exercise and fresh air, so no binoculars, but camera was to hand.  Just as well - we had sighting of adult lammergeier and two golden eagles together, one an adult and the other a first/second winter bird.

 

 

                            Golden Eagle .....Aquila chrysaetos ,Adult and juvenile

             

                           

                           (Bearded Vulture ) Lammergeier....Gypaetos barbatus

               

4th October

Weather....0900....27.1oC...Wind, NNW, 2....Sea, Calm....Cloud 30%....Vis, 20 miles.... 1011mb

A cloudy day with some rain forecast for late evening !! will it materialize ? but the wind is right for migrants ...Lots of Grey Herons today flying endlessly back and forth along the outer wall of Kissamos harbour. Goldfinch's , a big increase today with constant chatter.

Raptors , we expected more but had only one adult male Marsh Harrier and a brief sighting of a distant Aquila that we had no time to identify, elsewhere we believe others had a sighting of a Steppe Eagle.

Kaliviani list.....Rather small again as we have plenty of jobs around the house to get on with prior to a repaint so eyes are sometimes not directed at the skies !!

Hooded Crow 20+ ....Goldfinch 200+....Blackbird 3....Griffon Vulture 5+8....Kestrel 2.... Grey Heron 65....Sparrowhawk 2....Crested lark....Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....          Marsh Harrier 1..... UID Aquila 1....Yellow-legged Gull 1.....Scops Owl

3rd October

Weather....0900....25.5oC....Wind, NW 1-2B....Vis, 15 miles....Sea, Calm....Cloud 80%.... 1015mb.

There was a much needed light rain shower at 0830, unfortunately there was no more and the day remained partly cloudy. After the rain humidity was very high, even our local buzzards sat drooping on nearby trees and small bird chatter did not return until the afternoon.

A good number of Little Egrets in three groups were seen resting around the bay before their next stage to Africa, they never got much rest as they were continually put up by tourists throughout the day.

A report from Nikos of some in Souda Bay also ...........

207 LITTLE EGRETS IN THE FRAME..ADD A FEW MORE...PERHAPS AS MANY AS 250 IN THE BAY AREA...NIKOS

  

 A lovely image of a Little Crake by Nikos added to yesterday's report

Kaliviani list..... Goldfinch....Hooded Crow...Griffon Vulture 3....Great Tit....Blue Rock Thrush  Sparrowhawk 3....Common Buzzard 2....Elenora's Falcon 1....Blackbird....Chaffinch.... Linnet....Greenfinch....Sardinian Warbler....Little Egret 18+30+35....Grey Heron 11....Raven  Crag Martin....Scops Owl.

 

        

     

2nd October

Weather....0900 ....27.2oC....Sea , calm.... Vis, 20+ miles.... Cloud, 0....Wind 0.... 1015mb

Report from Alan added to 1st Oct.

At 1050 six Grey Heron were spotted flying along the coast below us, they headed around the port heading S/E.

With the afternoon light just right we spotted three Cory's Shearwater out towards the centre of the bay.

Taking pictures was a problem today due to the heat haze, as can be seen in the buzzard and sparrowhawk images, making for interesting backgrounds !

Kaliviani species....Hooded Crow....Kestrel....Goldfinch....Woodlark....Crested Lark......    Marsh Harrier 1 m Juv....Common Buzzard 5....Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler....Stonechat      Blue Rock Thrush....Peregrine Falcon 2....Italian Sparrow....Grey Heron 6.... Sparrowhawk 3.... Griffon Vulture 4.... Cory's Shearwater 3....Yellow-legged Gull 2....Little Egret 1.... Eleonora's Falcon 1....Scops Owl (several heard )

One unknown species of Bat

                        

               

                          

A lovely image from Nikos at Agyia yesterday ................

      

1st October

Weather...0900...27.3oC....Wind, N 2B....Vis, 20 miles....Cloud 0....Sea, calm, light swell.... 1015mb

Kaliviani.... Again a very quiet day, Hooded Crow.... Common Buzzard....Woodlark....        Blue Rock Thrush....Crested Lark....Kestrel 2....Raven 2....Blackbird....Stonechat....Chaffinch   Sardinian Warbler....Grey Heron 2....Little Egret 24....Cetti's Warbler....Barn Owl....Scops Owl

News from Alan ....

We took a circular tour today, generally southwest of Rethymno, which turned out to be quite unproductive - just the usual griffons, buteo and ravens etc. One small bird though made our day - only our second Crete sighting of tree pipit. We may have overlooked these in the past, possibly passing them off as meadow pipit. This one was watched and photographed through the windscreen, as it walked across the tarmac in front of us.

     

30th September

Weather...0900....27.1oC...Sea, choppy....Wind, N-NE 3B....Vis, 20 miles... Cloud, 0.... 1015mb

Another very quiet day here in Kaliviani !!!

Kaliviani list....Blue Rock Thrush....Hooded Crow....Common Buzzard 4....Goldfinch....Rock Dove....Crested lark....Goldfinch....Sardinian Warbler... Kestrel 2....Eleonora's Falcon 3... Little Egret 1....Great Tit....Stonechat.

Yesterday's report added along with some photos and reports from 28th and 29th from Alan 

29th September

Weather....0900....27.5oC....Sea, rippled....Wind, N-NE 4-5B....Vis 20 miles.... Cloud 0.... 1014mb

So quiet here today hardly any bird song , goldfinches chattering away as they feed. A barn Owl paid us a visit for the second night in a row, sitting on the fence opposite as we sat on the balcony, if it shows tomorrow will have a camera to hand and hope for a picture !!. A couple of griffon Vultures flew low from the north across the front of the house , maybe they were too heavy to lift off yesterday from where the rest were feeding. 

Kaliviani list.....Very poor !!.... Blue Rock Thrush.... Hooded Crow.... Stonechat....Great Tit.... Kestrel....Common Buzzard....Griffon Vulture 2....Sardinian Warbler....Barn Owl....Scops Owl

From Alan....

Margaret and I visited Prassanos Gorge this morning.  The usual great griffon sightings, plus raven and wood pigeon.  We were hoping for some good raptor sightings, but they didn't happen.  As we drove away, a juvenile red-backed posed conveniently.

                                          Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

      

     

 

                                       Red-backed Shrike.....Lanius collurio

                     

28th September

Weather...0900...26.8oC...Cloud 5%...Sea, Calm....Wind 1B N later increased to 4B....Vis 20 miles....1013mb

Another of those days where you just don't know what to expect !!

We had Griffon Vultures around the house for most of the day , very low and close, landing on the hill behind us, they must have fed close by as some had a job to get airborne ! An awesome sight, twenty plus keeping us entertained.

A Golden Eagle added to the  spectacle, flying amongst the Griffons before coming low over the house, only to be hearded back onto the peninsula by a pair of Raven. This was followed a short while later by a dark morph Booted Eagle. On top of this lot we had good numbers of smaller raptors too. 

In the early morning we watched as 22 Little Egret and 3 Grey Herons circled before heading off south, in the late afternoon we had  another 88 Little Egret flying up and down the bay, a beautiful sight as the low setting sun caught their wings. A brilliant day all in all.

Species list for Kaliviani....Great Tit....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Raven.... Stonechat....Sardinian Warbler....Goldfinch....Spotted Flycatcher ....Sparrowhawk 5....     Kestrel 10....Grey Heron 3....Little Egret 110....Shag 1....Eleonora's Falcon 6....             Griffon vulture 20+....Golden Eagle 1.... Booted Eagle 1.... Peregrine Falcon 1....Rock Dove.  

As I type this report, Sue is sat on the front balcony listening to the Scops Owls and tells me a Barn Owl has just flown metres in front of her, thats it I'm done for the night !!

Keep an eye out for those vultures, we are given to believe there are now two Black vultures on Crete !!

                                             Griffon Vulture.... Gyps Fulvus

                                                     Low over the house

                    

     

                    Across the front of the house, we are 45 metres above sea level

     

                                     Landing on the hill behind the house

   

                                            Watching us, watching him !

                    

                                        Golden Eagle.....Aquila chrysaetos

                                             Obligingly  flew low over us

  

                                        Until it was chased back by the ravens

                           

                                 Booted Eagle (dark morph)....Aquila pennata

                         

                           

                                           Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

      

                                 Eleonora's Falcon.....Falco eleonorae 2cy pale morph

                                           Looking deceptively like a Hobby

                          

                                             Little Egret....Egretta garzetta (88 )

                                   Giving these holidaymakers a fantastic view

       

 From Alan

Took a walk around Petres Gorge late afternoon - very warm.  One or two griffons still to be seen in the gorge, but only photo was of sparrowhawk.  This bird had just been mobbed by three hooded crows.

                                              Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

                         

 

27th September

Weather....1030hrs// 29.2oC....cloud 10%....Sea, calm....wind N 1B...Vis 20 miles....1013mb

Highlight of the day a Roller spotted behind the house ,it stayed for about five minutes before heading off south. We have only seen this species here twice before  in 2003 and 2004. We managed a few distant and not very good pictures.

On our way back from a shopping trip !! we found a common buzzard at the side of the coast road, it moved away when we got out of the car and managed a small amount of flight landing a few metres on. It looked to have a minor right wing injury and although we tried to catch it, it always moved on a few metres . We will have a look tomorrow, hopefully it will be able to recover on its own.

Kaliviani Species list ....Blue Rock Thrush.... Hooded Crow....Crested Lark....Woodlark.... Goldfinch.... Spotted Flycatcher....Greenfinch....Turtle Dove 3....Rock Dove.... Common Buzzard 5.... Northern Wheatear 1....Roller 1....Whinchat 2....Chaffinch...Stonechat 3.... Sardinian Warbler....Raven 4....Kestrel 3....Marsh harrier 1juv m....Collared Dove....        White Wagtail....Great Tit.... Scops Owl (several).... Little Owl (1 heard )

                                              Roller....Coracias garrulus

                        

                        

                                                Kestrel....Falco Tinnunculus

                

                                   The injured Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                           

A report from Alan ....

After months of only sighting buteo from our balcony (as far as raptors are concerned), at last today, a booted eagle - dark morph.  Only managed distant images.  Earlier today a peregrine flew over the Georgioupoli Viewpoint, which was otherwise quiet apart from a couple of immature/female teal and a single little egret.

                                           Booted Eagle ....Aquila pennata

                            

                                                   Teal ....Anas crecca

         

26th September

Weather...0815.... 24.3oC....Cloud 0....Sea, calm....Wind 0, N....visibility 10 miles....1012mb

We were awake at 0530 this morning to meet Nikos for a trip to Elafonisi ! A big thankyou to either our mobile service provider, "Vodafone" or Niko's "???" as texts were not received and we never got to meet today. To make amends we headed for the hills of gramvousa to see what raptors we could find on migration. A brilliant day it turns out !!! with 20 Sparrowhawks !!!

Nikos had at Elafonisi...Turnstone, Dunlin, 4 Black Kite and a Wimbrel

At home before we started out....Blue Rock Thrush 2....Goldfinch....Hooded Crow.... Blackbird Spotted Flycatcher....Crested Lark....Woodlark....Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....Cetti's Warbler Sardinian Warbler.... After our arrival home, our 21st Sparrowhawk of the day shot past the balcony after a small bird ....Scops Owl.....Barn Owl

We set off to Gramvousa at 0835 and chose two locations to bird from, we stayed at the first until 1400, then moved to Agia Irini Church... Woodlark ....Crested Lark ....Great Tit 3.... Blue Rock Thrush 6....Chukar 10+....Raven 2....Shag 2....Spotted flycatcher 6....

Our first Sparrowhawk arrived at 0936 then we had them move through slowly in ones and two's with three passing us at 1450. A total of 20....

Peregrine Falcon 3....Common Buzzard 7....Kestrel 6....Hobby 2... Griffon Vulture 14.... Eleonora's Falcon 6....Marsh Harrier 5 ....Booted Eagle, pale morph 1....Bonelli's Eagle,1 adult Italian Sparrow....Rock dove....Collared Dove....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Grey Heron 16.  Little Egret 15.... Yellow-legged Gull 1....Sardinian Warbler....Redstart 1.... Willow Warbler 3.

35 species for the day and a total of 10 different species of raptor

                                             Grey Heron....Ardea cinerea

        

                                           Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

         

                                      Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

                         

                                    Peregrine Falcon.....Falco peregrinus

            

                                              Kestrel....Falco tinnunculus

                         

                                        Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

        

                                        Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

              

                                               Hobby....Falco subutteo

                         

                                           Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

                         

                                           Little Egret....Egretta garzetta

          

                                       Spotted Flycatcher....Muscicapa striata

                           

                                              Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

       

                                          Redstart....Phoenicurus phoenicurus     

              

25th September

Weather.....0900hrs....26.2oC....cloud 15%....Sea, calm....Wind N-NE 1B....                         Visibility 15 miles haze.... 1010mb

We have added a few of our own images from the last few days, see 22nd and 24th entries

We hoped for a few migrating raptors today , so kept our sights high . We had to wait until 1510 when we spotted 4 Sparrowhawks high over the house thermalling they stayed for some minutes before heading off in line south, this is the most Sparrrowhawks we have seen together on Crete.

A little later at 1600 we watched as 6 Lesser Spotted Eagles, 1 (m) Marsh Harrier ....            2 Common Buzzard....  1 Honey Buzzard.... and 2 Kestrel, also tried to catch thermals. Of that group four of the Aquila's were seen to land on the higher slopes at 1630. This number of Lesser Spotted eagles is again the most we have seen together on Crete. 

Todays List from Kaliviani.... Rock Dove....Woodlark....Italian Sparrow .... Hooded Crow.... Goldfinch.... Sparrowhawk 1+4....Greenfinch....Blackbird....Griffon Vulture 8.... Raven....   Blue Rock Thrush....Common Buzzard 2+2....Lesser Spotted Eagle 6....Marsh Harrier 1.... Honey Buzzard 1.... Kestrel 2....Yellow-legged Gull 1....White Wagtail 1.... Stonechat.... Scops Owl ( several heard )....Barn Owl ( heard )...Night Heron ( heard )

                                           Sparrowhawk.....Accipiter nisus 

                                       hunting near the house in the morning

                           

                                             Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

                           

                                     Lesser Spotted Eagle.....Aquila Pomarina

                      For 30 minutes they circled over the mountains on Gramvousa

            

                                                      Two of the Aquila's

             

                          

                                        Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo 

                                                 One of our resident pair

                          

24th September

Weather @ 0900...24.4oC....Sea calm...Visibility 20miles+....Cloud 0.....Wind 0 ....B/pressure 1015mb

Todays highlight, a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by around 100 goldfinch, eventually seeing it off their feeding area, later they all gathered in the nearby trees chirping away !!

Kaliviani List....Hooded Crow....Woodlark....Crested Lark.... Stonechat....Blackbird.... Raven.... Sardinian Warbler....Italian Sparrow....Northern Wheatear....Blue Rock Thrush....Barn Swallow Common Buzzard....Goldfinch....Kestrel 2....Peregrine Falcon 1....Griffon Vulture 3.... Great Tit .... Rock Dove....Collared Dove....Greenfinch....Grey Heron 1.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Sparrowhawk 1....Spotted Flycatcher....Chaffinch....White Wagtail 2....Scops Owl ....            (27 species )

At Elefonisi,  Manos had Ringed Plover and a Honey Buzzard, the latter flies  just off the west of the island after overflying Antikythera on their way south.

                           One of our resident Common Buzzards enduring the ever

                            constant harrassment from our resident Hooded Crows

          

                  

 

23rd September    

New trip report with ten images added, many thanks to Steve and Annette Phillips.

New entries under 6th-8th-12th from Nikos

New entries for week ending 15th and week ending 22nd from Alan

Todays species, kaliviani.....Blackbird....Barn Swallow....Hooded Crow....Woodlark....Chaffinch Crested Lark.... Sardinian Warbler....Kestrel 3....Willow Warbler....Raven.... Common Buzzard Shag 1....Peregrine Falcon....Yellow-legged Gull....Willow Warbler....Rock dove....Griffon Vulture 2....Little Egret 1

16th-22nd September

 

From Alan

Can't believe you arrive yesterday and see booted, osprey and black redstart already.  Lucky you!

The past week has been quietish here, particularly on our travels.  Although there have been some showers in a few places, there hasn't been the rainfall to create any flooded areas, or bring more activity to the garden - we live in hope! 

The juvenile subalpine was with us for a week.  Bee-eaters have been seen in good numbers until 21st - usually hunting in the hour before sunset.  A dunlin appeared at Kalivaki this week - there has been some discussion between Nikos and Michael on facebook about my photos of it, and they appear to think this is sub-species arctica.  Willow warblers are passing through our garden now, plus the occasional whitethroat.  The Viewpoint at Georgioupoli revealed c120 little egrets resting in trees or by the water, but apart from grey herons not much going on there as water level is still high.

 Four images by and © Alan Hargrave.

                                             Bee-eater....Merops apiaster

                        

                                                Dunlin....Calidris alpina

          

                                   Roosting Little Egrets at Georgopoli  viewpoint

 

                                    Willow Warbler.....Phylloscopus trochilus

              

22nd September

Well, here we are back in Crete after a ten week absence, the last three without internet  !!! a couple of new species to add to our Europe list ..Snow Finch and Nutcracker, both in the Alps in France and Austria.

One thing of note on the 15th at Vent in Austria, with the first snowfall (on the 14th) we noticed that House Martins were still feeding young, at 1898 metres !!!

We will be updating the website over the weekend with several reports from our regulars, Alan, Harry and Nikos for the last few weeks and a new trip report.

If anyone has emailed us and are waiting for a reply please bear with us and we will email as soon as possible. 

We were greeted with a nice sunny morning on our return yesterday , a count of 8 common buzzard on the route from Chania.... an Osprey, Booted Eagle and a Marsh Harrier were wonderful sightings as we travelled slowly to Kissamos. On arrival back in Kaliviani...... Spotted Flycatcher, Our resident Common Buzzard, Griffon Vulture 4, Hooded Crow, Blackcap, Italian Sparrow, Black Redstart,  Crested Lark , Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird and a small group of Bee-eater noisily heading south.....Scops Owl

Today..... Crested Lark.... Woodlark....Common Buzzard 3....Hooded Crow.... Kestrel 2 Sardinian Warbler.... Peregrine Falcon 1.... Griffon Vulture 14.... Barn Swallow.... Chaffinch Spotted Flycatcher.... Northern Wheatear....Collared Dove....Goldfinch....Blackbird....Rock Dove....Red-backed Shrike....Scops Owl .... Unknown Bat species !

                                   Peregrine Falcon.... Falco Peregrinus

                           

                                          Spotted flycatcher and Goldfinch 

         

12-15th September

From Alan

Migration activity over Almyros Bay has been much quieter this year. Could be that the north winds have taken the birds onwards to Africa?

12th. Viewpoint at Georgioupoli.

Not very productive so far this month. There have been three ferruginous ducks, and, currently, three garganey, and single juvenile teal and shoveller. Kingfishers have returned in very small numbers. On 12th, first sighting since May of the "local" female marsh harrier with a juvenile for company.

13th. Viewpoint again.

Late afternoon noticed eight grey herons roosting in tree at lake side. Further investigation revealed a "parade" of them on the far side, with a few singles dotted about. Probably in excess of thirty birds there.

14th. Omalos Plateau.

A trip with John and Patti Bayley. Sightings included first sparrowhawk since May, two red-billed choughs, jay, crag martin, common redstart, tawny pipit, woodlark, willow warbler and scores of bee-eaters in loose flocks all over the plateau. Fifteen plus common buzzard seen high above plateau, amongst a handful of griffons - presume the buzzards were on migration?

15th. From the house.

Single immature subalpine warbler has been feeding off over-ripe figs in our garden for the last four days. Juvenile red-back now in the garden daily. Bee-eaters have been seen in good numbers every evening. They are often accompanied by barn and red-rumped swallows and alpine swifts. After first sparrowhawk yesterday, today one was being mobbed by two crows high above the house. An increase in common buzzards also seen - presume some of these on migration.

Seven images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                            Bee-eater....Merops apiaster

                       

                                          Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                           

                                                Grey Heron....Ardea cinerea

                                        Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

                          

                                    Red-backed Shrike....Lanius collurio

            

                                           Subalpine Warbler....Sylvia cantillans

                          

                                             Woodlark....Lullula arborea

                          

 

12th September

From Nikos at Moronis

Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                              Ringed Plover and Dunlin

             

8th September

From Nikos at Elefonisi.

Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                             Turnstone....Arenaria interpres

   

6th September

From Nikos at Moronis.

Two images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                                 Dunlin....Calidris alpina

       

                                        Gull-billed Tern.....Sterna nilotica (30 seen)

              

3rd September

Thanks very much to Alan and Harry for the following reports from the past week.

Five images by and © Harry Lough

Still rather quiet at the moment, stong winds not helping, walking in the Afrata area on the 20th, Red-backed Shrike, Griffons and a small snake is all that I managed to photo.

        

       

 28th  I was at Lake Agia, a bit more activity than I have seen for a while, pair of Eleonora,s, Kingfisher, Wood Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis and a flock of Green Sandpipers, plus all the regulars,Grey Herons,Little Egrets etc

        

        

        

From Alan

Five images by and © Alan Hargrave

Hopeful of some good sightings before month end, and though only a glimpse, we had our first visit to the garden of wryneck This was on 27th. A passing van made the bird fly away, before I could get the camera.

29th gave us our first good views across Almyros Bay of migrating little egrets - about 250 in the photo, with a dozen purple herons in tow.

    

30th was the turn of grey herons, again with the odd purple heron in the flock. Three flocks of c.50-60. These were seen as my grandson and I finished a pedalo trip on the river at Georgioupoli. During that, my first sighting since May of the "resident" female marsh harrier.

                         

31st and we decide on a day out to Rodopos. Temperature about 27c, sunny and windy. Hardly any large birds, apart from buteo. Northern and black-eared wheatears, spotted fly and red-backs "everywhere". Thought we had an icterine, but photo later confirmed willow warbler. Whitethroat seen. As we descended to Rodopos village, a flock of house sparrows flew out of a roadside tree, leaving one bird behind. Further investigation revealed a wryneck, which stayed around just long enough for a photo. No bee-eaters seen in August this year.

              

                           

 Returned from Rodopos via Agia for a quick look. Believe the tern is a whiskered, but not sure about ageing. Has some flight feathers missing.
       

25th August

We would like to say thank you to Mark Sargent for the following corrections to blog postings and valuable information on Odonata identification, ther names have been updated on the relevent images, Thanks Mark.........

9 July Lesser Emperor - Anax parthenope - brownish abdomen with pale blue 'girdle' is classic Lesser; green eyes rule out Vagrant Emperor

26th May Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum - no blue stripes to top of thorax make it a Red-eyed; blue marks on sides of segments 2-3 + 8 make it a Small

A couple of reports received  from Nikos and Alan  from the past week

From Alan for week ending 25th August....

So far this month it has been quieter along the coast, where there had been really good sightings by this time last year. My latest look on 23rd revealed a few little-ringed plovers, single kingfisher, and glimpses of sedge and great reed warbler.

It is looking like a good month for shrikes with two more lesser greys yesterday. Red-backs are "everywhere" with youngsters in tow. Just one hoopoe so far, which Margaret managed to photograph. This bird looked tired, and as we were at the north coast, I guess it had just arrived. Getting lots of good sightings of whinchat, spotted fly, ortolan and cirl bunting as we drive around some evenings.

Three images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                    Red-backed Shrike....Lanius collurio                                                           

           

                                                Hoopoe....Upupa epops

                           

For week ending the 18th August.......A very quiet week, just as we were anticipating early migrants. Our first red-backed shrike was seen on 15th, with first photo opportunity on 17th. May have been the same bird, but in any case both sightings were from our house. Two early evening trips this week both proved unproductive, though we did have seven spotted flycatchers on fences around one field near Vatoudiaris (Vrisses area).

Just a little update to earlier email (18th). This evening, at 7pm, two flocks of little egrets flying low over the water in Almyros Bay. Took photos and counted 65 in one flock, and 18 in the other

1 image by and © Alan Hargrave

                                      Red-backed Shrike....Lanius collurio

 

         From Nikos for 23rd... On the walk from Samaria entrance to Gigilos opposite

                              Short-toed Treecreeper....Certhia brachydactyla

   

                  Kri Kri....Capra aegagrus creticus feeding on the base of Gigilos

      

         The peak of  Gigilos lookig onto Samaria plateau, the white patch on the plateau

         is the site of a new reservoir

  

                                     Golden Eagle.....Aquila Chrysaetos

 

                                     Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

     

                                  Alpine Chough....Pyrrhocoeax graculus

    

                                      Alpine Accentor....Prunella collaris

     

 Nikos on the 20th ....  Nikos recorded the 17th and 18th Oystercatcher for Crete

 

13th August

There are lots of places that still appear to have some water ! after the slow melt of snow, right into the middle of July there were still several large pockets of snow to be seen on most of the higher ranges across the island, so many usually dried up pools and streams are benefiting and hopefully some good numbers of  waders will be appearing and maybe stopping a little longer than normal.

Good sized numbers of Garganey have been seen offshore in the past week.

Thanks to Alan for the following report....

Over the past few days we have spotted probable pintails flying low over Almyros Bay at Georgioupoli - the earliest we have recorded here. ( these are most likely the Garganey that have been seen, Colin)

We had a drive out this evening, expecting nothing of note, but had some good sightings. Firstly, our earliest sighting of lesser grey shrike. We were not expecting to look for these for a couple of weeks yet, so quite a surprise.

                                         Lesser Grey Shrike ....Lanius minor      

                    

Secondly, a crow mobbing a large bird over Asi Gonia made me get the camera out. A bit late for a good pic, but this was a juvenile lammergeier, our first August sighting of this species.

           One to watch out for with any juveniles now in the air with the adults, Colin

                                       Lammergeiger.....Gypaetus barbatus

                   

A female, or first winter, ortolan was next. It was visiting a water trough near Kallikratis, and above we noticed juvenile cirl bunting.

                                        Ortolan Bunting.... Emberiza hortulana

                                                               

                                           Cirl Bunting.....Emberiza cirlus

         

15-27th July

A couple of reports from Harry and Alan also a trip report from Matthias Deschryvere added to the trip report section. A nice sighting by Matthias of a Gull-billed Tern at Aygia !! We are not sure about previous records of this species at the lake !

From Harry ....

18th....Lots of work being done on the river just before entering Kolambari,, river being dredged and bank sides completely cleared of bamboo, ideal now for taking photos. Work is almost

complete now ,while I was there yesterday a few birds were still around, Grey Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Goldfinch.

Once the work is complete, more waders may be attracted, wondering if they will then move on to clear the river at Tavronitis.

Six images by and © Harry Lough

         

         

          

 

15th ....Yesterday had a stroll along the shore at Norigia,not a lot in the way of birds, too many people about, especially near the camp site, did manage to see a pair of Wood Sandpipers,Little Ringed Plover, 4 Griffons flew over the peninsula.

         

         

 From Alan....

Roll on September!!!

Had a drive out to stay air-conditioned! Saw nothing until we picnicked by the beach near Nopigia campsite on west coast of Rodopos, and had our first ever summer sighting of shag. Initially, an adult with juvenile. Later, after they swam around, the second adult appeared. By then they were not all next to each other, but a record shot of "the family". (I think this is the resident pair in Kissamos Bay they look like the ones that appear daily at the west end of the bay...Colin)

Nothing much at Agia - two little egret and two grey herons and all the hirundines. A patch of "red" weed on the water made for a nice pic though.   

Three images by and ©  Alan Hargrave                 

                           

 

               

Some shots from Matthias from his trip report 13-20th July

Three images by and © Matthias Deschryvere

                                        Gull-billed Tern .....Gelochelidon nilotica

 

                                              Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

               

                                          Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

    

14th July

A few Nightjar about tonight, heard at 2130 near the Balos Beach Hotel.

12th July

7PM.. A REPORT OF 2 WHITE STORKS AT KAVROS, SFAKIA, THANKS TO MANOS FOR THE INFO.

 Still very quiet although we can report that we are seeing many more Turtle Dove than in previous years, not just around Gramvousa but when we are out and about we often hear and see them. Eleonora's Falcons are seen daily hawking near the house with up to six birds some days. Also a few family groups of Woodchat Shrike.

Today the highlight was once again the Eastern Imperial Eagle that seems to be summering here, it surprised us as we had moved from the back to the front veranda and it suddenly appeared 30 metres away, being seen off by our local  common buzzards !!! Very frustrating as we had been out in the courtyard for four hours and seen only the buzzards ! By the time I had grabbed the camera it was distant over the ridges

                                     Eastern Imperial eagle .... Aquila heliaca

 

9th July

We took a visiting birder to the White mountains and Agyia today. July is not the best of times to do birding here but we managed just over 40 species, which considering the high winds and 30+oC temps was not too bad.

We met up with John from Liverpool at the Gallini Beach Hotel in Kissamos at 0900 and headed straight up to the Omalos area, we left the tarmac and took the long dirt road to Kalergi several kms before the Omalos plateau, this road has deteriorated since we were last there and a 4X4 is a must. This road takes us near Vothonus, Maliaropa and Dhrous ranges then up to the foot of  Psari (1817mtrs) and the ranger hut, onto Kalergi down to Samaria entrance. A look at the pools and the plateau then Ghreleska. In the afternoon we headed down to Agyia where we met up with Nikos and Panos at about 5pm. At 7pm we made our way back to Kissamos and dropped John off at 8pm.

Species .....Common Buzzard....Italian Sparrow....Blackcap....Goldfinch....Greenfinch.... Chaffinch.... Stonechat.... Sardinian Warbler....Wood Pigeon.... Great Tit....Blue Tit.... Serin.... Linnet.... Kestrel.... Peregrine Falcon....Griffon Vulture.... Chough.... Raven....Hooded Crow.... Jay.... Black-eared Wheatear.... Northern Wheatear.... Chukar.... Wren....Tawny Pipit.... Red-rumped Swallow....Collared Dove....Alpine Swift....Crag Martin....Barn Swallow.... Blackbird ....Coot....Mallard....Moorhen....Little Grebe....Squacco Heron....Little Egret.... Swift Ferruginous Duck....Olivaceous Warbler.... Yellow=legged Gull ( roadkill )....  On our local beach road Little Ringed Plove, later in the evening  Scops and Barn Owl heard.

                                       Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

 

                                                   Raven....Corvus corax

           

                                            Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

             

                                              Alpine Swift.....Apus melba

             

             

                                                     Swift ....Apus apus

                           

                           

                                         Ferruginous Duck....Aythya nyroca

          

                                          Little Egret.....Egretta garzetta

             

                                              Juvenile Coot.....Fulica atra

                          

                                   Juvenile Little Grebe....Tachybaptus ruficollis

               

                                   Stripe-necked Terrapin....Mauremys caspica

       

                                           American Toad....Rana catesbeiana

                            

                                         Lesser Emperor - Anax parthenope

 

5th-8th July

A report from Alan....

six images by and © Alan Hargrave

Firstly, an ant!  Seen around the house on 5th - just one of this species.  I guess it's a wood ant of some kind.  At 10mm long it was quite large, but even so, was seen off by a minute spider, a fraction of its size.

                                       One of the species of Velvet Ants ?

             

 

On 6th we drove to the Nida Plateau, on the eastern side of Psiloritis (Mt Ida).  Despite the mountainous area, not one large bird seen other than a single common buzzard.  We were always surrounded by wheatears, larks, crag martins and finches, plus one woodchat.  The wheatears interested us as so many were sub adult or fledglings, with a huge variety of plumages.  I think the two examples attached are both black-eared.( After some consultation are Northern Alan !! C. )  We picnicked below Mt Skinikas and came across several patches of spiny chicory (cichorium spinosa), which we haven't seen before, though apparently common throughout Greece.  Our views from here showed some snow left on the eastern slopes of Mt Ida - this must surely be unusual for July?

                                   Northern Wheatear....Oenanthe oenanthe   

                          

                          

                                           Spiny Chicory....Cichorium spinosa

             

   Snow still on Mount Ida  ( there is also a couple of small pockets on the Lefka Ori ..Colin )

     

On the Nida Plateau we came across a poster about the wildlife of the region.  The poster mentioned some Cretan endemics, but of particular interest was the Cretan wildcat, which has apparently been identified in this area.

  

From Harry...

Braved the heat and cycled to Lake Agyia this morning,still very little of note about, squacco, grey heron, little egret ,broods of coot that have just hatched. Pair of coots with one remaining juvenile, also juvenile mallard.

Juvenile swallows have taken up residence outside our back door, also seen, alpine swift and spotted flycatcher while I was watering the garden.

Six images by and © Harry Lough

                                   Spotted Flycatcher....Muscicapa striata  

         

                                                     Coot....Fulica atra

        

                                          Barn Swallow....Hirundo rustica

        

                                              Alpine swift....Apus melba

       

                                     Juvenile   Mallard....Apus platyyrhynchos

      

                                                          Bush Cricket

      

4th July

First (known) July record of a Black Stork.... Ciconia nigra on Crete. Seen and photographed by Panos at Agyia today.

2nd July

Eleven Eleonora's Falcons hunting insects around the house again this morning in very strong 6 Beaufort winds from the east-north east.

Between 0900 and 1100 we had 24 griffon vultures low over the house heading once again onto Gramvousa. Two were tagged one was number 98 the other looked like 45 which was seen by a visitor on May 7th over Imbros Gorge !!

Our female Common Buzzard had a time of it, constantly mobbing the vultures to protect her young as they flew through her territory !

                                       Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus.  tagged ( 98 )

                                                         Tagged (45)

 

     

             

                                        Talons out our Buteo defends her territory     

               

One image by and © Alan Hargrave

                                    Barn Swallow....Hirundo rustica Juveniles

                          

29 June - 1st July

Temperatures and winds have been rather high the last few days, the winds have brought us excellent sightings of griffon vultures low over the house as they head onto Gramvousa. Otherwise it has been very quiet with not many species seen, as for hearing anything the cicada's have started their racket so any calls are drowned out making it difficult to locate anything !!

Our resident buteo's two young had their first flights, the first four days ago, has been seen flying a short distance away with the male, whilst the female stayed around until the second bird took its maiden flight on the 30th June. Lots of calling between the birds at any disturbance by birds or human presence entering their territory, which gives us ample warning of what is about to fly over !!

Also good views of several Eleonora's Falcons hunting over and alongside the house  the last three days. One bird in particular coming in really close taking insects.

From Nikos on the 30th June a nice picture of Olivacious Warblers at Agyia, more images can be found on his Flickr pages.

One image by and  © Nikos Samaritakis

                                     Olivacious Warbler.... Hippolais pallida

                  

                                       Eleonora's Falcon..... Falco eleonorae

    

   

 

 

               Juvenile Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo on its second day out of the nest

                         

28th June

Highlights for today..... A group of eight Eleonora's Falcon hunted around our house and later eighteen Griffon Vultures passed overhead. With them was an Eastern Imperial Eagle.... the image below shows how easily it is to miss this species if you don't check out the griffons properly.

             Eastern Imperial Eagle....Aquila heliaca and Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

   

                                     Griffon vultures overflying the house

 

25th June

A report from Alan.... few images from a late afternoon drive through Imbros to Anopoli.  A pair of Bonellis' were hunting high above Imbros - surprisingly, these were the first we have seen this year.  At Anopoli, we had single woodchat shrike (female) and two spotted flycatchers.  Nice to see some of these stay for the summer.  Also, my first image of a grayling.  There were four around a water trough, but very restless!

                                         Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciata

            

                    

                                            Grayling ......Hipparchia semele

                         

 From Kaliviani.... Common Buzzard 6....Hooded Crow....Raven 8....Blackbird....Great Tit.... Yellow-legged Gull....Griffon Vulture 3....Eleonora's Falcon....Peregrine Falcon.... Swift.... Alpine Swift.... Woodchat Shrike....Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....Northern Wheatear.... Goldfinch.... Little Ringed Plover....Collared Dove ....Turtle Dove 2....Shag 1.... Stonechat.... Barn Swallow.... Crested Lark.... Chaffinch.... Scops Owl.... Barn Owl....

                                           Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

       

        Below...One of the stink bugs, not to be touched they have a really bad stink !!!!

                                                      Cydnus aterrimus             

                          

18th-24th June

24th The Eastern Imperial Eagle was seen again today , it was drifting along the high ridges of Gramvousa but quickly headed further north. Three sightings this month of this bird !

We reported yesterday  on the Golden Orioles nesting near Kalives as a possible first for Crete. Last night we heard from Harry that last year he had them nesting in front of his house and three young were fledged, so maybe there are more records of this species nesting and staying throughout the summer that have not been reported.

Our first barn Owl for some time, first heard outside our bedroom at midnight on the 19th and again on the 22nd

Little Ringed plover still patrol the beach road with their young.

Some Common Buzzard are to be seen with this years young

Yesterday the 23rd Nikos visited Agyia....

DID A WALK AT AGYIA EARLIER... QUIET AS EXPECTED... 4 L.EGRET, NIGHT HERON, SQUACCO, COMMON AND ALPINE SWIFTS, SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, BARN SWALLOWS, COOT, MOORHEN, Y L GULLS, BLACKBIRD, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, CETTI'S, AND THE LITTLE GREBE'S !

Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                Young of the  Little Grebe ....Tachybaptus ruficollis

  

Emails received from others indicate that their patches are also quiet

The weekly list of birds for Kaliviani....Common Buzzard....Peregrine Falcon.... Kestrel.... Eleonora's Falcon...Griffon Vulture....Eastern Imperial Eagle....Shag.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Black-eared Wheatear....Northern Wheatear....Italian Sparrow.... Great Tit....Sardinian Warbler Swift....Alpine Swift....Red-rumped Swallow.... Barn Swallow....Greenfinch....Goldfinch.... Chaffinch.... Hooded Crow....Raven....Woodchat Shrike....Little Einged Plover....Crested Lark... Stonechat.... Collared Dove....Rock Dove....Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler....Blue Rock Thrush.... Nightjar....Scops Owl....Barn Owl...Spotted Flycatcher. 35 Species !

Argiope lobata are now seen regularly with their large webs and several males in attendance This one was captured by Sue this morning with its web on a lantana shub.

                                     Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

Taken on the 24th One of our local pair that now recognise us and allow us to within 30 metres of the nest, but get any closer and we risk a dive bombing.

  

                                           Goldfinch.....Carduelis carduelis

Taken on the 23rd this is one of many that visit our watering troughs placed for the wildlife

   

                                          Griffon Vulture ....Gyps fulvus

                                One of six drifting over our house on the 21st

  

23rd June

Some news just in that there is apparently a pair of Golden Oriole nesting somewhere near Kalives, but we have no solid information on this , but if confirmed we think it it will be a first for Crete . Hopefully more news on that soon.

Away from Crete, at Messalongi north of Patras on the mainland, a Black Heron has been found among a group of egrets, this is a first for Greece and Europe, usually found south of the Sahara it is believed it tagged onto the egrets when they migrated north.

For us today late in the afternoon we again spotted the Eastern Imperial Eagle at 1755 being escorted onto Gramvousa by local buzzards away from their territories, something to watch for tomorrow !!

Will update the blog tomorrow with the weeks news and photos, its now pretty quiet, and as the cicadas start their summer din the chaffinch's seem to have stopped their singing.

11th -17th June

Highlight of today was an Eastern Imperial Eagle that flew near the house only to be sent packing by our resident pair of Common Buzzard, it was last seen heading back inland towards Elos. We think this may be the same bird we a couple of times over the last month and is an important sighting as the bird seems to be spending the summer here.

Over the last week it has been fairly quiet, we have had daily..... Common Buzzard.... Raven.... Chaffinch....Hooded Crow....Greenfinch....Goldfinch....Collared Dove.... Great Tit.... Crested Lark....Barn Swallow....Swift....Alpine Swift.... Kestrel....Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Stonechat....Rock Dove.... Blue Rock Thrush....Shag .... Scops Owl Nightjar....Italian Sparrow ....Little Ringed Plover....Eleonora's Falcon....Woodchat Shrike.

On the 16th .....Two Bonelli's Eagles  hunting over the peninsula also 6 Griffon Vultures these were six seen again on the 17th.

11/12/17th.... Black-eared Wheatear

13th / 14th Turtle Dove

17th.... Northern Wheatear 

17th ....Spotted Flycatcher

Families of ....Woodchat Shrike....Great Tit.... Chaffinch....Goldfinch

                                      Eastern Imperial Eagle....Aquila heliaca

        

           

                          Our Common Buzzard pair after seeing off the eagle

               

 

10th June

Four late Bee-eaters were the seen near the house for a short period in the afternoon before moving off north potherwise another quiet day

Kaliviani list...Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Blackbird....Swift....Barn Swallow....Hooded Crow.... Raven....Common Buzzard 2...Black-eared Wheatear....Goldfinch...Great Tit....Shag 3.... Italian Sparrow....Crested Lark....Kestrel....Sardinian Warbler....Collared Dove....Alpine Swift.... Yellow-legged Gull....Cetti's Warbler.... Scops Owl.

9th June

From Nikos at Gigilos the mountain above Samaria Gorge entrance, we were due to go as well but the 430am start from home was a bit daunting ....STAYED AT THE VIEWPOINT WITH MANOS FROM 9.00 TO 16.00...TOO DAMN HOT AND TIRING FOR MY LEFT KNEE...WAS OK OVERALL THOUGH ONLY THING NEW TO ME WAS MY 1ST TREECREEPER (ON THE WAY BACK APPROACHING THE CAFETERIA)
ON THE POOLS JUST GULLS, CROWS AND A TAWNY PIPIT... AT THE TOP ALL THE RESIDENTS APART FROM EAGLES... LAMMYERGEIER DID JUST A SHORT, DISTANT APPEARANCE... GYPS PIC WITH GAVDOS AND GAVDOPOULA

Five images by and c Nikos Samaritakis

                                           Alpine Accentor....Prunella collaris

                                       Alpine Chough....Pyrrhocorox graculus

  

                              Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus and gavdos island

 

                                 Short-toed Treecreeper....Certhia brachydactyla

 

                                          The arch on the footpath to Gigilos

 

As for us we went off just before 1100 and headed for a lazy trip to Sirikari, a lunchbreak in the chestnut trees watching the ravens and griffon vultures over the nearby Tsiachiano gorge and listening to a great number of Blackcap...we have never heard so many !!!..   after our break we headed north and over the hills towards Kavanas and Zachariana we visited this area a few years ago in a car and the road was too rough so thought we would give it a try in our little 4x4 .We found a group of twelve griffons sat on a ridge, lots of Corn bunting and black-eared Wheatear .

                                           Griffon vulture....Gyps fulvus

  

 

                                     Kissamos and Rhodapou peninsula

 

This is not in my book so cannot name it, it looked to be wingless and running around on the trunk of a chestnut tree                    

                          

                                   Banded Demoiselle.....Calopteryx splendens

 

 

                                            Goat enjoying a pepper dinner

  We found this large insect on our veranda the night before last again not sure of its name

 

 

7th June

Rather quiet the last few days all the birds seen at Kaliviani are as for today !!

Kaliviani list...Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Blackbird....Swift....Barn Swallow....Hooded Crow.... Raven....Common Buzzard 2+4....Black-eared Wheatear....Goldfinch...Great Tit....Shag 3.... Italian Sparrow....Crested Lark....Eleonora's Falcon....Little Egret....Kestrel....Turtle Dove.... Sardinian Warbler....Collared Dove....Stonechat....Alpine Swift....Yellow-legged Gull....     Cetti's Warbler.... Scops Owl.... Nightjar....and a Little Owl heard

A report from Harry and a rather nice bird seen this morning..... 

Today was my first day for turtle monitoring this season, so it was an early start, left home at 5.15 and cycled to the start at Kolimbari. Passing through Tavronitis spotted a Long-eared Owl , managed a photo, but not brilliant, still rather dark at that time. Walking along the beach, looking for turtle nests, at the same time taking an interest in the bird life.

Birds spotted, Long-eared Owl, Buzzard, Hooded Crows, numerous Little Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper, Squacco Heron , Alpine Swifts, House Martins, Stonechat, large flocks of Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, plenty of yellow-legged gulls feeding in the fields.

No turtle nests reported so far this year, an adult turtle was spotted just off the shore a couple of days ago, so they should be laying eggs any time soon.

                                      Two images by and © Harry Lough

                                            Long-eared Owl....Asio otus

 

            

Another report from Alan...

Fairly quiet now, as we might expect.  The flooded meadow in Kavros unexpectedly continues to have a little water, and this morning there were still four night herons there - three adult and a juvenile.  The little bitterns appear to have moved on, but a single female black-winged stilt has "replaced" them.  Many little-ringed plovers in the same spot - may have bred, as their numbers seem to have increased.  Back home we heard bee-eaters high above the house.  With no binoculars to hand, we couldn't spot them in the bright sunlight, but from their calling, we guess just a small number.

Two images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                         Night Heron....Nycticorax nycticorax

                      

                                 Black-winged Stilt.....Himantopus himanyopus

               

4th June

 Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                               Hobby....Falco subbuteo at Agyia

               

3rd June

Nothing  to report from Kaliviani today apart from 12 Griffon Vultures seen heading across the bay from Deliana area onto Gramvousa

Some images added to 2nd from Nikos at Kofinas

An image of a Hobby which has been seen hunting dragonflies at Agyia over the weekend  Image by and © Nikos samaritakis

                                        Hobby ....Falco subbuteo , pm at Agyia

               

2nd June

Report and images added to 1st from Alan

Woken this morning by gulls mewing overhead, so a quick look, wow,  25+ Eleonora's Falcons, 20+ Yellow-legged Gulls , a single Kestrel, Alpine swifts and Swifts, all hawking insects around the house. They were joined by our local Common Buzzard as 4 Honey Buzzard slowly circled heading north, we went up onto our flat roof for better views and watched for over an hour until all went quiet again. Whenit quietened down we headed off to Chania and took a trip through the Therisiano Gorge via Panagia, Theriso, Meskla and Fournes, followed by a run up to Omalos. Cloud covered Gigilos and a chill in the air had us heading back down at 6pm.

Kaliviani species....Yellow-legged Gull....Eleonora's Falcon 25+....Kestrel 1...Honey Buzzard 4 Woodchat Shrike....Swift....Barn Swallow....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Common Buzzard 4.... Collared Dove....Hooded Crow....Alpine Swift....Crested Lark....Black-eared Wheatear....    Little Egret 1...Scops Owl....Nightjar

Chania to Fournes via  Therisiano Gorge.... Common Buzzard 9 + 2 nesting pairs...Blackcap Black-eared Wheatear....Chaffinch....Blue Rock Thrush....Greenfinch....Great Tit....Stonechat.. Yellow-legged Gull....Italian Sparrow....Collared Dove....Griffon Vulture 3....Jackdaw....Serin.... Barn Swallow....Turtle Dove....Jay ... Woodlark....Hooded Crow....Blue Tit....Blackbird....

Fournes to Samaria....Blue Rock Thrush....Woodlark....Jay....Common Buzzard....Raven.... Yellow-legged Gull ....Hooded Crow... Corn Bunting....Linnet....Griffon Vulture 6....Chaffinch.... Goldfinch....Crag Martin....Northern Wheatear....Black-eared Wheatear.... Blackbird....Chukar. Spotted Flycatcher.

                                          Eleonora's Falcon.....Falco eleonorae

                           Light and dark morphs hawking insects around the house

                             

                            

                            

                            

                             

                             

         

           

                

          

                 

                                          Honey Buzzard....Pernis apivorus

                                                         Four individuals

                          

                         

                         

                         

                         

             

                                                Kestrel....Falco tinnunculus

                          

                                       Nosed Grasshopper....Acrida hungarica

       

 Chania to Fournes.

                                 Common Dragon Arum....Dracunculus vulgaris

                           

                                 Barn Swallows....Hirundo rustica, mud gathering

        

                                              Comma ...Polygonia c-album

                 

 Omalos plateau..

                                                 Jay....Garulus glandarius

                           

              

                                               Woodlark....Lullula arborea

       

Some images from Nikos from his visit to Kofinas today

Five images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                                     Juvenile wheatear

              

                                          Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos

               

                                          Chukar ....Alectoris chukar with young

               

             Lammergeier ....Gypaetus barbatus with a backdrop of the cliffs at Kofinas

        

1st June

A report and photo's from Harry added to yesterday's date, Harry also visited Agyia today all is very quiet there and no change from our visit the other day.

Kaliviani List...Chaffinch....Great Tit....Blue Rock Thrush 2....Cetti's Warbler....Blackbird.... Crested Lark....Greenfinch....Common Buzzard....Yellow-legged Gull....Collared Dove.... Stonechat.... Hooded Crow....Woodchat Shrike....Shag 2.... Black-eared Wheatear....   Sardinian Warbler.... Barn Swallow....Turtle Dove....Little Egret 1....Nightjar....Scops Owl

                                            Woodchat Shrike....Lanius senator

                            

From Alan....

We had a run down to the south coast today, aiming for the "lagoon" near Kokkinos Pirgos (Tymbaki).  We expected it to be dry by now, but there was just a little water.  Only birds present were ruff x 5 and little stint x 6.  The view back towards Mount Ida showed some snow, which I guess is substantially more for 1st June, than for many years?  During our return drive, birds sighted from the car around the Ano Mallaki area included turtle dove, spotted flycatcher, corn bunting, crested lark, jay, and willow warbler.

We stopped off at the flooded area near Kavros and counted four night herons, four little bitterns, four little-ringed plovers, and singles of little egret and cattle egret

Five images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                               Little Stint....Calidris minuta

                          

                                              Ruff....Philomachus pugnax

                                           Night Heron....Nycticorax nycticorax

         

                                                             Mount Ida

    

31st May

A nice sighting this morning of a family of Blue Rock Thrush, a total of six birds together. Also a Peregrine at the same spot later in the afternoon sat for over an hour before stooping over our olive trees.

Kaliviani list....Blackbird....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Crested Lark....Common Buzzard....   Blue Rock Thrush 6....Rock Dove....Black-eared Wheatear....Stonechat....Hooded Crow.... Cetti's Warbler....Bee-eater....Yellow-legged Gull....Woodchat Shrike....Great Tit..... Shag... Collared Dove......Peregrine Falcon.

From Alan.....

The flooded field near Kavros has proved very productive over the past week - it will be dry soon.  Our daughter Alison phoned this evening to report curlew sandpiper still there, plus two night herons, little bittern, little-ringed plover x 5, and a redshank.  This morning we looked, and found a single cattle egret there.

 Two images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                           Cattle Egret....Bubulcus ibis

                     

 

From our balcony this afternoon, a common buzzard flew around proudly showing off its capture of a Balkan green lizard.

                                           Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                 

From Harry....

Went in search of a Lammergeier yesterday,  still no luck !! Set off on the track to  Gigolos, never managed to get to there, this was never my main reason for setting out, I was happy just sitting taking in the views. I had one wonderful moment, taking a photo from a ledge, and heard a whooshing noise behind me, before I could turn a Griffon glided past about 1 metre away, by the time I took a photo it was too far away and the photo could never re-capture that experience.

Birds seen...Alpine Chough....Griffon....Raven....Kestrel...Wren....Wheatear....Chaffinch Black-eared Wheater...Alpine Accentor....Jay....Blue Rock Thrush....Linnet.

Six images by and © Harry Lough...

                                     Alpine Chough....Phyrrhocorax graculus

        

        

                                        Wren .....Troglodytes troglodytes

        

                                          Alpine Accentor....Prunella collaris

        

                                               Linnet....Caeduelis cannabina

        

                                 Northern Wheatear.... Oenanthe oenanthe

        

30th May

A short list today , very quiet !!!!....but we still have a few Bee-eaters moving through.

Chaffinch....Common Buzzard....Cetti's Warbler....Greenfinch....Blue Rock Thrush m.... Raven Griffon Vulture 2....Yellow-legged Gull....Bee-eater....Little Ringed Plover....Woodchat Shrike.. Sardinian Warbler.

29th May

Kaliviani Species....Common Buzzard.... Chaffinch....Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler....Goldfinch Spotted Flycatcher....Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....Hooded Crow....Great Tit.... Shag 6.... Yellow-legged Gull....Cetti's Warbler....Crested Lark....

Beach Road....Little ringed Plover + young ....

Tavronitis....Common Buzzard 1....Hooded Crow....Squacco Heron 1.... Little Ringed Plover 4. Barn Swallow.... 1 UID wader that was too quick and we only caught a glimpse !!!

Agyia Lake.... Coot....Moorhen....Little Grebe....Mallard....Squacco Heron 5....Little Egret 4.... Grey Heron 1....Purple Heron 1....Barn Swallow....Swift....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow.... Goldfinch....Kestrel....Peregrine Falcon....Blackcap....Olivacious Warbler....Cetti's Warbler.... Marsh Harrier 1....Common Buzzard 3....Hooded Crow....Raven 2....Yellow-legged Gull.... Snipe 1....Stonechat.... Wood Sandpiper 1

                                                    Coot.....Fulica atra

        

                                           Barn Swallow juv.....Hirundo rustica

                           

                                                         Mole Cricket ....

                            

A couple of lake views, the mountains still have snow that looks like it will linger into next month

From Alan....

Brief visits to Prassanos Gorge and Antonis Gorge with great griffon sightings now guaranteed at this time of year.  Also at Prassanos two noisy juvenile peregrines seen, plus distant Eleanoras'.  At Potamon Dam, five Eleanoras' with photo just possible.  At Antonis Gorge crag martins are using the same cave for nesting - photos are easy if you keep a short distance.

4 images by and  © Alan Hargrave

                                           Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

                            

                                          Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

                            

                                              Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

                  

                                      Crag Martin....Ptyonoprogne rupestris

               

28th May

Kaliviani List....Blackbird....Hooded Crow....Goldfinch....Woodchat Shrike....Great Tit.... Sardinian Warbler.... Yellow-legged Gull....Cetti's Warbler....Shag....Barn Swallow.... Raven .... Greenfinch.... Crested Lark....Common Buzzard....Italian Sparrow....Collared Dove....Stonechat Turtle Dove 3....Red-rumped Swallow....Booted eagle 1pale....Griffon Vulture 2....Rock Dove Little Ringed Plover.

27th May

A trip report from Leo Tukker added, see trip report page.

A report from Alan added to yesterday's date

An raptor day today , we had several species over The Eastern Imperial Eagle from yesterday showed again high over the northern ridge, a pale morph Booted Eagle, two larger larger Aquila's that I am still Identifying !! a couple of Eleonora's Falcons and a pair of Kestrel, Griffon Vultures, common Buzzards and Honey Buzzards

Our Kaliviani list....Blackbird....Chaffinch....Common Buzzard 6+2 local....Greenfinch.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Raven....Italian Sparrow....Goldfinch....Shag 2... Woodchat Shrike.... Sardinian Warbler.... Cetti's Warbler....Eastern Imperial Eagle.... ? Spotted Eagle 1....               ? Lesser Spotted Eagle 1....Kestrel 2...Eleonora's Falcon 2...Griffon Vulture 6....Booted Eagle 1 Honey Buzzard 3....  Bee-eater....Collared Dove....Rock Dove.....Little Egret....Crested Lark. At 1015 a small bat flew across our front veranda and entered one of our small tiled pergolas

 

                        The two larger Aquila's ? Spotted and ? Lesser Spotted Eagles

                           

 

       

 

 

26th May

Reports added for 23/24/25th and a Little Crake picture from Leo Tukker on the 17th

Today an Eastern Imperial Eagle again flew over at 1020, possibly the same bird as the 19th Another Honey Buzzard flew through earlier. Our first sighting for some time of a sparrowhawk

Kaliviani list up to midday.....Woodchat Shrike....Common Buzzard 3+3.... Yellow-legged Gull Hooded Crow.... Chaffinch....Great Tit....Blackbird....Italian Sparrow....Stonechat 1 juv.... Collared Dove.... Shag 2.... Bee-eater ( a good sized flock heard but not seen ) ... Swift.... Alpine Swift.... Rock Dove.... Crested Lark....Sparrowhawk 1... Eastern Imperial Eagle 1.... Kestrel 1....Cetti's Warbler.... Honey Buzzard 1....Little Egret 1.

 

A report from Alan ....

At a flooded area near Kavros, fast drying out now, we found singles of little egret, redshank, little ringed plover and curlew sandpiper.  The latter appears to be between winter and summer plumage, and is only our third sighting of this species here.  Many blue-tailed damselflies around too.

2 images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                    Curlew Sandpiper.....Calidris ferruginea

      

                             Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

                          

25th May

Still bee-eaters moving through and a honey buzzard

Kaliviani list....

Sardinian Warbler....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow.....Blackbird....Hooded Crow.... Raven.... Cetti's Warbler..... Stonechat 2+1juv.....Black-eared Wheatear....Bee-eater 1.... Shag.... Yellow-legged Gull .... Rock Dove.... Greenfinch....Whitethroat 1....Common Buzzard.... Woodchat Shrike.... Crested Lark.....Griffon Vulture 1.... Honey Buzzard 1.... Sand Martin.... Blue Rock Thrush 1.... Barn Swallow....Swift....Alpine swift.

A report from Alan....

Agia and Omalos.  Night heron best sighting at former, and field gladioli in full bloom on Omalos plateau.  Our return via Petres Seli (wind turbine area on Sougia road) gave us great griffon viewing.Two hooded crows were playing "chicken" with the turbine blades!

At Georgiopoli Viewpoint - singles of little egret and grey heron, three squacco heron, male and female little bittern and my first Eleanora's for this year.  All these birds were distant.

3 images by and  © Alan Hargrave

                                           Night Heron....Nycticorax nyticorax

                   

                                           Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

          

            Field Gladiolus.....Gladiolus italicus and Tassel Hyacinth....Muscari comosum

         

24th May

A very cloudy windy and warm day with a heavy rain shower in the afternoon meant little in the way of birds, again our list is small. A party of 3 Eleonora's Falcon hunted low over the hills.

Kaliviani.... Chaffinch....Bee-eater 3....Eleonora's Falcon 3.... Blackbird....Italian Sparrow.... Hooded Crow.... Goldfinch....Common Buzzard....Raven 3....Yellow-legged Gull....Shag.... Black-eared Wheatear....Sardinian Warbler....Alpine Swift....Crested Lark.... Cetti's Warbler.... Rock Dove.

23rd May

A quiet day today !!

Kaliviani list... Bee-eaters 8....Cetti's Warbler.... Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow.... Hooded Crow....Crested Lark....Sardinian Warbler....Shag 3....Raven 4....Great Tit.... Blackbird.... Barn Swallow....House Martin....Common Buzzard....Linnet.... Black-eared Wheatear 1+1juv....

22nd May

Today's highlight a 2cy Montagu's Harrier hunted near the house for a few hours and we spot an adult and juvenile Bonelli's Eagle high over the ridges north of us, as we watched them our local buzzards created a din as they rose up we found the other adult Bonelli's over the house. 

A lone bee-eater used the fences west of us and fed from there for a few hours this afternoon.

Crested Larks have been silent for some weeks now but this morning that all changed and they could be heard all around.

Kaliviani list....Cetti's Warbler....Great Tit....Crested Lark ....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow.... Raven ....Goldfinch....Blackbird....Hooded Crow.... Common Buzzard 5....Woodchat Shrike.... Eleonora's Falcon....Golden Oriole 1....Griffon Vulture 3....Stonechat 3....Rock Dove.... Sardinian Warbler....Bonelli's Eagle 3.... Montagu's Harrier 1....Greenfinch.... Shag 3.... Black-eared Wheatear 1....Blue Rock Thrush 1.... Little Egret 1....Bee-eater 1....Alpine Swift. House Martin.

                                       Montagu's Harrier....Circus pygargus

               

                                           Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciata

           

                 

21st May

Another quiet day although we had one Honey Buzzard seen flying east ! Still odd Bee-eaters and golden orioles and marsh harrier moving through and yesterday on Antikythera a Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater was seen.

Lots of feledglings now to be sen of various smaller species, tits, chats, sardinian warblers, finches.

Kaliviani list....Yellow-legged Gull....Chaffinch....Great Tit....Greenfinch....Common Buzzard 5.. Woodchat Shrike....Italian Sparrow....Goldfinch....Sardinian Warbler.... Collared Dove.... Shag   Blackbird....Black-eared Wheatear....Little Egret.... Golden Oriole....Crested Lark....Stonechat  Honey Buzzard ....Marsh Harrier....Cetti's Warbler....Rock Dove

From Harry at Agyia .....

I was at Agia this morning,not a lot happening,all the usual,grey herons,squaccos,little egret,purple heron,little bittern,great tits,and my first sighting at the lake this year,eleonora's falcon.

20th May

Another nice day with the wind again in the northwest, we hoped for more raptors ! At around 0930, 6 Common Buzzard and a Marsh Harrier, were again pointed out to us by our resident buzzards.The wind later increased and came from the SW and things quietened down. From Harry and Nikos findings we had the quiet day here !

Kaliviani List.... Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Great Tit....Common Buzzard 2+6....Yellow-legged Gull Blackbird....Italian Sparrow....Goldfinch....Cetti's Warbler....Golden Oriole....Alpine Swift.... Woodchat Shrike....Barn Swallow....Marsh Harrier 1....Black-eared Wheatear....Bee-eater ... Eleonora's Falcon ....Little Egret

                                       Marsh Harrier ....Circus aeruginosus

             

 From Nikos....

WOKE AT 6, DROVE TO OMALOS, WALKED TO GIGILOS' NECK AND RETURNED DEAD HAPPY AND TIRED...! I SEND SOME ALPINE SPECIALTIES...

5 images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                         Lammergeier......Gypaetus barbatus

        

                                             Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

        

                                          Alpine Accentor....Prunella collaris   

        

                                      Alpine Chough....Phyrrhocorax graculus

        

               Slide Gigilos to Thodorou, the scree slopes at the head of Samaria Gorge

     

 From Harry.....

Pam and I had a walk around the ancient Minoan site of Aptera today, we go there a few times a year. Birds seen were Crested Lark, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Stonechat, Buzzard, Ravens, Blackbirds, Sparrowhawk, Eleonora's Falcon,lots of Sparrows nesting in the Minoan remains, also a pair of Kestrels nesting in the Turkish fort.

4 images by and © harry Lough

                                          Kestrel.....Falco tinnunculus

         

         

                                          Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo

        

                                     Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

        

19th May

A fairly good day today with some cloud reasonable temperatures and a northwesterly wind to start, which later came in from the north.

The northwesterllies brought some migrants through and our local buzzards and crows now alert us to raptors that move through. we were therefore alerted at 0950 to a group of birds fairly high one turned out to be an Eastern Imperial Eagle the others all Common Buzzard. A little later several Honey Buzzard and two pale morph Booted Eagle. Bee-eater and Golden Oriole still about and five Eleonora's Falcon. A couple of groups of Great Tit with young used our water trough for a bathe. late pm an adult Boneilli's Eagle.

Kaliviani list....Swift ....Alpine Swift....Common Buzzard 2+4+1....Goldfinch....Blackbird.... Chaffinch.....Greenfinch....Golden Oriole....Hooded Crow....Sand Martin.... Spotted Flycatcher. Woodchat Shrike....Barn Swallow.... Crested Lark....Great Tit 10....Italian Sparrow.... Shag.... Eleonora's Falcon 3+1....Eastern Imperial Eagle....Honey Buzzard 7....Booted Eagle 2.... Griffon Vulture 2.... Black-eared Wheatear....Bee-eater....House Martin....Cetti's Warbler.... Red-rumped Swallow....Bonelli's Eagle 1.... Little Egret

                                  Eastern Imperial Eagle....Aquila heliaca

            At first it looked so pale and chunky I thought we had a 2cy Tawny Eagle !!

                       

18th May

16/17th dates now addes below

Today after a night of storms and temperatures only getting to 18.2oC at 0900 we encountered more rain showers throughout the day.

Nothing much to report on and no pictures today !

Kaliviani list....Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Hooded Crow.... Great Tit....Sardinian Warbler.... Shag 1....Little Egret 2 .... Yellow-legged Gull....Goldfinch....Italian Sparrow....House Sparrow  Eleonora's Falcon 5.... Blackbird....Black-eared Wheatear....Barn Swallow....Golden Oriole.... Woodchat Shrike....Common Buzzard 5....Kestrel 1....Cetti's Warbler....Bee-eater 15+            Griffon Vulture 2.... Spotted Flycatcher 3....Alpine Swift 20+

17th May

The weather changed slightly today lots of cloud moving in from the west and several heavy showers PM. We took a trip to Agyia where we met Manos and a visiting Dutch birder.

At home e are now seeing several Eleonora's Falcon every day and had yet more Bee-eater before we set off. All the usual species including 3 Griffon Vulture, Shag , Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover.

At Agyia 28 species (+ 1 Little Crake reported, not seen by us ! )

Little Grebe....Little Bittern 1....Night Heron 1....Squacco Heron 5....Little Egret 5....Mallard 2f + 6 chicks ....Marsh Harrier 2....Common Buzzard 1....Moorhen ....Coot....Wood Sandpiper 5. Redshank 1....Ruff 4....Yellow-legged Gull 30+....Whiskered Tern 2....Alpine Swift....Sand Martin.... Baarn Swallow....House Martin....Yellow Wagtail (feldegg and flava ) ....Blackbird.... Blackcap....Cetti's Warbler....Hooded Crow.... Italian Sparrow....Chaffinch.... Goldfinch.... Greenfinch.

                                           Italian Sparrow....Passer italiae

                 

                                             Little Egret...Egretta Garzetta

               

             

                           

                                       Little Grebe....Tachybaptus ruficollis

              

                                 Coot....Fulica atra dining on American Toad tadpole

       

                                           Mallard....Anas Platyrhynchos

        The other female has lost all her chicks to the Gulls, hopefully this one will do better

                   

 

                                      Whiskered Tern....Chilidonias hybrida

    Having only seen juveniles before these two in summer plumage were a delight to see !

           

       

                          

                                         Squacco Heron....Ardeola ralliodes

            

                                        American Toad....Rana catesbeiana

         

Image below by and ©  Leo Tukker                         

                                             Little Crake.... Porzana parva

         

16th May

All our usual species , the main highlight was the several groups of Bee-eater with over 100+ seen (and heard !! ) Turtle Dove, Spotted Flycatcher, Scops Owl still moving through

15th May

Only a few birds today, The weather was very strange, still fairly warm but a westerly wind 4-6 Beaufort and mostly cloudy wind through the trees made it difficult to spot anything the only notable was a group of 6 bee-eaters that landed near the house and later a flock of about 40 went over, heading north. Of raptors only our local Common Buzzard and a distant Kestrel were seen !

                              Bee-eater.....Merops apiaster  in nearby almond tree

              

A report from Viv at Agyia....                                                                                           We were at Lake Agias again today and saw a little bittern in the reeds near the bridge. 
I have not seen one before so very pleased.  It was a little beauty and was catching dragonflies. 
The lake was really quiet. Both newly hatched coot and moorhen at the pump house.           The moorhen are particularly protective. The wood sandpiper that has been there every time we have been recently is so attuned to us now it doesn't even blink! Little crake also in view but not the Baillon's crake. The common sandpiper that has been down by the bridge
is no longer there. Little egret, squacco hereon and grey heron feeding and flying.  Nothing much else though and we saw no raptors.
 
Viv

                                          Little Bittern....Ixobrychus minutus

                                                                                                                                                 

 

                          American Red-eared Terrapin....Trechemys scripta elegans

            Another  non native species that has been released into the waters of Crete

        

14th May

A report from Nikos at Katalyki Marsh added to yesterday's report.

Four more honey Buzzard over this morning and good views of Eleonora's Falcon.  After the young sparrows yesterday our first juvenile Stonechat.

Kaliviani list.....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Great Tit....Hooded Crow....Yellow-legged Gull.... Woodlark....Golden Oriole....Icterine Warbler....Black-eared Wheatear....Italian Sparrow.... Crested Lark....Blackbird....Eleonora's Falcon 5....Collared Dove....Woodchat Shrike 6.... Common Buzzard 7.... Raven....Goldfinch....Bee-eater....Honey Buzzard 4....Kestrel 3.... Shag 2.... Stonechat juv....Griffon Vulture 9.... Blue Tit....Little Egret 1....Little Ringed Plover 1  Wood Sandpiper 1.... Yellow Wagtail 3....Rock Dove 2.

                                              Stonechat.... Saxicola torquata

                                

                                       Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

          

                                             

13th May

A sighting of two Honey Buzzard just north of us, they circled for some time and were joined by a male Marsh Harrier and a Common Buzzard. 

A good number of recently fledged sparrows are about standing out quite well with their bright yellow bills.

Still several Common Buzzard moving through, I love to compare the plumage variations on this species and of course looking for the steppe buzzard in among them, sadly they are few.

Unfortunately our great tits that were nesting in a pot on our rear veranda have been predated. We last looked on the 1st and there were four eggs so we left them to it on the 4th there was some commotion with sparrows and tits having a noisy go at something, since then it has been fairly quiet, we heard the male for a few days but then it all went quiet, I checked the nest and the eggs were there but no sign of either bird, this morning the eggs had gone, we suspect either the weasel or Balkan Green Lizard.

This seems to happen a lot here we have found Greenfinch and Chaffinch nests in the olive trees that had birds sitting and a little later they have gone and no eggs, last year we had a Sardinian Warbler nest  that had a number of recently hatched the next morning the lot had gone !!

Kaliviani Species....Woodlark....Yellow-legged Gull....Rock Dove....Black-eared Wheatear .... Italian Sparrow....Woodchat Shrike....Cetti's Warbler....Blackbird....Great Tit....Alpine Swift.... House Martin....Raven....Shag 4.... Honey buzzard 2.... Marsh Harrier....Eleonora's Falcon 4 Common Buzzard 6.... Bee-eater....Crested Lark....Blue Rock Thrush....Griffon Vulture 2.... Sardinian Warbler.... Collared Dove....Icterine Warbler....Olivaceous Warbler.

                          Another migrating Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo                                                                                   

                   Honey Buzzard ....Pernis apivorus as they head north on Gramvousa

                          

                                     Scarce Footman..... Eilema complana

                          

REPORT FROM NIKOS AT KATALYKI MARSH......LIST:... MARSH HARRIER, BEE EATERS 15+, GREY HERON 3, SQUACCO 4, L.R.PLOVER 2, C.R.PLOVER 5, GREENSHANK, RUFF 50+,   WOOD SANDPIPER, LITTLE STINT 15+, , CURLEW SANDPIPER 20+, BLACK WINGED STILT, GULL-BILLED TERN 4 (NEW TO MY LIST), COLLARED PRATINCOLE (NEW TO MY LIST)

Two images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                       Collared Pratincole....Glareola pratincola

              

                                       Gull-billed Tern....Gelochelidon nilotica

              

12th May

No report from yesterday, we went to see the 2012 London Olympics torch relay on its route through greece , yesterday it came through Kissamos. All the usuual species were about though

Highlights for today ... A honey buzzard went north we almost missed it as we were putting our hoses out for watering the olive trees ! we daily see Eleonora's Falcon, this morning two circled above the house for some time intimidating a small flock of mixed hirundines. Later a pale morph booted eagle came along the coast and was seen off by the resident Hooded Crows. Golden Orioles still moving through along with Bee-eaters, smaller migrants are nowhere to be seen here !!

Today at Kaliviani ....Blackbird....Woodlark....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Goldfinch....Great Tit... Italian Sparrow....Crested Lark....Hooded Crow....Swift....House Martin....Barn Swallow.... Woodchat Shrike....Yellow-legged Gull....Shag 2....Black-eared Wheatear....Eleonora's Falcon Alpine Swift....Bee-eater....Stonechat....Honey Buzzard 1.... Raven.... Sardinian Warbler.... Common Buzzard 2+2+3.... Cetti's Warbler....Booted Eagle 1....Rock Dove....Peregrine Falcon....Golden Oriole....Collared Dove....Turtle Dove.....Wood Sandpiper....Yellow Wagtail.

                                  Migrant Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo

                         

                                        Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

                          

10th May

A report from Tilmann who visted Falasarna yesterday has been added to the 9th

Here at Kaliviani it was a working day, a few jobs to clear up but still with one eye to the sky !!. We also did a bit of insect watching on one of our oregano plants, pictures below.

A ring tailed harrier which could have been a pallid or a montagu's showed briefly as it headed north , a marsh harrier flew high over then spiralled down into the lower fields where it landed immediately and was not seen again. A noisy Peregrine and kestrel were seenhaving a set too over the house before the peregrine took flight !

Otherwise it was a quiet day

Species list ... Cetti's Warbler....Chaffinch....Common Buzzard 6....ring tailed Harrier 1.... Marsh Harrier 1....Yellow-legged Gull....Woodchat Shrike....Hooded Crow....Kestrel 1.... Peregrine Falcon 1....Griffon Vulture 1.... Blackbird ....Great Tit....Greenfinch... Corn Bunting.. Little Egret 1....Squacco Heron 1 these two come back each night to rapidly drying pools

                                       Peregrine Falcon.....Falco peregrinus

              

                                    A couple of Common Buzzard variations

                         

                         

Some of the insects seen on our oregano, please excuse not naming them we are  looking them up and will add as soon as possible

 

                                             Hoverfly....Vonucella zonaria

               

              

          

                                                       Polistes galicus          

               

                        

                           

               

               

                   

                

                                         Syrphidae - Eristalinus taeniops           

                        

                           

                           

                  

                               

                                                      Trichodes alvearius

                             

                                          Speckled Wood ....Pararge aegeria                     

                           

        

9th May

The only bird of note was a Honey Buzzard the species list was pretty much the same as yesterday !

Kaliviani list.... Woodlark....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow....Greenfinch.... Great Tit....Blackbird Cetti's Warbler....Marsh Harrier 3....Woodchat Shrike 5.... Hooded Crow.... Yellow-legged Gull Black-eared Wheatear....Icterine Warbler....Sardinian Warbler....Crested Lark....Shag 3.... Golden Oriole 7+....Common buzzard 2+3+6.... Goldfinch....Turtle Dove....Honey Buzzard 1 Griffon Vulture 19+4.... Bee-eater 20+....Raven .... Collared Dove....Corn Bunting.... Stonechat 4m 1f....Eleonora's Falcon 2....Swift....Barn Swallow.... Alpine Swift.... Rock Dove.... House Sparrow.... Squcco Heron 1....Little Egret 1.... Nightjar....Scops Owl.

                                         Honey Buzzard ....Pernis apivorus

                          

                                        Small Copper.....Lycaena phlaeas

                          

                                                       Scolia flavifrons 

                           

                                           Rock Lettuce....Petromarula pinnata

                             

From Tilmann .....

At Falasarna I went to the swampy area some distance north of the small harbour.

There were.....

2 Purple Heron
Squacco Heron
1 Little Bittern

1 Snipe
1 Black-winged Stilt
Little Stint
Wood Sandpiper
Ruff
Little Ringed Plover
1 Little Crake
Great Reed Warbler                  

8th May

Two images from Nikos added, Osprey on the 5th and a triple bird pic on the 6th

A report from Tilmann's visit to Agyia has been added to the 7th

Two more nocturnal species added to our list for yesterday .

At Kaliviani today.... Another first for a home patch species, an Eastern Olivaceous  Warbler....Hippolais pallida was calling for half an hour as it sat in shrubs in our front garden.

A trip along our local beach road  a young little Ringed Plover with its parents faithfully guarding it.

Species for today ....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Great Tit....Olivaceous Warbler....Raven Sardinian Warbler....Hooded Crow....Yellow-legged Gull....Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler.... Crested Lark....Golden Oriole 10+....Black-eared Wheatear....Eleonora's Falcon....Shag 3.... Woodchat Shrike 3....Common Buzzard 1....Goldfinch....Stonechat....Yellow Wagtail....Wood Sandpiper....Little Ringed Plover 3....Little Egret 1....Turtle Dove....Collared Dove....Rock Dove  Marsh Harrier....Bee-eater. At 2315hrs at least 2 Scops Owls nearby and a good number of Nightjars can be heard.

                                     Little Ringed Plover.... Charadrius dubius

                                                     The hose is 2cm  !!

                  

                                     Shag....Phalacrocorax aristotelis ssp desmarestii      

                  

                                           Woodchat Shrike....Lanius senator

                            

                                        Yellow-legged Gull....Larus michahellis

7th May

Highlights, lots of golden Oriole moving through, both  in the gulley behind the house and in the tamerisk trees along the road to Balos.

Lots of hirundines feeding around the house.

Species list.... Woodchat Shrike ....Sardinian Warbler...House Martin....Swift....Barn Swallow   Sand Martin....Black-eared Wheatear....Chaffinch....Blackbird...Cetti's Warbler....Golden Oriole 1+4....Yellow-legged Gull 31....Alpine Swift....Corn Bunting....Blue Rock Thrush....Woodlark   Raven.... Goldfinch....Greenfinch....Hooded Crow....Common Buzzard....Bee-eater....Great Tit Eleonora's Falcon....Spotted Flycatcher....Little Egret....Crested lark....Wood Sandpiper.... Yellow Wagtail....Barn Owl....Nightjar ( several churring )

From Tilmann at Agyia....
 
1 Great Bittern
1 Little Bittern
1 Glossy Ibis
lots of Squacco Herons
Grey Heron
Little Egret
dozens of Wood Sandpipers
Ruff
1 Peregrine Falcon
Little Crake
Nightingale
Sedge Warbler
Yellow Wagtail (feldegg)
 
and the rather common species.
 
Regards,
 
Tilmann

6th May

Today at Moronis.... Curlew Sandpiper... Little Stint....Temminck's Stint....Night Heron....    Little Bittern....Little Egret....Olivacious Warbler....Reed Warbler....Wood Sandpiper....   Common Sandpiper....Greenshank

From Harry....

Walked along the shoreline from Norigeia to just past the church further along the headland today.Birds spotted were, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Ravens 3, Chaffinch, Shag, Blackbird ,  Blue Rock Thrush, Common Sandpiper

2 images by and © Harry Lough

                                   Common Sandpiper..... Actitis hypoleucos

         

                                             Shag.....Phalacrocorax aristotelis

        

From Kaliviani.....

Highlights ... A male Cuckoo flew past the front of the house and landed for a brief moment in a tree 100 metres away. Icterine warblers visited our bird bath in the olive grove, Bee-eaters are still coming through and Eleonora's Falcons appear throughout the day.

Species list... Chaffinch....Great Tit....Greenfinch....Sardinian Warbler....Woodchat shrike.... Spotted Flycatcher....Raven.... Cuckoo....Bee-eater 11....Icterine Warbler... Hooded Crow Black-eared Wheatear....Yellow-legged Gull....Shag 3....Cetti's Warbler....Woodlark....Swift  Corn Bunting.... Turtle Dove....Crested Lark....Barn Swallow....Common Buzzard 2+4 Blackbird  Eleonora's Falcon....Kestrel 2....Sqaucco Heron 1....Swift.... Alpine Swift....Nightjar  Wood Sandpiper 5....Scope Owl ( 1heard )

Image by and ©  Nikos Samaritakis

                        Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper and Little stint at Moronis

       

 

5th May

We were woken by the bee-eaters this morning ! several flocks passed by through the day the largest with about thirty plus birds.

After yesterday's statement that we have no warblers , we found Wood and Willow in the trees this morning along with a few Spotted Flycatchers.

A few raptors as well, a bonelli's eagle did a quick flypast, a single honey buzzard  a couple of marsh harriers and a dark morph booted eagle.

Species for Kaliviani ....Bee-eaters....Great Tit....Chaffinch...Italian Sparrow.... Cetti's Warbler Black-eared Wheatear....Spotted Flycatcher....Wood Warbler....Sardinian Warbler...Blackbird Barn Swallow....House Martin....Sand Martin.... Crested Lark....Meadow Pipit....Corn Bunting Greenfinch....Booted Eagle....Common Buzzard 3+5....Raven....Shag 3.... Yellow-legged Gull Woodchat Shrike....Honey Buzzard....Golden Oriol....Marsh Harrier....Wood Sandpiper 3.

One image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                         Osprey....Pandion haliaetus at Agyia

  

4th May

With Antikythera still picking up many small migrants ( warblers and flycatchers ) we are not seeing any here at Kaliviani !  The olive groves and gullies are empty ! The Falcons are still along the beach road with no increase in numbers, the only birds seen in force today were Bee-eaters, a few flocks passed through and one flock of 70+ stayed around near the house for nearly four hours feeding, it was lovely to hear their calls again, they decimated the bee numbers though !!

Species seen, not many being as we were all eyes on the Bee-eaters in the afternoon !....

Blackbird....Chaffinch....Yellow-legged Gull....Great Tit....Hooded Crow....Greenfinch.... Bee-eater 1+16+ 25+ 70+.....Barn Swallow 3....Spotted Flycatcher 1.... Marsh Harrier 2....  Black-eared Wheatear 1....Woodchat Shrike ....Italian Sparrow ....Shag 2....Corn Bunting.... Red-footed Falcon.... Crested Lark....Common Buzzard .

                                             Bee-eater..... Merops apiaster

                          

           

        

        

                           

     

                       

                                 Bee-eaters in front of the still snow covered Kefka Ori

        

3rd May

A few more Red-footed Falcons arrive otherwise it was a very quiet day, there were no migratory warblers....

Species....Woodlark....Chaffinch....Great Tit....Hooded Crow....Shag....Marsh Harrier 2.... Common Buzzard 2...Woodchat Shrike 3...Alpine Swift....Raven 1....Whinchat 2....Stonechat 1 Italian Sparrow....Yellow-legged Gull....Red-footed Falcon, 6 5male.... Golden Oriole.... Blackbird.... Eleonora's Falcon 1....Kestrel 2....Cetti's Warbler....Bee-eater....Greenfinch.... Yellow Wagtail several good sized groups.... Black-eared Wheatear...Sardinian Warbler.... Crested Lark....Corn Bunting.

2nd May

A long day out along the coast and at Agyia.26oC in the shade, summer is here !!

Of note Red-footed Falcons are still west of Kissamos at Viglia.

There are 3 White-winged Terns at Agyia and excellent views still of Black-winged Stilt , Baillon's Crake , Little Crake , Ruff and Wood Sandpiper in  front of the pump house. Good numbers 50+ of Wood Sandpiper, several Grey Herons and Little Egret  a Black-crowned Night Heron and a Little Bittern.

Normally we only see Wren at Omalos, today one at Agyia our first for this site.

An Olivacious Warbler was very verbal at the first stand of bamboo on the right towards the footbridge. 

A new trip report added from Stephen Dean.Thanks Stephen

Species-Kaliviani ....Chaffinch....Marsh Harrier 2, hunting lower fields....Red-footed Falcon 3.. Woodchat Shrike 4....Yellow-legged Gull 27....Great Tit 2....Blackbird 5....Swift ....Greenfinch House Martin....Black-eared Wheatear 1....Alpine Swift....Barn Swallow.... Stonechat.... Whinchat....Blue Rock Thrush 1....Common Buzzard....Goldfinch....Sand Martin...Raven.... Hooded Crow....Eleonora's Falcon 2....Cetti's Warbler.... Golden Oriole 8....Bee-eater 16.... Little Egret 1....Squacco Heron 1.

Species - Beach Viglia... Wood Sandpiper....Red-footed Falcon....Greenfinch.... Yellow-legged gull.... Little ringed Plover....Common Sandpiper....Yellow Wagtail.

Species - Tavronitis....Wood sandpiper....Common Sandpiper....Grey Heron 1.... Moorhen 3....Great Reed Warbler at river mouth....Yellow-legged Gull 24....Shag 1offshore.... Hooded Crow.... Italian Sparrow....Chaffinch....Golden Oriole....Common Buzzard....Barn Swallow.... Blackcap... Yellow Wagtail....Greenfinch. This area is still fenced and very overgrown with the bamboo, visiblity is very limited.

Species - Agyia lake....Greenfinch....Great Tit.... Yellow Wagtail.... Blackcap....Serin.. Marsh Harrier 1....Barn Swallow....Little Bittern 1....Black-crowned Night Heron.... Squacco Heron 3.... White-winged Tern 3....Grey Heron 5....Purple Heron 1.... LittleEgret 5....Wood sandpiper 50+....Yellow-legged Gull 20....Common Buzzard 5 circling over lake....Sparrowhawk 1....Little Grebe....Mallard pair +1 young...Coot +young....Moorhen....Ruff 2....Black-winged Stilt 1....Glossy ibis 2.... Baillon's Crake 1 Little Crake 3....Sedge warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Wren 1, in trees over footbridge.... Chaffinch....Goldfinch....Olivacious Warbler.

                                 Black-winged Stilt ....Himantopus himantopus

        

                          

                                                Little Crake....Porzana parva

               

             

                                          Baillon's Crake....Porazana pusilla

                           

 

            

         

          

                   

         

              Sue took this with the 18-55mm lens as the baillon's walked past her feet

        

                                   Sedge Warbler....Acrocephalus shoenobaenus

                          

                                   White-winged Tern.... Chlidonias leucopterus

         

          

         

                                                Ruff....Philomachus pugnax

             

       

         

                                         Wood Sandpiper....Tringa glareola

                         

                                                Chaffinch....Fringilla coelebs

             

                                    Yellow-legged Gull ....Larus michahellis

         

                                            Moorhen....Gallinula chloropus    

            

                                                      Coot....Fulica atra

     

                                         Night Heron....Nyctocorax nyctocorax

                   

                                            Little egret .... Egretta garzetta

            

                                           Dice Snake....Natrix tessellata

     

                                         Assasin Bug.... Rhinocoris iracundus

                 

                                               The weir at Agyia in full flow   

          

1st May

30th April updated with reports and images from Alan and Harry

Our day was again spent at home in the morning and a walk to the beach road and fields to see the Red-footed Falcons. A couple of 2cy males and an adult female entertained in the moderate winds as they hunted for beetles. Eleonora's Falcon are increasing we saw three today along with a pale morph Booted Eagle, Marsh Harrier and a single Honey Buzzard .We hade no warblers except our resident Sardies and only one Spotted Flycatcher !!!!

An unusual bird today, a Woodchat Shrike, unusual in that it had no black on its lores or forehead it stayed around for the morning but distant, we had good scope views. Images below.

Species for home and beach road....Chaffinch....Great Tit ( our resident pair have started laying ) ....Golden Oriole 8.... Common Buzzard 2 resident +5....Sardinian Warbler....  Hooded Crow....Alpine Swift....Barn Swallow....Eleonora's Falcon 3....Woodchat Shrike.... Red-rumped Swallow....Shag 1.... Yellow-legged Gull, good numbers in the bay and fields.... House Martin....Bee-eater....Greenfinch....Marsh Harrier 1....Whinchat....Sand Martin.... Booted Eagle 1.... Cetti's Warbler.... Swift.... Goldfinch....Raven.... Honey Buzzard 1.... Red-footed Falcon, 1f, 2x2cy m..... Wood Sandpiper 5.... Little Stint 1....Yellow Wagtail.... Little Ringed Plover 5....Squacco Heron 1....Crested Lark.... Griffon Vulture 2.... Collared Dove Blackbird....Italian Sparrow....Goldfinch....Corn Bunting....Spotted Flycatcher.

 

                                         Woodchat Shrike ....Lanius senator

                                        Note lack of black head markings !!

      

                          

                                        Wood Sandpiper....Tringa glareola

         

                                          Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

      

                                          Honey Buzzard....Pernis apivorus

                

                                 Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo on migration

                          

                               Our three Eleonora's Falcon.... Falco eleonorae

                  

           

     

                                     Squacco Heron....Ardeola ralloides

           

Forgive us for the number of images of these lovely little falcons , they are only around for a week or two, numbers fluctuate annually and we may see no more until next year !!!

                                  Red-footed Falcon....Falco vespertinus

                                                       adult female

   

                          

                          

                 

                                           Transitional males ( 2cy Spring )

                                                  Images 1-6 same bird 

                           

         

                           

                

         

                    

             

30th April

Highlights of the day, Red-footed Falcons are back, a couple of males and a couple of females on the electric wires behind Viglia beach, also a couple of Little Stint in a small pool, we were out for a walk so no camera !!!

Species list home.... Cetti's Warbler....Turtle Dove 8....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Great Tit... Sardinian Warbler ....Woodchat Shrike.... Tree Pipit....Swift....Sand Martin....Alpine Swift.... Golden Oriole.... Yellow-legged Gull....Common Buzzard....Marsh Harrier.... Greenfinch.... Barn Swallow.

Beach .... Little Stint 2....Little Ringed Plover 6....Crested Lark.... Red-footed Falcon 4.... Goldfinch.... Italian Sparrow.... Yellow-legged Gull 7....Greenfinch 4....Whinchat 1....         Corn Bunting 1....Bee-eater, heard....Common Buzzard 1.... Sardinian Warbler 3.

 

From Harry ...

Had a walk along the beach area from Tavronitis to Kolambari this morning,very quiet,moorhen,yellow-legged gulls,goldfinch,blackbird,little stint,little bittern, squacco, woodchat shrike, that was it still a pleasant walk though !

three images by and © Harry Lough

                                           Little Bittern....Ixobrychus minutus

        

                                          Squacco Heron....Ardeola ralloides

       

                                                Little Stint....Calidris minuta

       

 From Alan......

Went out for an early evening drive to Kallikratis area - again!  We had seen golden orioles and bee-eaters there yesterday and couldn't resist another look.  No bee-eaters today, but just managed a shot of female golden oriole before we lost light.  Other birds seen included collared flycatcher, redstart, willow warbler, blackcap, and lots of spotted flycatcher.

On the way home we came across a large number of ravens and griffons near Miriokefala.  There must have been a carcass just out of sight for us, but we were able to watch and listen to much swooping and grunting, as visits were made.

Two images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                           Golden Oriole....Oriolus oriolus

                       

                                           Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

                        

29th April

28th updated,  with Sue's flowers and views and some images from Alan

Nothing much to report from Kaliviani other than an Eleonora's Falcon and a male Marsh Harrier

28th April

We were on the the road at 430am to go to Mount Kofinas , Asterousia with Nikos. We got back home at 930pm after spending the day at over 1000 mtrs, with the eagles and vultures, plenty of flowers and birds, a brilliant day, many thanks to Nikos for showing us this beautiful place.

We all had problems with cameras focusing with heat haze and the harsh light, lots of pictures even the flowers were not looking right and had a shimmering effect.

We started in the dark and apart from a few collared doves and hooded crows we never saw anything until the foothills  of this range. As we started our ascent, and it must have been only five minutes, a shout from Sue and Nikos, I was watching the road and saw the shadow at the same time "Lammy"  It was only a two or three metres above the roof of the car as it soared over us , we exited the car like it was full of bees, Nikos had his camera, mine was still in the bag !!! after four hours on the road I was still in driving mode.  I watched as it disappeared but then circled around and came checking us out ( by this time my camera was out ) we had two more passes by this bird and then saw it again later in the afternoon as we watched a golden eagle.

What a start to the day , Nikos made a promise of Lammergeier and plenty of griffons we did not think the day would start this good.

We watched for a good five minurtes until it went over a ridge and away. A magical bird to see but to have it skim the car roof  ! Its amazing that this vulture silently arrives without warning as it drifts along the ridges hardly visible until it rises into the blue of the sky.

                                      Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

   

  

  

  

 

We progressed towards the top of the range, at one point we counted upwards of 70 griffons as they rose from the steep cliffs on the south side and headed diagonally in a northwestly direction.. We took many small tracks that lead nowhere searching out the birds, flowers, reptiles and insects, ending our day at the east of the range. On our way home we found a common buzzard nest, whilst watching we added three more species to our list, bee-eaters, cettis and olivaceous warbler, then onwards towards home picking up jackdaw, hoopoe and yellow-legged gulls, which took our species list to 41.

Our days list.... Lammergeier 3 sightings....Griffon Vulture 70+.... Collared Dove....Hooded Crow.... Woodlark.... Black-eared Wheatear....Chaffinch....Golden Oriole 10+....Wood Pigeon Blue Rock Thrush 7.... Blackbird....Kestrel....Common Buzzard.... Raven.... Chough 20+ Crested Lark....Corn Bunting.... Yellow Wagtail.... Wren....Golden Eagle 2.... Linnet....Great Tit Crag Martin ....Alpine Swift....Northern Wheatear.... Stonechat....Ortolan 5+....Barn Swallow.... Swift....Whinchat 2....Woodchat Shrike 1....Bee-eater 15+....Chukar 2....Spotted Flycatcher.... Goldfinch....Cetti's Warbler....Olivaceous Warbler....Hoopoe 1  heard....Jackdaw 3.... Greenfinch and Yellow-legged Gull.

                                           Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

 

  

 

                                              Chukar....Alectoris chukar

    

                                           Brown Argus....Aricia agestis

 

                                        Chough....Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

  

 

                                              Golden Eagle....Aquila chrysaetos 

   

      

 

                                             Corn Bunting....Miliaria calandra

                      

                          Snails high in the mountain, sorry we have no name for these

              

                                     Cretan Marsh Frog....Rana cretensis

        

        

                                           Ortolan....Emberiza hortulana

            

                                             Bee-eater.....Merops apiaster

    

                                               Cretan Arum....Arum creticum

           

                                               View from Mount Kofinas

        

                                        Rumex tuberosus ssp. creticus

       

                                                Centaurea raphanina

               

                                                    Campanula spatulata

        

                                          Cretan Ebony....Ebenus cretica

                         

 Four images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                     Spotted Flycatcher ....Muscicapa striata

                   

                                       Tulip Cretica now in flower at Omalos

                                           Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank 

        

                                     Yellow-legged Gull....Larus michahellis

          

27th April

This morning we woke to lots of chattering from Great Tit and Chaffinch. When we went outside we found lots of Spotted Flycatcher, perhaps 20 around the house along with a good number of Icterine Warbler, they were all busy feeding on a great number of insect. The Spotted flycatchers could all be seen fluttering up into the air from their favourite perchs the icertines were busy in the thinner tree branches. Golden Orioles were noisy in the Tamerisk trees and as hard as we looked we could only find a couple of females and a single male, judging by their flutey calls there must have been far more.

Our home list.....Great Tit....Chaffinch....Garden Warbler 2....Italian Sparrow....Sardinian Warbler....Spotted Flycatcher.... Semi-collared Flycatcher....Icterine Warbler ....Hoopoe.... Woodchat Shrike ....Black-eared Wheatear....House Martin....Barn Swallow....Blackbird .... Goldfinch....Common Buzzard....Whinchat....Turtle Dove....Kestrel....Yellow Wagtail....   Crested Lark.... Corn Bunting....Golden Oriole....Hooded Crow.... Blue Tit....Greenfinch.... Raven....Wood Sandpiper 2....Squacco Heron 1....Little Egret 1.

No images today, hopefully some camera time tomorrow !

26th April

We take our species list to 226 today with a rare vagrant for Crete, the Great Spotted Cuckoo.

We had taken an afternoon trip to Falasarna and had not long returned home. Looking through the scope from the veranda down towards the beach, I was hoping to spot the little egret near the rapidly drying pools, as luck would have it I picked it up at Viglia flying towards the pools, so followed it in. Just as the egret came into land it scared a largish bird which suddenly caught my eye as it rose off the ground and into a tamerisk tree . It was sat for a while facing us and thinking it was  sparrowhawk continued to watch. The behaviour was all wrong as it hopped a couple of branches, it then flew further into the tree where it stayed until a car came by and it flew once more to the ground where we confirmed it as the cuckoo. Pretty late in the day at 715pm I jumped into the car and hoped it would stay . I managed a few pictures in fading light and then left it to its feeding.

A first for us anywhere ,this bird is remarkably magpie like in its behaviour and being as we have no magpies on Crete this was lovely to see, only a couple of these cuckoo are recorded annually. 

                                  Great Spotted Cuckoo.... Clamator glandarius

        

        

        

         

Our home list.....Bee-eater....Swift....Alpine Swift.... Pallid Swift.... House Martin.... Great Tit Sand Martin.... Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Goldfinch....Whinchat....Corn bunting....Kestrel  Cetti's Warbler ....Yellow-legged Gull .... Common Buzzard.... Wood Warbler....            Spotted Flycatcher....Barn Swallow.... Hooded Crow....Wood Sandpiper....Golden Oriole.... Eleonora's Falcon 1.... Great Spotted Cuckoo....Squcco Heron....Marsh Harrier....

Falasarna List.... Eleonora's Falcon 2....Swift....Alpine Swift....Red-rumped Swallow.... Barn Swallow.... House Martin.... White Wagtail....Common Sandpiper 2....Wood Sandpiper 1.... Purple Heron 1.... Raven....Yellow-legged Gull....Cormorant 1.... Italian Sparrow.... Kestrel     Little Ringed Plover ....Common Buzzard 5....Woodchat Shrike 1....Stonechat.... Snipe 1.... Moorhen 2....Little Egret 3....Tawny Pipit....Crested Lark....Whinchat....Spotted Flycatcher.... Blackbird....Goldfinch....Black-eared Wheatear.

                                    Red-rumped Swallow....Hirundo daurica

           

                                          Tawny Pipit.....Anthus campestris

              

                          

                                   Common Sandpiper....Actitis hypoleucos

       

                                              Snipe.... Gallinago gallinago

        

                                       Eleonora's Falcon....Falco eleonorae

                 Numbers will steadily increase over the coming week, 3 seen today

          

                                     Common Darter....Sympetrum striolatum

                

                                          Paper Wasp....polistes  gallicus

          

25th April

What started off looking like a good birding day soon turned into a very windy one, all the small birds disappeared and any calls were swept away.

Before that we had good sightings of collared flycatcher, here in good numbers at the moment  ! Golden Orioles could be heard calling but we never got to see one,  and the highlight was an Osprey that flew over and headed towards Falasarna.

One bird we are not sure of, sighted just before the winds got too strong, was a warbler along the coast road. Hearing it we thought we were looking for reed warbler , but then we found only what looked like sedge warbler, the images below are inconclusive but we think it may have been a moustached Warble. Any views/advice would be welcome. Whichever it is it will be a first for us at this location

Kaliviani list..... Blackbird....Chaffinch....Yellow-legged Gull....Bee-eater....Great Tit.... Hooded Crow....Corn Bunting....Black-eared Wheatear....Whinchat....Little Egret....Swift .. Golden Oriole ....Woodchat Shrike....Common Buzzard....Collared Flycatcher....Shag....    Italian Sparrow.... Alpine Swift....House Martin....Barn Swallow....Osprey....Hoopoe....Meadow Pipit.... Collared Dove.... Yellow Wagtail....Little Ringed Plover....Common Sandpiper.....    Tree Pipit .... Griffon Vulture 3....Crested Lark and   ???? Sedge/Moustached Warbler????

                                                          The warbler

                           

       

                                           Osprey ....Pandion haliaetus

         

24th April

After yesterdays good birding, as always a quiet day follows !!

Kaliviani species........Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Goldfinch....Spotted Flycatcher.... Great Tit.... Hooded Crow....Bee-eater....Sardinian Warbler....Tree Pipit.... Meadow Pipit.... Yellow Wagtail Yellow-legged Gull....Cormorant....Kestrel....Common Buzzard....Collared Flycatcher.... Swift Blackbird .... Pied Flycatcher....Turtle Dove....Collared Dove....Willow Warbler....Alpine Swift Little Egret....Whitethroat....Chiffchaff....Stonechat....Raven....Whinchat....Corn Bunting.... Crested lark.... Barn Swallow....Woodchat Shrike....Scops Owl.

                                         Woodchat Shrike.... Lanius major

                                                  Female left and male

           

                           Pied Flycatcher....Ficedula hypoleuca female with Chaffinch

                             

                                         Collared Flycatcher....Ficedula albicollis

                             

                                              Stonechat....Saxicola torquatus

                            

                                   A worn Southern Festoon ....Zerynthia polyxena

           

                                  Holly Blue ....Celastrina argiolus    I think !!

            

                                                 Crocothemis erythraea                     

             

23rd April

More migrant raptors today, most fairly high and the heat haze made for bad photos !!! We managed some though and only missed out on a few of the eleven raptor species seen.

Our local buzzards set upon the larger raptors and saw them rapidly off from their territory it was a Yellow-legged Gull that turned the tables later in the day as it sent one scurrying back to its favourite ledge !!

Notable arrivals .....Eleonora's Falcon 2 dark morph....and Red-footed Falcon, a single  female was a flyby , we hope others will stop on their way north, these are always a delight to see as they stay about two weeks, feeding low over the ground.

A first for Kaliviani  was a Collared Pratincole, we have only seen this species once before I think in 2003 at Tavronitis, today one flew over heading towards Falasarna.

The best part of the day was 8am when we went outside to a sky full of  swfts, alpine swifts, barn swallows, house martins, sand martins , pallid swift and bee-eaters all swooping around feeding, a wonderful sound and sight . 

We had a good birding day 53 species and  all spotted from our property , todays species....

Blackbird....Chaffinch...Great Tit....Greenfinch .... Blue Tit....Tree Pipit....House Martin.... Black-eared Wheatear....Wood Warbler....Collared Flycatcher....Hooded Crow....Woodlark.... Common Buzzard, local 2 +28 over the day....Golden Oriole....Woodchat Shrike....Whinchat Yellow-legged Gull.... Barn Swallow....Swift....Pallid Swift....Alpine Swift.... Sand Martin.... Bee-eater, several large groups 80+.... Corn Bunting....Italian Sparrow.... Ortolan 2.... Raven Turtle Dove....Rock Dove....Cormorant 2....Hoopoe....Sardinian Warbler....Pied Flycatcher.... Northern Wheatear....Griffon Vulture 2....Collared Pratincole 1....Red-rumped Swallow.... Red-footed Falcon 1f....Bonelli's Eagle 2cy....Eleonora's falcon 2 dark....Kestrel....Linnet.... Stonechat....Booted Eagle 1 pale 2 dark.... Yellow Wagtail....Lesser Spotted Eagle....Black Kite Spotted Flycatcher....Honey Buzzard....Shag....Little Egret....Sparrowhawk....Scops Owl.

 

                                             Bee-eater....Merops apiaster

          

                                                      Three in a tree

            

                                                   Swift....Apus apus

           

                                              Alpine Swift.....Apus melba

                        

                                                    Great Tit ....Parus major

               

                                                    with nesting material

                            

                                         Wood Warbler....Phylloscopus sibilatrix

              

                                         Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciata 2cy

           

                                         Being seen off by our local buzzard

                          

                          

                                       Eleonora's Falcon.... Falco eleonorae

            

                                             Booted Eagle ....Aquila pennata

                                                          In the morning

            

                                    The same bird visited again in the evening

              

                                              One of the dark morph birds

                           

                                     One of our buzzards sees another raptor off !!

                           

                                        Lesser spotted  Eagle....Aquila pomarina

                            

                                                Black Kite....Milvus migrans

                                With our buzzard again seeing off another species

       

                                      Red-rumped Swallow....Hirundo daurica

              

                                          Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo

                       Being seen off by Yellow-legged gull....Larus michahellis

            

22nd April

Some high migrant raptors passed today, of note a Long-legged Buzzard and a Honey Buzzard in among the 27 Common Buzzard and 2 Marsh Harrier.

 Home species....Blackbird....Chaffinch....Hooded Crow....Swift.... Alpine Swift.... Barn Swallow Greenfinch....Italian Sparrow....Yellow-legged Gull....Common Buzzard 2+12+11+4.... Bee-eater 20+30....Black-eared Wheatear.... Marsh Harrier 2.... Goldfinch.... Cormorant 1 Sardinian Warbler....Shag 2 ....Honey Buzzard 1....Long-legged Buzzard 1.... Golden Oriole .. Woodchat Shrike.... House Martin.... Griffon Vulture 7.... Great Tit.... Corn Bunting.... Stonechat ....Yellow Wagtail.... Scops Owl ( at least 4 around the house)

 

1 image by and © Nikos Samaritakis of an Osprey over Agyia today

                                            Osprey ....Pandion haliaetus

         

 

From Alan who was also at Agyia today ....

I took myself off to Agia and spent a couple of hours between 9 and 11.  Most of the recent records are still around, including singles of black-winged stilt, glossy ibis and the Baillon's crake.  One of each heron species seen, except squacco for which there were three.  I was concentrating on the reeds as a great reed warbler was close to the pump as I arrived, and I haven't seen too many of them over the years.  In the end I was able to get photos of that and a sedge warbler.  Walking round to the far side I disturbed a male little bittern and had fleeting views of reed warbler. 

I was able to get some nice close-ups of the stilt, glossy, Baillon's and wood sandpiper

6 images by and  © Alan Hargrave

                                  Black-winged Stilt....Himantopus himantopus

          

                                      Baillon's Crake.......Porzana pusilla

                          

                                           Wood Sandpiper.....Tringa glariola

                

                               Great Reed Warbler....Acrocephalus arundinaceus

                         

                                           Glossy Ibis.....Plegadis falcinellus

                      

                                             Kestrel....Falco tinnunculus

                        

21st April

A fairly quiet day today even our resident buzzards were not flying. We are careful not to disturb them at the moment. When we leave the house we have to pass their nest site, at present there are two eggs, they are fairly tolerant of us though. we also have great tit nesting in a jar in the garden and goldfinch in one of the conifers we planted so its all go as they transport nest material and scold us when we get too near. A lovely time of year.

 A poor species list today from home....Woodchat Shrike....Sardinian Warbler....Chaffinch.... Hooded Crow.... Italian Sparrow....Yellow Wagtail....Bee-eater....Great Tit....Barn Swallow.... Shag.... Cormorant.... Blackbird....Yellow-legged Gull....Greenfinch....Chaffinch....Raven.... Common Buzzard....Turtle Dove....Linnet....Crested Lark....Corn Bunting.

The only picture for today comes from Nikos who sent us this brilliant captureof what is known in Crete as an Ophis in the process of swallowing one of the tadpoles of the American Toad....Rana catesbeiana

1 image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                       Dice Snake....Natrix tessellata

 

20th April

We met up with Harry & Pam, Viv & Graham today at Agyia There seemed to be more birders than species, Tilmann was just leaving, then we met eight other birders on holiday plus Nikos arrived. A busy day !!!

Species seen at home and on route  ....Chaffinch....Hooded Crow....Woodchat Shrike.... Sardinian Warbler....Barn Swallow....Little Ringed Plover....Shag....Collared Dove....Kestrel.... Greenfinch...Crested Lark....Sand Martin....Northern Wheatear....Corn Bunting....Whinchat ... Scops Owl.

AGYIA LAKE....Little Grebe ...Squacco Heron....Little Egret...Glossy Ibis....Mallard +2 young....  Feruginous Duck 2....Marsh Harrier....Common Buzzard....Little Crake....Moorhen....Coot.... Black-winged Stilt....Wood Sandpiper.... Greenshank....Yellow-legged Gull....Collared Dove.... Swift.... Alpine Swift....Barn Swallow....Yellow Wagtail (flava & feldegg).... Blackbird.. Blackcap.  Sardinian Warbler....Sedge Warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Great Tit....Blue Tit.... Hooded Crow... Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Goldfinch.

Tilmann reported a Baillon's Crake, but we could not locate it.

A couple of photos from Alan posted onto the 19th.

                                      Black-winged Stilt....Himantopus himantopus

       

    

  

                                              Greenshank..... Tringa nebularia

   

                                            Glossy Ibis....Plegadis falcinellus

   

                                          Wood Sandpiper....Tringa glareola

                          

From Alan.....

Margaret and I visited Rodopos peninsular again today.  Apart from buzzard, kestrel and sparrowhawk, no other raptors today, on what was a very windy day.  We had more success with smaller birds - most memorable sightings were spotted, pied and collared flycatchers, female redstart, tree pipit (a first for us!), tawny pipit x 3, wryneck x 2, a solitary bee-eater, Spanish sparrow x 3, whitethroat and Ruppell's warbler.  A few images attached.

The last photo was supposed to be a perched spotted flycatcher.  It took off in pursuit of its prey - and the prey is what is in focus!

                                          Bee-eater.... Merops apiaster

           

                                      Pied Flycatcher....Ficedula hypoleuca

              

                                              Whitethroat....Sylvia communis

                  

                                              Wryneck....Jynx torquilla

        

                                     Spotted Flycatcher....Muscicapa striata

     

 

19th April

After bad storms yesterday when we never did any birding, today turned out to be quite windy and sunny . We headed out for a walk onto Gramvousa. Birding was reasonably good , with Pied Flycatchers in good numbers , our first Spotted Flycatcher and Ortolan for the year, a female Hen Harrier and a juv male Marsh Harrier.

A Blue Cheeked Bee-eater was apparently spotted on the south coast yesterday ! Definately one to watch out for and although we scanned a large group passing our way this morning its a species that still eludes us, we believe one or two a year pass though !

Species for home and Gramvousa .... Great Tit.... Goldfinch.... Chaffinch....Greenfinch.... Woodchat Shrike.... Blackbird.... Bee-eater 20+.... Hooded Crow.... Barn Swallow....Swift.... House Martin.... Black-eared Wheatear.... Sardinian Warbler.... Alpine Swift.... Pallid Swift ?... Common Buzzard.... Red-rumped Swallow.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Blue Tit.... Pied Flycatcher.... Cetti's Warbler.... Italian Sparrow .... Corn Bunting.... Little Egret.... Stonechat ... Griffon Vulture 1+5.... Yellow Wagtail.... Crag Martin.... Tree Pipit.... Golden Oriole f.... Spotted Flycatcher.... Redstart.... Scops Owl ,2 calling at 4pm !!!....Hen Harrier.... Whinchat ... Marsh Harrier.... Subalpine Warbler.... Whitethroat.... Willow Warbler.... Crested Lark....Raven Linnet.... Nightjar 43 species for the day

                                          Woodchat Shrike....Lanius senator

                                             Busy gathering nest material

                          

                          

                                    Pied flycatcher.....Ficedula Hypoleuca

                              

                          

                                                               female

                  

                                    Spotted Flycatcher.....Muscicapa striata

                           

                                            Hen Harrier.... circus cyaneus

            

               

                                       Quickly seen off by Hooded Crow

             

                                           Ortolan....Emberiza hortulana

                        

                                           Whitethroat....Sylvia communis

             

 From Alan

2 images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                              Jackdaw....Corvus monedula

 

                                            Woodlark...Lullula arborea

 

17th April

With variable winds up to 8 Beaufort at times, swinging all ways around the island but mainly from the south, bringing temperatures up to 26.9oC at one point, we did not expect to much today.

We did have out first sighting of Turtle Dove.

Our species list is pretty poor today.... Yellow-legged Gull....Blackbird....Collared Dove.... Chaffinch .... Common Buzzard....Kestrel....Hooded Crow....Crested Lark .... Shag.... Raven... Barn Swallow....Turtle Dove.... Nightingale....Little Egret.... Greenshank 1.... Griffon Vulture 1 Little Ringed Plover 7 ....Yellow Wagtail.... Italian Sparrow....Cormorant....Greenfinch.... Goldfinch.... Woodchat Shrike

                                          Greenshank..... Tringa nebularia

               

From Tilmann.....

Here's the list of birds I've seen in Aghia lately.
 
1 Glossy Ibis (photo)
1 Purple Heron
Grey Heron
Squacco Heron
Little Egret
1 Black-winged Stilt (photo)
Ruff
Woody Sandpiper
Little Crake
Except for one pair of Mallard and some two Ferrugineous Ducks no other ducks.
1 Black Kite
Yellow Wagtail ssp. flava and feldegg
Sedge Warbler
Swift
Alpine Swift
 
and the very common species.
 
Where are the Kingfishers?   Hopefully they will arrive in the next week , Colin

Two images by and ©  Tilmann Muller                               

 

                                        Glossy Ibis......Plegadis falcinellus

              

                                  Black-winged Stilt....Himantopus himantopus

                           

16th April

We birded the hills around the house in the hope of some migrants, we were not disappointed  Our highlights were a Spotted Eagle, our first Golden Oriole and Cretzschmars Bunting for this spring, the best and longest views and even a photo of singing male Ruppell's Warbler. Common Buzzards flew through most of the morning a count of 50+ we are sure there were more as a lot were really high and hard to spot. A Long-legged Buzzard and late evening we have 5+ young males and an adult male Marsh Harrier roosting in the lower fields

Species.... Sardinian Warbler....Chaffinch....Goldfinch.....Italian Sparrow.... Yellow-legged Gull Shag.... Greenfinch.... Greenshank....Wood Sandpiper....Barn Swallow.... Swift.... Alpine Swift.. Pallid Swift.... Woodchat Shrike.... Blackbird....Hooded Crow.... Crested Lark.... Nightingale.... Common Buzzard 2+1+12+4+3+5+6+17.... Griffon Vulture 3....Booted Eagle pale mrph 1 Kestrel.... Woodlark....Sparrowhawk.... Raven.... Red-rumped Swallow.... Stonechat.... Black-eared Wheatear.... Cetti's Warbler.... Spotted Eagle .... Montagu's Harrier 2....Linnet.... Marsh Harrier 6.... Ruppell's Warbler m + possible female ?.... Golden Oriole 1f....Redstart.... Cretzschmars Bunting.... Long-legged Buzzard....Chukar.... Little Egret....House Martin

                                          Ruppell's Warbler....Sylvia rueppelli

                                                                                                                                               

                                               Alpine Swift....Apus melba

                           

                                      Montagu's Harrier..... Circus pygargus

                           

                                           Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

                         

                          

                                         Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                                            Being seen off by a raven

                         

 

                                       Marsh Harrier....Circus aerunginosus

                         4 of the birds resting up in the fields below the house

      

15th April

 Xronia Polla to all our Greek friends.

A late entry and picture on the 13th added from Harry lough ( Black-winged Stilt flock )

Highlights of the day ... A large mixed flock of... Swift....Pallid Swift...Alpine Swift....           Barn Swallow....Sand Martin, swooped around the house early morning. 1830 a large 50+ group of bee-eaters landed on nearby electricity wires. Our cat Snake of yesterday was found and duly photographed 

Home species only today....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Hooded Crow....Marsh Harrier.... Common Buzzard 3....Little Egret 1....Wood Sandpiper 7+....Goldfinch.... Nightingale....  Great Tit....Black-eared Wheatear.... Crested Lark....Tree Pipit....Griffon Vulture 1.... Greenshank 2....Red-rumped Swallow....Shag 1.... Yellow-legged Gull ....Scops Owl and Nightjar.....Sardinian Warbler

                                              Bee-eater.... Merops apiaster

           

                                             Cat Snake....Telescopus fallax

                          

14th April

Home species, followed by a trip to Falasarna late morning to 6pm

 Home  ...the day started really wet with thunderstorms that cleared at about 9am

Blackbird....Chaffinch....Great Tit.... Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 3.... Little Egret 1.... Greenshank 1.... Wood Sandpiper 2.... Shag 1.... House Martin.... Barn Swallow.... Greenfinch Woodchat Shrike .... Raven....Nightingale.... Goldfinch.... Blue Tit.... 

We also had a Cat Snake  a lovely little non ppoisonous species, unfortunately no pictures, it got very angry as it was stuck in a door I opened !! trying to coax it out it continually struck out as I tried to free it, when it did fall out it was off like a shot !

FALASARNA ....Little Crake 1....Snipe 1....Moorhen 2....Wood Sandpiper 7....Whinchat.... Common Sandpiper 4 ....Little Ringed Plover 10+.... Rock Dove.... Little Egret 5.... Greenfinch Yellow-legged Gull.... Crested Lark....Italian Sparrow....Tawny Pipit.... Goldfinch....Hoopoe 2  Yellow Wagtail (flava and feldegg).... White Wagtail.... Hooded Crow.... Woodchat Shrike.... Blackbird ....Northern Wheatear.... Black-eared Wheatear....Blue Rock Thrush.... Raven.... Lesser Kestrel.... Booted Eagle (dark morph).... Common Buzzard.... Stonechat.... Swift.... Red-rumped Swallow....Barn Swallow.... Alpine Swift.... Spanish Sparrow.... Corn Bunting 2+15 .... Griffon Vulture 1.... Great Tit .

We arrived home at 6pm and was hit by another thunderstorm to finish the day !!

                                      Wood Sandpiper.....Tringa glariola

   

                             

                                      

                                        Common Sandpiper.... Actitis  hypoleucos

     

 

                                               Snipe.... Gallinago gallinago

           

                                  If you can find me you can photograph me !!!

 

                                            Tawny Pipit....Anthus campestris

              

                           

 

                                      Red-rumped Swallow....Hirundo daurica

 

                                               Whinchat....Saxicola rubetra

                          

                         

                                   Spanish Sparrow.... Passer hispaniolensis

                                                             Male

            

                                                              Female

                            

                                             Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

                           

                                            Corn Bunting....Emberiza calandra

   

                                          Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

    

 

 

13th April

Many thanks to Toralf  for the quick respnse to Tilmann's question on the Aquila...

I have been on several birding trips to Crete since 2007, and I am a follower of your splendid home page. I visit it every day!

In your blog you ask for help regarding Tilmans Aquila. He asks if this could have been a Spotted Eagle, fulvescens morph. It is not possible to exclude this Spotted eagle fulvescens based on his comments, but this morph is very rare in Europe. As you know better than anyone, young Eastern Imperial Eagle is regularly seen in the western part of Crete. This is without doubt a regular wintering area for young birds, and some of them seem to stay here longer. In spring the plumage could be weared and some of the young Imperials could give a very light impression. But remember that the young of this species still have distinct spots/streakings underneath, a character that fulvescens don´t have. Maybe Stilman "spotted" this?

I have several times seen the young Imperials at Crete together with Griffons, and I suppose that the young eagles are living as partly scavengers here.

Best regards,

Toralf Tysse

Also many thanks to Mike Puxley for his trip report which has been added to a new page...     "Trip Reports".

A couple of images sent by Nikos today from his regular Agyia visit ..... His A.clanga was seen at 1308 we had one at Kaliviani at 1308 also !!!

2 images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                                Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

   

                                   Booted Eagle.... Aquila pennata a pale dark morph

   

From Harry

Image by and © Harry Lough

                                  Black-winged Stilt.....Himantopus himantopus

                  Taken at Falasarna Harry estimates there were around 40 birds

        

 

Our day at Kaliviani....This included a local walk around the hills to the west of the house in the late afternoon, a large number of raptors were seen on this walk.

Tree Pipit....Sardinian Warbler ....Barn Swallow....Hooded Crow....Common Buzzard 2+ 25 which came off Gramvousa and flew south at 5pm.... Greenfinch.... Chaffinch.... Shag 1.... Whinchat.... Little Egret 2.... Cormorant 1.... Greenshank 3.... Little Ringed Plover 2....     Wood Sandpiper 3+.... Bee-eater 1+ 50+ .... Woodchat Shrike.... Red-rumped Swallow.... Black-eared Wheatear....Goldfinch.... Great Tit..... Blackbird.... Crested Lark... Crag Martin... Nightingale 3+....Yellow-legged Gull....Spotted Eagle 1....Sparrowhawk 4....Honey Buzzard 1 Short-toed Eagle 1....Lesser Kestrel 1.... Kestrel 3.... Goshawk 1.... Marsh Harrier 1.... Montagu's Harrier 1.... Woodlark.... Corn Bunting.... Booted Eagle pale morph 1.... Stonechat  Blue Rock Thrush 1.... Raven 2.... Italian Sparrow....Bonelli's Eagle 1.... Cuckoo 1.... Nightjar. 

3 Weasel, Balkan Wall Lizard, Scorpion and Gecko

                                            Tree Pipit....Anthus trivialis

                          

                               Female Sardinian Warbler.... Sylvia melanocephala

                          

                                           Goldfinch....Carduelis carduelis

                                      one of the pair nesting in our courtyard

                          

                                       Short-toed Eagle..... Circaetus gallicus

             

                                           Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                         

                                             Bee-eater....Merops apiaster

                                                      Some of the 50+

                           

                                               Male  Cuckoo....Cuculus canorus

             

            3cm long adult     Mediterranean  Scorpion.... euscorpio carpathicus candiota

      

                                       Turkish Gecko.... Hemidactylus cretensis

      

                                      Balkan Wall Lizard.... Podarcis taurica

          

12th April

Two late entries added to the7th and 9th from Tilmann, if anyone can help with the Aquila identification then please email us . Thanks

Another late entry added for the 9th from Richard Humphrey

Today at Kaliviani  was again quiet, we have heard of several sightings of Bee-eaters but we have yet to hear or see any as they move through.

The Audouins Gull is still present we spotted it late this afternonn as it flew north along the coast.

Todays species....Barn Swallow.... House Martin... Woodchat Shrike.... Nightingale.... Chaffinch Hooded Crow.... Greenfinch....Goldfinch.... Common Buzzard.... Greenshank 2...Little Egret 1 Great Tit.... Blackbird....Cetti's Warbler.... Raven.... Rock Dove....Collared Dove ....Kestrel....  Crested Lark.... Montagu's Harrier 1m....Marsh Harrier 1, 2cy.... Blue Tit.... Subalpine Warbler Sardinian Warbler.... Audouins Gull

We have just received a late email from Joshua aged 10 who is holidaying on Crete. He would like to share his sightings with us.....

Hi Colin my name is Joshua and I am 10 years old,I am here on holiday and I would like to contribute to your website, this is the list of birds that I have seen while I have been here.

Thursday 5th April at Paleochara, hoopoe, black winged stilt and wood lark.

Friday 6th April at Agia lake, grey heron, squacco heron, female marsh harrier, teal, ballions crake and a stonechat

Sunday 8th April at Omolos, stonechat skylark kestrals, black eared wheatier, 4 griffin vultures, golden eagle (I think) and some falcons.

can you please identify this bird for me, I am not sure if it is a tawny pipit.

Regards Joshua

Thank you very much Joshua for your reports, excellent sightings ...yes the photo is a Tawny Pipit nice picture , Colin

Image by and © Joshua

                                     Tawny Pipit....Anthus campestris

       

11th April

A day out was on the cards for today ... We decided on a beach run towards Rhodapou peninsula then out onto the peninsula itself . We set off at 1030 after a quiet morning at home and made our way down to the flooded fields nearby. Sue was taking pictures of flowers as 3 Greenshank flew in, they alerted us to a Common Sandpiper. Further on near the harbour a splendid Audouin's Gull, only our second sighting of this species and to find one sat near the road was ideal apart from disturbance, we managed several minutes before it flew off towards Gramvousa.

The beaches east of Kissamos produced many Yellow-legged Gulls, another (different ) Spotted Redshank and a small flock of between 20-30 Wood Sandpipers and a Black-headed Gull. An excellent start to the day.

Out on Rhodapou we bumped into Alan, Margaret and grandson Alex, also out birding, after a short chat on sightings .... Alex  said he had earlier seen a pair of lammergeier ....  we would keep an eye open for them, we carried on further to the north while they went west to Agyias Yannis church.

We set up at a small farm building where we have had good sightings in the past and sat in the peace and quiet there for 4 hours.

Highlights were a female Rufous tailed Rock Thrush ,Montagu's Harrier, Pied Flycatcher, Hen Harrier, Black Kite, Golden Eagle, Lesser Kestrel and a Hobby

Our full days list, 53 species...Greenshank 3...Little Ringed Plover 15+..Common Sandpiper 2 Corn Bunting.... Audouin's Gull 1.... Woodchat Shrike.... Stonechat.... Barn Swallow.... Whinchat Grey Heron 1.... Wood Sandpiper 20-30.... Yellow-legged Gull 80+...Black-headed Gull 1 ... Yellow Wagtail.... Common Buzzard.... Crested Lark....Italian Sparrow .... Griffon Vulture 8.... Kestrel 4 ....   Black Kite 1....Lesser kestrel.... Black-eared Wheatear.... Northern Wheatear.... Blackbird.... Collared Dove.... Spotted Redshank.... Blue Rock Thrush.... Rock Dove.... Raven....Chukar....   Pied Flycatcher.... Hobby.... Hoopoe 2.... Cetti's Warbler.... Great Tit.... Monatgu's Harrier .... Redstart.... Wryneck.... (Rufous-tailed) Rock Thrush 1f.... Woodlark.... Nightingale.... Swift.... Meadow Pipit .... Alpine Swift.... House Martin.... Hooded Crow Linnet.... Goldfinch.... Greenfinch.... Sardinian Warbler.... Golden Eagle.... Hen Harrier....  Little Egret.... Nightjar

                                        Audouin's Gull....Larus audouinii

              

           

                 

                                   Little Ringed Plover....Charadrius dubius

           

                                         Wood Sandpiper.....Tringa Glareola

               

                                     Spotted Redshank....Tringa Erythropus

         

            

           

                                      Yellow-legged Gull....Larus Cachinnans

             

                               Black-eared Wheatear....Oenanthe mealanoleuca

                          

                           

             

             

                                          Meadow Pipit....Anthus pratensis

                          

                                       Montagu's Harrier....Circus pygargus

              

                                               Hobby....Falco subbuteo

                            

                                             Lesser Kestrel....Falco naumanni

                            

                         Female ( Rufous -tailed ) Rock Thrush.... Monticola saxatilis

           

             

                                            Golden Eagle.... Aquila chrysaetos              

                            

 

                                              Hen Harrier....Circus cyaneus

             

               

 From  Alan

1 image by and © Alan Hargrave

                                             Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

       

10th April

After thunderstorms in the night the morning turned out to be quite nice , until 1130 when the rain started again with several heavy showers throughout the day.

Prior to the rains we spotted many Common Buzzard, very high moving ahead of the gathering clouds, we must have missed many with the light playing havoc with our eyes it was a job spotting the "dots"  in the cloud ! It seemed one long continuous line all on the same track and heading.

With the buzzards, a single Spotted Eagle and a male Montagu's Harrier 3 Sparrowhawks a 3cy bonelli's Eagle and 8 griffons

Our highlight of the day a Spotted Redshank we found to the east of Kissamos, feeding in one of the many rivers now flowing into the sea. Our flooded fields below the house yielded, three Little Egrets and a couple of Little Ringed Plover. A large flock of 200+ Alpine Swift fed above the lower fields.

Todays list....

House Martin... Chaffinch....Blackbird.... Kestrel 3.... Wood Warbler 1.... Greenfinch.... Crested Lark.... Great Tit....Woodchat Shrike 3.... Sardinian Warbler.... Yellow-legged Gull.... Hooded Crow.... Local 2 and 45+.... Redstart 1m.... Tree Pipit 3.... Barn Swallow.... Griffon Vulture 8.... Greater Spotted Eagle 1.... Montagu's Harrier.... Sparrowhawk 3.... Swift.... Alpine Swift 200+....Bonelli's Eagle 3cy.... Little Ringed Plover 2.... Little Egret 4.... Shag 1     Common Sandpiper 4.... Spotted Redshank 1

                                       Spotted Redshank....Tringa erythropus

          

                        Barn Swallows were continually coming in low and spooking it                 

                           

           

              From left in flight. Common Sandpiper, Barn Swallow and Yellow Wagtail...

                        Stood is the Spotted Redshank fairly well camouflaged !

  

                                              Little Egret....Egretta garzetta

                           

9th April

A very quiet day at home with winds increasing from the west and heavy rain showers, few birds were seen notable were Tree Pipits and a lone Sparrowhawk.

                                            Tree Pipit.... Anthus trivialis

                

 Late evening a male Montagu's Harrier

Added on the 12th a late entry from Tilmann....

On Monday, 9th, on Aghia, there was, except for the well-known species, a Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) in the small trench next to the dam.
Inbetween the lots of Barn Swallows and House Martins, there were also some Red-rumped Swallows.
And around noontime, a group of Bee-Eaters arrived. Some of them were so kind to sit on a tree for a while, so I could take a photo even with my camera.

 Image by and © Tilmann Muller

                                            Bee-eater.....Merops apiaster

             

An email from Richard Humphrey with sightings on his last day in Crete.....

Have been checking out the blog out of interest even though am back in the UK.  Loved Crete and we both are keen to return at some stage.  Seems like we were lucky with our week of glorious sunshine before the cooler weather and showers arrived.

On the 9th at Moronis river Souda in the morning (8 am) were 3 little ringed plover, 1 greenshank, 1 ruff, 2 common sandpiper (one with a damaged wing) and a wood sandpiper.

Regards and hope the stormy weather blew in a few exciting birds!

Richard

 

Two late entries from Alan added under dates...6th and  8th

8th April

Yesterdays images now added.

A late hawfinch passed through Antikythera ringing station yesterday and the first bee-eaters arrived although we have yet to see them here on Crete. If you wish to catch up on antkythera news click the link http://blogs.ornithologiki.gr/osa/?m=201204

Thanks to Richard for the following....

6th April....Imbros today, four Griffon Vultures, blue rock thrush, jays and crag martins

4th April....Went to Monastries on Akratiri which were quiet on the bird front except for a black kite, swifts and tree pipits in the gardens. At the Moronis reserve,1 black winged stilt, 1 marsh sandpiper showing very well, 1 common sandpiper, 1 purple heron, 1 kingfisher and 2 ruff. Have you ever seen great reed warbler there? I had a fleeting glimpse of what I thought at first was a Cettis but this seemed a tad larger with a broad rounded tail ?

(Great Reed Warblers were moving through on that day so could well have been one, Colin )

Having a great stay in the villa at the mouth of the Diktamos gorge - Woodchat shrike, Sardinian warblers, Scops owl by torchlight all in the garden and wryneck calling most of the time but I cannot get a sight of them!

From Kaliviani the usual birds but late evening a Montagu's Harrier  flew over the lower fields but was soon seen off by Hooded Crows.

From Alan ..... Added on the 9th

We took a late afternoon drive to Anopoli and parked up having barely seen anything enroute.  Within a few minutes we had our first wood warblers for this year, and singles of whitethroat and subalpine warbler.  We also glimpsed a flycatcher, but not enough time to establish which, except it was a female - probably pied  Moving to another spot, we had male sparrowhawk twice flying past the car, and then a common cuckoo perching not too far away.

2 images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                                Cuckoo....Cuculus canorus

       

                                       Subalpine Warbler....Sylvia cantillans

                  

7th April

We had a day out starting at Agyia at 0900 where we met up with Nikos and Angeliki then onto Omalos/Samaria Gorge ( Opens for walkers May 1st ) then onto Ghreleska/Achladies, then back to Agyia for late afternoon where we met up with Panos , who found a splendid Black-crowned night Heron that was very photogenic. We heard our first cuckoo's of the year whilst having lunch at Samaria Gorge entrance. 64 species for the day. List starts from leaving home to return home and is as per Collins Bird Guide and not in order seen

Little Grebe.... Shag 1.... Night Heron 1.... Squacco Heron 1.... Little Egret 6.... Grey Heron 5 Mallard 1m.... Shoveler 6.... Teal 5; 2m 3f.... Garganey 2.... Pochard 1f.... Ferruginus Duck pair.... Griffon Vulture 8.... Golden Eagle 3 sightings.... Marsh Harrier 2;1 Agyia,1Ghreleska  Common Buzzard 12 with 5 circling over Agyia.... Sparrowhawk1 Agyia....Kestrel 1.... Peregrine Falcon 1....Chukar (heard).... Little Crake 4.... Baillons Crake 1.... Moorhen ....Coot Little Ringed Plover; Kaliviani .... Yellow-legged Gull.... Wood pigeon 40+.... Collared Dove.... Cuckoo ( heard ).... Scops Owl ( heard )....Swift....Alpine Swift.... Hoopoe 2.... Wryneck (heard)   Crested Lark.... Woodlark.... Sand Martin.... Crag Martin.... Barn Swallow.... House Martin.... Yellow Wagtail ( feldegg ) ....Wren ( heard ).... Nightingale ( heard ).... Northern Wheatear.... Stonechat.... Blackbird....Blackcap....Sardinian Warbler.... Sedge Warbler.... Cetti's Warbler.... Chiffchaff ( heard ).... Great tit....Blue Tit.... Woodchat Shrike ....Jay....Chough.... Hooded Crow Raven.... Italian Sparrow.... Chaffinch.... Linnet.... Goldfinch.... Greenfinch....Corn bunting (heard ).....

                              Black-crowned Night Heron......Nycticorax nycticorax

 

         

                                                                Pochard....Aythya ferina        

           

                                      Squacco Heron....Ardeola ralloides

        

          

                                          Baillon's Crake....Porzana pusilla

            

                                               Little Crake....Porzana parva

                    

              

                                            Little Egret.....Egretta garzetta

     

                                          Little Grebe....Tachybaptus ruficollis

           

         

                                                             Agyia lake

        

                                           The scree slopes below Gigilos

        

                                              Woodlark....Lullula arborea

            

                                            Woodchat Shrike....Lanius senator

                

                                               Alpine Swift....Apus melba

                

                                            Golden Eagle...Aquila chrysaetos

               

                           

                                              Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulus

              

         

                            Marsh Harrier......Circus aeruginosus over  White mountains

         

                                                        over Agyia Lake                                

             

                                           Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

               

                                  Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus ,over Agyia lake

        

                                                 Raven....Corvus corax 

    

This late entry from Tilmann.

On Saturday, 7th, there was a juvenile Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliacea) at Koustogerako flying very close above our heads (attacked then by two raven). (The white parts of the plumage were clearly visible and the size was impressive, but as I've never seen this species before I'd like to know if it also could have possibly been a Spotted Eagle, var. fulvescens. Do they occur in this area?) 

With no photo it would be impossible to know, we do not know if   A. fulvescens can be found in this area !

If anyone out there could enlighten us please email us? ...Colin  

6th April

Thanks to all who offered help with yesterdays warbler, another new species to add to the list.

Todays highlights ....We thought we had missed the subalpine  warblers but managed to spot one  feeding in deep cover this morning. Also Tree Pipit, always a delight to see both of these species. Lots of singing nightingales around, dont think we have heard so many in the past

Todays list most from front veranda ( a lazy birding day ) .... Shag 2....Yellow-legged Gull 80+....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow.... Great Tit.... Woodchat Shrike 3.... Common Buzzard 6 +2.... Cetti's Warbler....Blackbird....Barn Swallow.... Corn Bunting.... Goldfinch.... Raven.... Rock Dove.... Hoopoe 2....Nightingale.... Subalpine Warbler.... Tree Pipit.... Sardinian Warbler Marsh Harrier 2cy m.... Blackcap f.... Kestrel 2.... Alpine Swift....Crag Martin....Sparrowhawk

 At Agyia a report of 3 Black-winged Stilts

From Alan .......this report added on the 9th

From Agia, a nice group of black-winged stilts and a reed bunting. From Omalos a female woodchat shrike, and plants romulea bulbocodium near Samaria Gorge entrance, and chionodoxa cretica on Omalos plateau. We also went up to the refuge above Irini Gorge, where we have had several golden eagle sightings in the past, but not this time - just a pair of chukas.

6 images by and © Alan Hargrave.

                                   Black-winged Stilt....Himantopus himantopus

                          

             

                                       Reed Bunting.....Emberiza scheniclus

                          

                                     Woodchat Shrike.....Lanius senator

                         

                                                  Chionodoxa cretica

        

                                                 Romulea bulbocodium

                      

5th April

Todays highlight ....45 Common Crane flew over the house at 8pm looking for somewhere to roost on their journey north, they were last seen in the gloom circling and dropping low over Rhodapou peninsula.

A  BONELLI'S WARBLER...SEE IMAGE BELOW,  A CONFIRMED  FIRST FOR US, TAKING OUR CRETE LIST TO 225 SPECIES

We went onto Gramvousa before lunch in the hope of warblers and Wryneck....we settled for the rest of the day at Agyias Irini church and were not disappointed, Hoopoe and Wryneck flew around us all afternoon, one of our favourite places to watch smaller migrants. We even got to see one of the resident Bonelli's Eagle again.

For the day we had 43 species

A little birding from home....Great Tit....Corn Bunting....Goldfinch....Blackbird....Raven....        Yellow-legged Gull....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Crested Lark....Common Buzzard.... Woodchat Shrike.... Sardinian Warbler....Italian Sparrow....Blue Rock Thrush.... Great Tit.... Cetti's Warbler....Little Egret....45 Common Crane

Gramvousa peninsula......Collared Dove....Common Buzzard 5.... Common Sandpiper....  Shag 2....Corn Bunting 3.... Northern Wheatear 3.... Stonechat 10.... CrestedLark 20+.... Hoopoe 2....Hooded Crow 12.... Linnet 10+....Chiffchaff 3.... Italian Sparrow .... Chaffinch..     Griffon Vulture 1.... Wryneck 2 maybe 3.... Yellow Wagtail 20+.... Yellow-legged Gull 20+.. Black-eared Wheatear 3 pale and dark throated.... Kestrel 1.... Bonelli's Eagle 1.... Great Tit Goldfinch.... Raven 6.....Woodlark....Whinchat 2.... Whitethroat 1....Chukar 1 heard....  Nightingale.... Black Redstart.... Marsh Harrier.... Sedge Warbler.... Sardinian Warbler....   Little Egret.... Wilow Warbler....Great Reed Warbler....Rock Dove

                                            Stonechat....Saxicola torquata

        

                                     

                   BONELLI'S WARBLER....Phylloscopus bonelli eastern race orientalis

       

                                                  Hoopoe ....Upupa epops

                              

                              

            

             

                           

        

                                                     Wryneck and Hoopoe       

           

                                                Wryneck....Jynx torquilla

                         

              

                         

                     Black-eared Wheatear....Eastern race....Oenanthe melanoleuca

                                                 Dark and pale throated

          

            

                                               Whinchat....Saxicola rubetra

                         

                                       Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

  

                

                                             Bonelli's Eagle....Aquila fasciata

                         

                                                   Raven....Corvus corax

              

                                          Whitethroat....Sylvia communis

                          

                

                          

                           

                               Great Reed Warbler....Acrocephalus arundinaceus

                 

                                           Linnet....Carduelis cannabina

                

                                              Common Crane...Grus grus

         Lucky to get this shot after they passed noisily over the house and faded into the east

4th April

Thanks to Richard H for the following.....

Went to Monastries on Akratiri which were quiet on the bird front except for a black kite, swifts and tree pipits in the gardens. At the Moronis reserve saw 1 black winged stilt,            1 marsh sand showing very well, 1 common sandpiper, 1 purple heron, 1 kingfisher and 2 ruff. Have you ever seen great reed warbler there? I had a fleeting glimpse of what I thought at first was a Cettis but this seemed a tad larger with a broad rounded tail?

Having a great stay in the villa at the mouth of the Diktamos gorge - Woodchat shrike, Sardinian warblers, Scops owl by torchlight all in the garden and wryneck calling most of the time but I cannot get a sight of them!

Richard H. On holiday

From us at Kaliviani ....

Our first Red-rumped Swallow and Alpine Swift and  one of our local Bonelli's put in a brief appearance....

The days list....

Yellow-legged Gull 50+....Chaffinch, everywhere !!...Hooded Crow 20....Griffon Vulture 4+1 Sardinian Warbler, at least three pairs....Crested Lark ...Great Tit 1....Woodchat Shrike 3....    ? Montagu's Harrier f.... Little Egret 1....Italian Sparrow.... Blackbird....Raven....Barn Swallow Goldfinch....Cetti's Warbler 2....Sparrowhawk 2.... Shag 2....Common Buzzard 10+2+6.... Alpine Swift 3....Blue Rock Thrush 2m.... Kestrel 1.... Stonechat 1....Grey Heron 1....Hoopoe 1 Chiffchaff 2....Greenfinch 3....Bonelli's Eagle 1.... Red-rumped Swallow 5....Rock Dove 3... Collared Dove 5....House Martin.

Sorry no pics today they were really poor quality !!!

 

3rd April

An Osprey was seen over Bramianna yesterday and one over Agyia today.

Another milestone for the site, we now have over 3500 images onsite in the blog and galleries.

Today's highlights ...the first sightings for spring of , Woodchat Shrike, Swift, Willow Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and Whinchat

Sightings for Kaliviani ......Italian Sparrow....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Cetti's Warbler.... Swift.... Crested Lark.... Willow Warbler.... Woodchat Shrike.... Sardinian Warbler.... Goldfinch   Common Buzzard 2+5....Barn Swallow....Shag 2....Yellow-legged Gull 20+.... Little Egret 2  Northern Wheatear ....Marsh Harrier 2m....Little Ringed Plover 4....Yellow Wagtail Flava and feldegg....Common Sandpiper....Hoopoe 2....Greenfinch....Collared Dove....Whinchat and Raven.

                                   Northern Wheatear....Oenanthe oenanthe

                 

                                           Shag.......Phalacrocorax aristotrlis

       

          

                                             Little Egret ....Egretta garzetta

         

       

                                             Whinchat....Saxicola rubetra

             

                                        Crested Lark.....Galerida cristata

       

 A late afternoon trip to Falasarna to check out the natural pools ....

Common Buzzard 2....Sparrowhawk 1....Woodchat Shrike 1....Great Reed Warbler 3.... Hoopoe 2....Little Ringed Plover 10....Common Sandpiper 1....Little Egret 7, on rocky coast north of Ancient Falasarna ruins ....Raven 1.... Shag 1....Italian Sparrow....Hooded Crow.... Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Barn Swallow.... Goldfinch.... Yellow-legged Gull 20+.... Moorhen 2 Northern Wheatear 2.... Yellow Wagtail (flava and Feldegg 50+ .... White Wagtail 10.... Collared Dove....Crested Lark 20+

                            Great Reed Warbler....Acrocephalus arundinaceus 

             

                                           Yellow Wagtail....Motacilla flava

       

                                                Yellow Wagtail....ssp Feldegg

           

                                   Sardinian Warbler....Sylvia melanocephala

               

                                               Chaffinch....Fringilla coelebs

           

                                    Common Sandpiper......Actitis hypoleucos

               

                                                Hoopoe ....Upupa epops

     

    

                                     Little Ringed Plover.....Charadrius dubius

          

          

                 

             

                                        Woodchat Shrike....Lanius senator

    

2nd April

Not such a productive day today, the wind changed from the NW to NE with a slight rise in temperature.

Species at Kaliviani .... Yellow-legged Gull...Hooded Crow....Blackbird....Italian Sparrow.... Chaffinch....Great Tit....Sparrowhawk 1+2....Blue Rock Thrush....Black-eared Wheatear 2.... Goldfinch....Crested Lark....Griffon Vulture 1+2+2...Common Buzzard 4+2+1+2...Kestrel 3  Barn Swa;;ow....Sardinian Warbler....Marsh Harrier 1m+2f ....Nightingale,1 singing behind the house....Cetti's Warbler....Little Egret 2....Greenshank 1

1st April

Images from Nikos added to yesterday's blog

With yesterdays winds prevailing we hoped for some more Aquilas today and were not disappointed.Spotted Eagles 3 showed up at 1130, we managed pictures of two of them, along with several groups of Common Buzzard 8+5+9+2+6 , later a pale morph Booted Eagle , a Peregrine Falcon, male and female Marsh Harriers , a pair of Kestrel and a couple of Sparrowhawks along with 2 Griffon Vultures, nor too bad, eight different raptor species and so far more Spotted Eagles than we have seen here before !!

Todays other species....Crested Lark....Hooded Crow....Chaffinch....Cetti's Warbler    Sardinian Warbler ....Yellow-legged Gull....Italian Sparrow....Raven....Goldfinch....Blackbird and Greenfinch. Disturbance at the pools meant there were no waders today.

                                            Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                           

                                   The same two individuals as they flew away

             

   

                                          Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

             

                                          Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

           

                            

                                     Male Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

           

       

        

      

Seen by Nikos at Moronis today . ....Black winged Stilt....Marsh Sandpiper....Ruff

31st March

From Nikos at Agyia....Spotted Eagle, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Marsh Harriers and buteo's

  5 images by and  ©  Nikos Samaritakis                                

                                           Garganey.....Anus querquedula

             

                                                  Shoveler....Anas clypeata

        

                                          Black Kite....Milvus migrans

         

                                Booted Eagle ....Aquila pennata with Yellow-legged Gull

        

                                           Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

        

From us at Kaliviani ....

Great Tit....Hooded Crow....Blue Rock Thrush....Greenshank....Sardinian Warbler.... Chaffinch Cetti's Warbler....Crested Lark.... Barn Swallow....Italian Sparrow....Greenfinch....Goldfinch Griffon Vultures 7 flew up from200 metres behind house where they had been feeding !!! Common Buzzard our resident pair plus 20+migrating....Kestrel....Sparrowhawk....Raven House Martin....Marsh Harrier....Black Kite.

The highlights of the day.... 5 Honey Buzzard heading north, a Lesser Spotted Eagle in heavy moult, and at least 2 Spotted Eagles, we saw five birds but are not sure if they were just two individuals ...one high up was not identifiable, we also mistook one early on for an eastern imperial eagle.

                                     Blue Rock Thrush ....Monticola solitarius

                  

                                         Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo

            

                                       Some of the migrating Common Buzzards

          

                                               Griffon Vulture....Gyps fulvus

                                            going into land behind the house

                

                                          and one of the seven departing

                 

                                         The first Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                             

                                   Lesser Spotted Eagle....Aquila pomarina                                    

                          

                                           Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

                                       Flying low across the front of the house

 

 

 

  

                                       Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

          

             

                                    

                  SOME OF THE WILD FLOWERS NOW SHOWING IN OUR OLIVE GROVE

                                      Butterfly Orchid....Orchis papilionacea ssp heroica

         

               

                                 Grecian Spider Orchid....Ophrys spruneri

                         

                           Wasp Ophrys, Sawfly Orchid....Ophrys tenthredinifera         

                          

                                         Common Mallow....Mallow sylvestris

              

                   Cretan Houdstongue, Blue Houdstongue.....Cynoglossum creticum

              

                               Salsify, Goats Beard.....Tragopogon porrifolius

              

30th March

We arrived back on the island to start our birdng today....The White Mountains ( Lefki Ori ) have a generous covering of snow that looks like it will take some while to go. Everywhere is nice and green with plenty of wild flowers about, but with strong westerly winds blowing today there were few birds ... A Sparrowhawk hunted around the house for several hours and a Glossy Ibis and a Greenshank were spotted late afternoon in the lower fields in a rain flooded area. Other species....Stonechat, Great Tit, Linnet and many Chaffinch. Gulls flew distant in the bay, probably Yellow-legged. Crested Lark, Cetti's Warbler, Hooded Crow and Common Buzzard.

1800hrs...Little Egret 1, Wood Sandpiper 1, Golden Plover 4, Little Ringed Plover 6 and large flock of Yellow Wagtail (flava).

1830hrs, female Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk 2, Goldfinch.

Thanks to all our regular contributers for keeping us up to date with the news and images we look forward to adding ours for a few months and hope to meet up soon.

26th March

From Nikos..... Saturday 24th

Spoonbill at Moronis
Lanner at Ierapetra
Black Vulture at Dikti

1 image by and  Nikos Samaritakis

                                         Black Vulture ....Aegypius monachus        

        

From Viv ....Saturday 24th

Went over to Lake Agias on for a look
Saturday.  It is beautiful with the snowy White Mountains in the
background (still lots of snow).
 
We saw 2 little crake, reed warbler, willow warbler, stonechat, teal
(pair), mallard, tufted duck, shoveler, ferruginous duck, pochard, grey
heron and around 30 martins (I think house) coming in and taking water. 
The baillons crake were giving a good show out in the open and the
shoveler were intent on impressing each other in the mating game. It was
nice to see the pair of teal and the start of martins, swallow, swift
migrations. No raptors and nothing as exciting as many of your other
reports but very pleasant nontheless

 1 image by and   Viv Walkler

                                            Baillon's Crake...Porzana pusilla

        

From Alan 23rd

3 images by and  Alan Hargrave

Adult lammergeier sighted near Argyrioupoli. It was quite high up and made for a flock of griffons circling far away. Our first sighting of this species in this area - photo poor, but just for the record

                                       Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

                          

From Alan....20th

After shopping in Vamos, we took the diversion to Drapanos Head. Two male Ruppell's warblers were holding their respective territory, and a single subalpine warbler also seen. Photos of these distant (so only for my March records). The Ruppell's seemed 2 or 3 weeks early - we always sight them in this area. The usual larks and wheatears and a tawny pipit also sighted. Above us, a peregrine circled briefly in the company of a buzzard. Later in the day, walking grandson along the prom in Georgioupoli, I came across a single Kentish plover at the water's edge - only my second Crete sighting of this species.

                                   Kentish Plover....Charadrius alexandrinus

                          

                                         Peregrine Falcon....Falco peregrinus

                          

19th March

 

News from Harry

Walked along beach to Kolambari again this morning,plenty of activity, lapwing,

Birds seen today, PENDULINE TIT, Stonechat, Blackbird, Northern Wheater, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Redstart, Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Flamingo, Lapwing, Little Egret, Wood Sandpiper, Ruff, Redshank.

 

Six images by and © Harry Lough

                                 Eurasian Penduline Tit....Remiz pendulinus      

   a scarce breeder, first found on Crete in 1984      

                                   Northern Wheatear....Oenanthe oenanthe

                                   Little Ringed Plover....Charadrius dubius

 

                                Greater Flamingo....Phoenicopterus ruber

 

                                        Northern Lapwing....Vanellus vanellus

 

18th March       2345hrs Greek local time

Thanks to Nikos and Harry for the two late reports, just got me in time fellas, was off to the land of nod !!!! couldn't resist an izzie and flam even at this late hour !!

From Nikos

Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                  Isabelline Wheatear....Onenanthe isabellina today 18th at Moronis

            

Report from Harry

Weather has been awful although its improved the last few days.

Saturday 17th I was around fields near Kolambari which are still under water, attracting lots of waders, ruff, spotted redshank, redshank, also a lapwing, my first in Crete.

Five images by and © Harry Lough

                                    Northern Lapwing....Vanellus vanellus

        

        

Walking back to the car Pam spotted a flamingo out at sea.

                                 Greater Flamingo....Phoenicopterus ruber

        

 Today we went to Elafonisi, bit disappointing in the fact that we hoped the Med Pools would be flourishing, as we walked from the beach to where the pools should be, the path which

was well signposted 2 years ago has now been fenced off!!! we untied it and carried on, making good the fence. Most of the waymarkers have been destroyed, we have done this walk

several times so we could manage without them. Climbing to the summit is not as easy now, the wooden supporting for the path is still there ,but probably due to the severe

winter some of the path has been washed away, also at the top some of the wooden benches put there to take in the fantastic views across the bay have been destroyed.!!! There were

also no pools to be seen,

Crested larks and Wheaters are all we saw on the walk, Very sad when you think of all the time effort and EU funding being wasted.

Anyway enough grumbling, back near the beach managed to photograph a Subalpine Warbler, a first for me, Tree Pipits, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Robin, White Wagtail, Serin.

                                       Subalpine Warbler....Sylvia cantillans

        

        

 

Thanks to Tilmann, Alan and Nikos for the following

Two images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                    Long-legged Buzzard ....Buteo rufinus

                                        on Saturday 17th over Agyia Lake

  

                          Cattle egret....Bubulcus ibis, also at Aygia on the 17th

    

 From Tilmann........

On Monday, 12th   At Falassarna, due to the rain there was not much to see. At least, there were some migrants: two Hoopoes, some Wheatears and some Yellow Wagtails (ssp. feldegg).

 

And from Alan...

Ten images by and © Alan Hargrave

12th. Drive to Ano Mallaki (south of Rethymno). Weather was misty and raining, and only got worse. However, I can record our first hoopoe, black-eared wheatear and northern wheatear for this year, and our first Crete sighting of (I believe) skylark. All the little birds scattered as a male hen harrier flew past at great speed. Where we were parked up there was a tiny pond - a small excavated area. A very odd couple swimming here - shoveller and teal, both males. They occasionally flew off together and returned three times. Their photo is ok, but smaller birds are not great as the rain spoilt sharpness and focus.

                                             Hoopoe....Upupa epops

                        

                              Black-eared Wheatear ....Oenanthe hispanica

                         

                                   Northern Wheatear....Oenanthe oenanthe

                                             

                 Northern Shoveler....Anus clypeata and Common Teal....Anus crecca

                          

                                         Common Skylark....Alauda arvensis

                                         

13th. Heavy and persistent rain since the early hours gradually lifted. I had a look at Petres beach for gulls, but only yellow-legged there. Just inland I found a small flock of lesser kestrels all hovering against the wind, making occasional swoops. Great to watch, but very difficult to photograph. An adult male below.

                                            Lesser Kestrel.....Falco naumanni

                                      

14th. Slightly better weather, so returned to Petres area - two lesser kestrels. These two in the company of a common kestrel nearby, so interesting to assess the differences. Back at the beach - y-l gulls with black-headed gulls and a single little gull. A female marsh harrier flew across the road as I returned home, and first flock of barn swallows seen feeding over a flooded field, outnumbered by vast numbers of house martins.

                                                Little Gull....Larus minutus

                                            

15th. I had a walk around Kalivaki and hoopoes have arrived there now. A new Kalivaki bird for me was tawny pipit. Three ruff flying around the flooded meadows.

                                           Tawny Pipit....Anthus campestris

                                            

16th. A trip to Akrotiri revealed a small flock of short-toed larks, a single glossy ibis at Tersanas pool, and male and female marsh harriers.

                           (Greater) Short-toed Lark....Calandrella Brachydactyla

          

                                         Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus

                           


17th. Found reed bunting at Kalivaki - first here since December sighting

13th March

With thanks to Tilmann Muller for the following observations.........

I've been visiting your website from time to time and I benefitted a lot from the information given there. So I'd like to share some observations, too.
 
Yesterday (Sat.), around the harbour of Plakias, there was a flock of about 30 Anas crecca (Teal, kirkiri) and 10 Anas querquedula (Garganey, sardela), which seemed to have just arrived there.
 
Today, after a short visit with my kids at the lake of Aghia and a lot of orchids and wild tulips on Akrotiri in the afternoon, I passed by a small lake north of Tersanas, which, according to the 1:50000 Map, ed. Anavasi Digital, is a temporary lake. There was a single adult Common Crane (Grus grus, gheranos) standing in the water inbetween the reeds. Some 20 minutes later, it went off, did some circles around the lake and then flew away in direction of the sea.
Unfortunately, as I don't have any special equipment, I couldn't make a clear foto of it.
I don't know where the three individuals are located, on which some information was given some weeks ago on your website. Could it be one of them? Or could it possibly be the lost forth one?

Kind regards
 
Tilmann Müller
Koum Kapi, Chania

6th March

News from Alan for Saturday the 6th March

Two images by and © Alan Hargrave

Very quiet birdwise locally. Had a drive to the more mountainous parts of SW of the island - no snow, unlike the White Mountains, but many wild flowers in bloom including lupin, rock rose, anenome, celandine and snake's head iris. We counted over 20 common buzzards during the day, but the obvious highlight was an adult lammergeier - our first since New Years Eve 2010. We actually saw it twice. The photo is from the first sighting as it glided over the car. Just one photo before it was lost over a ridge. As we picnicked an hour or two later, we had a brief and distant view as it flew across the "V" of the valley we were in.

                                       Lammergeier....Gypaetus barbatus

                          

On the way home we encountered a pair of blue rock thrushes courting. The male was standing bolt upright with its head up, motionless. The female was nearby, but appeared unimpressed!

                                      Blue Rock Thrush ....Monticola solitarius

 

 

 

4th March

From Nikos, yesterday the 3rd, some nice images on a trip to Agyia

Four images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                               Little Crake....Porzana parva

              

                                  Black-necked Grebe...Podiceps nigricollis

        

                                               Shoveler....Anas clypeata

             

                                           Common Buzzard ....Buteo buteo

                         

1st March

We have managed to retrieve an email..... a report from Alan.

So, 21st was a red-letter day for us, as we sighted a greater spotted eagle.  We were walking between Georgioupoli and Kavros when we saw "an eagle" being mobbed by a buzzard at distance.  A few minutes later and its shadow alerted us to a great sighting overhead.  We guess this is the radio-tagged bird from Poland - in fact Nikos has since confirmed it was high over our area last Saturday too.  What was also interesting was that I could check my photos this time against the distant silhouetted ones last month - and it's the same bird.  (So January's sighting was this, and NOT an Eastern imperial )

 4 images by and © Alan Hargrave

                                  (Greater) Spotted Eagle....Aquila clanga

               

                          

The rough weather has returned again, so I 've also attached an image of a ringed larus fuscus at Petres on 24th - they seem to enjoy this weather!

                                      Lesser Black-backed Gull....Larus fuscus

  

We had a drive out on 26th, and can confirm that the three common crane are still present.  When we were in the area on Sunday, we didn't see the birds at first.  They were then spotted flying, and landing . At that spot on Sunday we initially saw a "local farmer?" at work.  The birds arrived after he had gone, and we now think he may have left food/seed for them.

                                             Common Crane....Grus grus

 

28th February

We apologise for no reports for the last week, there is a problem with the websites third party email service provider and we have not been able to access our mail. Hopefully this will be resolved soon, meanwhile if anyone has or wishes to email us you can also use our hotmail address shown on the HOMEPAGE, until the problem is resolved

13th -19th February

Two images by and © Alan Hargrave of Common Crane....Grus grus

 

 

Report for the 17th From Harry....

Not a lot happening again today, weather fairly cold and coudy, visited Moronis late morning, birds seen.....Little Ringed Plover,Ringed Plover,Common Sandpiper,Greenshank,Redshank, Curlew,Meadow Pipit,Grey Wagtail,Chiffchaff,

3 images by and © Harry Lough

Great White Egret (with lunch).

     

Visited Lake Agia on way home,nothing different spotted,did see ,Cormorant,Little Egret,Grey Heron,Marsh Harrier Chaffinch, Serin(largeish flock), Gadwall, Shoveller, Wigeon, Garganey, Pochard and Tufted Duck,.

       

       

                         Golden Eagles From Nikos on the 18th  in thge Sfakia area

2 images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

             

        

14th February

Thank you everyone for the get well messages,they are much apprieciated. Hopefully now the surgery is done I will before too long be out and about again adding my own images and reports to the blog ....

Some nice pictures and reports just in from Nikos and Harry .

 

11th from Nikos....

A DAY AT HERAKLION HARBOUR, BIRDS SEEN : PEREGRINE, MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK HEADED GULLS, POSSIBLE KITTIWAKE BY MICHALIS, AND MOST OF THE SUBSPECIES OF LARUS FUSCUS (HEUGLINNII, INTERMEDIUS,FUSCUS,BARABENSIS,TAYMYRENSIS,GRAELSII...WHO CAN TELL?)

7 images by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                             Armenian Gull.... Larus armenicus

        

                                                Caspian Gull.... Larus cachinnans

              

                                   Lesser Black-backed Gull....Larus fuscus

       

                                       Yellow-legged Gull....Larus michahellis

                

                                           Cormorant....Phalocrocorax carbo

             

                                    Black-necked Grebe.... Podiceps nigricollis

               

                                         Sandwich Tern....Sterna sandvicensis

             

11th from Harry.....

Weather improved over the last two days, Sunday 11th Pam and I went to Falasarna, walked along the ridge to the trig point not a lot in the way of birds around,1 Griffon Vulture,2 Kestrels hunting, a pair of Ravens, plenty of Whinchats, Stonechats & Pipits. The highlight was to see the slopes covered in flowers. From there we drove down to the beach, plenty of water in the pools, but hardly any birds apart from skylarks.

This morning 13th went to Tavronitis, Kestrels seem to be in abundance at the moment, Marsh Harrier is also frequent visitor, must be the flooded fields attracting them, nothing different spotted, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Meadow Pipit, Flowers at Falasarna, flooded fields at Tavronitis.

6 images by and © Harry Lough

                                                    Falasarna flora

       

       

                                          Moorhen....Gallinula chloropus

       

                                        Meadow Pipit.... Anthus pratensis

       

                                         White Wagtail.....Motacilla alba                                            

        

                                                 Flooded fields at Tavronitis

         

9th -12th February

From Nikos....An Osprey at Souda and a radio tagged in Poland Greater Spotted Eagle has been sighted, FLYING AROUND THE ISLAND..BEEN TO AGYIA, KARE,LAST SIGNAL FROM CENTRAL RETHYMNO, also a Spoonbill is still present     

8th February

        MEGA NEWS FROM NIKOS, COMMON CRANE....GRUS GRUS

LATEST NEWS: TASOS SAKOULIS WAS TOLD OF THREE CRANES IN SOUTH EAST CRETE, (OUT OF ORIGINALLY FOUR - 2 AD + 2 IMM - APPARENTLY ONE ADULT GOT SHOT !! ), I WENT WITH MANOS TODAY (RAIN & WIND!) AND SEND YOU A PIC... BECAUSE OF THE SHOOTING INCIDENT AND DISTURBANCE, THE PRECISE LOCATION IS BEING WITHELD....NIKOS

 Image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                       COMMON CRANE....GRUS GRUS

THE LOCATION IS BEING DISLCOSED BY WORD OF MOUTH TO DEDICATED BIRDERS. PLEASE, PLEASE, IF YOU COME ACROSS OR KNOW WHERE THESE BIRDS OR ANY OTHER RARITIES ARE, GIVE THEM SPACE AND DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE. TO GET TO CRETE MOST RARITIES ARE EXHAUSTED WHEN THEY ARRIVE, ALL THEY WANT IS TO FEED AND REST.... THANKS  COLIN

 

29th Jan -4th Feb.

From Alan

29th. I finally viewed the spoonbill in the "left corner" of the Viewpoint, opposite the usual viewing spot. Another image. It was the first time I had seen this bird feeding - quite fascinating.

7 images by and © Alann Hargrave

                                          Spoonbill....Platalea leucorodia

                  

 

31st. After 36 hours of continuous rain, and daytime temps between 4 and 7c, we took a short drive to Petres Bridge, as there had been a sea swell again. Earlier this month the sightings there were y-l gull, Med gull and a single lesser b-b gull. Today, those were present again, though only the odd Med gull, and the same lesser l-b-b. Also there today, some black-headed gulls and a single little gull. Only our second Crete sighting of little gull, (other at Kournas Lake 3 years ago), so an image attached, plus the black-headed.

 

                             Little Gull....Hydrocoloeus minutus or larus minutus

                          

                               Black-headed Gull....Chroicocephalus ridibundus

                

1st. An afternoon drive to Imbros revealed a snowy landscape. Shortly before the tunnels we noticed two birds gliding along the east ridges. These were a pair of Bonelli's eagles. They suddenly swept across the valley and over our car, quite low - too fast for a decent photo! The commonest bird on our trip were robins, which were toughing it out in temperatures around freezing.

                                                Robin....Erithacus rubecula 

                         

3rd. The curlew is still present at Moronis, so two images here. Also,some great interaction between the little and great egret.

                                              Curlew....Numenius arquata

                           

                     Great egret....Casmerodius albus and Little Egret....Egretta garzetta

                    

                                          Great egret....Casmerodius albus

                            

 From Harry

At long last some sunshine,

Went to the lake Thursday 2nd, nothing exciting, all the regulars there, Booted Eagle is very regular, photos are Sparrowhawk, Pochard(female).

6 images by and © Harry Lough

                                                Pochard..... Aythya ferina

         

                                            Sparrowhawk....Accipiter nisus

         

Friday 3rd I was at Tavronitis,surprised at lack of birds, lots of water lying in the fields, photos taken Kestrel, Marsh Harrier, Mallard(eclipse).

                                         Marsh Harrier....Circus aeruginosus  

                  

                                               Kestrel.....Falco tinnunculus

       

                                           Mallard....Anas platyrhynchos

       

             Just taken this photo of a Buzzard this morning, 4th, taken from our house.

Common Buzzard....Buteo buteo in the sunshine with the snow covered Lefki Ori (White Mountains)

        

               Three images taken by and © Nikos Samritakis at Moronis yesterday 4th

                                          Booted Eagle....Aquila pennata

              

                                        Great Egret.... Casmerodius albus

             

                                           Curlew.... Numenius arquata       

        

2nd February

From Harry on the 30th January

Weather here terrible,never known so much rain and really cold today, managed to have a quick look around Moronis today,nothing different to report,what I did see was,

Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank, Kingfisher, Great White Egret, Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover,Tree Sparrow, Little Egret, Black Redstart, Meadow Pipit, Reed Warbler, Linnet

Harry

 7 images by and © Harry Lough

 

                                                  Dunlin... Calidris alpina

         

         

                                    Black Redstart....Phoenicurus ochruros

         

          

                                      Little-ringed Plover....Charadrius dubius

          

                                            Linnet....Carduelis cannabina

        

                                      Reed Bunting....Emberiza schoeniclus 

        

 From Nikos

MORONIS LIST: 01-02-2012
KINGFISHER, SPARROWHAWK, DUNLIN, L.R.PLOVER, GREENSHANK, REDSHANK, CURLEW, G.EGRET, L.EGRET, G.HERON, N.HERON, GULLS AND STARLINGS...

NIKOS
1 image by and © Nikos Samaritakis

                                          Curlew....Numenius arquata

              

22nd-28th

Alan's weeks highlights

I took my Grandson, Alex, to Agia on 22nd. We had good views of a small flock of eleven lapwings flying around the lake. There was a small patch of weed where they would occasionally land, but not settle for long.

2 images by and © Alan Hargrave

  

 
27th, both the spoonbill and ruddy shelduck are in residence here (seen from the Georgioupoli Viewpoint) The spoonbill spends most of its time "resting" on the same small stand of rocks and reeds, - virtually all that stretch of water is inaccessible (except by pedalo in the Summer!) Alan

25th January

News from Nikos that the FALCO PEREGRINUS CALLIDUS unfortunately did not recover

A new page added  "MARTIN HERBERTS BIRD LIST" Martin holidays regularly on Crete in the Rethimnon area and has kindly submitted his findings for the area so that others may get an idea of the species in the centre of the island. The tab can be found on the left sidebar.

14-21st January

News from Nikos that somehow got deleted from last weeks report .An injured bird was found with a damaged wing and was at first reported as a Saker, it has since been identified as an FALCO PEREGRINUS CALLIDUS, lets hope it makes a full recovery.

From Harry

Weather lousy here today,rain and more rain. Been to the lake and Moronis a couple of times this week, nothing at all really apart from the usual, spotted the Booted Eagle both times I went to the lake. I also took a photo of a warbler outside my house,not sure what this is either.The photo of the Kestrel I took near Loutraki and the Booted Eagle at the lake.

Cheers Harry

 

Four images by and © Harry Lough

                                                      KESTREL

     

                                                      CHIFFCHAFF

      

                                                    BOOTED EAGLE

       

                                                         GADWALL

        

 

FROM ALAN

Had sight of three night herons flying high and direct over Georgioupoli Viewpoint on 17th. Camera not to hand quick enough!

18th. My daughter, Alison, has had the sighting of the week. I wasn't in the local area when she phoned to advise there was a spoonbill on the river at Georgioupoli - a bird I haven't seen on Crete yet. Fortunately she had my old camera with her to record the sighting, so an image for your blog. She thinks the bird flew off towards the Viewpoint, so I'll be down that way tomorrow!

Image by and © Alison

                                                           SPOONBILL

                            

19th. Found the spoonbill at the Viewpoint this morning, but very distant. A poor record, but included here anyway. Also at the Viewpoint, four lapwings flying around, looking restless, and disappearing eastwards. Then an eagle moment. Every way I viewed this bird was towards the south, so every photo was a silhouette. I have poured over these believing this is the same bird seen recently, and think this is an Eastern imperial ? Hopefully it will present itself from a different direction one day! Some images attached. Finally, at Kalivaki, a water pipit has reappeared. Despite flooded meadows, there is very little bird activity at Kalivaki at the moment.

14 IMAGES BY AND © ALAN HARGRAVE

                                         

                               EASTERN IMPERIAL OR GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE

Informed by Nikos and Michalis that there is a Polish tagged with radio transmitter GSE that winters in the broader Rethymnon area, closer observation is needed to get a positive ID on this bird

                               

                           

                      

                                                          WATER PIPIT

                  

20th. The week gets better when we find a ruddy shelduck on the furthest reaches of the water at the Viewpoint. We then had a look at Moronis in the afternoon, wondering if the spoonbill had moved there? No, but instead three shelduck! So, three new Crete species for us in two days. (also at Moronis - redshank, greenshank, common sandpiper, little egret, great egret, cormorant, little-ringed plover, black-headed gulls (35), sandwich tern (3), and kingfisher.

                                                      RUDDY SHELDUCK          

                      

              

                                                          SHELDUCK

                

              

                                                  BLACK HEADED GULL

21st 

Just a few more images of spoonbill and ruddy shelduck from the Viewpoint this morning. Nikos texted me after seeing photo on my flickr page - amongst other things, he believes the ruddy is only second record for Crete. Unfortunately he was on his way to Viewpoint when the bird flew away - which I saw. It was heading west, so could end up at Agia.

          RUDDY SHELDUCK Only the second recorded on Crete

                    

                             

                              

                              

These three species are fairly rare on Crete, to find all three within a couple of days was a very nice find for Alan, Sue and myself have only seen the Spoonbill  Shelduck once on Crete and still have to see the Ruddy Shelduck, well found Alan .... 

7-13th January

 

 

The weeks news from Alan
Pleasantly surprised to find a moustached warbler at the Viewpoint on 7th. Would have needed your camera for this one, but my poor image is just attached for the record.

                          


A run of three days with daytime temps averaging about 7c, rain and high winds, has brought a sea swell to the north coast. That has seen the arrival of gulls at Petres with y-l, a single lesser b-b, and Med all feeding off the breakers. It's a great sight, but the weather and sea-spray limits good photography.

                

         

We are used to seeing decent sized flocks of starlings at Agia, but on 12th we had a flock in excess of a thousand birds above the house. The majority settled on overhead wires for a short time, before moving on. The photo below (about 220 birds) shows less than a quarter of the total flock.

               


All the best, Alan

 

From Nikos

WEATHER STILL BAD, SNOW DOWN TO 800M... DID WINTER COUNT WITH MICHALIS DRETTAKIS TODAY FROM MORONIS-KLADISSOS-AGYIA PLATANIAS,TAVRONITIS,KOLYMBARI,KISSAMOS BUT NO THRILLS! ARGH!
JUST WORTH MENTIONING ARE THE 800 COOT AT AGYIA, 25 GADWALL (PEAK NUMBER FOR CRETE), AND THE TWO CATTLE EGRETS... 

        

 

4th -6th January

 

Report from Alan

An inauspicious start to the year with mainly cool, damp and cloudy weather. On 4th, another very distant shot of what is possibly the greater spotted eagle seen a few weeks ago from the house - this time from Kalivaki beach looking back towards the mountains. I'm certainly not convinced about the id. Long wings like golden, short tail though, long hand like imperial.... and so on! (two images attached but might not be worth using?)

Just a thought, does anyone have any views on this I was wondering about the Black Vulture that is hanging around... Colin

 

                                       Four images by and © Alan Hargrave

                          

       

Yesterday, 5th, we went to Omalos. Great viewing of male hen harrier hunting around the edges of the plateau - too distant to get photos. Apart from sparrowhawk and raven, no other large birds at all. A couple of water pipits at pools worth a mention, otherwise not much else that we could find.

Returned via Agia late afternoon. Good variety of ducks present now and my first opportunity to see a black-necked grebe at Agia. It looked lonely compared to the c250 at Kournas Lake now!

                       

 

       Also first opportunity to get an image of a gadwall pair - interesting water reflections!

 

 

2nd January

                    A very Happy, Healthy and if you are really lucky a Wealthy 2012