Crete Birding

                                                   Blog October 2014

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18th December

Apologies, but have been unable to access the website for some time now and unable to provide updates. I have just managed to get back in and will hopefully get back up to speed soon . 

Thanks for visiting during this lengthy time away.

 

26th October

Weather.... 0730hrs ....15.7C...Cloud 99%....Vis 15 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1019mb  heavy rain in night with thunderstorms until 0700 then mostly sunny.

Kaliviani list....

Sparrowhawk 4....Robin....Hooded Crow...Raven....Common Buzzard 4.... Greenfinch.... Goldfinch...Raven....  Cetti's Warbler ....Kestrel 2....Woodlark....Meadow Pipit 1.... Griffon vulture....Eleonora's Falcon....Stonechat.... Blue Rock Thrush....Garden Warbler 1....

 

 

 

 

23rd October

Weather.... 0830hrs ....22.8C...Cloud 60%....Vis 20 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1011mb sunny intervals showers some heavy in the south

Kaliviani list....

Raven.... Hooded Crow....Sardinian Warbler.... Great Tit....Robin....Cetti's Warbler.... Greenfinch... Sparrowhawk.... Griffon Vulture....Bonelli's Eagle 1adult 1 juv.

Chania....

Common Buzzard....Kestrel....Heuglin's Gull 1.... Yellow-legged Gull.... also sighted that morning over Chania, 2 Flamingo and a Glossy Ibis.

Moronis...

Redshank....Kingfisher 2....Yellow-legged Gull....Little Egret 1

Agyia....

Little Grebe....Osprey 1....Cormorant 1....Great Egret 1....Little Egret....Grey Heron....Mute Swan.... Mallard.... Gadwall....Shoveler....Teal....Pochard....Ferruginous Duck....Tufted Duck....Marsh Harrier.... Sparrowhawk.... Eleonora's Falcon....Moorhen....Coot....Kingfisher....Barn Swallow....White Wagtail....Robin.... Stonechat.... Blackbird....Sardinian Warbler....Sedge Warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Blackcap....Hooded Crow.... Starling....   Italian Sparrow

 

 

 

 

 

22nd October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....23.4C...Cloud 90%....Vis 3 miles....Wind S-SW 9m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1004mb Thunderstorms in the night later Heavy showers , some sunshine.

Black Redstart 1st male of autumn seen.

Kaliviani....Black Redstart....Hooded Crow....Goldfinch....

21st October

Weather.... 0830hrs ....29.1C...Cloud 1%....Vis 20 miles....Wind N 1m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1017mb

First Black Redstart for the autumn seen , a female. 

Kaliviani list...

Common Buzzard...Crested Lark....Raven....Hooded Crow....Sparrowhawk....Great Tit....Goldfinch.... Kestrel.... Sparrowhawk....Griffon Vulture.... Blue Rock Thrush....Black Redstart....Greenfinch....Robin

Kissamos over the mountains Topolia, Paleochora, Elefonisi, Elos.....

Yellow-legged Gull...Kentish Plover....Collared Dove....Hooded Crow....Raven....Stonechat....Italian Sparrow.... Woodchat Shrike....Robin....Great Tit....Black Kite 3....Golden Eagle 2 adults....Sardinian Warbler....Blue Tit.... Woodlark.... Crested Lark....Sparrowhawk....Kestrel....Common Buzzard....Bearded Vulture 2 adults....Chukar 20. Linnet....Hobby 1....Starling 5....Barn Swallow....Crag Martin....Greenfinch

 

 

 

 

 

20th October

Weather.... 0830hrs ....29.4C...Cloud 50%....Vis 20 miles....Wind NW 14 m/s.... Sea, rough.... 1020mb  

Kaliviani list...Grey Heron 1....Raven....Goldfinch....Greenfinch....hooded crow....Griffon Vulture....Kestrel.... Common Buzzard....Robin....Peregrine Falcon

 

 

 

 

19th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....21.8C...Cloud 70%....Vis 20 miles....Wind N 17 m/s.... Sea, rough.... 1020mb

Kaliviani list....

Eleonora's Falcon....Hooded Crow....Raven...Goldfinch....Common Buzzard....Peregrine Falcon....Sparrowhawk... Booted Eagle 2 pale morph hunting together ....Robin....Griffon Vulture....Sardinian Warbler....Great Tit

 

 

 

 

18th October

Weather.... 0830hrs ....24.0C...Cloud 99%....Vis 5 miles....Wind NW 4 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1019mb later mostly sunny

A walk along the  coast from Kaliviani to Kissamos Port yielded a few nice birds , the best a Grey Wagtail, other nice sightings a small flock of starlings a pale morph Booted Eagle over the bay, several Grey Heron with a flock of 16 Little Egret constantly moving about the coastal rocks.

Kaliviani and coastal Species....

Robin....Hooded Crow....Great Tit....Raven....Kestrel....Grey Heron 7....Little Egret 16....Yellow-legged Gull 2.... Common Buzzard 3.... Sardinian Warbler....Goldfinch....Starling c10....Little Ringed Plover 2....Grey Wagtail 1.... White Wagtail 10+....Yellow Wagtail 3....Stonechat....Crested Lark....Booted Eagle 1....Italian Sparrow.

17th October

Weather.... 0900hrs ....24.3C...Cloud 40%....Vis 15 miles....Wind W 3 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1020mb sunny winds later from the SW

Strong Northerly winds are due tomorrow which may bring a few more migrants our way, where are the Short-toed eagles this year ?

Today may have been our last sighting of Eleonora's Falcon for this year , one looked like it was on a mission as it headed south, no others have been seen. A quiet day again , migration looks to have passed us by , no aquila to speak of, winds may have been favourable for high flyovers, there is still time yet though for a few niceties, I hope !!

Kaliviani list....

Eleonora's Falcon ....Kestrel 2....Blackbird....Great Tit....Blue Tit....Sardinian Warbler....Hooded Crow....Raven.... Common Buzzard....Blue Rock Thrush....Cetti's Warbler....Greenfinch.

 

A weekly roundup from other parts of the island.....

Osprey,  Lesser Spotted Eagle,  Red-footed Falcon,  Black Stork,  Black-necked Grebe,  Black Kite, Pintail, large flocks of Ferruginous duck on the sea, groups of Little Egret, Pygmy Cormorant back on Giorgopouli lake. Peregrine Falcons , Sparrowhawks numbers increasing, Hobby,  Booted Eagle,  Short-toed Eagle. 

 

 

 

 

15th October

 Weather.... 0830hrs ....22.1C...Cloud 0%....Vis 10 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1016mb sunny

 

We can now hear the robin, its call is everywhere, a lovely sound for autumn !

 

Kaliviani species....

Hooded Crow....Woodlark....Sardinian Warbler....Great Tit....Cetti's Warbler....Raven....Blue Rock Thrush.... Blackbird....Goldfinch....Robin....Griffon Vulture....Black Kite....Common Buzzard....Kestrel....Crested Lark

 

 

 

 


14th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....21.2C...Cloud 2 0%....Vis 15 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1016mb sunny

We sat eating breakfast watching two Griffon Vulture sat on the crags above the house, they were there for around one and a half hours before the raven and hooded crows decided it was time to see them off !!! Robins can now be heard everywhere.

Kaliviani Species...

Griffon Vulture 9....Raven....Hooded Crow...Stonechat....Sardinian Warbler....Great Tit....Peregrine Falcon.... Goldfinch....Cetti's Warbler....Robin....Wood Warbler....Greenfinch...Blue Tit....Sparrowhawk 1....Rock Dove Eleonora's Falcon.

 

 

 

 

 

13th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....20.4C...Cloud 0%....Vis 20 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1017mb sunny

Kaliviani List....

Raven 40+....Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 6....Common Buzzard....Peregrine Falcon....Kestrel....Linnet...Robin..  Eleonora's Falcon...Sardinian Warbler....Great Tit....Blue Tit....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Blue Rock Thrush.... Crested Lark... Sparrowhawk 4.... Red-backed Shrike 2.

 

 

 

 

12th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....18.8C...Cloud 0%....Vis 20 miles....Wind 0 m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1016mb  sunny

A trip again up to the Imbros, Aradena gorge areas, taking visiting birders in the hope of Bearded Vulture.

Not to be outdone this time we spotted a 2 or 3 cy Bearded Vulture. We also had a sighting of a very high migrating Egyptian Vulture, at Giorgopouli, Pygmy Cormorant and Black-necked Grebe at Kournas, all firsts for our visiting birders.

Meeting up at 0800 we proceeded to Giorgopouli first, then took the usual route via Chora Sfakion to Agyias Ioannis. On the way back we visited Kournas lake. 

Our list for the day....

Pygmy Cormorant....Teal....Cetti's Warbler....blackcap....Greenfinch....Robin....Stonechat....Coot... Kingfisher.... Moorhen....Grey Heron....Little Grebe....Mute Swan....Yellow Wagtail....Italian Sparrow....Blackbird....Woodlark.. Sardinian Warbler....Great Tit...Blue Tit....Chaffinch....Griffon Vulture....Crag Martin...Kestrel....Rock Dove...      Bonelli's Eagle....Griffon Vulture....Egyptian Vulture (adult)....Bearded Vulture...Blue Rock Thrush....Peregrine Falcon...Hooded Crow....Raven....Common Buzzard....Black-necked Grebe....Jay....Goldfinch....Collared Dove

 

 

 

 

 

11th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....21.2C...Cloud 60%....Vis 15 miles....Wind NE 2-4 m/s.... Sea, swell.... 1017mb sunny

Not too many species this morning, but another good one for vultures as the griffons find another carcass southwest of the house that's three in as many weeks  !!! We headed off to see if there was a closer viewing place and walked a track that would take us a bit higher too. When we arrived there was no view of the birds at their feeding place it was still some way off over a hill . Vultures were taking off however and flying right over us, but we were having to look into the sun. The birds raven as well as griffons were not too high either , but viewing was terrible so we retreated along their flight line and went higher onto the rocks above the house. This gave us a new perspective of the birds. We hid in the rocks watching until 1300 we managed some nice images as birds flew alongside and below us. A change of viewing was certainly worthwhile, no neck ache today !!!

Kaliviani List....

Tree Pipit...Hooded Crow....Goldfinch....Blue Rock Thrush....Cetti's warbler....Stonechat....Great Tit.... Kestrel... Barn Swallow 3....Sparrowhawk....Griffon Vulture 12+....Peregrine Falcon....Crested lark....Greenfinch

 

 

 

 

10th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....21.1C...Cloud 99%....Vis 10 miles....Wind NE 4m/s.... Sea, swell.... 1017mb Mostly sunny

Visitors to Crete birding this morning with us, so a local walk and after lunch a trip to Falasarna

From the house 0700-1000...

Hooded Crow....Common Buzzard 3....Griffon Vulture 3....Great Tit....Goldfinch....Raven....Robin.

Local walk....1100-1230...

Eleonora's Falcon 2....Kestrel 3...Sparrowhawk 1....Cetti's Warbler (heard)....Goldfinch....Blackbird....Red-backed Shrike 1  Spotted Flycatcher 2....Griffon Vulture 3....Raven....Chaffinch....Crested Lark....Robin (heard)

Falasarna 1400-1700....

Common Buzzard....Yellow-legged Gull....Black-headed Gull....Shag 3....Cormorant 1....Rock Dove.... Kingfisher.... White Wagtail +++....Northern Wheatear....Raven....Blackbird....Crested Lark....Stonechat....Sardinian Warbler.

 

 

 

 

9th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....21.2C...Cloud 99%....Vis 6 miles....Wind  NE 4m/s.... Sea, choppy.... 1017mb wind increasing a light shower

Todays highlight, two pale morph Booted eagle hunting together over Kaliviani village mid morning.

Kaliviani list....

Hooded Crow....Griffon Vulture 17....Common Buzzard....Goldfinch....Sparrowhawk....Peregrine Falcon....Kestrel..  Booted Eagle 2 (pale)...Northern Wheatear....White Wagtail....Chaffinch....Italian Sparrow

 

 

 

 

8th October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....22.4C...Cloud 100%....Vis 15 miles....Wind 0m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1018mb Light showers 

Kaliviani list....

Goldfinch....Greenfinch....Hooded Crow....Kestrel...Woodlark....Blackbird....Crested Lark....Italian Sparrow.... Sparrowhawk....Peregrine Falcon....Eleonora's Falcon...Griffon Vulture....Booted Eagle (dark)....                 Common Buzzard 7

 

 

 

 

6th October

Weather.... 0700hrs ....20.5C...Cloud 50%....Vis 20 miles....Wind 0m/s.... Sea, calm.... 1018mb. mostly sunny

Awake at 0400 today ! we are off to the mountains with Sue and Alan from Cyprus. We met up with them near Kolymbari at 0830.

Our route will be through Deliana Gorge, Kandanos, Temenia, Kambanos, Greleska (Irini Gorge ) Omalos Plateau and Samaria Gorge entrance .

Forty one species today from Kaliviani to Kaliviani if you include our resident bats, returning to roost in our pergolas, with a nice sighting as we arrived home at 1830 of 16 Night Heron heading from Kaliviani east towards Agyia maybe ? Highlights were some firsts for our friends, Cough c90 and Golden Eagle 2, a sub adult and a juvenile, flying together near Greleska.

It seems the Eleonora's Falcon are all in the mountains today, and are maybe on the move south, others reported all along the central ridges of Crete, they may all be gone by the end of the week !  

Species list in no particular order.....

Bat ( we think Pipistrelle )....Common Buzzard....Whitethroat....Griffon Vulture....Wren....Hooded Crow.... Blackbird....Chaffinch....Greenfinch....Great Tit....Blue Tit....Kestrel.... Kestrel....Marsh Harrier 1.... Raven.... Sparrowhawk 3.... Golden Eagle 2.... Chough c90....Barn wallow....House Martin.... Crag Martin....Cirl Bunting.... Stonechat....Goldfinch.... Steppe Buzzard 1.... Eleonora's Falcon c10....Peregrine Falcon 1....Jay....Collared Dove White wagtail.... Woodlark....Sardinian Warbler.... Willow Warbler....Italian Sparrow....Linnet.... High over Greleska travelling south, a Cormorant.       

HEARD ONLY..... Blue Rock Thrush....Chukar....Robin....Cetti's Warbler....Blackcap.

Many thanks to Sue and Alan for joining us and providing two extra pairs of eyes, a great day out !!

 

 

 

 

4th and 5th October

Nothing special around either day its still a very quiet migration this year. We had a Peregrine Falcon hunting locally on the 4th and a pale morph Booted Eagle passed over a couple of times on the 5th. A juvenile pelican was found on a camping area at Vai Beach east Crete.

At Giorgopouli on the 5th, Whitethroat, Booted Eagle and a possible Honey Buzzard, 8 Grey Heron 6 Little Egret, 2 Glossy Ibis, 3 Kingfisher and a few Willow Warbler, female Pied Flycatcher. 

Bramiana Lake Ierapetra.... Great Egret and Grey Heron seen

 

 

 

 

3rd October

Weather.... 1300hrs ....24.2C...Cloud 70%....Vis 15 miles....Wind NE 6 m/s.... Sea, rough.... 1018mb. mostly sunny

We were up before the dawn this morning, after a poor day at Kaliviani yesterday with only seven species, Hooded Crow, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Common Buzzard, Griffon Vulture, Eleonora's Falcon and Raven we thought we would get off to Agyia for some lake birding. We arrived just as the sun was rising and all was nice and still there.

We had a few hours to ourselves before the usual 4x4 tour arrived, they only stay a few minutes and are away again then birders arrived, from Sweden came Bjorn, from Netherlands and Norway and UK came others, scopes binocular and cameras scanned the lake and skies. Forty species seen that morning , including a rarity that was first spotted by a Swedish birder on the 1st. it came out into the open several times giving great views a 1st winter bird.

Species list....Little Egret 9....Great Egret 2....Grey Heron 5 ...Little Grebe....Teal c20....Mallard 6.... Bluethroat 1.. Blackcap....Wryneck....Willow Warbler....Barn Swallow....Coot....Moorhen....Common Buzzard 4....Marsh Harrier 1 Jackdaw c10....Water Rail 1....Great Tit....Cetti's Warbler....Sedge Warbler....White Wagtail....Chaffinch....Snipe 3 Little Ringed Plover 2....Yellow Wagtail 4....Wood Sandpiper 3....Green Sandpiper 1....A leucistic sandpiper showing white with black wings....Little Stint 2....Turtle Dove 1....Collared Dove 2.... Shoveler 3.... Mute Swan 1... Ferruginous Duck 1...Kingfisher, several...Blackbird....Goldfinch...Little Bittern...Sardinian Warbler. Not seen by us, Bjorn spotted a Grey Wagtail near the footbridge.

 

 

 

 

 


1st October

Weather.... 0800hrs ....20.4C...Cloud 10%....Vis 20 miles....Wind NE 6 m/s.... Sea, swell.... 1020mb.

As it is so quiet here in Kaliviani we went off for a days drive to Agyia, Imbros gorge, Kalikratis , Chora Sfakion and Aradena Gorge.

A long 12 hour day with 53 species recorded.

We may have got more but we had left the scope at home and did not have a good look at the margins of Agyia. There was a Swedish birder there who had recorded 3 Great Snipe, 1 Bluethroat,1  Ruff, and 2 Green Sandpiper just prior to our arrival.

It was another poor day for raptors, only four species seen ! Stonechat and Woodlark were seen in good numbers, Goldfinch were everywhere.

On the coast as we set off a single Starling, pretty rare for Kaliviani , usually seen this time of year but only in ones or twos it was keeping close company with a White Wagtail.  

List for the day....

Raven....Hooded Crow....White Wagtail...Starling....Crested Lark....Common Buzzard....Kestrel....Griffon Vulture... Marsh Harrier....Willow Warbler....Wryneck....Sedge Warbler....Cetti's Warbler....Barn Swallow.... Grey Heron.... Little Egret.... Great Egret....White Stork....Mute Swan....Common Snipe....Shoveler....Mallard....Teal....Coot.... Moorhen....Little Grebe....Blackcap....Stonechat....Blue Rock Thrush....Linnet....Goldfinch....Greenfinch....Wren... Chaffinch.... Blackbird....Italian Sparrow....Chukar....Woodlark....Black-eared Wheatear...Northern Wheatear.... Collared Dove....Rock Dove....Woodchat Shrike....Yellow-legged Gull....Alpine swift....Crag Martin....Kingfisher.... Spotted Flycatcher....Great Tit....Jay....Barn Owl....Scops Owl... and one unidentified Crake  briefly seen in the reeds at Agyia