Crete Birding

April 2007

A busy month with lots of migrants coming through, our first 
definite Bearded Vulture…., twice… On the 3rd and 25th. Two 
uncommon bird as well, Golden Plover on the 20th. And a Sombre 
Tit on the 3rd. Several Cetti’s Warbler resident in an 
overgrown gulley are very vocal but are very elusive to the 
The first nightjar and Eleonora’s Falcon of the year on the 25th 
Many birds are now nesting nearby with building and the more 
advanced carrying food to their young.. Greater numbers of 
Hoopoe and Whinchat and we believe the Spotted Flycatcher 
numbers are also up this year but less Yellow Wagtails in 
this area. A Weasel spent some time in the garden mid 
afternoon before shooting up a drainpipe a metre from where we 

1st April
Yellow Legged Gull, Subalpine Warbler, Griffon Vulture 5, 
Lesser Kestrel 4, Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, 
Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard 4, Hooded 
Crow, Raven, Cetti’s Warbler, Hoopoe 3, Goldfinch.

2nd April
Yellow-legged Gull, Buzzard busily mating on the crag behind 
the house, Lesser Kestrel 6, male Marsh Harrier, Feldegg 
Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Isabeline Wheatear, Northern 
Wheatear, Common Sandpiper 1, Little-ringed Plover 2, Black 
Redstart, Hoopoe 3, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Hooded Crow, 
Italian Sparrow, Crested Lark, the first Whinchat of the year, 
Blue Rock thrush, Collared Dove, Raven, the first Little Egret 
of the year, swallow, House Martin, singing Skylark in the 
sheep paddock above the house, Rock dove, Peregrine Falcon, 
Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Blue Tit.

3rd April
This for us was a very special day. Several birds putting in 
their first appearance of the year, an unfeathered 
predator,and more orchids
[ Birding from our house ]. But not just the birds other 
wildlife made this day special to.
We have about an acre of land with hills to two sides, sea in 
front and olive grove to the remaining side.
With an ENE light wind coming in. sunshine and a slight haze 
greeted us as we stepped outside. 
Our first birds of the day were our pair of resident Buzzard, 
Sardinian Warbler and Italian Sparrow. The Buzzard are daily 
seen mating and nest building the Sardinians have a nest in a 
herb and gorse bush, whilst the Italian Sparrows are busy building 
their condo. on the bathroom window ledge.
These were quickly followed up by a number of Yellow-legged 
Gulls, Hooded Crow whilst two male Marsh Harrier made their 
way northwards, House Martins flew around the area for most of 
the morning and a group of six Lesser Kestrel hunted over the 
hills behind. 
Alpine Swift put in an appearance for a short while before 
heading out onto the Gramvousa peninsula.
The highlight of the morning was whilst watching two Griffon 
Vulture we noticed a large bird heading from the peninsula 
toward the house, which after five years of looking for, was 
our first real sighting of a Lammergeyer and we never had to 
go look for it , there it was flying quite high but an 
unmistakable sight, awesome!! it first flew south then looped 
around and flew back before again heading off southwards, 
giving us about three to four minutes fantastic viewing..

After downloading some not very hazy distant pictures and 
having a coffee, some distant birds of prey were seen but we 
were unable to ID them, several Buzzard headed north or were 
seen off by our resident pair. A Kestrel put in a brief 
appearance hovering over the hill behind, whilst Swallow took 
over from the House Martins.
A look on the coastal side we saw White Wagtail, Isabelline 
Wheatear, Northern Wheatear and Crested Lark and a pair of 
Collared Dove we were disappointed to see that a stream has 
started to dry up very early this year and only a single 
Common Sandpiper and a pair of busily mating Little Ringed 
Plover were present..
Whilst around the house were several groups of Chaffinch, 
Greenfinch and Goldfinch .
It was now lunchtime and sat looking at the hill behind the 
house a Weasel scampered around the garden like a kitten , 
showing no sign of fear of us... sneaking indoors I managed to 
get some pictures as this small predator scrambled to the top 
of a two metre high wall and posed before coming back towards 
us and disappearing up a drainpipe!.
After some work, all the while scanning the skies for 
something different [would the Lammergeier put in another 
appearance? ] we again got the binoculars out and headed to 
the rear hill where an overgrown gulley has an abundance of 
birdlife at this time of year, several groups of Rock Dove 
flew over heading inland, we had good views from here of 
several Cetti's Warbler our first real views as they flitted 
out into fairly open areas. The first Collared Flycatcher of 
the year flew from an Almond tree, whilst a Woodchat Shrike 
was hunting from a previously burnt shrub, a Stonechat, 
Sardinian Warbler and Great Tit were creating a fuss about the 
Shrikes presence but failed to see it off, Whilst a pair of 
Blackcap were busy sorting a nest site out on the far side of 
the gulley carrying nest material into a low bush. 
A Hoopoe sat in another burnt out bush,[a legacy from a large 
scrub fire that swept out of control one night a few years 
A group of fifty plus Red-rumped Swallow were seen hunting 
over a flock of sheep as they disturbed the ground the 
shepherd was bringing them across on their way to their 
enclosure for the night. 
A Blue Tit showed for a short while before heading into the 
gulley where we spotted a Sombre Tit, and another Woodchat 
Shrike. To finish the days birding a Peregrine Falcon obtained 
height before stooping on some distant unseen prey. Birding 
ceased here as the shepherd previously mentioned lit a large 
fire that created so much smoke we had to give up. 
Whilst returning through our olive grove we noticed that our 
first Seripia Orchid is following on from the Butterfly and 
sawfly orchids.
Thirty six bird species seen over the day, our first 
Lammergeier and close up Weasel, with still the best of 
migration to come.

The river bed on the beach has now dried completely and much 
earlier than usual , no bird is to be seen a disappointment as 
waders will be missing from this bit of coastline, apart from 
a few breeding pairs of Little-ringed Plover.
Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard 4, 
Yellow-legged Gull, Cetti’s warbler, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove 
14, Red-rumped Swallow, Crested Lark, Blackbird, House Martin, 
swallow, the first Whitethroat of the year, Meadow Pipit, , 
Griffon Vulture 7, Swift and Alpine Swift now growing in 
numbers, Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, and the first Blue-headed 
wagtails of the year, Whinchat numbers also increasing, 
Crested Lark, Woodchat Shrike, Raven, Hoopoe 4, Greenfinch, 
Short-toed Lark, Isabeline Wheatear, Collared Dove, Cormorant, 
Little ringed Plover, Stonechat, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting with 
a nice sighting to finish the day a, Black Kite .

Our Weasel of the other day again put in an appearance 
upsetting the male of our nesting Sardinian Warblers, 
Buzzard, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Swift, Chaffinch, 
House Martin, Italian Sparrow, a flock of 50+ Corn Bunting, 
Sparrowhawk, Rock Dove, Cetti’s Warbler, an unidentified 
raptor high up and out over the bay headed north on long slow 
and lazy wingbeats. Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Crested lark, 

Yellow–legged Gull, Cormorant 3, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, 
Blackbird, Nightingale, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, 
Subalpine Warbler, Goldfinch, Swallow, House Martin, Marsh 
Harrier [m] Blue Tit, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Black-eared 
Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzard, Raven, Blue Rock Thrush, 
Collared Dove, Great Tit.

Buzzard 7 with the local pair seen mating, Sardinian Warbler, 
Yellow-legged Gull, Swallow, House Martin, Italian Sparrow, 
Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Cormorant 2, Nightingale, Woodlark, 
Raven, Blackbird, Griffon Vulture 3, Whinchat, feldegg Yellow 
Wagtail, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Crested lark, Hoopoe, 
Kestrel, Marsh Harrier [f] Greenfinch, Collared Flycatcher, 
Cetti’ Warbler, Scops Owl.

Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Blackbird, 
Swallow, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Marsh Harrier 2 [m], Italian 
Sparrow, Linnet 30+, Great Tit, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Buzzard 
6 high and flying north, Blue Tit, woodlark, Cormorant 2, 
Goldfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Kestrel, House Martin, 

Buzzard 12, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Alpine Swift, 
Nightingale, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove, 
Swallow, Raven, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Cormorant, 
Crag Martin, Swift, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Whinchat, 
Kestrel, pale form Booted Eagle, Goldfinch, Isabeline 
Wheatear, Italian Sparrow, Marsh Harrier 3 [m&f].

Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Buzzard 2 ++, Chaffinch, Rock Dove, Alpine Swift, Marsh 
Harrier, dark form Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk 2, a single 
Glossy Ibis, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Woodlark, 
Red-rumped Swallow, A pale form Booted Eagle flew with a 
single Griffon Vulture, Blackbird, Raven, Whinchat, Little 
Ringed Plover, Hooded Crow, Collared Dove, at 6pm 2 Marsh 
Harrier hunted the fields below.

Yellow-legged Gull, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Marsh Harrier 
[m] 3, Buzzard, Raven, Rock Dove, Hooded Crow, Swallow, House 
Martin, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe, Cetti’s 
Warbler, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Collared 
Dove , Whinchat, Sparrowhawk, dark form Booted Eagle, Buzzard, 
Great Tit, Kestrel, Barn Owl.
We took a trip to Tavronitis River and coast area there was 
literally not a bird to be seen !! in the past at this time we 
have found waders and Terns…………

Griffon Vulture 7, Goldfinch, Yellow-legged gull, Swallow, 
Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, light form Booted Eagle, Marsh 
Harrier [m], Little Egret 1, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Whinchat, 
Cetti’s Warbler, Blue Rock thrush, Little Ringed Plover 3, 
Common Sandpiper 2, Black Winged Stilt 2, Kestrel, Collared 
Dove, Buzzard, Alpine Swift, House Martin, Hen Harrier [f], 
Rock Dove, Raven, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, 
Meadow Pipit.

Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, chaffinch, Italian Sparrow now 
very busy building their nests on our bathroom window ledge 4 
pockets in various stages of construction, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Black-eared Wheatear, Hooded Crow, Raven , Goldfinch, Great 
Tit , Sardinian Warbler, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier 7 [3 male], 
House Martin, Griffon Vulture 6, Kestrel 3, Collared Dove, 
Common Sandpiper, Whinchat, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Skylark, 
Northern Wheatear, Hoopoe 4, Yellow, Wagtail, Lesser Kestrel 
10, Blue Tit, dark form Booted Eagle, Barn Owl.

Dark form Booted Eagle 3, Lanner 1, Cetti’s Warbler, Italian 
Sparrow, Greta Tit, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Hooded Crow, House 
Martin, Rock Dove, Griffon Vulture 6, Raven 3, Hoopoe 3, 
Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Crested Lark, 
Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Swallow, Corn Bunting, Tawny Pipit, 
feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Black-eared Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail, 
Blue-headed Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, White Wagtail, Little 
–ringed Plover 10, Marsh Harrier 6, Woodchat Shrike 1, Common 
Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 1, Blue Tit, Whinchat 2, Little 
Stint, Lesser kestrel 6, Hen Harrier 3 [2 male], Kestrel, two 
distant unidentified eagles we think a Lesser Spotted , 
Peregrine Falcon 1.

Sardinian Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Swallow, Hooded Crow, 
Goldfinch , Italian Sparrow, Chaffinch, great Tit, Red-rumped 
Swallow, Nightingale, Blackbird , Swift, Alpine Swift, House 
Martin , Crag Martin, Goshawk, Black Kite, A pair of Marsh 
Harrier, Buzzard 18, Griffon Vultures 5, Sparrowhawk, male 
Redstart, Yellow-legged Gull, Blackcap [f].

Buzzard, Yellow-legged Gull, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian 
Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, Swallow, Blue Rock 
Thrush, Collared Dove, Woodchat Shrike, our first of the year 
Squacco Heron 6, Crested Lark, Marsh Harrier 3 [1m 2f], 
Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch.

A pair of Marsh Harrier, Yellow-legged Gull, House Martin, 
Buzzard, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Griffon Vulture, 
Swallow, Swift, Red-rumped swallow, Little Egret, Stonechat, 

Cetti’s wWarbler, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, Northern Wheatear, 
Marsh Harrier[f], House Martin Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Blue Tit, a pair of Woodchat Shrike, Sardinian Warbler, 
Kestrel 3, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Italian Sparrow, Blackbird, 
Buzzard 9, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Greenfinch, pale 
form Booted Eagle, Griffon Vulture 1, Whinchat.

Today saw a 5 firsts for the year, Montague’s Harrier 2[f], 
Bee-eaters 20+,plus another group heard later but not seen, 
Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, our first sightings 
of a Levant Sparrowhawk once in the morning and possibly the 
same bird later in the day.
Blue Rock Thrush and Blackbird both seen carrying food to 
young at nest sites.
Large numbers of Whinchat. House Martin, Swallow, cetti’s 
warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, Woodlark, 
Blackbird, Montagues Harrier 2 [f], Alpine swift, Red-rumped 
Swallow, Buzzard 2, Swift, Yellow-legged Gull, Cormorant, 
Bee-eaters 20+, Griffon Vultures 13+2, Raven 2 , Meadow Pipit, 
Wheatear, Goldfinch, Woodchat Shrike, Levant Sparrowhawk, Rock 
Dove, Tawny Pipit, Great Tit, Hoopoe, Pied Flycatcher, Little 
Ringed Plover, Blue Rock thrush, Blue Tit, Stonechat, Spotted 
Flycatcher,, Whitethroat,, Short-Toed Lark, A male and female 
Marsh Harrier, Isabelline Wheatear, Crested lark.

Whinchat, Cettis warbler, Yellow Legged Gull, Cormorant two 
groups 6 & 7, Marsh Harrier 2 [f], Buzzard , our local pair + 
14 flying north, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Spotted 
Flycatcher, Blackbird, an unidentified eagle was high and out 
of sight before we could do a definite ID, Kestrel, Alpine 
Swift, Red-Rumped Swallow, House Martin, Swallow, Skylark, 
Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Hooded Crow, Griffon Vulture 6, Raven, 
Whitethroat, Stonechat, Woodlark, Great Tit, Little Ringed 
Plover, Common Sandpiper, Ruff 4in the company of a single 
Golden Plover, feldegg Yellow wagtail, Blue-headed wagtail, 
Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike 2, Crested 
Lark, Little Stint, Barn Owl.

Kestrel, Buzzard 4 + our local pair again seen mating, 
Whinchat, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Honey Buzzard 1, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, 
Italian Sparrow, Whitehtroat, Chaffinch, Cormorant, pale form 
Booted Eagle, a pair of Peregrine gave us a fine aerial 
display for about 5 minutes a they grappled above the house, 
Raven, Nightingale, Goshawk 1, Swift, Collared Dove, Blue Rock 
thrush, First Short-toed Eagle of the year, Griffon Vulture 1.

Woke to the sound of young birds calling a family of great Tit 
parents rushing about with food for 3 young seen in a wild 
pear tree, Lots of House Martin, Swallow, and Red-rumped 
Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Whinchat, 
Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Griffon Vulture 3+1+1+ 
a large group of 20 lifted of the Gramvousa range . Italian 
Sparrow, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Crag Martin, Kestrel, Hoopoe, 
Peregrine Falcon 1, Buzzard 2+4, Lesser Kestrel 6 then later 
12 more, a Lesser Spotted eagle, Blue Tit and a male Marsh 

Goldfinch, Crested Lark, Spotted Flycatcher, Buzzard our local 
pair then three groups 8+6+28 flew north, Sardinian Warbler, 
Marsh Harrier 2 [f] Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Blackbird, 
Peregrine 1, Raven 8, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Alpine 
swift large numbers all flying together, Griffon Vulture 1 
lifted from Gramvousa probably to heavy to lift off with the 
others yesterday after its feed !. Red-rumped Swallow, 
Kestrel, Yellow-legged Gull, Blue Rock Thrush, Italian 
Sparrow, Woodchat Shrike 2, Sqaucco heron 1, Corn Bunting, 
Rock Dove, Greta Tit, Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Blue-headed 
Wagtail, Feldegg and another race of Yellow Wagtail, late 
evening 3 Lesser Kestrel hunted around the house and hill to 
the rear.

Apart from around the house we did a trip To lake Agia and to 

House area……Marsh Harrier [f], Kestrel, Buzzard, Swift, House 
Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Italian Sparrow, 
Spottede Flycatcher, Yellow-legged Gull, Raven and Peregrine.

Lake Agia…….Water levels still a bit too high for the 
waders……… Buzzard, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Marsh Sandpiper, 
Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Ferruginous Duck, Pochard, 
Dabchick, Coot, Moorhen, Yellow-legged Gull, Whinchat, Spotted 
Flycatcher, Bee-eaters 50+, Sqaucco Heron, Blue-headed 
Wagtail, Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow 
Warbler, Hooded Crow, House Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch., 
Blackbird and Raven.

Omalos……Pretty quiet here no raptors to be seen at all, we 
spotted though a Jay, 13 Cough, Turtle Dove 20+ and heard a 
distant Cuckoo. Also Spotted Flycatcher, Swallow, Greenfinch, 
Chaffinch, Wood Sandpiper 22 on two pools, a pair of Linnet 
and Tawny Pipit 2. Flowers ….White Turban Buttercup and Tulipa 

Hooded Crow, Kestrel 1 +2, Yellow-legged Gull 20+, Sardinian 
Warbler, Chaffinch, House Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Italian 
Sparrow, Swallow, Cormorant 4 then a group of 18 in a group on 
the sea, Goldfinch, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, 
Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard 10, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Dove, 
Eleonoras Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Blue Rock Thrush 3, Little 
Egret 1, Red Throated Pipit 4, Crested lark, Feldegg Yellow 
Wagtail, Blue Headed wagtail, Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, 
Linnet, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Greenfinch, Raven, Swift, Barn 
Owl, Nightjar, a rabbit put in a rare appearance by our gate 
as we watched the Nightjar We also heard a call in the dark 
that was very like a Lapwing , peeewhittt repeated several 
times as the bird flew north along the peninsula .

Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, 
Griffon Vulture 7, Marsh harrier 1, A long trail of Buzzard 15 
headed north, Blackbird, Lammergeyer 1, Lesser Kestrel 12, 
Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk, Eleonora’s Falcon , Lesser grey 
Shrike, Long –legged Buzzard, Whinchat, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Greenfinch, Italian Sparrow, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat 
Shrike3, Rock Dove, White Wagtail, Crested Lark, Redstart, 
Bee-eater 20+, Willow Warbler, Barn Owl 
As a note we saw the Lammergeyer at the same time of day 1130 
as on the 3rd and flying in the same direction .

Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzard 10, Nightingale, Hooded 
Crow, Swallow, House Martin, Kestrel, Lesser kestrel, 6, 
Woodchat Shrike, Marsh Harrier, Goldfinch, Italian Sparrow, 
Bee-eaters 20 + , Blue Rock Thrush, Griffon Vulture 4, pale 
form Booted Eagle, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Yellow-legged Gull, 
Raven, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Collared Dove, Barn Owl .

Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Blue Rock Thrush, Eleonora’s 
Falcon, Griffon Vulture 3, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Blue 
Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Stonechat, Whinchat, Crested Lark, 
Goldfinch, Buzzard, Peregrine. 
Italian Sparrow, Blue Tit/It. Sparrow/ Buzzard all seen busy 
carrying nest material.

Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Goldfinch, Swift, Blue 
Tit, Hooded Crow, Whinchat, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, 
House Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Red-rumped 
Swallow, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Woodchat Shrike, Stonechat, 
Skylark, Spotted Flycatcher, Squacco Heron,
Crested Lark, Bee-eaters 50+, Yellow-legged Gull, Nightjar, 
Scops Owl, Barn Owl.

Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, 
Woodchat Shrike, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Hooded Crow, 
Yellow-legged Gull, Italian Sparrow, Swift, swallow, House 
Martin, Rock Pigeon, Collared Dove, Griffon Vulture 1.