Crete Birding

                                                     Blog December 2015

                                                   You can also find us on Facebook

   2015 all world rights reserved 

          On the Facebook pages you will find daily additions on this autumns migration                    from regular contributors, Jef, Nikos, Fotis and Alan as well as contributions                        from visiting birders and botanists. If you are holidaying feel free to add                      your sightings on those pages....Thank you


31st December

So the last day of the month and 2015, its the same as last year cold wet and windy , sleet is falling and the lower slopes of theWhite mountains get a covering of snow again.

No real birding today, as we head for the town tavernas to keep warm in front of their woodburners and pay off our annual bills 

On the road into town a flock of Starlings c30 sat on a wire, this may have been the largest group we have seen in this area !

Our list for the last day of the year is pretty poor , but here goes

White Wagtail, Common Buzzard, Chaffinch, Starling c30, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Collared Dove,       Black Redstart !!   told you it was poor

So as we sign off another year , we would like to wish everyone a Healthy, Peaceful and Happy 2016 , stay safe out there and happy birding . Thank you for following us , supporting us on both this site and our Facebook pages 





30th December

Half an eye to the sky today as work once again got in the way of birding and the weather started to deteriorate 

Kaliviani list....Griffon Vulture, Peregrine Falcon, Stonechat, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Goldfinch, Yellow-legged Gull, Chiffchaff, Black Redstart





29th December

Three days in a row  we have now seen the bearded Vulture over to the north of the house. With weather predicted to be bad over the coming days we took a drive out to see if we could get nearer views and were not disappointed, about 10 minute sighting quite close, along with numerous Blue Rock Thrush sightings , these two species made up for lack of others.

Only our second sighting of Loggerhead Turtle in the bay, one seen a hundred metres off the coast this morning.  

Kaliviani list ...Goldfinch, Cetti's Warbler, Blackbird, Common Buzzard, Chaffinch, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Greenfinch, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove, Yellow-legged Gull, Chiffchaff, Woodlark, Crested lark, Kestrel, Bearded Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Sparrowhawk, Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, Raven, , Cormorant, 3, Shag 1, Kentish Plover 1, Blackcap









28th December

The Bearded Vulture showed again briefly in the north, nice to know it's staying local for a while !

Nice to hear the Woodlark in full song this morning ! 

Kaliviani species list....Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Griffon Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Linnet, Stonechat, Blackbird, Black Redstart, Crag Martin, Sparrowhawk, Rock Dove , Robin, Common Buzzard, Cetti's Warbler, Kestrel, Crested Lark, Raven, Woodlark, Greenfinch, Collared Dove.








27th December

 A great sighting today , a young Bearded Vulture seen over the high ridge of Gramvousa in the company of 5 Griffon Vulture. We watched it for some forty-five minutes, it dropped a large bone in the same spot nine times , retrieving it, dropping it before it flew off onto the peninsula. Eight species out of the eighteen seen today were raptors today.

Kaliviani list.....Black Redstart, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel,               Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, , Griffon Vulture, Booted Eagle, Hen Harrier, Bearded Vulture, Blackbird, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Linnet, Stonechat 


                                                                                  Bearded Vulture


                                          Booted Eagle being mobbed by local Common Buzzard


26th December

Kaliviani List.... Black redstart , Stonechat , Sardinian Warbler, Kestrel 2, Black Kite 1, Booted Eagle 1, Griffon Vulture 3 , Common Buzzard 4 , Yellow-legged Gull 5 , Raven 6, Hen Harrier 1 , Crested Lark , Collared Dove, Rock Dove.


                                                                                     Black Kite





25th December

Kaliviani List .....Cetti's Warbler , Blackbird , Chaffinch , Song Thrush , Chiffchaff , Kestrel , Hen Harrier 1, Griffon Vulture , Common Buzzard , Sardinian Warbler , Black Redstart , Stonechat , Yellow-legged Gull , Shag, Blue Rock Thrush , Raven , Great Tit , Goldfinch , Greenfinch , Chukar , White Wagtail , Crested Lark 





24th December

Trip to Omalos Plateau and Samaria Gorge entrance via Laki.....

Kentish Plover, Crested Lark , Hooded Crow , Chaffinch , Common Buzzard , White Wagtail , Hen Harrier 2 , Bearded Vulture 1 ,Griffon Vulture 2 Chouch 10, Stonechat , Cirl Bunting , Great Tit , Black Redstart , Jack Snipe 1, Goldfinch, Linnet, Blue Rock Thrush , Blue Tit, Rock Dove , Crag Martin c20 , Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove , Meadow Pipit , Blackbird...

We are not sure of the record for Jack Snipe at present , when we found one some years ago it was only the fourth record for Crete , we then had another a year later and I believe others have been seen since !              

                                                                                  Bearded Vulture




                                                                                           Hen Harrier



23rd December

Kaliviani list....Raven , Black Redstart , Sparrowhawk, Blackcap, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Blue Rock Thrush, Kestrel , Balckbird, Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Robin , Linnet , Blue Tit, Rock Dove, Greenfinch,                           Short-toed Eagle , Griffon Vulture , Common Buzzard , White Wagtail , Crested Lark , Yellow-legged Gull,         Collared Dove , Shag, Kentish Plover 





22nd December

Kaliviani Species....Great Tit 6, Black Redstart, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Shag 1,     Blue Rock Thrush 2, Common Buzzard, Griffon Vulture 2, Kestrel 3, Peregrine falcon 1, Goldfinch.





21st December

Nothing much around locally so we headed east along the coast towards Chania. We got as far as Maleme !

Kaliviani species....Peregrine Falcon,  Raven, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Black Redstart, Common Buzzard, Crested Lark.

On the coast.....Yellow-legged Gull, Kentish Plover 2, Kestrel, Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, White Wagtail,             Black Redstart, Stonechat , Goldfinch, Sandwich Tern, Common Buzzard, Collared Dove, Crested Lark, Chiffchaff, Italian Sparrow, linnet 






20th December

Two days of no birds , some rain, cold north westerly winds kept us in today weather improved but not the bird species !

Kaliviani list, Raven, Common Buzzard 4, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler , Great Tit, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Corn Bunting 6, Black Redstart.





17th December

 A pretty quiet day again too many jobs to be able to pick up the binoculars !!!

Kaliviani....Black Redstart, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Griffon Vulture 10, White Wagtail,                         Yellow-legged Gull, Kestrel.





16th December

Black Redstart, Hooded Crow, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler, Raven, Linnet, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Booted Eagle 2 pale morph, Collared Dove, Italian Sparrow, White Wagtail, Common Buzzard, Robin





15th December

Kaliviani list.... Black Redstart, Italian Sparrow, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard , Kestrel 4, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Goldfinch, Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Shag,                   Kentish Plover 2, Griffon Vulture 10.





14th December

A chance to do a little bit more birding today although jobs keeping us really busy at the moment.

Kaliviani....Kestrel 4, Hooded Crow 20+, Great Tit, Linnet, Black Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, Crag Martin c20, Yellow-legged Gull c40, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Crested Lark, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Corn Bunting 1,                     Common Buzzard 4, Shag 2, Raven 3, Cormorant 1, Griffon Vulture 18,  Peregrine Falcon 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Blackbird, Kentish Plover 2, Collared Dove, White Wagtail , Stonechat





13th December

Griffon Vulture 4, Raven 2, Great Tit 2, Black Redstart ,Stonechat, Hooded Crow, Crested Lark, Common Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon





12th December

Kaliviani list....Yellow-legged Gull, Booted Eagle 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Hooded Crow, Linnet, Crested Lark,              Sardinian Warbler, Kestrel, Black Redstart, Griffon Vulture 1.

11th December

Kaliviani List....Raven, Common Buzzard, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Serin, Hooded Crow, Booted Eagle 1 dark morph, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Black Redstart, Great Tit, Griffon Vulture 2, Linnet





10th December

A Short-toed Eagle spent most of the morning hunting around the area, we suspect it was the one Nikos saw a little way down the west coast yesterday 

Kaliviani Species....Short-toed Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Griffon Vulture 2, Peregrine Falcon 1, Raven, Hooded Crow, Cormorant 1, Serin, Crested Lark, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Cetti's Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Collared Dove.





8th December

We should have met up with Nikos today for a meander down to Elaphonisi, we had to call it off last minute unfortunately due to other commitments . Nikos was lucky enough to see a single Curlew there and on route a Short-toed Eagle . 

We had a Barn Owl fly past early evening.




7th December

Kaliviani list.... Black Redstart, Great Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Goldfinch, Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, Kentish Plover, Kestrel, Sparowhawk, Linnet, White Wagtail, Serin, Stonechat, Robin, Griffon Vulture, Crested Lark.





6th December

A report of 6 Shelduck at Elouda

We found a single Spur-winged Plover at Falasarna beach 

Black-necked Grebe numbers increasing at Kournas lake 


Kaliviani list....Black Redstart, Great Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard, Kestrel,      Blue Rock Thrush, Robin, Griffon Vulture, Sparrowhawk, Blackbird.


An afternoon trip to Falasarna ...Highlight Spur-winged Plover, Kentish Plover, Serin, Linnet, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Moorhen, White Wagtail c 100, Italian Sparrow, Little Egret, Yellow-legged Gull, Stonechat, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting, Chiffchaff, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Robin, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark 



 More images from Falasarna on Facebook page






4th December

Well it looks like the machine crews have finished trashing the place, bulldozer and heay digger etc left this afternoon. with not as many places to hide and with the area opened up who knows it could lead to better things. Areas we could not see are now visible and they have not touched the far side of the gully. Its chillier this evening if the wind would die out we may get some nice small species show tomorrow. Maybe we can start work later tomorrow and get a few early hours birding in !!

Kaliviani List.....Goldfinch, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Hooded Crow, Collared Dove, Corn Bunting, Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, Griffon Vulture , Common Buzzard, Raven, Linnet, Crested lark, Stonechat  





3rd December

No work with the bulldozer etc today,small birds can be heard in the gully still and that is pleasing. We have still lots of our own work and again keep half an eye to the skies. The weather is changing and temperatures are slowly dropping , today the wind changed from south westerly to north easterly and with this change we see the raptors holding station facing into the wind as they look for prey down towards the coastline. This morning and for most of the day a couple of pale morph Booted Eagles  were supplying the entertainment as they moved about overhead. 

Kaliviani list.....Raven, Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap, Robin, Blackbird, Black Redstart , Hooded Crow, Common Buzzard,, Yellow-legged Gull, Booted Eagle 2, Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Thrush.





2nd December

Half an eye to the sky for the next few days , too much work is keeping us occupied at the moment. Lots of work nearby where new track is being pushed in alongside our boundary fence and a really neglected area with olive trees is being grubbed out and levelled a real hotspot for small species  ! We will have to see if it will still hold the same attraction to them when they are finished !!!  lots of noise and general mayhem around hence today's low species count....

Kaliviani list....

Robin, Hooded Crow 30+, Raven, Common Buzzard, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Crested Lark, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Cetti's Warbler, Barn Owl 





1st December

Kaliviani list....

Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, Robin, Blue Tit, Blue Rock Thrush, Chaffinch, Linnet, Crested Lark, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff, Great Tit, Stonechat,Greenfinch, White Wagtail, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Italian Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Peregrine Falcon, Raven, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove