Crete Birding

                                                     Blog January 2016

                                               You can also find us on Facebook

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          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




22nd January

Kaliviani List....


Common Buzzard 6, Griffon Vulture 2, Booted Eagle 1 dark morph, Woodlark, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Linnet, Stonechat, Shag 2, Yellow-legged Gull, Raven 2.





21st January

A great total of 32 species seen from the house today. It seems spring is in the air , Goldfinch, Linnet, Chaffinch, Blackcap, and Woodlark are all singing like crazy and in good numbers too. 

Species list....Black Redstart, Woodlark, Raven, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Great Tit , Chiffchaff, Kestrel 3, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Dove, Robin, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler, Little Egret 1, White Wagtail, Common Buzzard 4, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Peregrine Falcon 1, Shag 1, Linnet, Goldfinch, Booted Eagle 1 pale morph, Hen Harrier 1 male, Stonechat, Griffon Vulture 5, Collared Dove, Crag Martin, Blue Tit, Crested Lark





19th January

A total of 29 species seen for the house today A fairly uncommon species for us today too , a single Jackdaw stayed around for the day, we have seen only a few over the years at Kaliviani although there are several groups scattered around the island.


Highlight and the best mega for ages goes to Nikos who found and managed photos of a                                          

Pomarine Skua....Stercorarius pomarinus   Congratulations Nikos on the first recorded of this species for Crete.



Blackbird, Robin, Kestrel 4, Crag Martin 20+, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow,               Yellow-legged Gull, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blue Rock Thrush, Crested Lark, Song Thrush, Greenfinch, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Rock Dove , Blackcap, Common Buzzard 7, White Wagtail, Griffon Vulture 3, Sparrowhawk 2, Goldfinch, Collared Dove, Booted Eagle 1 dark morph, Jackdaw 1, Little Egret 1, Italian Sparrow.




18th January

Thunderstorms yesterday and continuing today. We managed a little bit of spotting and had the following....

Sparrowhawk male, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Chaffinch, Shag, Common Buzzard, Stonechat, Collared Dove, Robin, White Wagtail, Linnet, Crested Lark, Black Redstart





16th January

Went off with Manu and Dave this morning to take part in the Midwinter count , our area covered was a small patch near a small river west of Kissamos town and then the port and coastline out to Kaliviani. Manu will break down the count into the two areas I have combined the lot into our morning out. I believe the count here on Crete is for water species and raptors ,but our area lacked those so everything seen was included 

Shag 2, Kentish Plover 1, Goldfinch 60+ group and smaller ones, total c90 , Yellow-legged gull 100+, Cetti's Warbler 1, White Wagtail 6, Kestrel 1, Common Buzzard 1, Hooded Crow 11, Collared Dove 6, Meadow Pipit 12, Serin 3, Linnet 10, Italian Sparrow 9, Stonechat 6, Black redstart 1, Chaffinch 16, Crested Lark 6, Raven 1, Great Tit 1

                                             European Shag....Phalacrocorax aristotelis sp desmarestii Juvenile




                                                                     Kentish Plover.....Charadrius alexandrinus







15th January

Kaliviani List.... Sardinian Warbler, Griffon Vulture 8, Common Buzzzard 1, Hooded Crow, White Wagtail c20, Chaffinch, Shag 1, Yellow-legged Gull 300+, Raven, Kestrel 2, stonechat, Italian Sparrow, Greenfinch, Black Redstart.

In the evening we found a nice healthy Hedgehog in the courtyard    Erinaceus concolor ssp. nesiotes





14th January

Kaliviani List.... Black Redstart, Great Tit, Linnet, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Griffon Vulture 14 , Common Buzzard 3, Raven 2, Kestrel 3.





13th January

Kissamos area      

130+ Yellow-legged Gull along the beach east of Kissamos also a Kingfisher at the small stream at west of town , good numbers of Meadow Pipit and a single Kestrel


                                                                   Meadow Pipit....Anthus pratensis 





11th January

Kaliviani list....

Common Buzzard, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Blackbird, Blackcap, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Black Redstart, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Woodlark, Crested Lark, Goldfinch, Linnet, Rock Dove, Collared Dove





10th January

Kaliviani List....

Griffon Vulture 6, Yellow-legged Gull 8, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Linnet, Goldfinch, Shag 2, Rock Dove, Blackcap, Raven 4.


A new moth species for us today the,  Feathered Thorn....Colotois pennaria





9th January

Kaliviani List....

Griffon Vulture 3, Kestrel 1, Common Buzzard 1, Linnet c50, Corn Bunting 2, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Crested Lark, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull 23, Hooded Crow, White Wagtail c100, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Raven, Shag 1. 




6th January

Kaliviani List....

Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Linnet, Chaffinch, Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Griffon Vulture, Blackbird, Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit.

Today is Epiphany so a holiday here, it is also the day when we usually have arrive just an hour before dark, a couple of young guys with their guns. Not too sure what their intention was as they arrived in the gully behind us and started to blast away at anything with feathers, so Blackbirds , chaffinch, took the brunt of volley after volley of shots. With no interest in picking up any birds or putting injured ones out of their misery they proceeded up the gully on a killing spree, which lasted about 45 minutes , departing to another area south east of us , leaving devastation in their wake. Next year we are planning a birding afternoon in the gully , flood it with birders before they arrive may save a few species !  





5th January

Kaliviani list....

Goldfinch, linnet, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull, Griffon Vulture, Little Egret 1, Hooded Crow, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Crested Lark, Great Tit, Black redstart, Common Buzzard, Raven.





4th January

Stonechat, Chaffinch , Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, Griffon Vutlure, Raven, Linnet, Goldfinch, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Blackcap, Cetti's Warbler, White Wagtail, Great Tit.






3rd January

We continue to be partial birders , with so many jobs keeping us occupied. Hopefully soon we will be able to get out and about again. Our list from the garden today is poor but with the Juvenile Bearded Vulture again putting in a brief appearance.

Common Buzzard 3, Griffon Vulture 1, Bearded Vulture 1, Yellow-legged Gull,Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Cormorant 1, Chaffinch, Black Redstart.




2nd January

Garden birding in Kaliviani....

Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Buzzard 2, Cormorant 2, Robin, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Booted Eagle 1 pale morph, Chiffchaff, Linnet, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Kestrel 1, Peregrine Falcon 2.

                                                                         Pale morph Booted Eagle




1st January

HAPPY NEW YEAR ....our birding day was a walk along the fields and coast , not too many species after the bad weather yesterday.

A nice flock of around 30 Corn Bunting, small groups of Linnet, White Wagtail, and Goldfinch. Individuals of Stonechat, Black Redstart, other species....Peregrine Falcon, Common Buzzard, Blackcap, Blackbird, Hooded Crow, Raven, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull 


                                                            My favourite bird from last year Hen Harrier