Crete Birding

June 2007

Blackbird , Yellow-legged Gull, Cetti’s Warbler, Hooded Crow, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard, Collared Dove, Sardinian Warbler, Rock Dove and  Crested Lark are seen every day so not recorded in daily reports below.

The beginning of the month started out the same as last month with the Lammergeier , 1st-5th the pair were seen every day at various times. With further sightings of a single adult bird on the 8th, 11th and 30th.

Very hot weather came two thirds of the way through the month with a few days in the low 40s C. and  most birds went silent. Two days from the end of the month our local Cettis warblers ceased calling


Great Tit, Blue tit, Swift 2, Woodchat Shrike 1, Woodlark, Goldfinch. At night a Scops owl and Nightjar were heard. 

A trip to Agia Dikaios church in the mountains near Elos produced  from leaving home Little Ringed Plover, Greenfinch, Swallow. Blue Rock Thrush 2, several Buzzard, a pair of Kestrel pale morph Booted Eagle, Crag Martin , Raven and Griffon Vulture 4, and a Wren was heard near Topolia tunnel.

At the church….. Black-eared Wheatear, Northern Wheatear displaying, pale morph Booted Eagle 1, distant Eagles possibly Golden 2 and later another flew by, Eleonora’s Falcon 1, roughly 12 Griffon Vultures thoughout the afternoon, Lammergeier 1, Stonechat…. Corn Bunting, Cettis Warbler, and Woodlark were  heard….. Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Blackbird, Linnet, with Alpine Swift, Swift, House Martin seen in large numbers.  Along the way home Goldfinch, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull and Collared Dove.


Cormorant, Goldfinch, Short-toed Lark 3, Spotted Flycatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Squacco Heron 1, Blue Rock Thrush, Linnet, Swift, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Woodchat Shrike 1, at 1730hrs Lammergeyer 2. 


Cormorant 7, Blue Tit, Swift, Alpine swift, Great Tit, for several hours 20+ Griffon Vultures circled over Gramvousa, Lammergeier 1 showed for ten minutes. Woodchat Shrike 1, Goldfinch and in the evening a Nightjar was again heard.  


Kestrel , House Martin, Swift, Alpine Swift. Lammergeier again 1050-1105hrs .

A Booted Eagle pale morph at 5pm and a Peregrine at 6pm   


At 0945 Lammergeier 2 for five minutes, a pair of Kestrel, Swift, Cormorant 1, Raven 3, Griffon Vulture 2 and a Barn Owl nearly hit our windscreen in the evening . + ***


After heavy rain again in the night low cloud blotted out the mountains and apart from the usual we saw, Raven 2, Blue Tit 1. 




 A good raptor day Buzzard 3, a possible dark form Booted Eagle, Hobby, a Peregrine hunted from the crag above the house, all the above were seen within the space of ten minutes, later a male Hen Harrier, Kestrel 2, Swift 3, Alpine Swift 5, Lammergeier 1 for 1 minute at 1820hrs, later a Barn Owl hunted around the house,


Swift, Alpine Swift, 


A pair of Woodchat Shrike, Raven 2, Northern Wheatear, Swift Alpine Swift, Kestrel, 


Raven, House Martin, Swift Alpine Swift, Lammergeier again for one minute at 1000 hrs. 

A trip around the West Coast with visitors, so not a birding trip as such  no bins or camera , but we saw….Kestrel 1, several Buzzard, pale form Booted Eagle 1, Griffon Vulture 1, Woodchat Shrike 1, Swift, Alpine Swift, Swallow, Northern wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Turtle Dove 10, Blackbirds 20+, Chaffinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull, we heard a Wren , White Wagtail 1, and numerous small birds flitted in and out of the roadside vegetation , a trip is in the offing to see what we may have missed on this stretch of  mountain and coastline.


Swallow, Little Ringed Plover, Raven, at 1600hrs 4 Griffon Vultures rose from Gramvousa and gaining height in a thermal headed of in the direction of Deliana Gorge.


Little Ringed Plover 1, Swift, Raven. 


Black-eared Wheatear 1, Raven 3, Blue rock Thrush 1, Little Ringed Plover,  Griffon Vulture 3, Nightjar, 


Alpine Swift, Northern Wheatear, Swift, Raven, Honey Buzzard 1, Nightjar and Scops Owl 


Raven 4, a raft of Cormorant 9, Swift, alpine Swift, Swallow, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Honey buzzard 1, Nightjar, Scops Owl 



A trip to Omalos plateau and Kalergi Refuge produced large numbers of Northern and Black-eared Wheatear, Buzzard 3, Chaffinch 4, Spotted flycatcher 1, Alpine Accentor, Chough 2, Hooded Crow 10+, Raven 2, Griffon Vulture 4, Jay 5, lots of Blackbirds and Linnet, Golden Eagle 1, from the higher taverna at the head of the Samaria Gorge we watched a Kri Kri. Along the roadsides we also unfortunately saw a dead Badger, Beech Martin and a Yellow Legged Gull, all roadkills


Raven, Swift, Alpine Swift, a Peregrine Falcon hunted late in the evening again giving a wonderful display of stoops over the  house. Kestrel, Barn Owl, Nightjar


Our Peregrine was still present in the morning , Raven 2, Black-eared Wheatear, Kestrel, Swift, Alpine Swift, in the evening  Nightjar and Little Owl were heard , 

An airport trip to Heraklion, our visitors deciding to leave before the heatwave arrived!! Produced very little but we were fortunate to see three Eleonora’s Falcon swooping around an inaccessible rocky cove just outside of Heraklion, later at a beach stop for refreshments on this 2 ½  hour journey we saw just two Common sandpiper.

More roadkills another Badger and amazingly five Beech Martin within a mile of each other…


Peregrine Falcon 1, Alpine Swift, Raven, Turtle Dove, Nightjar,

One of our local Buzzard flew around with one of the largest lizards I think we have seen held in  its talons.


A juv. Stonechat, Raven 6, we heard could could not locate a small group of Bee-eaters. Alpine Swift, Swift, Turtle Dove 3, Kestrel, Blue Tit, an unidentified warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Great Tit, Black-eared and Northern wheatear, Nightjar, 


Great Tit, Black-eared Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Large numbers of Swift Alpine Swift and Pallid Swift, Swallow, Raven 6, Short-toed Lark 1 throughout the night Scops Owl, Little Owl and Nightjar called, 


Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Eleonora’s Falcon, Swift Alpine Swift, Swallow, Raven, with Nighjar, Barn Owl and Little Owl again heard as they hunted around the house 


Raven, Sparrowhawk 1, Woodchat Shrike 1, Northern and Black-eared Wheatear, Barn Owl 2, Little Owl 1 and three or four Nightjar 


Raven 4, Little Ringed Plover 1, Swallow 1, Kestrel 1, Turtle Dove 3, a pair of Whitethroat , nightjar 4, Scops Owl 2, Little Owl 1, 


Swift, Alpine swift, Raven, Great Tit, Little and Barn Owl. 


Swallow 6, Raven 2, Isabelline Wheatear 2, Northern Wheatear 1, Whitethroat 1, Golden Eagle, Swift, Alpine Swift Great Tit, 


Alpine Swift, swift, Great Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Swallow, Raven, 


Kestrel 2, Raven 2, Swift, Alpine Swift, Swallow, Northern Wheatear. An unusual and nice sighting of a lone Lapwing flying north along the coastline, Great Tit, Scops Owl, Barn Owl and Nightjar 


Great Tit, Sparrowhawk, Swift, Alpine Swift, Griffon Vulture, 7 + 1+ 9 + 2 , Bonneli’s Eagle, Lammergeier at 1215hrs, , Northern Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike 1, Nightjar and Barn Owl