Crete Birding

March 2007

Migration in full swing now and has given us a few firsts, the pleasing sight of many Subalpine Warblers and Blackbirds this year, toward the end of the month more Hoopoe than we have seen before in March also Booted Eagle and on three occasions we saw our local Buzzard mating near the house. On the 26th we saw more bird species [50] than ever on Gramvousa .     


Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Black Redstart, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Yellow Legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Buzzard, Italian Sparrow, Raven……

A trip to Provarma near Georgopoli…

On route……Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Crested Lark, Robin, Chiffchaff, Corn Bunting, Great Tit, Northern Wheatear, Stonechat, Isabelline Wheatear.

Lake Kournas, Georgopli water, Provarma Ravine,…. 200+ Black-necked Grebe, Cormorant 9, Black Redstart, Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, f. Hen Harrier, Dark & light Form Booted Eagle, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Dabchick, Buzzard 15+, Cettis…heard several. Italian Sparrow, Coot, Moorhen, Raven 8, Jackdaw 3, Blue Tit several pairs, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Crag Martin 20+


Hooded Crow, Yellow Legged Gull, Chaffinch, Cormorant 4, Goldfinch, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard, Sardinian Warbler, Cettis Warbler, Stonechat, White wagtail, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark

A possible Coal Tit , Griffon Vulture, Black Redstart, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chiffchaff.


Italian Sparrow, Cettis Warbler, Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Buzzard 20+ circled high overhead heading north. Great Tit, Hooded Crow, Long Legged Buzzard, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow Legged Gull, Song Thrush.


Buzzard 2, Hooded Crow, Blackbird, Italian Sparrow, Rock Dove 4, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chiffchaff, Robin, Yellow Legged Gull, Song Thrush.


Italian Sparrow, Yellow Legged Gull, Long Legged Buzzard and several groups of Common Buzzard [7+13+3+36+4+2}heading north onto Gramvousa, Song Thrush 3, Blackbird 1, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Hooded Crow19, Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Crag Martin3, Sardinian Warbler 2, Kestrel, Robin 2, Griffon Vulture 2, Stonechat, Raven 2, Goldfinch, Barn Owl.


Buzzard, Great Tit, Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Yellow Legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Kestrel, White Wagtail, Collared Dove, Rock Dove.


Rock Dove, Yellow Legged Dove, Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Several groups of Buzzard 30+, 16+, 6, 3, 15, Long Legged Buzzard 1, Griffon Vulture 7, Crested Lark 3, Pair of Blackbird, Shag 10, White Wagtail 2, Meadow Pipit 1, Collared Dove, Northern Wheatear 1. A small Bat hunted early evening and our first  Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilinata was seen in the afternoon sunshine.


Great  Tit, Robin, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Yellow Legged Gulls, Blackbird, Cormorant 1, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard 3, Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Greenfinch, Corn Bunting, Kestrel.


Buzzard 3, Hooded Crow, Yellow Legged Gulls, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird 3, Blue Rock Thrush 1, Chaffinch, Robin, Sardinian Warbler,   Italian Sparrow, Kestrel, a Dark form Booted Eagle was chased off by a couple of Hooded crows, later we saw a pair of Buzzard mating atop an electricity pole. A Sparrowhawk performed an arial display with a couple of Hooded Crows.


Sardinian Warbler, Buzzard 2, Raven 3, Hooded Crow 14, Rock Dove 14 , Peregrine falcon did two stoops past the house into the Chaffinch flocks in the olive grove, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow.


Stormy weather today and little was showing , Yellow Legged gulls, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Hooded Crows, Italian Sparrow, Black Redstart.


Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Yellow Legged Gulls, Buzzard 2, Honey Buzzard 1, Kestrel 3 flying together and later a single, House Martin 2, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, a pair of Buzzard mated on the rock crags above the house, a dark form Booted Eagle, Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow.


Italian Sparrow, Yellow Legged Gulls, Hooded Crow 20, Sardinian Warbler, Greenfinch, at different times a male and female Marsh Harrier hunted the grass fields below the house, House Martin 10+, Buzzard 4, a Falcon flew over we think a Lanner, White wagtail, Kestrel, Griffon Vulture 4 headed North onto Gramvousa, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Stonechat, Lesser Kestrel 13 slowly scoured over the hills behind the house and later headed North. Chaffinch numbers down today. Our first Bee Orchid this year in the olive grove.


Yellow Legged Gulls 300+, Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Raven 2, Hooded Crow, Buzzard 2, House Martin 2, Rock Dove 3, Griffon Vulture 5, Lesser Kestrel 3, Sparrowhawk 1, again at different times a male and female Marsh Harrier, Greenfinch small flock, Blackbird, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Black Redstart 1.


Buzzard 40+ circled slowly heading North, Yellow Legged Gulls, Hooded Crows, Italian Sparrow, House Martin 2, Lesser Spotted Eagle 2, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Griffon Vulture 1, Peregrine 3, Kestrel, Goldfinch, Blackbird 3, Cetti’s 3, Buzzard our local three put in an appearance later in the day, Blue Tit, Black Redstart, Robin.


Yellow Legged Gulls, Buzzard 10, Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Griffon Vulture 4 headed South west, Sardinian Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Kestrel, Chaffinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Rock Dove.


Yellow Legged Gull 139, Buzzard 5, Cetti’s Warbler 4, Black Redstart 1, Blackbird 1, Italian Sparrow, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, Swallow 20+, Lesser Kestrel 2, Raven 4, House Martin 50+, male Hen Harrier, Goldfinch, Rock Dove.


Buzzard, Sardinian Warbler, small groups Swallow and House Martin, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow , Black Redstart, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Rock Dove, Hooded Crow, Cetti’s Warbler, Cormorant 2, Hoopoe 2, Blackbird , Raven, Blue Tit.


Hooded Crow, Rock Dove, Black Redstart, Cetti’s Warbler, Great Tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Yellow Legged Gulls, Kestrel, Italian Sparrow, Subalpine Warbler 20+, Goldfinch 4,  ? Ortolan  gave a brief view, House Martin 1, Buzzard 1+2+group of 20 circled as they headed North +3, Stonechat, Pale form Booted Eagle, Raven, Chiffchaff, Crested Lark, Robin, a pair of Marsh  Harrier, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue Tit, Kestrel.


Sardinian Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Large numbers of Subalpine Warbler present in the olive grove provided some wonderful pictures, Yellow Legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Buzzard, Griffon Vulture 3, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Raven, Black Redstart, Blue Tit, Rock Dove, Goldfinch, Crested lark, Kestrel, Greenfinch, Collared Dove, Italian Sparrow,Blue Rock Thrush 2, in the olive grove a few wild anemones linger on whilst the  Sawfly and Butterfly Orchid and Barbary Nut continue to flower.


Buzzard, Hooded Crow, Yellow Legged Gull, Italian Sparrow, Rock Dove, Goldfinch, Sardinian warbler, large numbers of  Swallows are now appearing, Blue Tit, Cormorant, Black Redstart, , Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Subalpine Warbler, Stonechat, a pair of Linnet, late evening 14 Night Heron flew eastwards.


After a stormy night with southerly winds the morning  was peaceful before the storm returned with  a vengeance at around 11am .We did manage some birding including a trip onto the beach, we were rewarded with ,

Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow Legged Gull, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Whitethroat, Buzzard 7, male and female Blackcap, Hen harrier male, many House Martin and Swallow, along the beach…White wagtail, Little Ringed Plover1, Common Sandpiper 1, Black-headed Wagtail [Feldegg], Crested lark, Northern Wheatear, Rock Dove 26, Crag Martin, Chiffchaff, Swift.


Yellow Legged Gull, Chaffinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Swallow, Italian Sparrow, House Martin, Kestrel, Blackbird, greenfinch, Goldfinch, along the beach again Northern Wheatear, Crested Lark, Little Ringed Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 2, Yellow Wagtail [Feldegg], White Wagtail, Buzzard, Rock Dove.


Cetti’s warbler, Swallow, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, Buzzard, Yellow Legged Gull, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk 2, Rock Dove, Swift, BlueTit, on the beach ..Little Egret 3,Northern Wheatear, eastern race Black eared Wheatear, juv, Cormorant , Greenshank 1, Little Ringed plover 3, Common Sandpiper 4, Goldfinch, Crested Lark, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail [Feldegg], House Martin, Raven, Great Tit.


Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard 2, Chaffinch, Swift, House Martin, Kestrel, Cetti’s Warbler, Hen Harrier 2 males, Marsh Harrier 2 males, Blackbird, Corn Bunting 1, Cuckoo 1, Alpine Swift, Rock Dove.


Yellow Legged Gull 118 were settled on the sea, Swallow, House Martin, Buzzard 2, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Swift, Alpine Swift, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove, Raven, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Red Rumped Swallow, Cormorant 2+4.

Roy and Raye arrived for a birding afternoon on the beach and Gramvousa …….Subalpine Warbler, Blackcap, Blackbird , Lanner Falcon, Woodchat Shrike 1, Northern Wheatear, Hoopoe 10, Greenshank 1, Common Sandpiper 2, Little Ringed Plover 1, White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail [Feldegg] Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Linnet, Redstart, Black Redstart, Greenfinch, Stonechat, Grey wagtail, Crested Lark, Short-toed Lark, Wood Warbler, Wryneck 2, Kestrel, Isabelline Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear both east and west forms. Tawny Pipit, Blue Rock Thrush, Cory Shearwater 14, Starling, Griffon Vulture 7.


Italian Sparrow, yellow legged Gull 100+, Hooded Crow, Buzzard 3, Sardinian Warbler, Swallow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Subalpine Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Kestrel, unidentified Hawk flew low across the crag above the house heading north, Raven, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzards were seen mating near the house. Along the beach roads, Hoopoe, Mediterranean Gull, Greenshank 1, Little Ringed Plover 6 , Common Sandpiper 1, Yellow wagtail [Feldegg], Northern Wheatear, a male and female Ruff, Meadow Pipit, Little Egret 1, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Blackbird, Ashy- headed Wagtail [cinereocapilla]


Yellow Legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Hooded Crow 20+, Kestrel 2,, Italian Sparrow, Griffon Vulture 5, Sparrowhawk 1, Peregrine 2, Booted Eagle 2 pale form, Cetti’s Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Swallow, House martin, on the beach it was rather windy and cold and not much to be seen, Mediterranean Gull 1, Common Sandpiper 2, Little Ringed Plover 1, Northern Wheatear, Crested lark, Buzzard 5 [2 mated near the house] Blackbird.


Griffon Vulture 3, Buzzard, Raven, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow,  Peregrine Falcon 1, Swallow, Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Rock Dove 20+, Blackbird, Great tit, Isabelline Wheatear, Whinchat, Crested Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Little Ringed Plover 4, Meadow Pipit, a male Ruff, Harrier 1, Northern Wheatear, Hoopoe 5, Stonechat, White wagtail 3, Black-headed Wagtail [Feldegg] 4, Common Sandpiper 2, Chaffinch, Yellow Legged Gull, and a first spring male Hen Harrier.


Buzzard 5, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird several pair, Yellow Legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Kestrel 3, Swallow, Great Tit 2, Griffon Vulture 1, Sparrowhawk, Hoopoe 2, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Black-eared Wheatear, Black-headed Wagtail [Feldegg] another not yet ID’d paler headed than Feldegg , Little Ringed Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 2, Northern and Isabelline Wheatear in good numbers, Little Egret , Sanderling, White Wagtail, Collared Dove , Stonchat, Tawny Pipit 2.  Blackbird/Buzzard/Hooded Crow/ Italian Sparrow could be seen busy taking materials to nest sites.


From the house, Yellow Legged Gull, Italian Sparrow, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Kestrel 3, Blue Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Swallow, House Martin, Goldfinch, Stonechat.

To round off the month we had a trip onto Gramvousa Peninsula again to see what migrants were about.

In the olive grove a single Hoopoe started what turned out to be a good four hours.

Goldfinch 20+, Cormorant 2, Shag 1, Crested Lark 50 + Great Tit, Northern Wheatear, Woodlark, Stonechat, Buzzard, Kestrel a pair grappled in air with another distant, Black-eared Wheatear, Subalpine Warbler, Black Redstart, Linnet, Blackbird 10+, Raven 4, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Griffon Vulture 8, Serin 2, Pied Flycatcher 1, Rock Dove, Willow Warbler, Isabelline Wheatear, Sparrowhawk, Tree Sparrow, Sardinian warbler. To finish the trip we stopped on our rough track to home and watched 3 Hoopoe,  2 of which dust bathed just in front of the car rounding off a good month where we managed to bird every day.