Crete Birding

November 2007


The following listed birds were seen daily throughout October and are not listed in the daily reports. Hooded Crow, Italian Sparrow, Buzzard, Collared Dove, Rock Dove, Crested Lark, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Yellow-legged Gull, Great Tit.

The highlight of our birding here so far… a GREATER SAND PLOVER was present for several days mid month . All the relevant details sent to the rarities committee of Hellenic Ornithological Society in Athens. On the 30th November HOS confirmed acceptance of the report


This months downer was seeing a local shooting a rare species for Crete in the form of Golden Plover. With at least three seen killed.

The Booted and Short-toed Eagles made their appearance a few weeks later than last year and we saw the first Booted on the third and the first Short-toed on the fourth and a second on the 21st. Only the two birds seen here this year, a disappointment to last year when several hunted around the house for a few weeks.

The fourth was good day with a Honey Buzzard and our first sighting of a single Starling plus two more on the tenth, with larger flocks than we have seen before on odd days with max 100+ on one day.

Lammergeier again showed throughout the month with two birds displaying. Our most views to date.

A juv. Golden Eagle on the 5th, 8th and 15th.

A BLACK STORK on the 8th.

Increasing numbers of Stonechat and Black Redstart appearing this month. Also later in the month….Blackcaps.

A small flock [16] Golden Plover mid month.

The last Eleonora’s Falcon were seen on the 15th

A male Hen Harrier showed briefly as it headed north onto Gramvousa on the 29th.

Heavy rain on the sixth stopped any real birding and the first snows appeared on the White Mountains [Lefki Ori] on the 2nd, disappearing just as quickly before a greater covering took place on the 22nd, after yet more high winds and torrential rain. Temperatures dropped towards the end of the month


Almond blossom appeared on the trees on the 24th.

Friars Cowl ( Arisarum vulgare  ) in flower 26th

Barbary Nut ( Gynandiris sisyrinchium )leaf everywhere flowers due February

The first Anemone’s ( **Anemone coronaria ) and ( *Anemone pavonina )appeared on the **27th and *30th


Stonechat, Robin, Eleonora’s Falcon 3, Whitethroat, Griffon Vultures 7, Cormorant 1, Chaffinch, Woodlark, Sparrowhawk 1, Greenfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Kestrel, Barn Owl.

Stonechat , Robin ++, Greenfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Black Redstart, Lammergeier 2 at 1119hrs for 45 minutes then again at 1552hrs, Woodlark, Eleonora’s Falcon 1, Kestrel, Whitethroat, Griffon Vulture 6, Cormorant 1.  Along the coast and fields below the house Corn Bunting, Linnet, Black Redstart, 3, Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Common Sandpiper 1, Collared Dove, Goldfinch, Crested Lark, Isabelline  Wheatear, Stonechat, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail.


Buzzard 3, Robin ++,   Black Redstart 1, Great Tit ++, quite a few more seen today, Goldfinch +++ , Stonechat 1, Lammergeier 2, 1120-1125hrs, Italian Sparrow ++, Cetti’s Warbler, Griffon Vulture 1 @1600hrs. Kestrel 2, Woodlark, Raven 4, dark morph Booted Eagle.

Stonechat, Robin, Chaffinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Lammergeier 1 @0923-0955hrs then 2 birds from 1100hrs until 1615 flying and displaying together. Kestrel a pair hunted the area for most of the day. Woodlark, Black Redstart, Blue Tit, pale morph Booted Eagle 2,

Buzzard 3, Short-toed Eagle 1023hrs. Golden Eagle 2, 1115 &1222hrs together with Sparrowhawk 1, Eleonora’s Falconand the Kestrel.  Blue Rock Thrush. Bonelli’s Eagle 2, 1520-1645hrs with both landing on the rocks and continually harassed by a pair of Raven . Serin 2, Peregrine Falcon.

Cetti’s Warbler, Robin ++, Blue Rock Thrush , Blue Tit, Corn Bunting, Greenfinch, Stonechat, Buzzard 2, Willow Warbler, Woodlark, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel 2, Griffon Vulture 1, Golden Eagle 1 1223hrs, Lammergeier 2, 1233-1243hrs. Eleonora’s Falcon 1303.

Stormy weather today with heavy rain and temp drop along with a trip to Chania . Robin. !! + the usual regulars.

CHANIA … Buzzard several, pale morph Booted Eagles 2 hunted over the outskirts of the town , Black Redstart, Raven 20+, Blackbird and kestrel.

Stonechat, Griffon Vulture 7, dark morph Booted Eagle 1, 1100hrs, Robin, Woodlark, Goldfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch and a pale morph Booted Eagle.

On the coast road to Kissamos….

Black Redstart, Crested lark, Collared Dove , Yellow-legged Gull, Linnet, Blue Rock Thrush, Corn Bunting, Common Sandpiper, White and Grey Wagtail.

The first snow seen on the White mountains [Lefki Ori] today, Robin +, Chaffinch, Stonechat, Our first sighting from the house of a Starling , Linnet, Corn  Bunting, Cetti’s Warbler, Blue Tit , Sparrowhawk , Kestrel, Black Redstart, Griffon Vultures 7, Lammergeier 2 + Golden Eagle, 1 juv 1047-1100 flying together.

At 1135 a single Black Stork headed south  ahead of a weather front . Redstart, Honey Buzzard 1 + 4 Buzzard, Sparrowhawk 1, Barn Owl .


Redstart, Robin +, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk ,Kestrel, Black Redstart numbers increasing , Short-toed Eagle 1155hrs.

And on the coast  below.
Crested Lark, Kingfisher 2, Stonechat + +, Willow Warbler several, Meadow Pipit + +, Yellow-legged Gull, Linnet + +, Black redstart + +, Blue Rock Thrush , Collared Dove, Corn Bunting +.


Another stormy day, very heavy rain and gusts of 9-10 Beaufort, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Starling 2, Kestrel, White Wagtail, Black Redstart.

Greenfinch, Robin, Willow Warbler, Sparrowhawk 1, Griffon Vulture 1, Black Redstart, Blue Tit, Garden Warbler, Eastern Hedgehog

Stonechat, Robin, White Wagtail, Woodlark, Lammergeier 1 in morning and pair in afternoon, Kestrel, Black Redstart.

Around Kissamos and east beach area….Golden Plover 12, GREATER SAND PLOVER 1..Linnet + + +, Goldfinch + +. Starling 100+ flock, Kestrel 2, Stonechat +, Crested Lark + + , Hooded Crow, Black Redstart + +, White wagtail +, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Collared Dove, Black Headed Gull 6, Robin, Willow Warbler, Blackbird.

Lammergeier 2, Stonechat, Starling 14, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Greenfinch, Black Redstart, Linnet, GREATER SAND PLOVER 1, Golden Plover 9, Kestrel 1, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler.

A trip along  the coast to Viglia for closer observations of the G/S Plover, we saw, Kingfisher 1, Golden Plover 12, GREATER SAND PLOVER 1, Corn Bunting, Goldfinch, Black Redstart, Kestrel 1, Serin 2, Linnet +, Yellow-legged Gull, Collared Dove , Blue Rock Thrush, Willow Warbler.


Lammergeier 2 landed with , Griffons 10, Stonechat, Great Tit, Robin, Willow Warbler, Blackbird, Linnet + + +, juv Cormorant, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Chaffinch, Golden Plover 15, Dunlin 1, Shag 1, Black Redstart, Corn Bunting, White wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit . Looking from the house we thought the Greater Sand Plover was with the Golden Plover but a quick drive down to check revealed it was in fact a Dunlin there was no sign of the GSP.

Lammergeier 2, GOLDEN EAGLE 1, Robin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Griffon Vulture 10, ELEONORA’S FALCON 2, Golden Plover 16, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, GREATER SAND PLOVER 1, Cetti’s Warbler. Cretan Hare.

Along the beach …..again for closer views of Golden Plover, we found 16with the GREATER SAND PLOVER 1 we were lucky to spot this delightful bird again it having moved some way off and on its own in a large  area of  rocks. Yellow-legged Gull 1+ 1 juv, Black-headed Gull 4, Kingfisher 1, Buzzard, Kestrel, Stonechat, Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark , Hooded Crow, Collared Dove, White Wagtail,  Black Redstart, Raven, Corn Bunting.

Lammergeier 1,with Griffon Vulture 2 , a little later there were 2 Lammergeier flying with Golden Eagle 1. Shortly after a further 6 Griffon Vultures joined the in. Golden Plover 16, Crag Martin 2, Blue Tit, Bonelli’s Eagle, Stonechat, Linnet, Corn Bunting, Kestrel 3, Robin, Black Redstart, Sparrowhawk.

At 1145 we heard a shot from the beach area and observed a Cretan shooting at the Golden Plover . On going down to him he was seen to have shot three of these birds [ rarities on Crete although common on the mainland ] A phone call to the Greek Ornithological Society for advice and with the information we then called the Forestry service…..after that we continued to patrol the beach daily and against normal practice we frightened the birds away from this area , we would like to think we saved a few as the same man was seen to come down to the beach but on seeing us turned around , we continued to see several of the birds in different locations for the next few days and luckily stormy weather stopped them landing at the exposed area they first were seen at.

On this visit to the beach we saw Starling , Sand Martin 4, Cormorant, Kingfisher, Italian Sparrow, as darkness fell a Barn Owl, bats and a Scops Owl was heard calling.

With 6/7 Beaufort winds …..we saw Hooded Crow 20+, Robin, Greenfinch, Stonechat, Woodlark, White Wagtail, Blue Rock Thrush, Griffon Vulture 1, Golden Plover 9 were observed on the beach  which had us on a walk in that area where we found only 5 Golden Plover the rest having moved into the agricultural fields the GREATER SAND PLOVER was again found on another area of rocks along with Kingfisher 2… Black Redstart, White Wagtail, Crested lark and Stonechat

Another stormy day produced Black Redstart, Stonechat, the GREATER SAND PLOVER could just be seen with the scope entailing another trip down to the beach later, Greenfinch, Robin, Linnet.

On the beach we saw Kingfisher 1, Golden Plover 12, GREATER SAND PLOVER 1, Stonechat, Willow warbler, Black Redstart, Goldfinch, Hooded Crow, Great Tit, Yellow-legged Gull, Greenfinch , Crested Lark.

Griffon Vulture 2, Kestrel, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Corn Bunting, White Wagtail…..whilst on the coast…Yellow-legged Gull, Kingfisher, Golden Plover 2, Sandwich Tern 4, Meadow Pipit, Corn Bunting, Linnet, Stonechat, White Wagtail, Italian Sparrow, Collared Dove, Goldfinch.

Black Redstart, Stonechat, a later walk onto Gramvousa, Willow Warbler, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Cormorant, Black Redstart, Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Bonelli’s Eagle 1, Griffon Vulture 1, Yellow-legged Gull, Robin, Linnet, White Wagtail +.

No birding at home today we decided on a trip to Maronis River, Souda Bay and Akrotiri Peninsula.

As e departed on our trip we saw Buzzard 4, and a Short-toed Eagle…
At the three locations,

f. Marsh Harrier, Great Tit + + +, Blackbird 5, Song Thrush 1, Willow Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Woodlark 3, Crested Lark +, Stonechat, d.f Booted Eagle 1, Kestrel 2, White Wagtail, Black Redstart + +, Raven, m. Blackcap 1, Meadow Pipit, Kingfisher 3, Common Sandpiper 5, Redshank 3, Great White Egret 1, Little Egret 1, Cormorant 1, Coot 40+, Moorhen 5, Little Grebe 1, Italian Sparrow, Robin + + +, we found a small flock of Tree Sparrow near a monastery, along with a single Dunnock, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Greenfinch + +, Goldfinch + +, Chaffinch, Linnet + +, Corn bunting, Buzzard . A colony of 500+ Yellow-legged Gull on a small islet at the entrance to Souda Bay.

Robin, Great Tit, Lammergeier 1, Black Redstart, Sandwich Tern 1, Kingfisher, Crested Lark, Stonechat, White Wagtail, Cormorant 1, Bonelli’s Eagle 2, Blue Rock thrush 1, Woodlark.

Also a trip to Agia lake
Stonechat, Robin, Woodlark, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Kestrel 2, Cormorant 6, Sparrowhawk, Willow Warbler, Griffon Vulture, Linnet, Blue Rock Thrush.

 On route to Lake …….Goldfinch  + +, Blue Rock Thrush, White Wagtail, Cormorant, Starling 20, Crested Lark, Stonechat, Golden Plover 1, Buzzard, Yellow-legged Gull, Sandwich Tern 1.

At the lake…….Kingfisher 6 with great close views as one repeated landed on a steel girder two metres away from us providing some of our best pictures yet. Shoveler 14, Mallard 13, Tufted Duck 23, Ferruginus Duck 6, Night Heron 1, Moorhen 70+, Little Grebe 40+, Coot 400+, Pochard 20+, Wigeon 4, Yellow-legged Gull 100+, Hobby 1, Marsh Harrier 2, 1 f, I juv m. Teal 10+, White wagtail 1, Yellow Wagtail1, Cetti’s Warbler heard, Starling 10, Stonechat, Blackbird, Robin, Willow Warbler.

Robin, Stonechat, Greenfinch, m & f Blackcap+ +, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Meadow Pipit, Black Redstart, Willow Warbler,Lammergeier 2, Blue Rock Thrush, Blue Tit, d.f. Booted Eagle.

Blue Rock Thrush 2, Robin + +, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Sparrowhawk, Greenfinch +, Willow Warbler, Great Tit, Chaffinch ++, Blackcap +, Kestrel, Cormorant 2, Linnet, White Wagtail, Kingfisher, Hobby 1.

Not much birding today our car due its Greek MOT ! apart from the usual daily listed above we saw……… Linnet, Corn Bunting, and a Cormorant in Chania Harbour.

Griffon Vulture 2, Robin + +, Goldfinch + +, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Peregrine Falcon 1, d.f. Booted Eagle 1,Black Redstart, Kingfisher.

Around Kissamos

Corn Bunting 40+, Linnet + +, Stonechat, Black Redstart +, Shag 1, Cormorant 1, Sandwich Tern 2, Kingfisher 1, Common Sandpiper 2, White Wagtail1, Yellow wagtail 1, Collared Dove, Blue Rock Thrush, Meadow Pipit, Yellow-legged Gull.

Bats .. The first Anemone in flower …two days earlier than the first last year .

Buzzard, 4 + 1 very pale bird, Robin +, Griffon Vulture 1, Yellow-legged Gull 30+, Stonechat, Blackbird, Cetti’s Warbler ( heard ), Black Redstart, Chaffinch, Willow Warbler.

Hooded Crow 20+ Sparrowhawk, Corn Bunting 100+, Goldfinch+, Peregrine Falcon 2 put on a nice display as they tumbled and grappled together before heading south, Griffon Vultures 3,  Black Redstart, Robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, a male Hen Harrierheaded onto Gramvousa giving a brief view. Buzzard 4, Raven 2, Stonechat, Bonelli’s Eagle 1, Blue Rock Thrush.

Ocellated Skink ( Chalcides ocellatus )

Griffon Vulture 3, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Black Redstart, Bonelli’s Eagle I adult and a sub adult, Robin, Linnet, Corn Bunting, Meadow Pipit…along the coast…Cormorant 1, Shag 1.