A&M Report No 6, March 2008
 
This month,  second half has been memorable, though mostly for the wild flowers.  Orchids, in particular, seem to have been brought on early by the fantastic weather we've had since the snow in February, we guess they're about 10 - 14 days earlier than last year.  Best sighting was on 16th March, when we found more than 250 tulips (tulipa bakeri) on the "mound" behind the high meadows above Spili.  See photo.  Yesterday we passed by the same area, and found just 3 tulips left, but the orchids were coming into their own, as they were at the Late Minoan Cemetery.


Photo by and A&M

As far as birding is concerned, there has been very little to report from Agia Reservoir, which has remained high, and our trips to more mountainous areas have been quite disappointing.  More locally, we have kept a frequent eye on the Georgioupolis water - view point, where common snipe are present - up to four at times can be seen.  A recent arrival was the black-winged stilt, which spends most of its time on the far side.  When it ventured nearer the road, it was almost impossible to see - see photo .


Photo by and A&M

The usual summer visitors have been arriving - swift, swallow, house martin, northern and black-eared wheatears.  Two hoopoes spotted; one from our house today but not much else for us so far.  Yesterday 26th, was the exception.  We had a day out with John and Patti Bayley, and I suggested we take the service road to Kavros before joining the National Highway, just in case.....  we were lucky.  Nine cattle egret were roaming a field of sheep, taking rides on some of them!


Photo by and A&M

I've attached two photos - you might spot an unlucky lizard that has been taken by the egret that has its wings open.  Today, these birds appear to have moved on, and a quick look at the view point presented our first squacco of the year.


Photo by and A&M
 


Photo by and A&M

 

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