A&M’S LOCAL BIRDING DIARY - July 2012

 Hi Everyone,

 Our June report described the headings below, so they won’t be repeated again.

FROM THE HOUSE

 Our birdwatching this month will mainly be confined to what we see around the house – and it won’t be a lot!  Local barn swallows have had their broods, and fledglings have occasionally appeared on our overhead telephone wire.  Last year the adults fed them here, but not this.  The youngsters were at least hoping for food when the photo below was taken on 2nd.

 

 

3rd.

We have four red-rumped swallows around most afternoons, into the early evening.  We have just located their nest in a half finished house near ours.  The nest looks as if it will need another week or so before completion, and then hopefully they will breed?

Photos below of two of these lovely summer visitors, which seem more common now, than when we first moved here eight years ago.

 

 

Red-rumped Swallows above

 

4th.

Well!  The above house has had no work on it for about three months, and today it has re-started!  It will be interesting to see if the r-r swallows continue to build?

11th.

Our local pair of common buzzards seem to have a new addition.  The youngster has fledged and is often heard more than seen.  Today, though, both parent birds and their offspring made a surprise appearance near the house.  They seemed to be encouraging the young bird to make height.  After a couple of minutes, one parent and the youngster flew back directly to the nesting site.  The other adult bird re-appeared about ten minutes later, and perched on top of a conifer tree.  We have certainly had several sightings of these adult birds carrying prey – now it’s time to teach the young one to find its own food!  Photo of the juvenile below.

 

Buzzard

16th.

Only the second sighting from the house this summer of Eleanora’s falcon – just a single light phase bird about half a kilometre away.

21st.

The red-rumped swallows have abandoned their nest-build – my photo record today showed the unfinished nest in identical state to the one I took on 8th.  The four birds themselves are still around and appear to be using the building for roosting only.

29th.

The only new house sighting this month is rock dove. A single bird has flown past the house at great speed on a couple of occasions.

GEORGIOUPOLI VIEWPOINT

We are not bothering to investigate this too closely this month.  The water level is still very high, and the only sightings are coots, little grebe and yellow-legged gulls.

KALIVAKI MEADOWS
Nothing to report.

KAVROS MEADOWS
Nothing to report.

NORTH COAST BEACHES (KALIVAKI TO PETRES)
Nothing to report – of the feathered kind!

OUR TRAVELS

7th.

We took a drive out to the Nida Plateau and the mountainous area east of Psiloritis.  Larger bird species were absent for the entire trip, common buzzard aside.  We were, however, always in the company of wheatears, larks, crag martins and finches.  The plumages of the former were very variable at this time of year with many fledglings and sub-adult birds.

Photos were limited to a view of the eastern slopes of Psiloritis (Mt Ida) showing a  small amount of snow still there – easily the latest date since our time in Crete, and a clump of spiny chicory cichorium spinosa, which we haven’t seen before.

 

Snow in July

 

Spiny chicory

 

15th.

Hoping for cooler temperatures we took a late afternoon drive – a circuit taking in Imbros, Asfendou and Kallikratis.  This scenic drive is an all year round favourite of ours, though often not very productive with bird sightings.  And so it was today, with wheatears and the odd griffon mentionable.  As we approached Miriokefala on the return we did have sight of about 50 – 60 ravens, and these were the only photos taken on the entire route.

 

Ravens

 

20th.

With a picnic by the sea for a change, Margaret spotted two birds on a rock offshore.  These were shags – an adult with a juvenile – and our first ever summer sighting of this resident species.  As we picnicked within view of them, each bird took it in turn to swim around.  Then a third bird appeared out of the water, and the family was complete!  Unfortunately, all three were never together enough for a good photo, but one below for the record, and another better one of the two we first saw.

 

Shags

 

Shags: Juvenile left, adult right

 
Our return journey took us via Agia, which, as expected, was very quiet on the bird front.  Some red weed on the water took our eye – we haven’t seen this red weed before, but it made for an attractive composition.
 

Agia

 
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