Compiled and edited by:
CRETE BIRD REPORT 2005
Introduction to Crete Bird Report 2005
Crete Bird Reports began in 1986 in response to the many people who sent in their
records. These reports have been produced annually and are now available as an
online archive. Past reports have usually only indicated exceptional winter records but
with more birders resident on the island, year round recordings are available via
Please note that these records are usually unauthenticated and rare bird information
should be submitted to the Hellenic Rarities Committee on an Unusual Record Report
Form for formal acceptance.
Since 2004 the internet has revolutionized the availability of information and the
Hellenic Ornithological Society has a websitewww.ornithologiki.gr , where you can
download a form or look up identification photographs and current status.
For Crete there is a site in Greekwww.facebook.com/groups/birdsof crete.
The Crete archive is onwww.honeyguide.co.uk/cretebirdreports.htm and there is also
a link on Fatbirderwww.fatbirder.com/links geo/europe/greece crete.htm . Roy
Robinson when resident in Western Crete startedwww.cretewww.com in 2004.
This site is devoted to records and sites in Crete.www.crete-birding.co.uk
and gullsofcrete,blogspot cover photography, latest news and identification problems.
Many thanks to everyone, who provided their records for the year 2005.
As usual Crete has produced plenty of surprises.
Names and Spelling: The spelling used is from the Harms Verlag Part 1 and 2
1:100,000 with some names used as in "A Birdwatching Guide to Crete" Coghlan.
CRETE BIRD LIST
The Bird List follows the order in "The Birds of Greece" Handrinos/Akriotis. 1997.
RB– resident, PM – passage migrant, AV- vagrant, MB- migrant breeder,
WV - winter visitor.
LITTLE GREBE Tachybaptus ruficollis RB WV PM
Jan:2 recorded on Georgioupolis Lake on 26th and in March 50 on Lake Kournas on
12th. Then from Agia reservoir on 26th April with more than 20 rising to 30 on 23rd
and less on 24th. At Georgioupolis reservoir there were 6+ on 25th and 1 at Bramiana
reservoir on 2nd May.
In August, there were c40 including some feeding grown young on 22nd and 1 on
river Kiliaris, west of Kalives on 27th.
In Oct 10 on Georgioupolis reservoir on 18th. In Nov and Dec, singles at Kiliaris river
mouth 26th and on 1 Lake Kournas 13th Dec.
BLACK-NECKED GREBE Podiceps nigricollis WV PM
Seen at Lake Kournas on 1st Jan, then 170+ there on 12th March.
In Dec there were 150 there on 13th.
CORY’S SHEARWATERCalonectris diomedea MB PM
In Aug 10+ off Falasarna on 25th and two groups of 10 and 25 on 29th off the
MEDITERRANEAN SHEARWATER Puffinus yelkouan WV? MB PM
April: 3 very distant off Plakias beach in late April believed to be this species.
GANNET Morus bassanus AV
5 off Kouremenos Bay in January with 4 juveniles and 1 adult.(AV)
SHAG Phalacrocorax aristotelis RB
April:2-4 off Silver Beach Gerani and river Skoutelonas mouth between 19th and 26th
April. May: 3 off Itanos beach near Vai on 5th Aug: 6 off Gramvousa on 29th.
LITTLE BITTERN Ixobrychus minutus PM
Only recorded in May with 8 at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd and two there on 5th.
There were two at Sitia on 4th and three at Kato Zakros on 5th. Last was a single at
Agia Reservoir on 7th May.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON Nycticorax nycticorax PM WV
In April 6 at Stylos on 12th and singles at Georgioupolis reservoir on 25th and Kiliaris
river on 26th. One at Bramiana reservoir on 29th and in May twelve there on 2nd.
August: One juvenile seen at Agia reservoir on 25th.
In Sept, flights of 80, 30 and 150 at Provarma on 15th.
SQUACCO HERON Ardeola purpurea PM
Movement was recorded in April with 2 seen at Agia reservoir on 16th and 1 at Lake
Kournas. 1 perched in a tree at the Turkish bridge in the Prevelli Valley on 17th and
there were 7 in off the sea at Frangocastello on 18th. 1 at Ag Triada Moni 19th. There
were three at Agia on 23rd and singles there and at Georgioupolis and Elounda until
the end of the month.
In May there were 4 at Elounda on 7th and a single there on 9th. Bramiana reservoir
had 4 in late April but c30 on 2nd May. 1-3 around until 7th, when 15 at Bramiana
reservoir were the last record.
August: 14 flew east of Petres river on 23rd.
CATTLE EGRET Bubulcus ibis PM WV
3 at Bramiana reservoir on 29th April and 2nd May. Four there on 7th May.
LITTLE EGRET Egretta garzetta PM WV
March:Visible migration in March on 17th in Amari valley and 1 at Petres on 24th.
April: Passage recorded from 12th April from Plakias, Agia reservoir, Silver Beach
Gerani, and Georgioupolis reservoir, and flocks of 2-5 until the end of the month.
May: In May flocks of 8-15 until May 7th.
August: Return passage from 22nd,with 30 circling over Cape Drapano on 22nd. There
were 35 west of Almirida on 23rd and 10 west over Kalives on 24th.
In October 10 northwest off Rethymnon harbour on 16th, 8 west off Georgioupolis
beach on 18th, and 6 west off Rethymnon beach on 20th.
Singles, in Nov and Dec, at Kiliaris river mouth and Lake Kournas.
GREAT WHITE EGRET Ardea alba PM WV
One at Elounda on 26th, 27th, and 30th of April, and still there on 1st May.
GREY HERON Ardea cinerea OB PM WV
April:Few records this year with one at Georgioupolis reservoir on 16th April and 3
at Bramiana reservoir on 29th. In May there were c6 there on 2nd and c4 there on 7th.
1, at Xerocambos coastal pool, on 6th May and 1 at Elounda on the 8th & 9th May.
August: 13 circling bay and headland over Almirida on 17th. 1 circled and headed out
to sea and there were 3 perched on rocks. On 23rd Aug 2 at Petres river and 2 at
Almerida at dusk. 24th Aug, 10 west over Chania at dusk.
Sept: 82 heron sp. Over Provarma on 20th and a single Agia Reservoir on 30th.
Oct: 1 at Rethymnon harbour on 17th and 18th, and 12 over Aptera on 29th.
Nov and Dec, singles at Kiliaris river mouth and Lake Kournas.
PURPLE HERON Ardea purpurea PM
April:Singles in April and early May, with 1 at Plakias river on 13th, 1 in Moni
Prevelli valley on 17th and 1 at Aposelemis river and saltmarsh on 26th and one there
3rd May. There was more movement at the end of April and early May with, 4 at Kato
Zakros on 4th May and 3 at Bramiana reservoir on 29th April and c15 there on 2nd May
and 2 there on 7th, which was the last Spring record.
August: Autumn movement began on 21st with 2 over Almirida and 1 at Agia
reservoir on 22nd followed by 21 west over Chania on 24th and 2 at Agia reservoir on
25th and 8 east across the bay from Kastelli on 29th August.
Sept: 13 at Georgioupolis Lake on 1st and 6 over Provarma on 16th
BLACK STORK Ciconia nigra PM
One at Kefalao on 13th Feb. (RR)
GLOSSY IBIS Plegadis falcinellus PM
20+ flew in off the sea during dust storms at Plakias 17.4. 2 seen at Platanes river near
Rethymnon on 25.4. Three at Bramiana reservoir 29.4. and 1 there on 2nd May.
In August, 1 west of Kalives on 16th .
WIGEON Anas penelope WV PM
1 at Agia Reservoir on 16th April, and 1 pair at Georgioupolis on 26th Jan.
GADWALL Anas strepera WV PM
One at Itanos from 25th Dec 2004 until 1st January 2005. (AV).
TEAL Anas crecca WV PM
There was a pair at Bramiana reservoir on 29.4 and one male there on 2.5 and 7.5.
In Sept seen at Agia Reservoir on 30th and in Dec 30 at Lake Kournas on 13th.
MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos RB WV PM
A few at Agia reservoir on 16.4. There were 2 males and 1 female, there 23.4. and 2
At Bramiana reservoir, several pairs from 29.4 – 7.5.
In Autumn, a few at Agia Reservoir on 30th Sept and 1 male Georgioupolis Lake on
18th Oct and in Dec 8 at Lake Kournas on 13th.
GARGANEY Anas querquedula OB PM
In April there were about six at Agia reservoir on 16th and 23rd. There were four there
on 24th. At Georgioupolis reservoir there were two on 25thApril.
In May one female was at Kato Zakros on the 4th and 5th, and 1 Agia Reservoir on 7th.
August: 50 east across Petres Bay on 23rd and 5 at Agia Reservoir on 25th.
SHOVELER Anas clypeata WV PM
April:A few at Agia reservoir on 16th and a pair there on 23rd. There was one male at
the long pool at Aposelemis delta on 25th and 26th April.
Sept: Seen Agia Reservoir on 30th.
POCHARD Aythya ferina WV PM
Jan:Seen Georgioupolis Lake and Lake Kournas on 1st.
One at Agia reservoir on 6th and 16th April.
In Dec seen at Lake Kournas on 13th.
FERRUGINOUS DUCK Aythya nyroca OB WV PM
Jan:1 pair at Georgioupolis Lake on 26th.
Sept: Seen at Agia Reservoir on 30th.
BLACK KITE Milvus migrans WV PM
One past Kalives on 11th March.
BEARDED VULTURE (Lammergeier) RB
One in Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 14th April. In August one adult and an immature at the
top of the Samaria Gorge. In October one over Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 24th.
GRIFFON VULTURE Gyps fulvus RB
Winter records from Petres Gorge in Jan, and 3 there including a juvenile being fed
on 24th March. Also seen in March in Kourtaliotiko Gorge.
In the south birds were recorded in the nest with juveniles at the south end of the
Kourtaliotiko Gorge in mid April. Twenty plus birds recorded here and over
Kotsiphos Gorge. 3 seen over Omalos plateau on 23rd April and 1 near Petres Gorge
on 25th. In May recorded as seen daily with 10+ at Plaka and 12 over Katheron
In August recorded from Lakki and Samaria Gorge on 19th, Koutsamatades on 20th, 3
at Petres river on 23rd and 13 over Falasarna on 25th.
In October recorded over Omalos and Samaria and 16 over Kourtaliotiko Gorge.
6 over Petres Gorge on18th and 1-4 over Melidoni on 25th.
In Dec seen in Aradena Gorge on the south coast on 2nd and on 2 on Rodopos
peninsula on the North coast on 30th Dec.
MARSH HARRIER Circus aeruginosus WV PM
In April one at Plakias on 13.4. and 1 female at Agia reservoir on the 16th and 23rd
In May one female at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd and two there on 7th. There were 6
females over Vai on 4th and 2 there on 5th. One at Plaka on 9th and on the 10th one
quartering the olive groves and scrub at Xerocambos.
In August one immature in off the sea at Almirida on 26th and 2 immatures circling
between the Gramvousa peninsula and the mainland on 29th.
Sept: 2 males over Provarma on 19th and 1 adult at Agia Reservoir on 30th.
HEN HARRIER Circus cyaneus WV PM
One male at Itanos Beach on 4th May. 2 females, on Rodopos peninsula on 30th Dec.
MONTAGU’S HARRIERCircus pygarus PM
April:One male over road close to Frangocastello flying N on 18th.
One flying N near Geropotamos(N) on 19th.
May: One at Itanos beach and one at Vai on 4th and 5th.
NORTHERN GOSHAWK Accipiter gentilis WV PM
One female on 23rd January at Kouremenos Bay.
SPARROWHAWK Accipiter nisus OB WV PM
Oct:1 fighting with a Hooded Crow at Provarma on 8th and one there on 17th and one
at Melidoni on 25th/26th.
In Dec 1 in Aradena Gorge on 2nd and 1 female in Provarma Gorge on 9th.
BUZZARD Buteo buteo RB WV PM
A common resident, seen daily by recorders in most habitats and every month.
LONG-LEGGED BUZZARD Buteo rufinus RB WV PM
One adult remained in Kouremenos area over January. In April one over Spili on 14th,
and in May one at Bramiana reservoir on 7th.
GOLDEN EAGLE Aquila chrysaetos RB
In May one at Kalamavka on 7th. In October two including an immature over Imbros
Gorge on 16th. On 24th one over Kourtaliotiko Gorge at 12.45, and a pair came over at
2.30pm. In Dec: One imm in Provarma Gorge on 28th.
BOOTED EAGLE Hieraetus pennatus PM WV
One over Gouves on 3rd May. In Sept 1 at Provarma on 15th.
In Nov one pale phase N of Stylos on 8th.
In Dec there were 3 records with another pale phase near Provarma on 7th, and two
pale phases over Georgioupolis on 17th and one near Almirida-Kalives road on 29th.
BONELLI’S EAGLEHieraetus fasciatus RB PM?
One juvenile, hunting regularly over Kouremenos Bay in early January. (AV)
There were pairs in Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 14th and Imbros Gorge on 18th April.
In Sept one over Provarma on 26th.
In October 2 over Imbros Gorge 16.10 and 31.10. One adult near Ayia Marina, Ag
Theodori island on 19th.
OSPREY Pandion haliaetus PM
One at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May.
LESSER KESTREL Falco naumanni OB PM
There were 3 at Kouremonos ( Plakapoyles) on 15th January.
One male at Petres Gorge on 23rd August.
KESTREL Falco tinnunculus RB WV PM
Common and widespread throughout the island. Recorded at nest holes in Afrata and
Therisso Gorges in April.
RED-FOOTED FALCON Falco vespertinus PM
April:3 over Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 14th.
May: 7 near Kastelli on 3rd, 45 at Vai on 4th and 32 there on 5th,
9 on migration near Vamos and 4 near Provarma on 2nd. 10 there and 20 nearby on 4th.
HOBBY Falco subbuteo PM
One Provarma 20th April. One at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May.
ELEANORA’S FALCONFalco eleonorae MB
Recorded on eight days from 26th April until 12th May, with 4 at Bramiana reservoir
on 7th. There were many at Xerocambos on 10th May.
In Aug 1 Koutsamatados Ravine on 20th. 6 hawking along ridge, above Falasarna, on
25th 1 Gramvousa and 2 circling the strait between Gramvousa and mainland on 29th.
In Sept over Provarma on 20th. In Oct on 19th 5 at Ayia Marina over Ag Theodori
island soaring and diving at western end of steep cliffs.
PEREGRINE Falco peregrinus RB WV PM
April:One from Panorama restaurant Myrthios on 13th and 1 in Therisso Gorge, seen
twice on 24th. One male, seen food passing to female on 30th at Plaka (KB).
October: One seen near Rethymnon Pine Woods carrying prey on 20th. On the same
day, one seen at Ag Irini and one at Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 24th.
Dec: 1 Provarma Gorge on 9th and 28th.
CHUKAR Alectoris chukar RB
One behind Kotsiphou Gorge 13th April and one in Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 14th April.
In the east there was one on Spinalonga on 27th and 2 near Ag Ioannis near
Spinalonga on 30th April. Also heard on Katheron plateau and at Kato Zakros and Mt
QUAIL Coturnix coturnix RB PM WV
One flushed from undergrowth at Frangocastello on 18th April was the only report.
WATER RAIL Rallus aquaticus OB WV PM
April:1 at Stylos 12.4.
SPOTTED CRAKE Porzana porzana PM
January:One at Kato Zakros on 20th. (AV)
LITTLE CRAKE Porzana parva PM
There were several at Agia reservoir on 16th April and up to 3 there on 23rd and 24th.
In May 1 Almyros on 4th and 1 Agia Reservoir on 7th.
CORNCRAKE Crex crex AV
April:One heard calling on Lassithi plateau on 28th April. (KB)
MOORHEN Gallinula chloropus RB WV PM
Common, with one or two at wet areas and small pools in April and May, but 80 plus
at Agia reservoir on 23rd April. Described as common in August and 27 seen on
Georgioupolis reservoir on 18th October.
COOT Fulica atra RB WV PM
Many at Agia Reservoir on 16th April and 50 + there on 23rd and 24th including one
pair with five chicks. Described as numerous at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd and 7th
In August 30+ at Agia Reservoir on 22nd and in October there were 42 at
Georgioupolis reservoir on the 18th. Seen at Kiliaris river mouth in Nov and at lake
Kournas in Dec.
BLACK-WINGED STILT Himantopus himantopus PM
One at Agia Reservoir at the dam on 16th and 23rd April. One at Almyros, Ag.
Nikolaos on 29th April and 2nd May. 4 in a coastal pool at Xerocambos, on 6th May
and at Bramiana reservoir on 7th. Single at Agia Reservoir on 7th May.
COLLARED PRATINCOLE Glareola pratincola PM
One at Vai on 4th May, assumed to be a collared. (KB)
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER Charadrius dubius MB WV PM
April:One at Plakias Bay on 13th and at Agia Reservoir on 16th, then common on
beaches and river mouths throughout April. In May seen at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd
and Aposelemis delta on 3rd. Breeds around Crete on suitable beaches.
RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula WV PM
Only recorded in May with 4 at Aposelemis delta on 3rd and 4 at Xerocambos coastal
pool on 6th.
GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola WV PM
One at Aposelemis delta on 3rd May and 2 on shoreline at Xerocambos on 5th, and 9th
and 2 more in a coastal pool on 9th May.
DOTTEREL Charadrius morinellus AV
Sept:3 on Melindauo (2,133m) just short of summit, east of Xyloskala at head of
Samaria Gorge on 22nd September. (GS) Record submitted to the Rare Records
SANDERLING Calidris alba PM
May:One at Aposelemis delta on 3rd and one at Xerocambos coastal pool on 6th.
LITTLE STINT Calidris minuta WV PM
April and May:1 at Agia reservoir 16.4. 5 at Tavrontis river 20.4. One at Silver
Beach, Gerani. 4+ at Aposelemis delta on 25th and 26th. Up to seven at Almyros,
Bramiana reservoir, Elounda, Aposelemis delta and Makryalos river 26.4.-10.5. and
several at Xerocambos coastal pool on the 6th May was the last Spring record.
Aug: 7 at Agia reservoir on 23rd.
TEMMINCK’S STINTCalidris temminckii. PM
May:2 at Aposelemis delta on 3rd and 1 at Almyros (Ag.N) on 4th.
CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea PM
May:2 at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd, 1 at Almyros(Ag,N) on 4th and several at
Xerocambos coastal pool on 6th.
Aug: 2 juveniles on beach at Agia Marina on 21st.
DUNLIN Calidris alpina WV PM
One adult on the beach at Agia Marina on 21st Aug.
RUFF Philomachus pugnax PM
Single at Agia reservoir on 23rd April and 2 Aposelemis saltflats 26th April. 10+ at
Bramiana reservoir on 29th April. 100 there on 2nd May and 50+ on 3rd, down to 20
there on 7th. Singles seen at Elounda, Katheron plateau, Makryalos river and Sitia
until mid May.
August: One at Agia Reservoir on 25th.
SNIPE Gallinago gallinago WV PM
Aug:1 at Agia reservoir on 25th.
GREAT SNIPE Gallinago media PM
May: One at Kato Zakros on 4th May.(KB)
WOODCOCK Scolopax rusticola WV PM
Oct:One on road from Prevelli Beach, flushed from underfoot from vegetated slope
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa PM
One at Bramiana reservoir on 29th April.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica AV
One at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May.
SPOTTED REDSHANK Tringa erythropus PM
One at Agia Reservoir on 16th April and one at Aposelemis long pool on 25th.
REDSHANK Tringa totanus WV PM
April:One at Frangocastello on 18th April, One at Aposelemis long pool on 25th.
May: One at Xerocambos coastal pool on 6th.
GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia PM
April:Singles at Tavronitis river on 20th, and Silver Beach, Gerani on 21st. Two at
Aposelemis delta on 25th and 26th April.
May: 2 at Aposelemis delta on 3rd, and one at Xerocambos coastal pool on 6th.
Aug: 2 at Agia Reservoir 25th.
GREEN SANDPIPER Tringa ochropus WV PM
One behind Plakias on river on 13th April, and one at Aposelemis river on 25th.
Aug: c20 at Agia Reservoir on 25th Aug.
WOOD SANDPIPER Tringa glareola PM
One heard at Agia Reservoir on 16th and common in small numbers at Tavronitis,
Agia, Georgioupolis reservoir and Aposelemis river. c15 at Bramiana reservoir 29th
April. c20 there on 7th May. 10 Katheron plateau on 1st May and one there 6th May.
30+ Aposelemis delta on 3rd May and 10+ Sitia on 4th May and 3 at Kato Zakros on
Aug: c30 Agia reservoir on 25th August.
COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoleuca WV PM
April:Recorded on Plakias beach and river mouth 12th- 19th April. 1-2 on shores and
rivers in April. 21 at Agia Reservoir on 23rd.
In May recorded at Almyros (Ag.N), Bramiana reservoir, Elounda, Kato Zakros and
Xerocambos until 10th.
Aug: 6 at Agia Reservoir on 25th.
MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus PM
Nov:2 Kalives on 26th.
LITTLE GULL Larus minutus WV PM
Jan:26 in Kouremenos Bay on 8th Jan.
BLACK-HEADED GULL Larus ridibundus WV
April:One at Agia Reservoir 16th April.
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Larus fuscus WV PM
May:One at Elounda on 10th May. (KB)
YELLOW LEGGED GULL Larus cachinnans MB WV PM
Common and widespread daily in small numbers. 50+ nesting on Agia Theodori
island and large flocks seen at rubbish tips were the only counts. Common from
August with 600c in Kalives Bay in Dec.
COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo PM
May:One at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May.
WHISKERED TERN Chlidonias hybridus PM
50 at Bramiana reservoir on 29th April and 3 there on 2nd May.
BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger PM
May:Several at Georgioupolis Lake on 2nd.
WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN Chlidonias leucopterus PM
20+ at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May, and 1 there later in the day. Single at
Georgioupolis Lake 2nd May. There was one at Aposelemis river on 3rd May. Another
single at Xerocampos coastal pool on 6th May.
ROCK DOVE Columba livia RB
Some wild type birds seen at Kotsiphos and Kourtaliotiko Gorges. Domesticated birds
common around towns and villages. 10 Petres Gorge on Oct 18th.
WOOD PIGEON Columba palumbus RB WV PM
A thinly spread species only reported from below Myrthios on the south coast and
c.20 near the top of the Samaria Gorge. One in Sept at Provarma Gorge.
COLLARED DOVE Streptopelia decaocto. RB
Common and widespread in towns and countryside villages. 100+ east at dawn and
west at dusk at the east end of Rethymnon 15-21.10.
TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia turtur MB PM
April:One in Afrata Gorge on 20th, and also recorded on 7 days 2-3 until 10th May.
Largest flock was 10+ at Kato Zakros on 4th May.
Aug: Common around Almirida ,17th-30th August.
CUCKOO Cuculus canorus PM
One flying over fields below Ag. Triada archaeological site on 15th April and
Two near Ag. Ioannis on 30th. One on the Katheron plateau on 1st May.
RING-NECKED PARAKEET Escape
5 seen on 17th October at dawn over Rethymnon beach.
BARN OWL Tyto alba RB WV PM
1 Provarma on 30th Sept.
SCOPS OWL Otus scops RB PM
April:Heard in gorges, Samaria on 16th, Therisso on 24th and Kato Zakros on 5th
NIGHTJAR Caprimulgus europaeus MB PM
August:3+ seen and heard around hotel in Almirida, 19th- 30th Aug.
SWIFT Apus apus MB PM
April and May:Good numbers seen daily from 12th. Breeding in the large towns of
Chania, Rethymnon, Iraklion.
Sept: Returning migration seen over Provarma.on 16th.
ALPINE SWIFT Apus melba MB PM
April:Seen daily from 12th April. Small flocks in April, larger groups 20-30 in early
May until 10th May.
August: Up to 10 over Almirida every evening. Sept: 100’s over Provarma on 16th.
And 23rd with other hirundines. 300+ over on 25th. Last record 150 over Provarma on
KINGFISHER Alcedo atthis WV PM
Jan:Seen at Georgioupolis Lake and Lake Kournas .
April: One at Plakias during the week 12th-19th April.
August: Common on coast around Souda Bay, Almirida and up to 4 at Agia reservoir
from 17th- 30th August. Sept: 1 at Lake Kournas on 17th.
Oct: 1 in Rethymnon harbour and one at Georgioupolis reservoir, both on 18th.
Dec: 1 river Kiliaris, nr Kalives, river mouth on 16th.
BEE-EATER Merops supercilliosus MB PM
Heard passing over Plakias during a duststorm 17th April. 2+ heard and seen over
Aposelemis river on 24th and 25th April.
In May 28 at Vai on 5th. and 10 at Stylos on 6th and on the 7th at Agia Reservoir
Sept: Recorded at Georgioupolis Lake on 8th, 9th, 25 there on 17th.
HOOPOE Upupa epops MB PM
April:2 birds behind Kotsiphos Gorge on 13th. Reported breeding in valley behind
Plakias along footpath to Mirthios. 1 Agia Triada Moni on 19th.
Aug: 1 at Chania 22nd August. Sept: 1 at Mathes on 1st.
WRYNECK Jynx torquilla MB? WV PM
Sept:1 near Falasarna archaeological site on 29th.
SHORT-TOED LARK Calandrella brachydactyla MB WV PM
April:A few at Spili on 14th and at Frangocastello on 18th.
May: 2 on Katheron plateau on 1st and 10 there on 6th.
CRESTED LARK Galerida cristata RB
Common and widespread breeding bird, in fields and coastal scrub. Reported in April,
May and in August and Rethymnon Fortezza on 16th Oct and 2 near Rethymnon Pines
WOODLARK Lullula arborea RB PM
April:Recorded at Spili ‘bumps’ on 14th and Omalos plateau on 16th and 23rd.
May: 4 on Katheron plateau on 1st and 6 there 6th. 1 at Mt Oxa on 8th and near Kato
Pines on 9th.
SKYLARK Alauda arvensis OB? WV PM
April:1 small flock c15 birds on Spili ‘bumps’ on 14th.
Oct: 2 near Rethymnon Pines on 20th.
SAND MARTIN Riparia riparia PM
April:Several at Agia reservoir on 16th and 200+ there on 23rd, down to 50 there later
in the day. Then small numbers daily throughout the month.
May: Many on passage 30th April until 7th May with maximum numbers at Bramiana
reservoir on 2nd.
Aug: Reported as common.
CRAG MARTIN Ptyonoprogne rupestris RB WV PM
Jan:Seen at Georgioupolis Lake, Lake Kournas and Vamos. March: in flocks with
House Martins over Vamos.
April: Regular in Kourtaliotiko and Kotsiphos and Samaria Gorges.
May: Singles on Katheron plateau on 1st and Selinari Gorge on 3rd, and Kato Zakros
Gorge on 5th. In Aug and Oct still in the Samaria Gorge and Imbros Gorge.
In Dec seen in Provarma Gorge on 28th.
BARN SWALLOW Hirundo rustica MB PM
First record from 15th March. Many small flocks passing through daily from 12th
April until 26th. 30+ at Aposelemis river on 26th. Numbers built up from 27th until 2nd
May. None recorded after 10th May.
In August common and small flocks in October until 18th.
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW Hirundo daurica MB PM
April:One at Moni Prevelli on 17th and 6 at Knossos valley 25th.
May: One near Kalamavka on 2nd and 7th.
HOUSE MARTIN Delichon urbica MB PM
March:Some over Vamos and Georgioupolis on 12th and 24th.
April: Many hundreds passing through daily from 12th – 19th. Recorded over Afrata,
nr Laki, Therisso and Aposelemis river. Many on passage from 30th April until 8th
May with peak numbers at Bramiana reservoir on 2nd May. Last records moving
through on 4th May.
TAWNY PIPIT Anthus campestris MB PM
One on 11th January at Kouremenos, Plakapoyles. In April singles recorded at Spili
on 14th and at Plakias on 17th and at Gouvenatou Moni on 22nd.
In August one flew from beach at Petres river on 23rd.
TREE PIPIT Anthus trivialis WV PM
April:Increasing common throughout the week 12th –19th. Two on Omalos plateau
and one at Gerani on 23rd.
Oct: 5 in stubble at Georgioupolis reservoir on 18th Oct.
RED-THROATED PIPIT Anthus cervinus WV PM
April:One at Phaestos on 15th and another with a Yellow Wagtail flock at Plakias on
17th, after a dust storm.
YELLOW WAGTAIL Moticilla flava MB PM
April:Small flocks seen from 12th onwards. Largest flock was 40+ at Elounda on 27th
with both flava and feldegg races.
August: Returning migrants common in August. Sept: Singles seen at Stylos and
Agia Reservoir on 26th and 30th.
GREY WAGTAIL Motacilla cinerea RB? WV PM
October:Several singles at Rethymnon and Georgioupolis reservoir in the 3rd week
of October. Single in Kalives on 26th November.
WHITE WAGTAIL Moticilla alba RB WV PM
Jan:Seen 1st Jan at Georgioupolis Lake and at Lake Kournas.
April: One male Pied adult yarrelli at Plakias river mouth on 13th, possibly the same
as recorded in the previous October. One white at Kourtaliotiko on 18th. 1+ seen at
Petres river 21.4. and 1 at Elounda 27.4. and 1 at Ag Ioannis on 30th.
May: 1 Sitia harbour 4th and one at Itanos on 5th.
October: Singles recorded in October.1 at Kiliaris river mouth on 26th November.
WREN Troglodytes troglodytes RB WV PM
Heard and occasionally seen throughout and recorded in gorges and on the Lassithi
and Katheron plateaus.
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris RB
Resident but no reports in 2005.
ROBIN Erithacus rubecula WV PM
Jan:Seen on 1st Jan at Lake Kournas.
October Recorded from 7th onwards from Rethymnon, Georgioupolis, Agia Irini and
NIGHTINGALE Luscinia megarhynchos MB PM
April:One at ‘Spili bumps’ on 14th April. One heard in full song at bridge over
stream at Agia Reservoir 23rd.
BLACK REDSTART Phoenicurus ochruros WV PM
Oct:One at Imbros Gorge on 31st.
WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra MB? PM
April:Several in Plakias bay after rain on 14th. Seen on reeds at Agia Reservoir on
16th . 1-2 recorded daily from 20th. 2 at Spinalonga peninsula on 27th.
May: c6 at Kato Zakros on 4th and 2 there on 5th. 4 on Katheron Plateau on 6th.
STONECHAT Saxicola torquata RB WV PM
Resident. Common breeding bird, pairs seen at Afrata, Petres river mouth, Spili fields
WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe MB PM
April:4 at Frangocastello on 18th. Individuals elsewhere during week 12th-19th April.
10+ moving through on the 23rd. 1 on Lassithi plateau on 28th.
In May on Katheron plateau on 6th.
BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR Oenanthe hispanica MB PM
April:First record in Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 14th. 2 at Moni Prevelli on 17th. 1 at
Frangocastello on 18th. 2 males at Gouvenatou Moni on 22nd, singles on 23rd on
Omalos, at Therisso on 24th, Lassithi plateau on 28th and 2 at Ag Ioannis on 30.4.
May: 2 Katheron plateau on 1st and 6 there on 6th. 2 Kato Zakros 5th and 3 at
Bramiana reservoir on 7th, 1 Mt Oxia on 8th, and at Xerokambos from 4th-10th.
August: Recorded during the month.
BLUE ROCK THRUSH Monticola solitarius RB PM WV?
March:Seen in Kourtaliotiko Gorge on 29th.
April: A pair at Kourtaliotiko Gorge and Kotsiphos Gorge on 13th and Moni Prevelli
on 17th. Seen at Afrata Gorge on 20th and Kotsiphos Gorge on 21.4.
May: Up to 3 seen daily. 10+ Kato Zakros Gorge on 5th and seen at Xerokambos 5th-
August: Recording throughout the month. In Sept at Provarma on 8th.
October: 1 male at Perivolia Rethymnon on 19th and 2 males and 1 female at Agia
Irini on 20th.
BLACKBIRD Turdus merula RB PM WV
Resident and common in many habitats.
SONG THRUSH Turdus philomelus WV PM
Jan:1 at Vamos on 1st.
October: 1 at Imbros Gorge on 31st.
FIELDFARE Turdus pilaris WV PM
80+ remaining from 20th December 2004 and until end of January 2005 around
Palekastro. Also in Jan 7 at Litsandi in west on 21st, later 14 there. In Feb, 9 and 20
there on 9th.
Dec: A flock seen at Meldoni on 26th.
CETTI’S WARBLERCettia cetti RB
Common breeding bird. Heard but rarely seen from a variety of habitats, except on
the high plateaus. RecordedJan – August.
FAN-TAILED WARBLER (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncidis RB
May:Two on the Aposelemis delta on 3rd May. (KB).
MOUSTACHED WARBLER Acrocephelus melanopogon PM WV
Jan:One at Kato Zakros on 20th January (AV).
AQUATIC WARBLER Acrocephelus paludicola PM
Sept:One at Agia Reservoir on 30th.
SEDGE WARBLER Acrocephalus paludicola PM
April:Several at Agia Reservoir on 16th.
REED WARBLER Acrocephalus scirpaceus MB PM
One at Damnoni on 14th April and one at Tavronitis river mouth on 20th April.
GREAT REED WARBLER Acrocephalus arundinaceus OB PM
April:1 at Damnoni on 14th, one at Agia Reservoir on 16th, one at Almyros(Ag. Nik)
on 29th . In May singles there on 4th May, at Vai on 5th and Elounda on the 10th May.
OLIVACEOUS WARBLER Hippolais pallida MB PM?
April:Seen and heard at Agia Reservoir on 24th. Heard at Aposelemis river on 26th.
10+ singing there on 3rd May.
ICTERINE WARBLER Hippolais icterina PM
Sept:One at Provarma on 27th.
SARDINIAN WARBLER Sylvia melanocephala RB PM WV
Common and widespread. Breeding pairs reported daily. Seen from a variety of
habitats including in towns, except in the far east.
WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis MB PM
Sept:8 at Georgioupolis Lake on 16th.
BLACKCAP Sylvia atricapilla RB? PM WV
Jan:Seen at Vamos, Georgioupolis and Lake Kournas on 1st.
April: One singing in Spili carpark 14th April and one female at Souda on 17th.
WOOD WARBLER Phylloscopus sibilatrix PM
April:One at Moni Prevelli on 17th April. One at Ag Triada Moni on 19th.
In August one in Therisso Gorge on 19th.
CHIFFCHAFF Phylloscopus collybita PM WV
Jan:Recorded at Vamos, Georgioupolis Lake and Lake Kournas on 1st.
April: One at Souda on 17th April was a late record.
Oct: One at Perivolia, Rethymnon on 16th Oct.
Dec: Seen in Kalives centre on 16th.
WILLOW WARBLER Phylloscopus trochilus PM
One at Kato Zakros on 4th May.
In October 1 at Perivolia , Rethymnon on 20th.
GOLDCREST Regulus regulus RB? PM WV
April:One in Imbros Gorge on 18th April. and there on 31st October.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER Muscicapa striata MB PM
Only 3 sightings during 12th-19th April. In May 10+ at Kato Zakros on 4th and 4 there
on 5th. Two at Bramiana reservoir on 7th and 2 near Kato Pines on 9th.
In Sept 1 at Georgioupolis Lake on 16th.
COLLARED FLYCATCHER Ficedula albicollis PM
April:One male at Moni Prevelli on 17th and one male and female at Gerani on 21st.
May: 4 males and 2 females at Kato Zakros on 4th.
PIED FLYCATCHER Ficedula hypoleuca PM
April:1 at Provarma on 8th. Seen at Mirthios on 13th and Moni Prevelli on 17th.
May: 1 male at Kato Zakros on 4th.
SEMI-COLLARED FLYCATCHER Ficedula semitorquata PM
April:One male at Afrata Gorge on 20th April.
BLUE TIT Parus caeruleus RB
Common and widespread in the uplands, in gorges and on plateaus.
GREAT TIT Parus major RB
Common and widespread. Usually lower than Bluetit.
SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER Certhia brachydactyla RB
Oct:One in Imbros Gorge on 31st.
GOLDEN ORIOLE Oriolus oriolus PM
April:2 males at Phaestos on 15th. 2 Stylos stream on 18th and 27th. 1 seen in Armeni
woods on 21st and 1 at Agia Reservoir on 24th. 2 at Meso Potemi on route to Lassithi
on 28th, and Provarma on 29th
In May 3 on Katheron plateau on 1st, and near Kalamavka on 2nd. One Kato Zakros on
4th and 6 there on 5th. One nr Vai on 5th and in Xerocambos area between 4th and 10th.
In Sept recorded in Provarma with singles on 8th, 15th and 23rd.
RED-BACKED SHRIKE Lanius collurio PM
August:One male near Garalochori(Almirida) on 27th and one male near Chania
airport on 30th.
Sept: One at Georgioupolis on 1st, 1 Provarma on 16th and also at Georgioupolis and
at Lake Kournas the next day.
Oct: 1 Melidoni in first winter plumage on 25th/26th.
Last record Nov 1 male at Provarma on 8th.
LESSER GREY SHRIKE Lanius minor PM
August:2 males on Omalos plateau on 19th August.
WOODCHAT SHRIKE Larius senator ssp badius MB PM
April:First records from 8th. Singles at Plakias during 13th and 19th April. Two
Makryalos river and 1 at Bramiana reservoir all on the 29th.
May: 4 at Kato Zakros on 5th, and 3 on Katheron plateau and one at Plaka on 6th. 1
Mt Oxa on 8th and nr Haugas on 9th and in Xerocambos area near 10th.
August: 3+ Omalos plateau and 1 near Lakki on 19th.
JAY Garrulus glandarius RB
One seen in pines near top of Imbros Gorge road and in Samaria Gorge and in the
foothills on 23rd April.
RED-BILLED CHOUGH Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax RB
Flocks of 40-45 birds over Samaria Gorge in April, Aug and Oct.
Small flocks seen over Katheron plateau and Kourtaliotiko Gorge.
JACKDAW Corvus monedula RB
Common in gorges and 20+ at Bramiana reservoir 29th April. Breeding in the
Morosini viaduct nr Knossos. Recorded in Petres Gorge in Oct and 12 in Provarma on
HOODED CROW Corvus corone corone RB
Common and widespread resident. 100+ Provarma on 6th.
RAVEN Corvus corax RB
Common in small numbers daily. Recorded in gorges and singles and pairs in the
mountains. In Oct seen at Ag Irini, Omalos /Samaria Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge,
Petres Gorge, Aptera, Imbros Gorge, Aradena Gorge, Melidoni and Provarma.
STARLING Sturnus vulgaris WV PM
April:One at Aposelemis river on 25th April was a late migrant.
Sept: Seen at Agia Reservoir on 30th.
Nov: 4 Provarma on 8th.
HOUSE SPARROW Passer domesticus RB WV
Less common than Italian Sparrow.
ITALIAN SPARROW Passer domesticus x italiae. RB
Common breeding everywhere. Breeding colonies in holes in concrete posts and hotel
walls. Roosting flock of 1,000 flying west at dusk over Perivolia towards Rethymnon,
in late October, with some greenfinches.
SPANISH SPARROW Passer hispaniolensis OB WV PM
Seen in April in small flocks during 12th-19th week. In May 3 at Aposelemis river on
CHAFFINCH Fringilla coelebs RB WV PM
Common and widespread resident.
SERIN Serinus serinus RB WV PM
Jan:Recorded Vamos, Georgioupolis, Lake Kournas on 1st.
April: One recorded in Plakias in mid April, and seen and heard at El Venizelou
Graves Park, above Chania on 22nd. Singles at Lassithi plateau on 28th and Skinias on
Aug: 1 Limonopolis Water Park on 22nd. Oct: 1 Georgioupolis Lake on 18th
GREENFINCH Carduelis chloris RB WV PM
Common and widespread resident.
GOLDFINCH Carduelis carduelis RB WV PM
Common and widespread in small flocks in April and May and in August and
LINNET Carduelis cannabina RB WV PM
Small flocks widespread throughout the island reported in Jan, April and May.
HAWFINCH Coccothraustes coccothraustes WV? PM
One at Kouremenos on 21st Jan.
CIRL BUNTING Emberiza cirlus RB
April:Recorded behind Plakias on 13th and also seen behind Kotsiphos Gorge on the
same day. . 3+ at Omalos plateau in different areas on 23rd. 2 on Lassithi plateau on
May: Recorded on Katheron plateau in early May.
ORTOLAN BUNTING Emberiza hortulana PM
April:One at Spili on 14th April and another west of Plakias on 17th April.
CORN BUNTING Miliaria calandra RB WV PM
April:Large flock at Spili on 14th and heard at Spili bumps on 21st. 6+ singing males
on Lassithi plateau on 28th April.
In May 4+ on Katheron plateau on 1st and 6th.
Mammal List follows 'The Mammals of Britain and Europe' Corbet/Ovenden. Collins
Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus concolor Recorded live in April and dead on the road.
Beech Marten Martes fiona Several dead on the road in April One Ag. Constandinos
Badger Meles meles One dead on road.
Kri Kri Wild Goat Capra aegagrus Samaria Gorge seen from taverna.
Amphibian and Reptile List follows 'Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe.
Arnold/Burton. Collins 1978.
Green Toad Bufo viridis Agia Reservoir
Common Tree Frog Hyla arborea Agia reservoir.
Cretan Marsh Frog Rana cretensis Agia reservoir.
REPTILES The order follows Arnold/Burton as above.
Stripe-necked Terrapin Mauremys caspica April at Agia reservoir.
Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilineata Common around Agia Reservoir.
Erhard' s Wall Lizard Recorded on north and south coast in April.
Ocellated Skink Chalcides ocellatus One found sadly dead.
Dice snake Natrix tessellata Tavronitis river
BUTTERFLIES The order follows 'The Butterflies of Greece' Pamperis 1997.
Swallowtail Papilio machaon
Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius
Cretan Festoon Z. cerisyi f. cretica
Large White Pieris brassica
Small White Pieris rapea
Mountain Small White Artogeia ergane
Western Bath White Pontia daplidice
Eastern Dappled White Euchlonia simplonia
Clouded Yellow Colias crocea
Southern Comma Polygonia egea
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui .
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Southern Speckled Wood Pararge aergeria
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
African Grass Blue Zizeeria knysna
Lang’s Short-tailed Blue Syntarucus pirithous
Baton Blue Pseudophilotes baton
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus
Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon
Mallow Skipper Carcharodus alceae
Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages
Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptian Common
Hungarian Grasshopper Acrida ungarica
Cicada Cicada orni
Italian Bug Graphosoma italicum Red and black shield bug.
Cretan Soldier beetle Lygaeus saxatilis Common.
Carpenter Bee Xylocopa violacea Common.
Paper Wasp Polistes gallicus
Pharoah’s AntMonomorium pharaonis
7 spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata Common
10 spot Ladybird Adalia 10-punctata
Pollen beetle Oxythyrea funestra
Pine Processionary Moth Thaumethopoea pityocampa
Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossom stellatum
Emperor dragonfly Anax imperator
Scarlet Darter Crocothemis erythraea
Banded Demoiselle Agrion splendens
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo
Freshwater Crab Potomon potamios
Pill Woodlouse Armadillidium vulgare
Cretan Door Snail Albinaria inflata
Mediterranean White Snail Albae candidissima
CONTRIBUTORS DATES OF RECORDS: CRETE 2005
January 2005 Alan Vittery
1st Jan –29th March 2005 Roy and Raye Robinson
28th April – 31st December Roy and Raye Robinson
12th April – 19th April 2005 HONEYGUIDE, Ivan Nethercoat and Chris Gibson
19th April – 26th April 2005 THE TRAVELLING NATURALIST, Stephanie
26th April – 10th May 2005 Rosie and Keith Barnes
4th May – 10th May 2005 Mari Roberts and Christian Gotsch
17th August – 30th August 2005 Richard Allen
Sept 2005 Gary Steele
Early Sept – 3rd November 2005 Derek Walduck
15th October- 21st October 2005 Tom Dougall and Gill Arbuthnot
18th October – 25th October 2005 Kenneth Beint
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