ANTIKYTHIRA RAPTOR MIGRATION WATCH                     

25th SEPTEMBER - 15th  OCTOBER 2008

For details of the island of Antikythira please see 2007 report and also the link to Antikythira.

Changes to last years report….. The ferry is now only once a week from Kissamos departing on a Thursday morning at 08.00.

The new guest house for volunteers is now open and can take eleven people. The Observatory has been converted to an information centre and accommodates four staff and a new seismological station.

25th September, Thursday

Sue and I departed Kissamos on the 08.00 ferry for our two week stay and arrived on Antikythira at 10.00. On route we got our first spots of the day, Crested Lark, Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Kingfisher at the harbour, 6 Cory’s Shearwater and some distant unidentified Terns.


Αρτέμης - Calonectris diomedea - Cory’s Shearwater, photo by and © C&S

On arrival we were met by our old friend Angelos and shown to the new accommodation where we duly unloaded our gear and met Jacob from Austria who would finish his stay doing raptor watch on Sunday 28th.

For the rest of the morning we assisted Jacob at the guest house observation point.

Birds seen…. Blue Rock Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Bee-eater 6, Eleonoras Falcon, Raven, Hobby, Bonelli’s Eagle, Kestrel, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Robin, Booted Eagle [pale morph], Whitethroat, Red-rumped Swallow, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher. Just a taste of things to come.

Later that afternoon we met the others from the ringing team, Kate and Oliver both from the UK and Raimo from Finland.

On the following Tuesday we were joined by Marion from the UK and later by Gayle from the USA and Manuela from Italy who were all joining the ringing group. After Jacobs departure that left Sue and myself doing the raptor migration.

Our two weeks soon came to an end and we decided that as there were no others doing raptor watch that we would stop on an extra week. The weather in that third week however deteriorated and with strong winds the raptor numbers dropped apart from Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a sudden influx of Common Buzzard. This gave us the chance to explore the island and do a bit more general bird watching.

Over the three weeks we had some fantastic days with the best being the 3rd October with a total of 18 different species of raptor seen totalling 192 birds…. 85 of which were Marsh Harrier. Numbers started to drop around the 9th due to strong adverse winds.

The 8th October proved to be the best for Eleonora’s Falcon with 250+ birds flying at dusk, hawking insects giving excellent close views as they fed on the wing…..awesome.

Plants… Tiny Narcissus with flower heads 3cm dia. Narcissus serotinus

                Large yellow, Common sternbergia resembling a crocus

                Autumn Squill, Scilla autumnalis

                Carpets of Autumn Heather, Erica manipuliflora

                Kermes Oak Quercus coccifera full of acorns

                Prickly Juniper [cedar] Juniperus oxycedrus

                Phoenician Juniper  Juniperus phoenicea

                Asparagus aphyllus

                Very few olive trees

                Fig Trees

                Prickly Pear

Insects, butterflies and moths.

Many of the same species as we find on Crete. We were lucky to find in the girls dormitory a Scolopendra cingulatus,  Europe’s largest centipede which has a dangerous and very painful bite.

Mammals …. Many small rabbits.

                        Some Dolphin or Porpoise were seen a short way off shore but

                        We were unable to get enough views to positively identify them,  

                        the general opinion was that they were Bottle-nosed Dolphin

With only a few locals , there are not too many cars, it was a pleasure to be able to walk most of the island during the three weeks, seeing the bird species change every few days, always with the chance of a rarity coming along. To watch the smaller raptors hunting, one day with 19 Sparrowhawk alongside many Kestrel it looked like the island was one big bird table for the raptors. Walking along the road to suddenly hear a flurry of wings as a hawk dived into a bush only metres away was really something to experience. With so many raptors, numbers and species, so close it was a truly memorable experience.

The hunting though still continues…. as we watched the migrants coming through a few locals were seen shooting, with the neighbour near the ringing station taking a shotgun to a Booted Eagle that was circling above his chickens. Angelos sorted the situation out and we heard no more shots from that direction.

BIRD LIST…… 92 species seen [28 raptors]

Cory’s Shearwater…….. 6 from ferry 25th. One injured bird at Observatory 14/15th Oct

Shag …………………… 1 on 25th & 28th Sept

Night Heron …………... Heard at night 28th and 30th Sept  

Little Egret……………...3 on 27th -28th, 4 on 30th, & 22 on 7th

Great Egret……………. 1 on 30th

Grey Heron……………. 5th Oct 11 seen low over the sea 

Purple Heron…………...16 flying south on the 7th Oct

White Stork…………….1 on the 7th

Black Stork……………..1 on 26th Sept


Black Stork,
photo by and © C&S

Osprey…………………..3 …One on 30thSept  two on 3rdOct

Eastern Imperial Eagle...1 on 7thOct

Lesser Spotted Eagle….. 10 on singles 26 /27/30thSept   7 on 7thOct

? Steppe Eagle…………. 1 on 3rdOct awaiting confirmation from photo

Short-toed Eagle………. Singles on 29thSept/ 4/10/11/12/13

Booted Eagle…………... 81 daily…. apart from 27thSept 1st and 9thOct

Bonelli’s Eagle………… Daily [resident pair] apart from 2nd and 10th Oct

Red Kite………………... 2 Singles on 30th Sept and 2nd Oct

Black Kite……………… Singles with max 5 on three days

Marsh Harrier………… 26th Sept  -6th Oct…. with max 85 on 3rd

Hen Harrier……………Daily apart from 25/26th Sept 5/6/8/15th Oct. Max 5 3rd

Montagu’s Harrier……. Single on 30th

Pallid Harrier…………. 27th Sept…  1-4th and 10th Oct max 5 on 3rd

Long-legged Buzzard…. 1 on 7th Oct

Common Buzzard…….. Daily apart from 25th  with max 26 on 14th Oct

Steppe Buzzard [Vulpinus] 2 on 2nd 4 on 7th Oct

Honey Buzzard………… 50% of days with 38 max on 7th Oct

Sparrowhawk………….. Daily apart from 6th Oct max 19 on 13th Oct

Levant Sparrowhawk…. Single on 2nd Oct….. 12 on the 7th Oct

Goshawk……………….. 3 on 7th Oct… singles 50% of days [one ringed]

Kestrel………………….. Daily max 20 on two days

Lesser Kestrel………….. single bird on three days  with RF Falcons

Red-footed Falcon………28th Sept -4th Oct max 4 on two days

Hobby…………………… 4 on 3rd Oct singles on seven other days

Eleonora’s Falcon……… Daily max 250-300+ on the 8th Oct

Peregrine Falcon………. Daily apart fro 25th 27th Sept  and 15thOct  

Merlin…………………... Single bird 11/12/13th Oct

Lanner………………….. 1 on 30th

Chukar………………….  Daily

Quail……………………. .2 flushed whilst walking. Plus 1 dead on road

Helmeted Guinea Fowl... [1 domestic and noisy near ringing station]

Yellow-legged Gull………Daily apart from 28/29th Sept.

Tern…………………….  [3 Distant from ferry]

Collared Dove …………  Singles on 8th & 11th Oct

Turtle Dove……………. Heard on a few days

Barn Owl ……………… 28/30thSept  & 1st Oct

Scops Owl……………… most days, 3 ringed on 26th Sept


Scops Owl,
photo by and © C&S

Nightjar…………………3/7/8th Oct

Swift …………………….30th Sept 13th Oct

Alpine Swift……………..Seen by our friend from Finland on the 30th Sept

Hoopoe…………………. singles

Kingfisher……………… 2 Kissamos Harbour 25th Singles Sept 6/11/13/14/15th

Bee-eater……………….. 40+ 2nd Oct. Smaller numbers 25th Sept-5th Oct

Roller   …………………. Single stayed  1 -7 Oct  seen different location 11&13

Sand Martin……………. 27th -11th Oct in small numbers

Barn Swallow…………... Daily apart from 11th-14th

Red-rumped Swallow….. Daily until the 8th Oct

House Martin……………27/29/30th Sept & 2nd -7thOct

Tawny Pipit ……………. Single 25/27/30th Sept

Tree Pipit……………….. Ringed daily until the 11th Oct

Yellow Wagtail…………. Daily

White Wagtail………….. Daily

Robin……………………. Daily from 27th

Nightingale………………29th Sept & 1/2/3/9/15th Oct

Redstart………………….Daily

Whinchat……………… ..Daily

Stonechat………………...7/9-11/13/15th Oct

Northern Wheatear……..Daily to 5th Oct

Blue Rock Thrush……….Daily apart from 11/12/14th Oct

Blackbird…………………13-15th Oct

Song Thrush…………….. 8-15th Oct  

Icterine Warbler ……….. 7th Oct

Whitethroat………………Daily 25th Sept-10th Oct

Garden Warbler…………Daily 25th Sept -10th Oct  

Blackcap…………………. Daily 25th Sept -10th Oct

Wood Warbler…………... seen at ringing station

Willow Warbler…………. Daily until the 11th Oct

Chiffchaff………………….. 6/8/9/11th Oct


Willow Warbler, photo by and © C&S

Spotted Flycatcher………. Daily until 11th Oct

Red-breasted Flycatcher…Daily apart from 5/11/13th

Pied Flycatcher………….. 1st at ringing station

Collared Flycatcher………1st & 3rd Oct at ringing station

Golden Oriole …………… 26th Sept- 3rd Oct.

Red-backed Shrike…….... 25/28/29/30th Sept & 2/4/7/9 Oct

Lesser Grey Shrike…….....Single on 29thSept

Woodchat Shrike…………Single on 28thSept  

Raven 2…………………… Daily, resident pair

Starling…………………… Daily apart from 3rd and 12th

Spanish Sparrow…………small numbers 27-29 Sept larger flocks 6th -15th Oct

Chaffinch……………….....7th-15th Oct

Greenfinch…………………Single 12th Oct

Siskin……………………….Single 14th Oct


Siskin, photo by and © C&S

Corn Bunting……………... 2 on 4th Oct

Raptor Chart
 

 

 25

 26

 27

 28

 29

 30 

 1

 2 

 3

 4

 5

6

 7

 8

 9

 10

 11

 12

 13

 14

15

Ψαραετός
Pandion haliaetus
Osprey
         

1

                             
Βασιλαετός
Aquila heliaca
Imperial Eagle
                       

1

               
Κραυγαετός
Aquila pomarina
Lesser-spotted Eagle
 

1

1

   

1

           

7

               
Στεπαετός
Aquila rapax
Steppe Eagle
               

1
?

                       
Φιδαετός
Circaetus gallicus
Short-toed Eagle
       

2

       

1

         

1

1

1

1

   
Σταυραετός
Hieraaetus pennatus
Booted Eagle

3

14

 

2

2

9

 

2

21

6

2

 

9

1

 

2

1

1

1

3

2

Σπιζαετός
Hieraaetus fasciatus
Bonelli’s Eagle

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

 

2

2

1

1

1

2

 

1

 

1

1

1

1

Ψαλιδιάρης
Milvus milvus
Red Kite
         

1

 

1

                         
Τσίφτης
Milvus migrans
Black Kite
 

1

       

1

 

5

2

5

 

5

 

1

1

1

 

1

1

 
Καλαμόκιρκος
Circus aeruginosus
Marsh Harrier
 

12

27

10

14

84

58

55

85

15

2

1

                 
Βαλτόκιρκος
Circus cyaneus
Hen Harrier
   

1

4

1

2

1

2

5

1

   

1

 

1

3

1

1

2

2

 
Λιβαδόκιρκος
Circus pygargus
Montagu’s Harrier
         

1

                             
Στεπόκιρκος
Circus macrourus
Pallid Harrier
   

1

     

1

4

5

2

         

1

         
Αετογερακίνα
Buteo rufinus
Long-legged Buzzard
                         

1

             
 

25

26

27

28

29

30

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 9

10

11

12

13

14

 
Γερακίνα
Buteo buteo buteo
Buzzard
 

2

4

1

3

3

2

2

2

1

1

1

12

12

2

6

22

20

24

26

6

Buteo buteo vulpinus
Steppe Buzzard
             

2

       

4

               
Σφηκιάρης
Pernis apivorus
Honey Buzzard
 

17

5

 

8

3

5

14

18

10

1

 

38

3

            1
Τσιχλογέρακο
Accipiter nisus
Sparrowhawk

5

5

3

7

8

5

4

2

10

2

3

 

15

12

3

4

18

16

19

4

2
Σαϊνι
Accipiter brevipes
Levant Sparrowhawk
             

1

       

12

               
Διπλοσάϊνο
Accipiter gentilis
Goshawk
   

1

     

1

1

1

 

1

 

3

1

   

1

1

1

1

 
Βραχοκιρκίνεζο
Falco tinnunculus
Kestrel

7

10

12

12

12

14

20

12

16

20

4

4

10

4

3

6

8

8

8

8

8

Κιρκινέζι
Falco naumanni
Lesser Kestrel
           

1

1

1

                       
Μαυροκιρκίνεζο
Falco vespertinus
Red-footed Falcon
     

4

3

3

4

3

1

1

                     
Δενδρογέρακο
Falco subbuteo
Hobby

1

1

1

   

1

 

1

4

1

   

1

               
Μαυροπετρίτης
Falco eleonorae
Eleonora’s Falcon

70

70

30

40

40

40

30

20

10

8

2

4

15

250

20

6

6

6

8

6

12

Πετρίτης
Falco peregrinus
Peregrine Falcon
 

1

 

1

6

2

3

3

4

4

1

 

4

1

2

1

2

2

2

1

 
Νανογέρακο
Falco columbarius
Merlin
                               

1

1

1

   
Χρυσογέρακο
Falco biarmicus
Lanner Falcon
         

1

                             
 
Raptors:

Τσίφτης Milvus migrans Black Kite, photo by and © C&S
 

Στεπόκιρκος Circus macrourus Pallid Harrier, photo by and © C&S
 


 

Σπιζαετός Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonelli’s Eagle - Top photo upperwing, lower photo underwing, photos by and © C&S
 

Σταυραετός Hieraaetus pennatus Booted Eagle, photo by and © C&S
 

Στεπόκιρκος Circus macrourus Pallid Harrier, photo by and © C&S
 

Βαλτόκιρκος Circus cyaneus Hen Harrier, photo by and © C&S
 

Μαυροπετρίτης Falco eleonorae Eleonora’s Falcon, photo by and © C&S
 

Μαυροπετρίτης Falco eleonorae Eleonora’s Falcon, photo by and © C&S
 

Σφηκιάρης Pernis apivorus Honey Buzzard, photo by and © C&S
 

Πετρίτης Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon, photo by and © C&S
 

Κιρκινέζι Falco naumanni Lesser Kestrel, photo by and © C&S
 

Κραυγαετός Aquila pomarina Lesser-spotted Eagle, photo by and © C&S
 

Καλαμόκιρκος Circus aeruginosus Marsh Harrier, photo by and © C&S
 

Νανογέρακο Falco columbarius Merlin, photo by and © C&S
 

Ψαραετός Pandion haliaetus Osprey, photo by and © C&S
 

Σφηκιάρης Pernis apivorus Honey Buzzard, photo by and © C&S
 

Φιδαετός Circaetus gallicus Short-toed Eagle, photo by and © C&S
 

2 Τσίφτης Milvus migrans Black Kite, photo by and © C&S
 

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