April 2009

Birding in Western Crete

We start the month off with a visit to Maronis and Agia Lake

Included in this report and hopefully others to follow we will have reports from Nikos Samaritakis of his sightings.

Weather is taken at 08.00 unless otherwise stated

*  = Feldegg, Flava,Dombrowskii,cinereocapilla

 m   = male    f  = female    pm   = pale morph   dm   = dark morph

1st April …Report from Nikos of Penduline Tit and Spotted Crake at Maronis

2nd Hen Harrier at Kaliviani

6th-10th A female Montagu’s Harrier at Kaliviani

7th Common Crane at Kaliviani and our first Audouins Gull another new species.

After a few days of storms a large influx of Yellow Wagtails and Blackbirds. Many migrants moving through in the second week

 8th Lesser Spotted Eagle plus another new species to our list [209]

 Eastern Imperial Eagle, three sightings

9th Another new species to add to our Crete list Cretzschmar’s Bunting takes us to 210 species.

Around the 9th we started hearing a bird call we could not identify, the calls came from several areas in the olive groves and eventually after a week we identified them to another bird we had not seen on Crete, and, we still have to see! the bird, Quail, we cannot add to our list as we have only heard it, a distinct load “tschuk tut shuck” sort of sound. The calls were heard for around a week.

The first Eleonora’s Falcons arrive back on the 9th

A Hobby on the 10th

Golden Oriole heard on the 12th

First Bee-eaters heard and seen on the 13th

A trip to Falasarna on the 13th we find two more new species for our Crete list Spotted Crake and Bittern

15th A trip to Agia nets us another first….. Baillon’s Crake

18th Spotted Flycatchers arrive in the area

1st

18.7oC        1014mb      sea calm     visibility good       wind 2-3Bnw

cloud  

HOME

Blackcap                        Sparrowhawk                 Cetti’s Warbler

Chaffinch                       Great Tit                         Hooded Crow

Common Buzzard          Yellow-legged Gull         Shag

Italian Sparrow               Woodlark                       Blue Rock Thrush

Blackbird                        Hoopoe

VIGLIA BEACH

Cormorant                      Shag                              Common Sandpiper

Little Ringed Plover        Yellow Wagtail               Crested Lark

White Wagtail                 Corn Bunting

MARONIS

Black-winged Stilt          Common Sandpiper       Little Ringed Plover

Little Egret                     Kingfisher                       Meadow Pipit

Little Bittern                    Coot                               Moorhen

Yellow-legged Gull         Cormorant

Nikos reported from here after we left ……

Penduline Tit                  Spotted Crake                Hoopoe

Little Stint                       and snakes


Black-winged Stilt - photo by and
© C&S


Little Bittern - photo by and
© C&S

AGIA LAKE

Sardinian Warbler          Barn Swallow                 Ferruginous Duck 6

Shoveler Duck 8            Cetti’s Warbler               Wryneck

Sedge Warbler               Mute Swan 1                  Coot

Moorhen                        Kingfisher                       Stonechat

Little Crake                    Purple Heron 1               Little Grebe

Yellow-legged Gull         Marsh Harrier                 Hooded Crow

Greenfinch                     Goldfinch                       Blackbird

Blackcap                       

TAVRONITIS

Common Sandpiper       Wood Sandpiper            Cormorant

Little Egret                     Little Ringed Plover

2nd

18.6oC        1014mb      sea calm     visibility good   wind 0  sun/cloud  

Great Tit                         Chaffinch                       Hooded Crow

Blue Rock Thrush          Italian Sparrow               Blackcap

Barn Swallow                 Woodlark                       Yellow-legged Gull

Cetti’s Warbler               Sardinian Warbler          Crested Lark

Raven                            Sparrowhawk 10.25hrs   Hoopoe

Yellow Wagtail *             Collared Dove                Goldfinch

Whitethroat                    Cormorant                      Hen Harrier 15.00hrs

Marsh Harrier15.35hrs    Corn Bunting                  Blackbird

Singing at Midnight……..Woodlark

3rd

16.4oC        1015mb      sea calm     vis. Good    wind 0         cloud

Blackcap                        Chaffinch                       Great Tit

Corn Bunting                  Blue Rock Thrush          Raven

Hooded Crow                 Yellow-legged Gull         Blue Tit

Italian Sparrow               Common Buzzard 3       Blackbird

Kestrel                           Woodlark                       Crested Lark

Greenfinch                     Sardinian Warbler          Red-rumped Swallow

Griffon Vulture 1             Linnet                                      Goldfinch

A distant Aquila   

BEACH

Stonechat                      Crested Lark                  Little Egret

Little Ringed Plover 4

A report from Bob of a Black-winged Stilt at Kissamos

4th

15.6oC        1015mb   sea choppy    vis. poor      wind 5-6B e   sun/cloud  

Yellow-legged Gull         Woodlark                       Griffon Vulture 1+6+1

Blackbird                        Chaffinch                       Great Tit

Hooded Crow                 Common Buzzard          Goldfinch

Corn Bunting                  Blackcap                        Marsh Harrier 1m.

Sardinian Warbler

At 5pm a Hoopoe rose vertically from the olive grove pursued by a Sparrowhawk the Hoopoe jinked right and the hawk dived away into the olive grove to start its hunt again.

From Nikos at Agia lake

Booted Eagle                 Glossy Ibis                     Mute Swan

Little Egret                     Grey Heron                    Marsh Harrier

Common Buzzard          Little Crake 10+             Sedge Warbler

Possible Great reed Warbler plus all the usual water birds

5th

12.8oC        1011mb      sea choppy    visibility poor  wind 0  Heavy Rain  Thunder/lighting during night  

Yellow-legged Gull         Blackbird                        Great Tit

Chaffinch                       Italian Sparrow               Crested Lark

Raven                            Hooded Crow                 Cormorant

Yellow Wagtail               Rock Dove                     Sardinian Warbler

Blue Tit

6th

15.2oC        1011mb      sea calm     visibility good       wind 4B NW

cloud  

HOME

Yellow-legged Gull         Italian Sparrow               Blackbird

Kestrel                           Chaffinch                       Great Tit

Yellow Wagtail*              Blackcap                        Cetti’s Warbler

BEACH / KISSAMOS


Black-eared Wheatear - photo by and
© C&S  


Black-eared Wheatear - photo by and
© C&S


Shag - photo by and
© C&s


Woodchat Shrike - photo by and © C&S

Woodchat Shrike 3        Black-eared Wheatear   Shag 3

Cormorant 1                   Little Egret                     Black-winged Stilt

Montagu’s Harrier1        Little Ringed Plover 4     Sandwich tern 2

Common Sandpiper 3    Yellow Wagtail*              Goldfinch

Meadow Pipit                 Corn Bunting                  Crested Lark

Stonechat                      Yellow-legged Gull         Raven

Swift                               Alpine Swift                    Barn Swallow

Common Buzzard


Montagu’s Harrier - photo by and
© C&S


Montagu’s Harrier - photo by and
© C&S


Black-winged Stilt - photo by and
© C&S


Yellow Wagtail - photo by and
© C&S


Yellow Wagtail - photo by and
© C&S


Yellow Wagtail - photo by and © C&S

From Nikos at Maronis

Squacco Heron 3           Little Egret 4                  Black-winged Stilt 4

Little Ringed Plover 10   Little Crake 1                 Common Sandpiper 5

Greenshank                             Wood Sandpiper            Spotted Crake 1

Whinchat 2                     Yellow Wagtail *            

The usual Coot, Moorhen, gulls and finches

7th

14.8oC        1012mb      sea calm     visibility fair   wind 4/5B NW    Rain

Sunny intervals late afternoon

Yellow-legged Gull         Italian Sparrow               Chaffinch

Blackbird                        Cetti’s Warbler               Hooded Crow

Barn Swallow                 Greenfinch                     Woodchat Shrike 2

Shag 3                           Yellow Wagtail *             Meadow Pipit

Corn Bunting                  Crested Lark                  Marsh Harrier 1m

Redstart f                       Whitethroat                    Whinchat

Northern Wheatear m&f Stonechat                      Blackcap

Sardinian Warbler          Little Ringed Plover        Common Sandpiper

Chiffchaff                       Collared Flycatcher        Nightingale

Goldfinch                       Raven                            Common Buzzard

Peregrine Falcon           Audouin’s Gull

Late afternoon 6pm a Common Crane flew along the coast [south] landing in the fields near the harbour, an immature we presume it to be the same bird we saw on the 20th March.

At 11pm a Scops Owl was heard.


Common Crane - photo by and
© C&S


Hooded Crow - photo by and © C&S

8th

18.8oC        1015mb      sea calm     visibility poor        wind 2B N sun/cloud

TODAY GOOD NUMBERS OF LOCAL & MIGRATING RAPTORS  


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S


Black-eared wheatear - photo by and © C&S

Italian Sparrow               Marsh Harrier 9m 1f       Lesser Spotted Eagle

pm Booted Eagle            Sardinian Warbler                   Blackbird

Chaffinch                       Great Tit                         Common Buzzard 22

Alpine Swift                    Barn Swallow                 Hooded Crow

Shag                              Yellow-legged Gull         Woodlark

Woodchat Shrike           Griffon Vulture 2             House Martin

Eastern Imperial Eagle1 Kestrel 1                        Bonelli’s Eagle 2

Long-legged Buzzard 2 Sparrowhawk 1              Redstart

Yellow Wagtail *             Northern Wheatear        Crested Lark

Stonechat                      Greenfinch                     Montagu’s Harrier 1

Wood Warbler                Subalpine Warbler                   Cetti’s Warbler

Nightingale                     Whinchat                        Chiffchaff

Blue Tit                          Raven                            Hoopoe

Meadow Pipit                 Collared Flycatcher        Audouin’s Gull


Audouin’s Gull - photo by and
© C&S


Audouin’s Gull - photo by and © C&S


Marsh Harrier - photo by and
© C&S


Marsh Harrier - photo by and © C&S

KISSAMOS

Common Sandpiper 3    Little Ringed Plover 7     Yellow Wagtail *

Woodchat Shrike           Black-winged Stilt          Little Egret

Whinchat                        Collared Dove

9th

16.1oC        1017mb      sea calm     vis good      wind 0         Sun

HOME

Yellow-legged Gull         Blue Rock Thrush          Nightingale

Blackbird                        Chaffinch                       Hooded Crow

Kestrel 3                        dm Booted Eagle            Eastern Imperial Eagle

Barn Swallow                 Montagu’s Harrier f        Sardinian Warbler

Great Tit                         Common Buzzard          Whitethroat

Shag                              Hoopoe                          Blue Tit

Raven                            Red-rumped Swallow     Corn Bunting

Goldfinch                       Eleonora’s Falcon          1        Marsh Harrier f

Wryneck                         Whinchat

Also a Weasel


dark morph Booted Eagle - photo by and
© C&S         


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S

 


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle - photo by and
© C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle being mobbed by a Common Buzzard - photo by and © C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle being mobbed by a Common Buzzard - photo by and © C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle being mobbed by a Common Buzzard - photo by and © C&S


Eastern Imperial Eagle being mobbed by a Common Buzzard - photo by and © C&S


female Montagu’s Harrier - photo by and © C&S                  


female Montagu’s Harrier - photo by and
© C&S        

GRAMVOUSA

We headed out after lunch for a couple of hours at a small church approximately 3km along the track to Balos. There is a small area with a spring and some shrubs that is good for migrants.


Cretzschmar’s Bunting f - photo by and
© C&S


Cretzschmar’s Bunting f - photo by and © C&S 


Cretzschmar’s Bunting f - photo by and
© C&S


Collared Flycatcher f - photo by and © C&S


Sparrowhawk f - photo by and
© C&S


Blackcap m - photo by and
© C&S

Little Ringed Plover 1     Common Sandpiper 1    Shag 3

Wryneck 2                      Redstart m&f                  Eleonora’s Falcon 1

Griffon Vulture 3             Crested Lark                  Marsh Harrier1f

Short-toed Lark              Sparrowhawk                 Black-eared Wheatear

Collared Flycatcher m    Pied Flycatcher              Chiffchaff   

Ortolan 2                Cretzschmar’s Bunting  5      Cetti’s Warbler Nightingale                          Whitethroat                    Blackcap 1m        

Hoopoe 2                       Goldfinch                       Linnet

Raven                            Meadow Pipit                 Serin

Yellow Wagtail               Blackbird                        Italian Sparrow

Hooded Crow                 Chaffinch                       Barn Swallow

Alpine Swift                    Corn Bunting                  Woodlark

Eastern Imperial Eagle was seen just as we were leaving, high above the mountain top.


Pied Flycatcher m - photo by and
© C&S


Wryneck - photo by and
© C&S


Pied Flycatcher m - photo by and
© C&S


Redstart m - photo by and
© C&S


Redstart f - photo by and
© C&S


Collared Flycatcher - photo by and
© C&S

10th

16.5oC        1015mb      sea calm     vis good/fair   wind 0      Sun/mist

Great Tit                         Stonechat                      Blue Rock Thrush

Chaffinch                       Shag 1                           Cetti’s Warbler

Yellow-legged Gull         Whitethroat                    Barn Swallow

Montagu’s Harrier 1f      Sardinian Warbler          Marsh Harrier 1f

Blackbird                        Woodlark                       Woodchat Shrike 2

Greenfinch                     Goldfinch                       Black-eared Wheatear

Chukar                           Raven                            Common Buzzard 7

Hobby 1125hrs              Kestrel 2                        pm Booted Eagle 1

Hooded Crow                 Northern Wheatear        Rock Dove

Nightingale 2                  Hoopoe 3                       Redstart 2m

Sparrowhawk 2              Whinchat                       


Hobby - photo by and
© C&S

11th

17.3oC        1010mb      cloud           sea choppy          vis. Fair

HOME

House Martin                 Barn Swallow                 Woodlark

Blue Rock Thrush          Chaffinch                       Great Tit

Hooded Crow                 Yellow-legged Gull         Whitethroat

Woodchat Shrike           Italian Sparrow               Blackbird

Nightingale                     Raven                            Common Buzzard 6

Blue Tit                          Marsh Harrier 2m 1f       Montagu’s Harrier 1f

Kestrel                           Goldfinch                       Greenfinch

Yellow Wagtail               Jackdaw 2                     Whinchat

Hoopoe                          Cetti’s Warbler

On route to Chania

Booted Eagle dm 1        Common Buzzard 8       Woodchat Shrike

Tavronitis

Swift 2                            Grey Heron 1                 Common Sandpiper 1

Serin 1                           Greenfinch                     Italian Sparrow

Barn Swallow                 Hooded Crow

Viglia Beach

Shag 3                           Little Ringed Plover 1     Yellow Wagtail

Meadow Pipit                 Crested Lark

12th

15.5oC        Cloud          Sea Choppy         vis. Good wind 2/4B N

Great Tit                         Montagu’s Harrier f        Hooded Crow

Marsh Harrier 3m 1f       Italian Sparrow               Goldfinch

Blackbird                        Chaffinch                       Whinchat

Black-eared Wheatear   Common Buzzard          Crested Lark

Serin                              Nightingale                     Raven

Rock Dove                     Chukar                           Golden Oriole [heard] Cetti’s Warbler                   Kestrel                           Corn Bunting

Yellow-legged Gull

From Nikos at Maronis

CURLEW SANDPIPER  GREENSHANK             LITTLE STINT

COMMON SANDPIPER (4)        LITTLE RINGED PLOVER (3)

LITTLE EGRET (2)                    PURPLE HERON                      SPOTTED CRAKE, etc


LITTLE STINT - photo by and © Nikos Samaritakis 

13th

18.4oC   sun    sea calm/slight swell   vis. Poor   wind 1B variable

HOME

Nightingale                     Blue Tit                          Blackbird

Black-eared Wheatear   Raven                            Chaffinch

Cetti’s Warbler               Great Tit                         Italian Sparrow

Marsh Harrier 1m           Hoopoe 2                       Redstart

Corn Bunting                  Crested Lark                  Barn Swallow

Collared Dove                Yellow-legged Gull         Goldfinch

Woodlark                            Woodchat Shrike                Common Buzzard 5

Whinchat                              Bee-eaters [heard]             Griffon Vulture 1

Swift                                       Barn Swallow


Woodchat Shrike
- photo by and © C&S

FALASARNA MARSH

After lunch we decided to take a trip to Falasarna to an area of marsh that should, after all the rain, provide some good migrants….. we are so glad we did , forty  species and two new birds for our Crete list which to date stands at 212.


Spotted Crake
- photo by and © C&S


40 Bittern
- photo by and © C&S

The highlight of the afternoon was spotting a Bittern on a small pool that gave us great views for one and a half hours as it fed and stalked through the reeds,   coming to within 15 metres of us. We even had time to text Nikos in Chania who arrived in time to see it before darkness came, a trip of nearly an hour away.


Bittern
- photo by and © C&S


Bittern
- photo by and © C&S

Little Egret 5                         Squacco Heron 3                Purple Heron 2

Bittern 1                                Wood Sandpiper 6             Green Sandpiper 4

Little Stint 30+                      Ruff 3                                     Little Crake 4

Spotted Crake 1                  Little Bittern 1                      Little Ringed Plover 9

Moorhen 12                          Snipe 1                                  Marsh Harrier 1f                 

Woodchat Shrike 20+        Bee-eater 15                         Corn Bunting 2

Greenfinch 5                                    Northern Wheatear 1         Collared Dove

Tawny Pipit                          Sand Martin                          Crag Martin

Swift                                       Nightingale                           Goldfinch

Chaffinch                              Sedge Warbler                    Whitethroat

Blackbird                              Italian Sparrow                    Sardinian Warbler

Yellow Wagtail                     Yellow-legged Gull             Barn Swallow

Whinchat 10                         Crested Lark                                    Hooded Crow

Great Tit


Bittern
- photo by and © C&S


Bittern - photo by and © C&S


Squacco Heron - photo by and © C&S


Bittern - photo by and © C&S

14th

18.7oC      Sunny intervals      sea choppy    vis.good     wind 3-5B W

 [ wind later 7B W]

Shag 3                                   Italian Sparrow                    Yellow-legged Gull

Crested Lark                                    Chukar                                  Blackbird

Blue Rock Thrush              Cetti’s Warbler                     Woodchat Shrike

Barn Swallow                       Rock Dove                            Hooded Crow

Whinchat                              Linnet                                                Crag Martin

Ortolan                                  Raven                                                Northern Wheatear

Bee-eater                              Great Tit                                Goldfinch

Sardinian Warbler              Kestrel                                   Swift

Yellow Wagtail

15th

15.8oC   1010mb     sunny intervals    vis.good   sea calm  wind 4-5B NW

We arranged to meet up with a group on a bird tour at Agia today. At 11.00am there were about 18 people birding there, a nice change to chat to others and share this lake.

AT HOME

Barn Swallow                       Hooded Crow                      Yellow-legged Gull

Italian Sparrow                    Great Tit                                Blue Tit

Blackbird                              Corn Bunting                       Woodchat Shrike

Greenfinch                           Sardinian Warbler              Chukar 1

Shag 1

AGIA LAKE


Baillons Crake
- photo by and © C&S


Black-winged Stilt - photo by and © C&S

Little Crake                           Baillon’s Crake                    Little Egret 2

Squacco Heron 3                Sedge Warbler                    Yellow Wagtail

Black-winged Stilt 1           Blackcap                               Swift

Barn Swallow                       Alpine Swift                          House Martin

Sand Martin                          Crag Martin                          Little Grebe

Coot                                       Moorhen                               Marsh Harrier

Common Buzzard              Hooded Crow                      Italian Sparrow

Yellow-legged Gull             Greenfinch                           Wryneck 2

Stonechat                             Whinchat                              Cetti’s Warbler

Collared Dove                      Great Tit                                Shoveler Duck 1

Ferruginous Duck 1                       Little Stint 1                          Wood Sandpiper 2

Chaffinch                              Reed Warbler

Dice Snake                           Balkan Green Lizard         

Terrapins …plus one tiny baby rescued from the path.


Squacco Heron
- photo by and © C&S


Baby terrapin - photo by and © C&S

16th

16.5oC   1015mb     Sun/some cloud    Sea calm     vis. Good     wind light NNE

Hooded Crow                      Italian Sparrow                    Chaffinch

Great Tit                                Common Buzzard 7                       Bee-eater 50+ / 50+

Barn Swallow                       Hose Martin                          Black-eared Wheatear

Bonelli’s Eagle 2                 Swift                                       Goldfinch

Woodlark                              Blue Tit                                  Alpine Swift

Red-rumped Swallow        Raven                                                Blackbird

Whinchat                              Kestrel                                   Shag 3

Yellow-legged Gull             Blackcap                               Greenfinch

Marsh Harrier 1m 1f                       Woodchat Shrike                Cetti’s Warbler

Barn Owl

A report from Nikos of a Long-eared Owl was near his home in Chania

17th

18.9oC    1015mb    Sun                vis. Good      sea calm      wind light

Italian Sparrow                    Woodchat Shrike 8                        Chaffinch

Whinchat                              Kestrel                                   Barn Swallow

Marsh Harrier f                    Yellow-legged Gull             Goldfinch

Great Tit                                Corn Bunting                       Hooded Crow

Sardinian Warbler              Linnet                                                Crested Lark

Woodlark                              Whitethroat                          Cetti’s Warbler

Blackbird                              Bee-eater 30+                      Greenfinch

Blue Tit                                  Rock Dove                            Blue Rock Thrush

Alpine Swift                          Swift                                       Common Buzzard 4

House Martin                       Red-rumped Swallow        Raven

Corn Bunting                       Stonechat                             Black-eared Wheatear [pale and dark throated]

BEACH ROAD

Red-throated Pipit              Meadow Pipit                       Shag 1

Crested Lark                                    Little Ringed Plover                       Yellow Wagtail

Corn Bunting                       Whinchat                              Stonechat

Common Buzzard              Blackbird                              Goldfinch

Greenfinch

Ocellated Skink


Red-throated Pipit
- photo by and © C&S


Bee-eaters return - photo by and © C&S


Black-eared Wheatear, not the best of images but shows the tail feathers nicely

photo by and © C&S


Kestrel
- photo by and © C&S


Ocellated Skink
- photo by and © C&S

18th

19.2oC   1014mb      Sunny     vis. Good      sea calm    wind light 

Barn Swallow                       Golden Oriole                      Yellow-legged Gull

Italian Sparrow                    Chaffinch                              Blackbird

Great Tit                                Hooded Crow                      Sardinian Warbler

Spotted Flycatcher                        Blue Rock Thrush              Shag 3

Tree Pipit                              Cetti’s Warbler                     Blackcap

Sparrowhawk                      Swift                                       Corn Bunting

Ortolan                                  House Martin                       Crested Lark

Goldfinch                              Alpine Swift                          Stonechat

Blue Tit                                  Common Buzzard 5                       Greenfinch

Red-throated Pipit              Woodlark                              Bee-eater

Kestrel                                   Scops Owl

Bob reported a Greenshank at Viglia beach


Common Buzzard
- photo by and © C&S

19th

16.5oC      cloud then sun      vis. Good     Sea mirror calm    wind sw light

Italian sparrow                    Rock Dove                            Blackbird

Collared Dove                      Chaffinch                              Great Tit

Black-eared Wheatear       Hooded Crow                      Yellow-legged Gull

Corn Bunting                       Greenfinch                           Sardinian Warbler

Blue Tit                                  Goldfinch                              Raven

Barn Swallow                       Hoopoe                                 Common Buzzard

Tree Pipit                              Swift                                       House Martin

Shag 1                                   Little Egret 1                         Golden Oriole 1

Cetti’s Warbler                     Whinchat                              Kestrel

Linnet                                                Alpine Swift                          Marsh Harrier f

Stonechat                             Scops Owl                            Barn Owl

20th

17.6oC       sea calm          vis.good           sun/cloud         wind 0

Great Tit                                Chaffinch                              Italian Sparrow

Blackbird                              Yellow-legged Gull             Hooded Crow

Corn Bunting                       Woodchat Shrike                Greenfinch

Woodlark                              Barn Swallow                       Cetti’s Warbler

Common Buzzard              Rock Dove                            Raven

Sardinian Warbler              Spotted Flycatcher                        Shag 6

White Wagtail                      Whinchat                              Marsh Harrier 1f 1m

Alpine Swift                          Black-eared Wheatear, pale and dark throated

Golden Oriole                      Stonechat                             Sparrowhawk 1

Griffon Vulture 1+5+4+2    Swift                                       Bee-eater 15

Red-rumped Swallow 2     Meadow Pipit                       Tree Pipit

Kestrel 2                                Blue Tit                                 

At 11pm a pair of Barn Owls were heard hunting near the house                                      

Beach road……… 1 Little Ringed Plover.

21st

18.5oC     1012mb      Sun       vis.good          sea calm              wind 0

We were woken at 04.30 by a Barn Owl that decided to call noisily from a perch on our roof !

We had several appointments today and the following list is before breakfast at 08.00.

Cetti’s Warbler                     Chaffinch                              Blackbird

Blue Rock Thrush              Yellow-legged Gull             Hooded Crow

Goldfinch                              Rock Dove                            Sardinian Warbler

Great Tit                                Woodlark                              Whinchat

Barn Swallow                       Red-rumped Swallow        Linnet

Crested Lark                                    Bee-eater 3                           Shag 1

Little Ringed Plover 2        Common Buzzard              Raven

Marsh Harrier 1m               

22nd

19.4.oC         vis. Good         Sea  choppy       wind   W4-6 B

Woodlark 4                           Yellow-legged Gull 9          Hooded Crow 3

Barn Swallow 5                    Goldfinch 15                                    Chaffinch 20+

Blackbird 4                           Black-eared Wheatear [pair]

Great Tit 1                             Crested Lark            3                     Corn Bunting 3

Whinchat 10+                      Italian Sparrow 10+                        Shag 1

Raven            1                                 Blue Rock Thrush 1           m         Golden Oriole 1m  

Alpine Swift 2                       Common Buzzard 3                       Blue Tit

Barn Owl

23rd

15.3oC       Overcast rain, heavy during the early hours    vis good

                   sea choppy   wind sw-w 1/2B

Chaffinch                              Black-eared Wheatear 4   Barn Swallow

Hooded Crow                      Golden Oriole 1m               Blue Rock Thrush

Great Tit                                Goldfinch                              Crested Lark

Woodlark                              Linnet                                                House Martin

Alpine Swift                          Greenfinch                           Cetti’s Warbler

Yellow-legged Gull             Shag 2                                   Corn Bunting

Whinchat                              Collared Dove                      Common Buzzard 6

Italian Sparrow                    Sardinian Warbler              Swift

Blue Tit                                  Bee-eater 30+                      Griffon Vulture 12

A flock of 30+ with a flock of 50+ Alpine Swift descended and  flew low over the garden for some minutes a wonderful sight and sound few minutes as the two species called and hunted together. Whilst above them soured 12 Griffon Vulture and 4 Buzzard


Bee-eater
- photo by and © C&S


Bee-eater
- photo by and © C&S

Summary

We noticed a reduction in numbers of both Hoopoe and Northern Wheatear this year, but with nice weather from mid month and some bad weather looming from the 22/23rd we think there may be a late fall of these. Yellow Wagtails appeared for a week or so and then disappeared only to return in numbers on the 21st.

Birds to look out for in the coming weeks ….The beautiful Red-footed Falcon should be with us very soon as they stop to refuel before their journey north. More Golden Oriole are arriving daily and their lovely fluty song can be heard both in the towns and countryside, wherever there are tall trees.

Turtle Dove can be found fairly easily, listen for their calls in any tree lined gullies.

Bee-eater numbers increase daily their calls can be heard high and distant, the trick is locating them as their calls carry, but when spotted as they swirl their way along in their flocks provide an unforgettable sight that we await eagerly for each year, listening from mid month for any hint of that unmistakable call in the distance that will tell of their arrival

Out to sea keep eyes peeled for Terns and late Osprey. Whilst over Agia the Eleonora’s Falcon could soon be seen hunting as they re-colonise their local nest sites

With more rain forecast towards the end of the month any of those dwindling pools will be replenished and could provide some surprises and more water species.

Our highlights this month…..In number one spot, well that has to be the Bittern providing excellent views for an hour and a half, followed by the brilliant views from our balcony of the female Montagu’s Harrier that stayed with us for several days hunting nearby, then came the  Baillons Crake, Cretzschmars Bunting, the Spotted Crake and Audouins Gull.

Due to commitments this April we have had to end our diary early this month but hopefully the many images selected will make up for this.

Good birding, watch for our May special report

Colin and Sue

 
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