ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ April 2007
 


A busy month with lots of migrants coming through, our first
definite Bearded Vulture…., twice… On the 3rd and 25th. Two
uncommon bird as well, Golden Plover on the 20th. And a Sombre
Tit on the 3rd. Several Cetti’s Warbler resident in an
overgrown gulley are very vocal but are very elusive to the
camera.
The first nightjar and Eleonora’s Falcon of the year on the
25th
Many birds are now nesting nearby with building and the more
advanced carrying food to their young.. Greater numbers of
Hoopoe and Whinchat and we believe the Spotted Flycatcher
numbers are also up this year but less Yellow Wagtails in
this area. A Weasel spent some time in the garden mid
afternoon before shooting up a drainpipe a metre from where we
sat.


1st April
Yellow Legged Gull, Subalpine Warbler, Griffon Vulture 5,
Lesser Kestrel 4, Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow,
Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard 4, Hooded
Crow, Raven, Cetti’s Warbler, Hoopoe 3, Goldfinch.

2nd April
Yellow-legged Gull, Buzzard busily mating on the crag behind
the house, Lesser Kestrel 6, male Marsh Harrier, Feldegg
Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Isabeline Wheatear, Northern
Wheatear, Common Sandpiper 1, Little-ringed Plover 2, Black
Redstart, Hoopoe 3, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Hooded Crow,
Italian Sparrow, Crested Lark, the first Whinchat of the year,
Blue Rock thrush, Collared Dove, Raven, the first Little Egret
of the year, swallow, House Martin, singing Skylark in the
sheep paddock above the house, Rock dove, Peregrine Falcon,
Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Blue Tit.

3rd April
This for us was a very special day. Several birds putting in
their first appearance of the year, an unfeathered
predator,and more orchids
[ Birding from our house ]. But not just the birds other
wildlife made this day special to.
We have about an acre of land with hills to two sides, sea in
front and olive grove to the remaining side.
With an ENE light wind coming in. sunshine and a slight haze
greeted us as we stepped outside.
Our first birds of the day were our pair of resident Buzzard,
Sardinian Warbler and Italian Sparrow. The Buzzard are daily
seen mating and nest building the Sardinians have a nest in a
herb and gorse bush, whilst the Italian Sparrows are busy building
their condo. on the bathroom window ledge.
These were quickly followed up by a number of Yellow-legged
Gulls, Hooded Crow whilst two male Marsh Harrier made their
way northwards, House Martins flew around the area for most of
the morning and a group of six Lesser Kestrel hunted over the
hills behind.
Alpine Swift put in an appearance for a short while before
heading out onto the Gramvousa peninsula.
The highlight of the morning was whilst watching two Griffon
Vulture we noticed a large bird heading from the peninsula
toward the house, which after five years of looking for, was
our first real sighting of a Lammergeyer and we never had to
go look for it , there it was flying quite high but an
unmistakable sight, awesome!! it first flew south then looped
around and flew back before again heading off southwards,
giving us about three to four minutes fantastic viewing....



Lammergeyer
© C&S Turvey

After downloading some not very hazy distant pictures and
having a coffee, some distant birds of prey were seen but we
were unable to ID them, several Buzzard headed north or were
seen off by our resident pair. A Kestrel put in a brief
appearance hovering over the hill behind, whilst Swallow took
over from the House Martins.
A look on the coastal side we saw White Wagtail, Isabelline
Wheatear, Northern Wheatear and Crested Lark and a pair of
Collared Dove we were disappointed to see that a stream has
started to dry up very early this year and only a single
Common Sandpiper and a pair of busily mating Little Ringed
Plover were present..
Whilst around the house were several groups of Chaffinch,
Greenfinch and Goldfinch .
It was now lunchtime and sat looking at the hill behind the
house a Weasel scampered around the garden like a kitten ,
showing no sign of fear of us... sneaking indoors I managed to
get some pictures as this small predator scrambled to the top
of a two metre high wall and posed before coming back towards
us and disappearing up a drainpipe!.
After some work, all the while scanning the skies for
something different [would the Lammergeier put in another
appearance? ] we again got the binoculars out and headed to
the rear hill where an overgrown gulley has an abundance of
birdlife at this time of year, several groups of Rock Dove
flew over heading inland, we had good views from here of
several Cetti's Warbler our first real views as they flitted
out into fairly open areas. The first Collared Flycatcher of
the year flew from an Almond tree, whilst a Woodchat Shrike
was hunting from a previously burnt shrub, a Stonechat,
Sardinian Warbler and Great Tit were creating a fuss about the
Shrikes presence but failed to see it off, Whilst a pair of
Blackcap were busy sorting a nest site out on the far side of
the gulley carrying nest material into a low bush.
A Hoopoe sat in another burnt out bush,[a legacy from a large
scrub fire that swept out of control one night a few years
ago].
A group of fifty plus Red-rumped Swallow were seen hunting
over a flock of sheep as they disturbed the ground the
shepherd was bringing them across on their way to their
enclosure for the night.
A Blue Tit showed for a short while before heading into the
gulley where we spotted a Sombre Tit, and another Woodchat
Shrike. To finish the days birding a Peregrine Falcon obtained
height before stooping on some distant unseen prey. Birding
ceased here as the shepherd previously mentioned lit a large
fire that created so much smoke we had to give up.
Whilst returning through our olive grove we noticed that our
first Seripia Orchid is following on from the Butterfly and
sawfly orchids.
Thirty six bird species seen over the day, our first
Lammergeier and close up Weasel, with still the best of
migration to come.

4th
The river bed on the beach has now dried completely and much
earlier than usual , no bird is to be seen a disappointment as
waders will be missing from this bit of coastline, apart from
a few breeding pairs of Little-ringed Plover.
Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard 4,
Yellow-legged Gull, Cetti’s warbler, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove
14, Red-rumped Swallow, Crested Lark, Blackbird, House Martin,
swallow, the first Whitethroat of the year, Meadow Pipit, ,
Griffon Vulture 7, Swift and Alpine Swift now growing in
numbers, Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, and the first Blue-headed
wagtails of the year, Whinchat numbers also increasing,
Crested Lark, Woodchat Shrike, Raven, Hoopoe 4, Greenfinch,
Short-toed Lark, Isabeline Wheatear, Collared Dove, Cormorant,
Little ringed Plover, Stonechat, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting with
a nice sighting to finish the day a, Black Kite .

5th
Our Weasel of the other day again put in an appearance
upsetting the male of our nesting Sardinian Warblers,
Buzzard, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Swift, Chaffinch,
House Martin, Italian Sparrow, a flock of 50+ Corn Bunting,
Sparrowhawk, Rock Dove, Cetti’s Warbler, an unidentified
raptor high up and out over the bay headed north on long slow
and lazy wingbeats. Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Crested lark,
Raven.

6th
Yellow–legged Gull, Cormorant 3, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch,
Blackbird, Nightingale, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler,
Subalpine Warbler, Goldfinch, Swallow, House Martin, Marsh
Harrier [m] Blue Tit, Stonechat, Whitethroat, Black-eared
Wheatear, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzard, Raven, Blue Rock Thrush,
Collared Dove, Great Tit.

7th
Buzzard 7 with the local pair seen mating, Sardinian Warbler,
Yellow-legged Gull, Swallow, House Martin, Italian Sparrow,
Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Cormorant 2, Nightingale, Woodlark,
Raven, Blackbird, Griffon Vulture 3, Whinchat, feldegg Yellow
Wagtail, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Crested lark, Hoopoe,
Kestrel, Marsh Harrier [f] Greenfinch, Collared Flycatcher,
Cetti’ Warbler, Scops Owl.

8th
Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Raven, Blackbird,
Swallow, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow, Marsh Harrier 2 [m], Italian
Sparrow, Linnet 30+, Great Tit, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Buzzard
6 high and flying north, Blue Tit, woodlark, Cormorant 2,
Goldfinch, Cetti’s Warbler, Kestrel, House Martin,
Nightingale.



Cetti’s Warbler
© C&S Turvey

9th
Buzzard 12, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Alpine Swift,
Nightingale, Yellow-legged Gull, Hooded Crow, Rock Dove,
Swallow, Raven, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Cormorant,
Crag Martin, Swift, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Whinchat,
Kestrel, pale form Booted Eagle, Goldfinch, Isabeline
Wheatear, Italian Sparrow, Marsh Harrier 3 [m&f].

10th
Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Yellow-legged Gull,
Buzzard 2 ++, Chaffinch, Rock Dove, Alpine Swift, Marsh
Harrier, dark form Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk 2, a single
Glossy Ibis, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Woodlark,
Red-rumped Swallow, A pale form Booted Eagle flew with a
single Griffon Vulture, Blackbird, Raven, Whinchat, Little
Ringed Plover, Hooded Crow, Collared Dove, at 6pm 2 Marsh
Harrier hunted the fields below.


11th
Yellow-legged Gull, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Marsh Harrier
[m] 3, Buzzard, Raven, Rock Dove, Hooded Crow, Swallow, House
Martin, Italian Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe, Cetti’s
Warbler, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush 2, Collared
Dove , Whinchat, Sparrowhawk, dark form Booted Eagle, Buzzard,
Great Tit, Kestrel, Barn Owl.
We took a trip to Tavronitis River and coast area there was
literally not a bird to be seen !! in the past at this time we
have found waders and Terns…………

12th
Griffon Vulture 7, Goldfinch, Yellow-legged gull, Swallow,
Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, light form Booted Eagle, Marsh
Harrier [m], Little Egret 1, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Whinchat,
Cetti’s Warbler, Blue Rock thrush, Little Ringed Plover 3,
Common Sandpiper 2, Black Winged Stilt 2, Kestrel, Collared
Dove, Buzzard, Alpine Swift, House Martin, Hen Harrier [f],
Rock Dove, Raven, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blackbird, Blue Tit,
Meadow Pipit.

13th
Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, chaffinch, Italian Sparrow now
very busy building their nests on our bathroom window ledge 4
pockets in various stages of construction, Yellow-legged Gull,
Black-eared Wheatear, Hooded Crow, Raven , Goldfinch, Great
Tit , Sardinian Warbler, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier 7 [3 male],
House Martin, Griffon Vulture 6, Kestrel 3, Collared Dove,
Common Sandpiper, Whinchat, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Skylark,
Northern Wheatear, Hoopoe 4, Yellow, Wagtail, Lesser Kestrel
10, Blue Tit, dark form Booted Eagle, Barn Owl.

14th
Dark form Booted Eagle 3, Lanner 1, Cetti’s Warbler, Italian
Sparrow, Greta Tit, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Hooded Crow, House
Martin, Rock Dove, Griffon Vulture 6, Raven 3, Hoopoe 3,
Greenfinch, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Crested Lark,
Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Swallow, Corn Bunting, Tawny Pipit,
feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Black-eared Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail,
Blue-headed Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, White Wagtail, Little
–ringed Plover 10, Marsh Harrier 6, Woodchat Shrike 1, Common
Sandpiper 5, Little Egret 1, Blue Tit, Whinchat 2, Little
Stint, Lesser kestrel 6, Hen Harrier 3 [2 male], Kestrel, two
distant unidentified eagles we think a Lesser Spotted ,
Peregrine Falcon 1.

15th
Sardinian Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Swallow, Hooded Crow,
Goldfinch , Italian Sparrow, Chaffinch, great Tit, Red-rumped
Swallow, Nightingale, Blackbird , Swift, Alpine Swift, House
Martin , Crag Martin, Goshawk, Black Kite, A pair of Marsh
Harrier, Buzzard 18, Griffon Vultures 5, Sparrowhawk, male
Redstart, Yellow-legged Gull, Blackcap [f].

16th
Buzzard, Yellow-legged Gull, Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian
Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Hooded Crow, Swallow, Blue Rock
Thrush, Collared Dove, Woodchat Shrike, our first of the year
Squacco Heron 6, Crested Lark, Marsh Harrier 3 [1m 2f],
Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch.

17th
A pair of Marsh Harrier, Yellow-legged Gull, House Martin,
Buzzard, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Griffon Vulture,
Swallow, Swift, Red-rumped swallow, Little Egret, Stonechat,
Raven.

18th
Cetti’s wWarbler, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, Northern Wheatear,
Marsh Harrier[f], House Martin Cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull,
Blue Tit, a pair of Woodchat Shrike, Sardinian Warbler,
Kestrel 3, Goldfinch, Whitethroat, Italian Sparrow, Blackbird,
Buzzard 9, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Greenfinch, pale
form Booted Eagle, Griffon Vulture 1, Whinchat.

19th
Today saw a 5 firsts for the year, Montague’s Harrier 2[f],
Bee-eaters 20+,plus another group heard later but not seen,
Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, our first sightings
of a Levant Sparrowhawk once in the morning and possibly the
same bird later in the day.
Blue Rock Thrush and Blackbird both seen carrying food to
young at nest sites.
Large numbers of Whinchat. House Martin, Swallow, cetti’s
warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Hooded Crow, Chaffinch, Woodlark,
Blackbird, Montagues Harrier 2 [f], Alpine swift, Red-rumped
Swallow, Buzzard 2, Swift, Yellow-legged Gull, Cormorant,
Bee-eaters 20+, Griffon Vultures 13+2, Raven 2 , Meadow Pipit,
Wheatear, Goldfinch, Woodchat Shrike, Levant Sparrowhawk, Rock
Dove, Tawny Pipit, Great Tit, Hoopoe, Pied Flycatcher, Little
Ringed Plover, Blue Rock thrush, Blue Tit, Stonechat, Spotted
Flycatcher,, Whitethroat,, Short-Toed Lark, A male and female
Marsh Harrier, Isabelline Wheatear, Crested lark.

20th,
Whinchat, Cettis warbler, Yellow Legged Gull, Cormorant two
groups 6 & 7, Marsh Harrier 2 [f], Buzzard , our local pair +
14 flying north, Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Spotted
Flycatcher, Blackbird, an unidentified eagle was high and out
of sight before we could do a definite ID, Kestrel, Alpine
Swift, Red-Rumped Swallow, House Martin, Swallow, Skylark,
Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Hooded Crow, Griffon Vulture 6, Raven,
Whitethroat, Stonechat, Woodlark, Great Tit, Little Ringed
Plover, Common Sandpiper, Ruff 4in the company of a single
Golden Plover, feldegg Yellow wagtail, Blue-headed wagtail,
Crested Lark, Hoopoe, Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike 2, Crested
Lark, Little Stint, Barn Owl.

21st
Kestrel, Buzzard 4 + our local pair again seen mating,
Whinchat, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Yellow-legged Gull,
Honey Buzzard 1, Goldfinch, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler,
Italian Sparrow, Whitehtroat, Chaffinch, Cormorant, pale form
Booted Eagle, a pair of Peregrine gave us a fine aerial
display for about 5 minutes a they grappled above the house,
Raven, Nightingale, Goshawk 1, Swift, Collared Dove, Blue Rock
thrush, First Short-toed Eagle of the year, Griffon Vulture 1.

22nd
Woke to the sound of young birds calling a family of great Tit
parents rushing about with food for 3 young seen in a wild
pear tree, Lots of House Martin, Swallow, and Red-rumped
Swallow.
Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Sardinian Warbler, Whinchat,
Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Griffon Vulture 3+1+1+
a large group of 20 lifted of the Gramvousa range . Italian
Sparrow, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Crag Martin, Kestrel, Hoopoe,
Peregrine Falcon 1, Buzzard 2+4, Lesser Kestrel 6 then later
12 more, a Lesser Spotted eagle, Blue Tit and a male Marsh
Harrier.


23rd
Goldfinch, Crested Lark, Spotted Flycatcher, Buzzard our local
pair then three groups 8+6+28 flew north, Sardinian Warbler,
Marsh Harrier 2 [f] Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Blackbird,
Peregrine 1, Raven 8, Swallow, House Martin, Swift, Alpine
swift large numbers all flying together, Griffon Vulture 1
lifted from Gramvousa probably to heavy to lift off with the
others yesterday after its feed !. Red-rumped Swallow,
Kestrel, Yellow-legged Gull, Blue Rock Thrush, Italian
Sparrow, Woodchat Shrike 2, Sqaucco heron 1, Corn Bunting,
Rock Dove, Greta Tit, Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Blue-headed
Wagtail, Feldegg and another race of Yellow Wagtail, late
evening 3 Lesser Kestrel hunted around the house and hill to
the rear.

24th
Apart from around the house we did a trip To lake Agia and to
Omalos

House area……Marsh Harrier [f], Kestrel, Buzzard, Swift, House
Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Italian Sparrow,
Spottede Flycatcher, Yellow-legged Gull, Raven and Peregrine.

Lake Agia…….Water levels still a bit too high for the
waders……… Buzzard, Little Egret, Kingfisher, Marsh Sandpiper,
Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Ferruginous Duck, Pochard,
Dabchick, Coot, Moorhen, Yellow-legged Gull, Whinchat, Spotted
Flycatcher, Bee-eaters 50+, Sqaucco Heron, Blue-headed
Wagtail, Feldegg Yellow Wagtail, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow
Warbler, Hooded Crow, House Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch.,
Blackbird and Raven.

Omalos……Pretty quiet here no raptors to be seen at all, we
spotted though a Jay, 13 Cough, Turtle Dove 20+ and heard a
distant Cuckoo. Also Spotted Flycatcher, Swallow, Greenfinch,
Chaffinch, Wood Sandpiper 22 on two pools, a pair of Linnet
and Tawny Pipit 2. Flowers ….White Turban Buttercup and Tulipa
Cretica.

25th
Hooded Crow, Kestrel 1 +2, Yellow-legged Gull 20+, Sardinian
Warbler, Chaffinch, House Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Italian
Sparrow, Swallow, Cormorant 4 then a group of 18 in a group on
the sea, Goldfinch, Whinchat, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit,
Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard 10, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Dove,
Eleonoras Falcon, Sparrowhawk, Blue Rock Thrush 3, Little
Egret 1, Red Throated Pipit 4, Crested lark, Feldegg Yellow
Wagtail, Blue Headed wagtail, Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat,
Linnet, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Greenfinch, Raven, Swift, Barn
Owl, Nightjar, a rabbit put in a rare appearance by our gate
as we watched the Nightjar We also heard a call in the dark
that was very like a Lapwing , peeewhittt repeated several
times as the bird flew north along the peninsula .

26th
Cetti’s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Chaffinch, Hooded Crow,
Griffon Vulture 7, Marsh harrier 1, A long trail of Buzzard 15
headed north, Blackbird, Lammergeyer 1, Lesser Kestrel 12,
Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk, Eleonora’s Falcon , Lesser grey
Shrike, Long –legged Buzzard, Whinchat, Yellow-legged Gull,
Greenfinch, Italian Sparrow, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat
Shrike3, Rock Dove, White Wagtail, Crested Lark, Redstart,
Bee-eater 20+, Willow Warbler, Barn Owl
As a note we saw the Lammergeyer at the same time of day 1130
as on the 3rd and flying in the same direction .

27th
Whinchat, Cetti’s Warbler, Buzzard 10, Nightingale, Hooded
Crow, Swallow, House Martin, Kestrel, Lesser kestrel, 6,
Woodchat Shrike, Marsh Harrier, Goldfinch, Italian Sparrow,
Bee-eaters 20 + , Blue Rock Thrush, Griffon Vulture 4, pale
form Booted Eagle, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Yellow-legged Gull,
Raven, Stonechat, Crested Lark, Collared Dove, Barn Owl .


28th
Hooded Crow, Yellow-legged Gull, Blue Rock Thrush, Eleonora’s
Falcon, Griffon Vulture 3, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Blue
Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Stonechat, Whinchat, Crested Lark,
Goldfinch, Buzzard, Peregrine.
Italian Sparrow, Blue Tit/It. Sparrow/ Buzzard all seen busy
carrying nest material.


29th
Sardinian Warbler, Italian Sparrow, Goldfinch, Swift, Blue
Tit, Hooded Crow, Whinchat, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler,
House Martin, Swallow, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Red-rumped
Swallow, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Woodchat Shrike, Stonechat,
Skylark, Spotted Flycatcher, Squacco Heron,
Crested Lark, Bee-eaters 50+, Yellow-legged Gull, Nightjar,
Scops Owl, Barn Owl.



Whitethroat…the hazed cross is wire fencing ©C&S
Turvey

30th
Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler, Blackbird,
Woodchat Shrike, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Hooded Crow,
Yellow-legged Gull, Italian Sparrow, Swift, swallow, House
Martin, Rock Pigeon, Collared Dove, Griffon Vulture 1.
 

 
Back to diary index