Wildlife report from Kissamos Bay /Kaliviani
Incorporating other wildlife, from Colin
and Sue Turvey
Daily around the house there are…. Spanish Sparrow,
Goldfinch , Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Raven, Common
Buzzard, Hooded Crow, Blackbird, Sky/Crested Lark and
Collared Dove to be seen, at night we have regular
sightings and calls of Barn owls and Scops Owls . They
may not be listed everyday but are invariably about and
We try to photograph everything so that at least we have
evidence and later can ID wildlife we are unsure about
and those rarities.
100+ [we think] Yelkouan shearwater, our first sighting
on Gramvousa of a single Lammergeier heading from the
peninsula across towards Falasarna a wonderful spot for
us although it disappeared too quickly, Griffon Vultures
2 then later 11, Buzzard 8, Honey Buzzard 1, Eleonoras
falcon 1, Ravens 8, Sardinian Warblers , Goldfinches
large flocks feeding on seed heads , Whinchat 4 ,
Stonechat 2, Little Egret 40+, Cormorant 1. heard Barn
Owl as it flew by the front balcony and a distant Scops
Griffon Vultures 14, Kestrel 1, Buzzard 1, Raven 6,
Hooded Crow 20+, Goldfinch large flocks feeding on seed heads,
Blackbird 2, A single Black Kite flew high
overhead made a large loop before flying northward onto Gramvousa, Sardinian
Warbler, Eleonoras Falcon single
bird over Neo Horio, several Collared Dove on road side
cables into Kissamos, Yellow Legged Gulls 3 over Kissamos harbour, the first gulls seen for a few months.
Still sighting large numbers of Griffon Vultures, the
morning started very quietly, there seemed to be no
Sardinian Warblers or Spotted Flycatchers about, greatly
reduced numbers of Goldfinch and not until 11.30 did we
see a lone Buzzard , then noticed on the high crags to
the north of us several groups of Griffon Vultures sat
along the ridges, a few taking off and moving ledges, at
13.00 they all lifted into the air, headed north along Gramvousa
,we counted 30+, also 4
Buzzard possibly our
local ones, a small falcon flying with the Griffons then
small groups of Swallows. Swallowtail butterfly feeding
on the Sea Squills.
quiet day Sardinian Warbler, single buteo, Crested Larks
and Hooded Crows
See Roy’s report.
Single female Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Griffon
Vultures 6, Kingfisher x3, two batches of Little Egret
9+30, Cormorant, Grey Herons 60+, Honey Buzzard, Blue
Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Kestrel, Stonechat,
Goldfinches, heard Scops Owls and Little Owls calling in
the tamarisk trees, possibly a pair of each.
Buzzard, Sardinian Warbler, Crested Lark, Little Egret 1,
then a group of 12.
Storms brewing , Crested Lark, Buzzard x 2, Woodchat
Shrike, Chaffinch, juv. Roller, Stonechat, Little Egret
30, Kestrel x2, Hooded Crows , Greenfinch, Isabeline Wheatear.
Little Egret x2, Isabeline Wheatear, Crested Lark,
Kestrel, Buzzard, 2 distant falcons unidentified,
Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Goldfinches, Collared
Severe electrical storms all around in the evening . Whilst taking photographs of the lightning a superb
Owl came and hovered over my head at arms length for
what seemed like minutes but was just seconds.
Heavy rain all night.
trip to Athens, left home at 5am saw single Barn Owl
along national highway.
In Athens we saw, Magpie, Robins, Blackbirds, Warblers,
Collared Doves and some Parakeets all in the park behind
Returning along national highway, Grey
Herons 2 then a further 8, several Buzzard .
At home a single Griffon Vulture and several Ravens, Crested
Larks, Kestrel, and Wheatears.
Weather still bad, single Kestrel, Griffon Vulture x2,
Blue Rock Thrush, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Crested
Lark, Little Egrets 20+, Ravens x 4.
Weather still bad with strong winds, Kestrel, single
Griffon, many Goldfinches, Great Tit, Raven.
Temperatures have dropped below 20°C rain threatening.
At home Raven, , Buzzard and Kestrel a great numbers of
trip out towards Chania …flooded fields at Kolymbari
towards Tavronitis, a few Northern Wheatears, Stone and
Win chats, otherwise a non productive trip along this
part of the coast as there were three carloads of people
with guns and dogs !!!!
Tavronitis where the river was in full flow produced a
single Marsh Harrier. The cars of dogs and guns seemed to
be following us , so we left for lake Agia….water levels
well up, so no waders about.
White Wagtails 2, pair of Marsh Harriers , and a single
Sparrowhawk which took a quick dive at one of the
harriers before flying off towards the white mountains,
several Kingfisher flying singly and in pairs, a single
heron flew in , a single Squacco Heron, heard Cettis Warbler,
Shoveler, Garganey, Ferruginous, Pochard, Teal
and Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Raven, Hooded
Crow and Buzzard.
Really bad weather just a lone Griffon sighted on the 18th
and a few Crested Larks.
First falls of snow high on Lefki Ori.
Pair of Sparrowhawk, Blue Rock Thrush, Griffon Vultures
x 6, Kestrel, and large Goldfinch flocks, Ravens x2.
Single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Raven x4
, Sardinian Warblers, Chaffinches, single Great Tit and
Buzzard, Griffon Vultures x 3, Kingfisher x 1, Barn Owl.
At night in Kaliviani, a Beech Martin, single Barn and Scops
Sardinian Warblers, Willow Warbler x2, Cormorant, Chaffinch,
Buzzard x3, Blue Rock Thrush, Goldfinches by
the hundreds feeding on dead flower heads on hills, Raven
x4 , Hooded Crows, Barn Owl heard .
Weather has settled and warmed again
Great Tits, Sardinian Warblers, Buzzards x3, Spanish Sparrows, have usually omitted these as they nest and
roost on and around the house, our first autumn Robin
singing loudly , Hooded Crows and Ravens, huge numbers
of Goldfinches still around [several flocks of
hundreds]. We have noticed since the bad weather that
there are no Blackbirds around.
Single Red-backed Shrike, Robin, Sardinian Warbler,
Hooded Crows, Ravens x2, Great Tit, Stonechats,
Buzzards, Crested Larks.
trip to Tavronitis, 6 distant Raven mobbing two
unidentified birds of prey [buteo ?], Eleonoras falcon
x1,a pair of Shoveler flew out to sea, Buzzard x 2,
kestrel x2, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, White Wagtails,
Crested Larks, Yellow Legged Gull x, Linnets in small
flocks, large numbers of Goldfinch. Just as we were
driving off the beach Sue spotted a plover on the waters
edge , a winter plumage Ringed Plover, our first spot of
this species here. As we drove away we had another
surprise, eight Starlings perched on the telephone wires,
another species we do not see many of but a few more
seem to arrive every year. At night a Barn and Scops
Sardinian Warblers, more Robins arriving, Great Tit , Cettis
Warbler, Hooded Crows, Ravens, Little Egret, Blue
Rock Thrush, Griffon Vulture x5, Buzzards, and a single
Robins, Blackbirds, Linnets, Sardinian Warblers, large
flocks Goldfinch feeding nearby. In the early afternoon
we had a single dark form Booted Eagle fly over with two
Short-toed Eagles and a Buzzard, the Booted was feeding
on the wing and the Short-toed Eagles gave us a
wonderful ten minutes of hovering and hunting over the
bare hillside behind the house before the Hooded Crows
spotted them and drove them off towards Falasarna. The
first short-toed eagles we have seen over the house.
Our first spot of the day was a single Peregrine Falcon,
followed by a Short-toed Eagle, Goldfinch flocks all
around, Robin , Spanish Sparrows, Linnets, Sardinian
Warblers, Blackbirds, Chaffinch’s, in the distant hills
of Gramvousa a single pale form Booted Eagle in the
company of three Buzzards. A single Sparrowhawk flew
past and ignored a dozen or so Rock Doves scattering
them in the process..
Crag Martin x3, several Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk,
Griffon Vultures x 8 flew north along the peninsula then
returned south over Kissamos, several large flocks of
Goldfinch, Booted Eaglex2… 1 dark and 1 pale form, 30+
distant herons out over the bay were to distant to
properly identify, Sardinian Warbler, Short-toed Eagle
x1, later in the afternoon a single Peregrine for once
getting the better of a Hooded Crow and several Ravens.
An evening trip to Chania produced two Barn Owls flying
over the national highway.
Griffon Vulture x16, our Short-toed Eagle is still with
us giving a number of wonderful photo opportunities,
several Buzzard trying to get into the photo shoot by
harassing the Short-toed Eagle, Raven 10 doing the same
as the Buzzards, our dark and pale form Booted Eagles
returned in the afternoon, as did the Sparrowhawk and
the Peregrine, also though not to be heard or seen much
as mostly hiding in the scrub numbers of Goldfinch, a
Robin and two Great Tit.
Our Short-toed is still about also a dark form Booted
Eagle, Buzzard x2, a number of Raven, Golfinches still
very active on the seed heads, Robin and Great Tit,
several loose small flocks of Linnet .
Later a trip to Deliana Gorge produced a Sparrowhawk,
Buzzardx2, single Peregrine, a Redstart, Chaffinch’s,
Raven x4, then just before dark 12+ Griffons returned to
their sites in the gorge.
Still with us this morning our single Short-toed Eagle
was joined by another, also two pale form Booted Eagles,
all hovering in the light morning air over the beach
and neighbouring fields, two Swallow flew past heading
west, two Griffon Vultures circled lazily about half a
mile offshore, Goldfinch and Linnet flocks plundered the
seed heads, around the house, a single Robin.
On our shopping trip to Chania mid morning we saw,
several Common Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk dashed low through
the trees and across the national highway, several
Collared Dove, Stonechats, Linnet and Goldfinches fed in
the fields along the local beach track. On our return
were two pale form Booted Eagles and a Short-toed, some
heavy cloud had moved in from the west bringing a little
rain with no sign of the Booted or Short-toed near the
house, maybe the ones we saw on the way back from Chania
were the same birds moving off with the barometer
dropping dramatically and strong westerlies coming in
In all the eagles stayed with us for four days giving us
a wonderful opportunity to watch and study them, in all
we shot 1500 photographs ! thank goodness for digital
During the night we have had really bad storms
continuing through today with not much in the way of
birdlife, 6 Yellow-legged Gulls flew across the waves, a
Hooded Crow battled against the winds and a single
Goldfinch was seen sheltering in the low shrub.