November 2005
Ist: At 10.30am. with the telescope I sighted Jackdaws in OUR gorge for the first time. There looked to be about 12, perhaps prospecting for new home! (The only Jackdaws I have seen in Crete seem closely associated with a gorge.) I have not seen any in open country. They were soon joined by five Kestrels and an aerial spectacular ensued. I assume the Kestrels were the local family but not certain if they were trying to see off the Jackdaws or not. Serious combat does take place between species, especially when protecting occupied nest sites etc, but at other times there does seem to be a play mode. It makes for interesting birdwatching.
5th: Sixth meeting of Crete Western Wildlife Watch: 22 people took part. We met for a short circular walk round one of our favourite areas between Stylos and Kalives. Despite expectations we had a warm, still, blue sky day. The stream near the start provided good views of several species of Dragonfly and most of party saw at least one Buzzard. We then convoyed up to Aptera Fort for great views and some interesting plants. Then a great outdoor meal at Cretan Corner Taverna, Megala Horafia for some healthy appetites.
7th: Last Alpine swifts of the year? A flock of c.150 over our house at 3.15pm.
There are about 120 Alpine Swifts in this shot

8th: A pale phase Booted Eagle was seen just north of Stylos. Later in the day on a local walk, four Starlings and a male Red-backed Shrike were highlights.
The male Red-backed Shrike

Found a Common tree Frog on rose bush, it sat on my hand for a few photos.  I let him free as soon as possible as they are delicate and sensitive to heat/handling etc. (below)

Fairly quiet for a while so sightings of Grey Wagtail and Stoat on a drive to Kalives were very welcome. Two Mediterranean Gulls amongst the Yellow Legged Herring Gulls in Kalives Bay were also welcome. Kalives River mouth sheltered a Little Egret, Moorhens, Coot, Little Grebe, White and Grey Wagtails. A Grey Heron flew past.
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