IANOYAPIOΣ - JANUARY - 2006
1st: 12-2pm sunny with some breeze and a Buzzard festival seen from balcony. The most Buzzard sightings I have had in this sort of period.
 
2nd: Parked and walked up from Tsakistra Church to an old disused house perched on the end of a ridge. We enjoyed the sunshine with a Red Admiral Butterfly and the largest Erhard's Wall Lizard I have seem to date (photo below). Then a great whoosh of wings as a Raven, spotting us at the last moment, aborted a landing.


 

5th: Drove up to Samonas and across to Kambi then up to Taverna Ψυоро Пnyaδι at perhaps 700m near Mount Halave. We stopped once to watch a Raven versus Sparrowhawk dogfight. On the way up this rather cliff hanger road we skidded on a corner covered by last night's sheep droppings and rain! We parked near the Taverna and continued on foot up a track for approx one and a half hours, to perhaps 1200m. Then the track disappeared into a valley. Interestingly, at this altitude Robins and Chiffchaff. In a far, wooded valley possibly a flock of thrushes! We turned back a little disappointed. We had not seen any big birds! Then! We had only covered perhaps a hundred meters when I spotted a bird over the ridge to our left, then it was joined by another bird. They were fairly near and no mistaking two immature Golden Eagles, then another joined them, three Golden Eagles (photo below).

They stayed over the ridge surely enjoying the updraft, during which time some sparring took place (animation). Meanwhile below I was busy trying to get some photos. They started to drift westwards, over our heads, when a fourth, apparently slightly smaller bird appeared. Hastily switching to binoculars I could see a light body, my first thought Bonelli's Eagle but shape wrong so decided on another hasty change back to camera and fired off a few shots. I believe it to have been a Juvenile Eastern Imperial Eagle, a species I have not seen before (photo below).

8th: Lupins are starting to appear in the Xirosterni area, in roadside fields (photo below). They are quite a spectacle later when in full bloom. Well worth viewing, please take care not to trample. That evening I counted two flocks of crows in our home area, presumably pre-roost flocks c.100 & c.200 crows!


12th:
Nose blowing weather as we had a walk near Tsakistra. Sparrowhawk, Song Thrushes and a flock of Corn Buntings were highlights, before having a picnic in the car besieged by heavy sleet.


17th: Warm & sunny at Lake Kournas. 3 Ferruginous drakes, 12 Pochard, Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, Kingfisher, Black-necked Grebe in 3 flocks 150 plus in total. 12 Cormorants.

Had to help this rather sleepy hedgehog off the main road on way back.


18th: Walked round from our abode to take some shots of the snow, not many degrees separate us from all that snow! All part of the balance of nature.

As I returned I was under the surveillance of this more domesticated member of the local wildlife scene.


20th:
Kalives centre river mouth, managed to get these rather mediocre shots of a beautiful bird. Grey Wagtail.

Plus a better shot of a Chiffchaff (below)


21st:
Trip to the Imbros Gorge area. Parked at the Precarious Cafe were I took this photograph of one of a pair of Ravens (below). Male Kestrel, at least 2 pairs of Ravens, 5 sightings of Griffon Vulture with at least 2 individuals involved and 2 immature Golden Eagles were recorded.

We took a walk up to the west of the Imbros Road which gave us great views. The Immature Golden Eagles were actually seen from the road. They were above the highest point of the mountains to the east of the road (see below). You can just see our parked car below that highest point.


30/31st:
The previous week's wildlife watching was curtailed by rain, virus?, and bad back. However, I managed some watching at the end of the month, Buzzard Display dives, Serin display flight and Chaffinch song, hints of spring to come!

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