ΝΟΕΜΒΡΙΟΣ - NOVEMBER - 2006
 
1st: The first snow had melted off the mountains, but there was a new covering this morning. A break in the weather from 12.15pm c.100 Alpine Swifts appeared in the area, and Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Ravens showed themselves. It stayed dry so we took a late afternoon drive towards Malaxa, male Black Redstart and Stonechat on a pig farm and near a recently turned field, flocks of Linnets and Corn Buntings.

A Buzzard flies over the new snow (or spot the Buzzard)
 

2nd: 10.45am a Griffon Vulture seen over Three Peaks. Trip to Tsakistra Church no big birds but Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Ravens and a male Blue Rock Thrush on his favourite roof! It stayed dry and sunny so we continued on and stopped on a viewpoint. A pale phase Booted Eagle passed directly overhead and a pair of Ravens were seen. Just down from there, on our way back, we stopped again and suddenly a male Sparrowhawk swept in to chase some sparrows, it missed catching any at first strike, but chased some of the survivors right into a small tree, disappearing in the process. It reappeared after a while and flew off apparently unsuccessful. Nearer home Buzzard harried by crows

Above the pale phase Booted Eagle
 

Above, Crows chase the Buzzard
 

3rd: c.100 Starlings heading S.E.
 
4th: 12pm Dark phase Booted Eagle. Later 2 Sparrowhawks seen, later Black Redstart Provarma Village.

5th:
9.45 4 Griffon Vultures seen from front balcony above mountains in cloudy and cold conditions! 10am Pale phase Booted Eagle.

8th: Our longest trip for ages 176km. Our first stop was at the harbour west of Kissamos where the boat leaves for Gramvousa. Several Black Redstarts on the rocks and 1 Yellow-legged Gull. We followed the main road along the coast, seeing several Griffons, 1 from above, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. After travelling down the west coast we turned inland and came to an information point, just outside Pervolia, where the sign below was displayed. Opposite was a stream with a Grey Wagtail. Overhead several Alpine Choughs.
We carried on and stopped opposite Agios Dikeos Peak mentioned on the sign. During our watch from here we saw 6 Griffon Vultures, 7 Ravens, more Alpine Choughs, several Buzzards, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. We continued on and stopped just before the entrance to the tunnel at Topolia Gorge. We were rewarded as first a single, then a pair and then another single Griffon Vulture flew low overhead. Another bird appeared which I provisionally identified as a Bonelli's Eagle, unfortunately it did not come overhead and was only seen in silhouette against the light as it veered off. We stopped at the other end off the tunnel and added Peregrine and Buzzard to the birds seen at the gorge area.

Part of the sign near Pervolia

Griffon overhead
 

12th: A few Alpine Swifts seen in our area. (last of year?)
 
13th: Just north of Stilos Short-toed Eagle being mobbed by Crows.
 
14th: John & Patti's for lunch. Driving home at dusk a shape on the road flew off revealing itself as a Nightjar. Just west of Vamos a tiny Scops Owl also flew off from the road, then a little further on, to make a hat trick of great sightings, a Barn Owl flew alongside.
 
20th: 9.45 in our area a Juvenile Short-toed Eagle being mobbed by 5 crows and a pair of Buzzards.

21st: 12pm. A short-toed Eagle had flown right over my head as I watched a Black Redstart from the front balcony, I managed a couple of photos as it disappeared.
Trip to church stream, several dragonfly species present, Water Rail calling and a Little Egret flew over the river. There was a Grey Wagtail at the ford. 2.30pm on way home just north of Stilos a pale phase Booted Eagle was being severely harried by a Buzzard and several crows.

Above the Short-toed Eagle disappearing
 

22nd: Below photo of the day, can anyone identify this superb caterpillar?
At the western end of the Diktamos Gorge, Sparrowhawk, 30 jackdaws and a flock of Corn Buntings. Thanks for emails, looks like its a Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar!

23rd: From our balcony female Kestrel, and good number of Crag Martins. A Sparrowhawk set upon by 4 crows took refuge in thick cover. At Armeni a Grey Heron.

28th:
Crete W.W.W. meeting at Ayia. Highlights were good views of Kingfisher and Tufted Ducks

Kingfisher

Tufted Duck


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