ΜΑΡΤІΟΣ - March - 2007
 
1st: Trip with Colin & Sue around some of our local sites.
Lake Kournas c. 180-200 Black-necked Grebes, Cleopatra Butterflies, 1 Common Darter Dragonfly, c.9 Cormorants and Black Redstarts still present.
Near Tsakistra Church female Hen Harrier and back near our base of Provarma dark morph Booted Eagle.

2nd:
Trip with A&M to the post Minoan Cemetery south of Rethymnon to photograph some flora. Then to area above Spili for more photography where we had views of singing Woodlark. Also around 10 Griffon sightings. On the way back we decided to have a look at the Arkadhi Monastry Reservoir, and were rewarded by seeing a Red Kite in the vicinity. On the Reservoir itself Yellow-legged Gulls, a pair of Mallard and some birds impossible to identify without a telescope, possibly Black-necked Grebe.

4th:
Highlight was to see and photograph the lovely Leopard Snake - Elaphe situla at Melodoni. See photo below:


5th:
Above the Maheri Gorge 9.30am approx, a few Swifts, plus Buzzards, Ravens, Kestrels and Sparrowhawk.
At church stream, 1 common Darter and 1 Blue tailed Damselfly.

6th:
At Moronis Reserve, Souda Bay:
3 or more Sandwich Terns
1 Mediterranean Gull
c.30 Black-headed Gulls
c.40 Coot
1 Cormorant
2 Little Egret
2 Grey Heron
1 Common Sandpiper
! Grey Plover
! Redshank
On the Akrotiri Peninsula, simply the most Orchids we have ever seen in one day.

Just a few of the Butterfly Orchids

Photo above, one of the Sandwich Terns


7th:
At Provarma first Swallowtail Butterfly of the year, and later another individual near to the south coast!
We travelled west along the National Highway to turn south at the Tavronitis Junction, at the Kandanos Tip c.120 Ravens and bird of the day a Black Kite.
We travelled on and inspired by yesterdays sightings visited a couple of sites mentioned in our new orchid book, but probably too early in the year as very few found. Picnic was interrupted by good views of a Griffon, others were sighted at a distance. We turned north to past the Agia Irini Gorge through Agia Irini village and up onto the Omalos Plateau.
Travelling toward the National Highway I could not resist a visit to Ayia Reservoir. Interesting sightings included a male Little Crake, Reed Bunting and a few Starlings. Ducks included Gadwell, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal.

13th:
A few Swifts seen briefly over Maheri Gorge and 2 Sandwich Terns in Kalives Bay. Great to see another live Hare!

14th:
Great trip with A&M we were fairly lucky in avoiding the showers. Mainly to see interesting places and plants. Near Ayia pale morph Booted Eagle.

17th:
Georgioupolis Water pair of Garganey.
 
18th: To high taverna Ψυхρό Πηγάδι, at Kepamia with C&M. 2 Griffons sighted and good views of Jays which are usually only hear. Several Ravens and Crag Martins also seen. Some interesting plants photographed.

Above: Scilla Nana, possibly endemic to the Lefk ri - plant ref. 2181


21st:
An Alpine Swift sighted briefly on this a windy and cloudy day.

23rd:
Blue sky at first, full of Swifts, Swallows, and House Martins with a few Red-rumped Swallows. Later an Alpine Swift and at 3.15pm a Goshawk moving north.
 
24th: More Swifts, Swallows, and House Martins with a few Alpine Swifts seen from balcony at breakfast.

Decided it was time to place some posters at Lake Kournas and Georgioupolis Water.

At Lake Kournas the water level was the highest we have seen, very few birds.

A few Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe and I Black-necked Grebe on the water. With a couple of Cormorants and Yellow-legged Gulls flying over.

Georgioupolis Water had a good number of Coot, Moorhen and several Little Grebe with a few Swallows overhead.

We decided to drive along the new concrete front at Georgioupolis, which seems to have caused the beach to move elsewhere, no comment!
At the eastern end rivermouth a pair off Little-ringed plovers and a Black winged Stilt were joined at one point by a Kingfisher.
 

The Black-winged Stilt

Poster at Georgioupolis

The Kingfisher

 

26th: Great day with C&S on Gramvousa, with southerly winds for last few days migration in full swing see below:

  1. Swallow
  2. Swift
  3. Alpine Swift
  4. House Martin
  5. Buzzard
  6. Italian Sparrow
  7. Sardinian Warbler
  8. Chaffinch
  9. Hooded Crow
  10. Rock Dove
  11. Raven
  12. Goldfinch
  13. Subalpine Warbler
  14. Blackbird
  15. Lanner Falcon
  16. Woodchat Shrike
  17. Northern Wheatear
  18. Hoopoe c.10
  19. Greenshank 1
  20. Common Sandpiper 2
  21. Little-Ringed Plover 2
  22. White Wagtail
  23. Black-headed Wagtail , Feldegg
  24. Blue-headed wagtail, Flava
  25. Chiffchaff
  26. Willow Warbler
  27. Linnet
  28. Redstart
  29. Black Redstart
  30. Greenfinch
  31. Crested lark
  32. Short-toed Lark
  33. Woodlark
  34. Wood Warbler
  35. Wryneck 2
  36. Kestrel
  37. Isabelline Wheatear
  38. Black-eared Wheatear pale & Black throated forms
  39. Tawny Pipit
  40. Meadow Pipit
  41. Blue Rock Thrush 3
  42. Cory Shearwater 13
  43. Griffon Vulture 7
  44. Starling
  45. NOTE species in red probably on migration
 

One of the Hoopoes

One of the Wrynecks

Above photos by and Colin and Sue Turvey
 

Above the Greenshank


27th and 28th:
Weather turned cooler, two overcast dull days. Swifts were feeding lower than usual, over the tree tops at times. Some Swallows, Re-rumped Swallows and House Martins were also low amongst the trees at times, they were even joined by Crag Martins, which even in the winter have not been seen feeding so low down. On a trip to Kalives the wintering Chiffchaffs had disappeared from their riverside hunting ground and a few Swallows were hunting over the river instead.

29th:
Ayia Reservoir was windy with small waves and a very high water level, with no mud for waders etc. Only waders seen 1 common and 1 Green Sandpiper and a Ruff. Also present 1 Little Crake. A good number of Shoveler and Teal, with some Wigeon a Mallard and a pair of Garganey. Over the Reservoir a Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and a small number of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins. More Little Grebe than usual!

Back to diary index