ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ April 2007
 
1st: Rodopou Peninsular: Another adventure with A&M. Groups of 12 and 10 Common Buzzard heading north. Redstarts, I Hoopoe and a Woodchat Shrike seen. Black-headed and Northern Wheatear. Fuller details soon!
 
18th : Have returned after a fortnight in the UK. Many thanks to A&M for taxi! and friends and relatives for hospitality in UK.
Hirundines and Swifts today, late afternoon a trip to Aptera, Red-throated Pipits, Whinchats, Common Whitethroat, Marsh Harrier and on return trip a flycatcher sp. Cuckoo heard.

19th:
From back balcony Collared Flycatcher. Then to Spili for orchids.

Above, just a few of the orchids
 

20th: On spire from back balcony Woodchat Shrike, and later a lot of House Martins in our area.

Above, Woodchat on our spire!
 

21st: Pair of Turtle doves at Provarma.

Trip to Ayia to meet Stephanie Coghlan author of A Birdwatching Guide to Crete her fellow tour leader and their Travelling Naturalist party. Highlight was a Little Bittern in full view, poised as below before capturing and flying off with an unfortunate Tree Frog. Also present 6+ Little Crakes, Ferruginous Duck, Marsh Harriers, 2 Little Stints, Wood Sandpiper, Little Egret, Whinchats and Spotted Flycatchers. Stephanie reported that in the morning 5 Black-winged Stilts had arrived at Ayia but because of the high water level had not found any suitable area and moved on. 

Also great to have a chat to a group of Danish birders.

Also great to meet Kevin Hand of Ace Study Tours who was kind enough to give me some recent records: today in the Omalos area Corncrake, Short-toed Eagle and Pied Flycatcher and Great Reed Warbler at Ayia.

The Little Bittern, above
 

22nd: From our back balcony at Provarma, Collared Flycatcher, see photo below.
Walk south of Megala Horafia, at least one Woodchat Shrike, female Wheatear, Pied Flycatcher and  party of Whinchats.

Above the Collared Flycatcher


23rd:
First Spotted Flycatcher of the year at Provarma
 
24th: Lots of Swifts in our area then telescope view of c.40 birds flying north at 9.15am with another flock of c.60 birds at 9.45am.

Drapanos area looking for Rupell's Warbler previously seen by A&M. We sighted the bird which is obviously holding territory soon after arriving at the prescribed area. There were also Wheatears, Black-throated Wheatears and Whinchats in the area. A woodchat Shrike was seen briefly. Woodlarks were also holding territory and a Cuckoo and an Eleonora's Falcon flew north.

Drapanos Wells: Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher.

Xiristoni: Woodchat Shrike and Whinchat.
 

Rupell's Warbler above
 

25th: 1pm. Grey Heron flying rather hesitantly SOUTH. At 1.15pm. through long distant scope views a Lesser-spotted Eagle was seen circling slowly north. I watched it for some time before my attention was distracted by a falcon, an Eleanora's also heading north. Searching for the eagle with my binoculars, a group of birds attracted my attention towards the Drapanos area, presumably the same Eagle being mobbed by 3 Buzzards. 2 of the buzzards soon turned away but the persistant one followed the Eagle until I lost view of them, heading roughly east. At 2.40 a single Squacco Heron flew past the balcony heading north.
 
26th: Another great trip with A&M, one of their exciting routes!
Kalikratis Gorge a magnificant area with Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat recorded. Down to near Frango Castello and lots of migrants including Yellow Wagtails, Whinchats and a Woodchat Shrike with the air full of hirundines, Swifts and Alpine Swifts. Past Plakia, Margaret spotted a Purple Heron landing in a field. Other Woodchat Shrikes were seen. We decide to try for sightings of Bearded Vultures coming into roost at Kourtaliotiko Gorge, we stayed to 7.15 and should have perhaps stayed later, but we did see several Griffons and a Bonelli's Eagle to round off a great day.
A&M had heard Bee-eaters that morning.
 
27th: Lots of swifts near home.
At Moronis Reserve, Souda Bay: Emperor Dragonfly and Swallowtail Butterfly.
Birds included at least:
10 Little Stints
3  Greenshank
3  Ruff
2  Curlew Sandpipers
2  Wood Sandpipers
1  Common Sandpiper
1  Little Ringed Plover
3  Night Herons
2 Squocco Herons
2  Grey Herons
1  Little Egret
1  Little Bittern
and a White-winged Black Tern. see photo below:

28th: Lake Kournas: 2 Little Egrets, 1 Squocco Heron, 1 Little Bittern and a Night Heron. Also Whinchats.
Petres Gorge: 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Little Ringed Plover and a Little Stint. From 4pm to 4.20 great flying display by at least 9 Griffon Vultures

29th: From back balcony at 10.15am. rather tatty pale morph Booted Eagle in conflict with Hooded Crow. Church river walk Golden Orioles seen and heard, plus Spotted Flycatcher.

30th:
Ayia Irini Gorge north entrance Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, Golden Oriole.
Omalos pool: 5 Wood Sandpipers
Samaria Gorge Entrance: Several distant Griffon Vultures
Ayia Reservoir:
Imm and adult Night Heron
1 Little Egret
1 Little Crake
1 Little Bittern
1 Ruff
1 Wood Sandpiper
1 Commom Sandpiper
and  Marsh Harrier
 
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