Saturday, 29 December 2018

Monday, 10 September 2018

Western Bonelli’s Warbler at Cape Tenaro

On the first day of ringing this year we trapped a Bonelli’s Warbler. The appearance and measurements of the bird suggested that it was a Western Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) rather than an Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus orientalis). Unfortunately these measurements were inconclusive so we were unclear as to the birds exact identity. While the bird was being ringed it lost a few very small body feathers, these were retained and have recently been the subject of a DNA test.
The results confirm that the bird was definitely a Western Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli). This is only the 3rd record for Greece and the first record for the mainland (the two earlier records were both on Antikythira).

Western Bonelli’s Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) - 13th April 2018 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Camera Trap Surprises

For the last four days of our visit we set up a camera trap in the bottom of one of the gullies on the headland. There was a vague hope that it might produce a sighting of a skulking species such as a crake. It ended up recording 3 species of birds Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher and Wryneck, however the biggest surprise was the image of the back half of a large mammal, on close examination this proved to be a Golden Jackal (Canis aureus). We’ve seen these north of the headland around Gerolimenas and Kita but not this far south. 

Wryneck caught by the camera trap

Golden Jackal  (Canis aureus) - Cape Tenaro Headland - 22nd April 2018

Monday, 7 May 2018

More Flycatchers - Our Last Day - 25th April 2018

Today was our last full day on the headland and only partial coverage was achieved due to the need to take down the mistnets and then head off to Athens for flights home. All of the team had departed the headland by 13.00.
There was another good arrival of flycatchers with 32 Collared, 52 Pied and 25 Spotted, given some areas of the headland (Mianes and Marmari) were not covered at all totals are likely to have been even higher. 
There was a decent movement of House Martin, most of which flew north at Paliros in a single loose flock of 50 birds. 

Grounded Migrants: Other grounded migrants included 2 Hoopoe, 3 Golden Oriole,16 Woodchat Shrike, 20 Wood Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 11 Whitethroat, 5 Garden Warbler, a late Blackcap, 5 Great Reed Warbler, 2 Icterine Warbler, 11 Whinchat, 2 Redstart and 2 Nightingale.

Visible Passage: 32 Turtle Dove, 54 Bee-eater, 64 House Martin and 3 Sand Martin.

Raptors: an adult male Montagu's Harrier, 1Marsh Harrier, 6 Kestrel and 4 Kestrel Sp.

Bird Ringing: Golden Oriole, 1 Woodchat Shrike, 1 Wood Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 3 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Great Reed Warbler, 12 Pied Flycatcher, 5 Collared Flycatcher.
Overall Total: 27 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: NNW 5/6, clear skies and good visibility.

Collared Flycatcher near Koureli

Female Redstart at Koureli

The beach at the head of Vathi Bay below Koureli

Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) near Koureli

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Flycatcher Fall Day !! - 24th April

A really enjoyable day's birding dominated by the arrival of good numbers of black and white flycatchers, final totals for the day were 144 Pied and 65 Collared Flycatchers. Birds were visibly moving north during the first half of the day, presumably as they looked for suitable feeding habitat.

There was also a continuing passage of Harriers with 11 Marsh, 7 Pallid and 2 Montagu's.

A Lanner Falcon that went north ar 07.30 was an addition to the headland bird list.

Grounded Migrants: 8 Hoopoe, 3 Wryneck, 44 Woodchat Shrike, 13 Golden Oriole, 38 Wood Warbler, 8 Icterine Warbler, 15 Garden Warbler, 21 Whitethroat, 6 Great Reed Warbler, 10 Sedge Warbler, 144 Pied Flycatcher, 65 Collared Flycatcher, 42 Spotted Flycatcher and 67 Whinchat. 

Visible Passage: very limited apart from raptors the only obvious north bound migrants were small parties of Bee-eaters that totalled at least 49 birds.

Raptors: Words to follow

Bird Ringing:  24 Pied Flycatcher, 12 Collared Flycatcher! 1 Woodchat Shrike, 5 Garden Warbler, 5 Wood Warbler, 2 Sedge Walker and 1 Whinchat.
Overall Total: 50 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: Calm or V1 to start wind then freshening W or WNW4-5 by early afternoon and F5-6 later. Virtually cloud free with good visibility.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Harriers, a Crake and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - 23rd April

Another enjoyable day although there were fewer grounded migrants (or at least they were harder to see due to the wind). 
Highlights included the discovery of the remains of a Little Crake close to the fishing boats in Porto  Sternes, the first record for the headland. There was also a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater that was heard but not seen coming in from the south just north of the lighthouse just before midday; what was presumably the same bird was heard again briefly at Achilo, on the north side of Porto Kagio bay, 3 hours later.

Grounded Migrants: Words to follow

Visible Passage: Words to follow

Raptors: A distinct arrival of raptors with several harriers seen to come in off the sea  (a Marsh Harrier seen at the lighthouse had come in from the southwest. Totals for the day were 3 Marsh Harrier, 4 Pallid Harrier, 2 Montagu's Harrier, 3 Harrier Sp, 3 Kestrel, 3 Lesser Kestrel, 5 Kestrel Sp and 2 Hobby. 

Bird Ringing: 11 Whitethroat, others to follow
Overall Total: 21 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: Wind NW5 occasionally F6 pretty much all day. Clear skies with some occasional patches of thin cloud. Good visibility.