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.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Whitethroat Arrival - 22nd April

Sunday 22nd April saw another moderate fall, Whitethroat (86) was the most obvious species, with smaller numbers of Whinchat (54), Pied Fly (38), Spotted Flycatcher (20) and Wood Warbler (26).

There was another Stone-curlew on Pipit Plateau (yesterday’s bird had flown north), where there was also a late Quail.

Grounded Migrants: Words to follow

Visible Passage: Words to follow

Raptors: Words to follow

Bird Ringing: Words to follow
Overall Total: 25 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: light N1-2 winds to start, then gradually freshening NW or WNW 4-5 by mid-afternoon. Clear skies and excellent visibility.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Windy Weather and Birds from further East - 21st April

A great day's birding despite the sting NE winds. Most of yesterday’s grounded birds had departed although there was still a good selection of species present and there were clearly some new arrivals.

The birds of the day were two Short-eared Owls flushed From 'Swallow Hollow' on the path to the lighthouse; one of these gave excellent views before flying over to the sheltered side of the ridge where it could not be relocated.

Nearby there was an early Red-backed Shrike near Turtle Dove step and the same or another Stone-curlew on Pipit Plateau.

Another early migrant was a Black-headed Bunting at Paliros.

Grounded Migrants: Words to follow

Visible Passage: Words to follow

Raptors: Words to follow

Bird Ringing: None, too windy.

Weather: NE7-8 bear gale early on, reducing F6-7, and F5-7 later in morning. Clear and sunny with excellent visibility for the first time since we arrived.

Due to the death of my iPad adding pictures while we are here may prove difficult, these will be added later, sorry 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

A late Skylark ! - 20th April

Another moderate arrival featuring Woodchat Shrike, Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat.

A late Skylark at Swallow Hollow was an addition to our Cape Tenaro list though presumably occurs occasionally during the autumn and winter.

Collared Flycatcher at Porto Kagio
Grounded Migrants: Words to follow

Visible Passage: Words to follow

Raptors: There were 3 Leeser Kestrel and two Red-footed Falcons on the powerlines above Kokinoghia. Full list later. 

Bird Ringing: List to follow
Overall Total: 35 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: Calm, then Variable F1-3 occasionally 4; seeming to settle W4 later. Clear skies all day. Visibility improving with Kithira Island just about visible. 

Friday, 20 April 2018

Flycatcher Fall !! -19th April

Early on it appeared that we were in for another day with few birds however although initially there were only small numbers on the northern part of the headland (around Beehive Pass) there were plenty in the olive groves above Kokinoghia. As the morning wore on these seemed to work their way northwards in to the ringing site. The main species involved were Pied (51) and Collared (21) Flcatchers and Wood Warbler (26).

During the late morning there was a marked arrival of Swallows, at its peak there were 178 sat on wires in Kokinoghia. Bee-eaters were on the move all day, though they also seemed to peak mid-morning. There was also a small flurry of Turtle Dove passage during the early afternoon.

The star bird of the day was a Stone-curlew that gave excellent views on Pipit Plateau mid-morning. Overall the best day's birding so far this year.

Add caption
Grounded Migrants: 1 Wryneck, 10 Woodchat Shrike, 26 Wood Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 3 Great Reed Warbler, 22 Whitethroat, 13 Spotted Flycatcher, 51 Pied Flycatcher, 21 Collared Flycatcher, 7 Nightingale, 24 Whinchat, 5 Redstart, 3 Ortolan Bunting.

Visible Passage: 135 Bee-eater (and probably considerably more as many parties were only heard), 65 Turtle Dove, 250 Swallow, 14 Red-rumbled Swallow (includes some local breeders), follow

Raptors: The 13 Kestrels between Beehive Pass and Koikinoghia were all thought to be off passage birds from 2 days ago. The same applies to one if the two Pallid Harriers seen today. The only definite new birds were single Marsh and Montagu's Harriers and a Harrier Sp.

Bird Ringing:  7 Pied Fly, 6 Collared Fly, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Wood Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Redstart, 1 Whinchat.
Overall Total: 21 birds ringed from 93m of nets.

Weather: Another day of largely calm conditions, with occasional bursts of variable wind, F1-3, with a slight tendency to the W or NW. Broken cloud, largely clearing later and a marked improvement in visibility, Kithira was just about visible for the first time in almost a week!