Monday, 1 April 2013

Departures and arrivals ........

The fairly strong force 6 to 7 north-westerly winds did not offer that much promise and as expected there were no significant arrivals however, perhaps surprisingly, some new birds did make it in while others had departed. At the lighthouse several flava wagtails were seen coming in and small groups of Swallows also moved north.

Species showing a noticeable increase were: 11 Willow Warbler, 4 Ruppell's Warbler, 14 Northern Wheatear, 12 Black-eared Wheatear, 12 Whinchat and 23 Tawny Pipit. There was also a build up of hirundines feeding on the sheltered east side of the mountain in the afternoon and totals for the day were 115 Swallows and 8 Red-rumped Swallows. Other signs of in coming migrants included single Lesser Kestrel and Marsh Harrier both of which went north.

The surprise bird of the day was the first, and seemingly early, Wood Warbler of the year at 'Windy Gap' (Paliros).

Counts for species that had clearly declined over night were: 1 Sedge Warbler, 12 Subalpine Warbler, 5 Blackcap and 13 Nightingale.

It is interesting that Antikythira has been reporting higher than usual numbers of both Wryneck and Hoopoe over the last week. Numbers of Wryneck at Cape Tenaro are lower this year compared to previous years, while the Hoopoe numbers are good but similar to other years. There are also some marked differences in species diversity with no Lesser Whitethroat or Semi-collared Flycatcher seen here yet this year and only one Balkan Warbler. Such differences may reflect ringing over observations as a way of assessing migrant abundance or diversity or perhaps there are real differences even given the relative closeness of the two sites (90km).

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