Sunday, 4 May 2014

Bee-eaters and Butterflies

It was obvious from early on that there had been a huge clear out of migrants over night and few new arrivals, to replace them; indeed some areas of the headland proved to be bird free! A lot of hard work for little reward and not helped by a strong WSW force 6 wind from mid-morning.

The only exceptions was a sustained passage of northbound Bee-eaters, at least 13 parties were heard, but the number recorded, 43, is probably a gross underestimate as only a few groups were actually seen and counted accurately. There were also 10 Great Reed Warblers and given 4 of these were in Kokinoghia this was about the only other species that clearly appeared to have arrived overnight.

Most other species failed to make it in to double figures and some, notably Wood Warbler, were not seen at all. Totals for the day for a selection of grounded migrants were: 2 Hoopoe, 2 Golden Oriole, 9 Woodchat Shrike, 1 Garden Warbler, 12 Whitethroat, 3 Icterine Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 14 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Pied Flycatcher, 7 Redstart and 8 Whinchat.

Migrant butterflies by contrast had a great day. There was a large influx of Painted Ladies, with over 30 present on the final approach to the lighthouse alone. Other migrant species present in smaller numbers were Clouded Yellow, Bath White, Red Admiral and Hummingbird Hawk Moth (ok so the last one is not actually a butterfly).

Raptor passage on the headland was limited to 2 Kestrel. Elsewhere a single Honey Buzzard was seen flying north at Gerolimenas soon after first light.

Paliros - normally one of the migrant 'hotspots' was almost bird free today
Red Admiral at Achilo


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