Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Lots of Subalpine Warblers ......... and a few other things as well
Today started off not looking that promising, clear skies and almost no wind. There was a smattering of migrants present early on, but nothing exceptional in the way of numbers and the variety seemed relatively limited. We headed out to the lighthouse without any great expectations however as we approached it we started picking up small numbers of Subalpine Warblers heading north, including one 'flock' of 4 birds. We even saw 2 birds move off the point rocks and pass the lighthouse itself. This proved to be the start of a substantial mid-morning arrival seemingly dominated by Subalpine Warblers; the only other obvious species that was part of the influx was Willow Warbler. Interestingly on Antikythira today while they also recorded a large arrival of Subalpine Warblers they ringed more Chiffchaffs than Willow Warblers (and yes we do know the difference between the two !).
Final totals for selected species were: 10 Quail, 7 Hoopoe, 4 Wryneck, 25 Willow Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 191 Subalpine Warbler, 21 Blackcap, 18 Northern Wheatear, 5 Redstart and 18 Nightingale.
Hirundines and Finches - very few swallows or martins today. Small numbers of finches were on the move with 27 Linnet, 6 Goldfinch and 3 Serin (the latter species is surprisingly uncommon here but that may simply reflect us being too late for their main migration).
Raptors - 1 Marsh Harrier flew north. We also disturbed one of the local Peregrines at the lighthouse that flew off with a freshly caught Quail.
Oddities - a female Rock Thrush just north of Beehive Pass, 2 Collared Doves at Kokinoghia and 2 Isabelline Wheatear ('Pipit Plateau' and near Paliros).
Weather - clear skies with a W 1-2 wind early on, then calm for much of the morning wind then increasing WSW 4 by mid afternoon. Little cloud cover for most of the day, however hazy with comparatively limited visibility (Kythira island just about visible).
A Red-throated Pipit at 'swallow hollow'
The gardiens at Porto Kagio