Sunday, 27 March 2016

Lovely weather and a few new birds for the year

Some great birding this morning, it was almost calm early on however the wind picked up during the day and by mid-afternoon it was hard to find any sheltered habitat, so finished a little earlier than usual.

A pre-dawn shower had clearly helped drop a few migrants in to the bushes and on pipit plateau, however it appeared that that by lunchtime numbers had thinned presumably as birds moved north off the headland.

There were several 'firsts for the year today' including 3 each of Savi's and Great Reed Warblers, 2 Tree Pipits and a male Pied Flycatcher; all these were along the first part of the road from beehive pass to the Point. Totals for the main migrants were 6 Quail, 2 Wryneck, 4 Hoopoe, 4 Woodchat Shrike, 18 Blackcap, 17 Nightingale, 10 Northern Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 9 Redstart, 2 Black Redstart, 9 Willow Warbler,  8 Subalpine Warbler and singles of Sedge Warbler and Chiffchaff. 

Somewhat more surprising was the appearance of a new group of Black-winged Stilts in Porto Sternes (yesterday's birds appeared to have left before lunchtime). These birds were quite approachable compared to the flighty ones yesterday.

Visible (as opposed to grounded) migrants included 67 Swallow, 12 Red-rumped Swallow, 8 House Martin, 4 Common Swift, 2 Greenfinch, 16 Linnet and 5 Goldfinch. 

Raptor migration was limited to a single male Marsh Harrier and 2 Kestrels.

Weather - calm and largely clear early on, wind freshening from WNW after 9am and by mid-afternoon  it was NW 6-7. Cloud increased during the day but remained patchy. Visibility excellent, Antikythira in sight all day.

Black-winged Stilts in Porto Sternes (the sixth bird was on an adjacent rock)

A female Woodchat Shriike at Kokinoghia. This bird still appears to be showing traces of juvenile plumage.

A Black Redstart ar Paliros

A view of Porto Kagio from the north.

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