Friday, 1 April 2016

Nightingales, Bee-eaters and Hoopoes

Today was a pretty good day's birdwatching, with the exception of a couple of species there were were no large numbers however there was a good variety on show (the best day yet this year) and we also had several firsts for the year. 

Birds were concentrated in the valley leading up to beehive pass and in the bushes above Kokinoghia, some locations such as Windy Gap, Mianes, and Marmari were almost bird free. Birds seem to pretty much vanish as the afternoon went on.

Totals for the most prominent migrants were: 9 Quail, 19 Hoopoe (including one in off the sea at the lighthouse), 5 Wryneck, 11 Willow Warbler, 14 Subalpine Warbler, 10 Great Reed Warbler, 4 Robin, 7 Whinchat, 8 Redstart, 12 Northern Wheatear, 1 female Pied Flycatcher, 2 Collared Flycatcher and 10 Tree Pipit. 

Firsts for the year - 26+ Bee-eater, 4 Cuckoo (Kokinoghia, Windy Gap x2, Koureli), 3 Ortolan Bunting. 

Raptors - 2 Kestrel, 1 Kestrel Sp. There were also 4 Short-toed Eagles making a lot of noise over Paliros, presumably as they vie for territories.

Oddities - The highlight of the day was A Mediterranean Monk Seal that was seen well, but briefly as it surfaced off the tip of the cape, it then dived and frustratingly could not be relocated. A Greenshank at the lighthouse was the only other (minor) event of the day.

A Whinchat at Beehive Pass

A Spanish Sparrow at Porto Kagio

The first Cuckoo of the year at Kokinoghia

A Horned Viper asleep on the road above Marmari

A view of the gardens and Olive groves at Koureli from Mianes

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