Monday, 1 May 2017

Dragons, Painted Ladies and Saharan Murk - 30th April

With a fresh southeasterly wind blowing the headland was enveloped in a typical hazy Saharan murkiness almost all day and the top of the mountain was not seen at all. There were very, very few birds about in the southern half of the headland and without visits to Porto Kagio and Marmari in the afternoon the counts would have been very poor indeed.

Although it was a poor day for birds the winds from Africa did bring in some insects including several dragonflies, Painted Ladies and a few locusts.

A female Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) resting on the path to the lighthouse.  

 A Painted Lady on Pipit Plateau

Waves crashing in to the rocks in Porto Sternes 

The highlight of the day was the discovery of a pair of Cirl Buntings close to the cemetery at Paliros; although this species occurs just north of our wildlife recording area this is our first record on the headland itself.

Grounded Migrants: 1 Woodchat Shrike, 6 Golden Oriole, 5 Great Reed Warbler, 4 Sedge Warbler, 11 Whitethroat, 2 Subalpine Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 15 Garden Warbler, 6 Icterine Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 5 Wood Warbler, 5 Nightingale, 1 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 11 Spotted Flycatcher and 10 Pied Flycatcher.

Visible Migration: limited given the conditions but 40 Bee-eaters appeared from lunchtime onwards. There was also a notable count of 34 Red-rumpled Swallows but this could well be birds that have been hanging around for much of the last week.

Raptors:1 Honey Buzzard, 1 Kestrel and 1 Kestrel Sp.

Lighthouse Watch: 9 Scopoli's Shearwaters flew east in 25 minutes. On the approach to the lighthouse a Grey Heron was flushed off the ridge at Turtle Dove Step and there were 12 Short-toed Larks just north of this.

Bird Ringing: Sedge Warbler 1, Great Reed Warbler 1 and Whitethroat 1.
Overall total 3 birds from 78m of nets.

Weather: SE 5-6 to start dropping away a bit after 10am, overcast and hazy. Some patches of sunshine in the afternoon. Visibility poor.

Honey Buzzard soaring over Porto Kagio

Bee-eaters near Paliros (this a photo - honest !!)

Eastern Olivaveous Warbler singing at Porto Kagio

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