bullet1st Jan.  At Neo Chorio. A welcome New Years Day sighting of a flock of 21 house martins and 2 swallows.

bullet2nd Jan.  At Neo Chorio.  A flock of 15 crag martins. This flock has been forced down out of the mountains by bad weather and stayed in our valley for the whole of the month.  Numbers seen varied greatly with a maximum of 30 but at least some were seen every day.

bullet4th Jan.  At Neo Chorio. A bonellis eagle was soaring over the valley.

bullet7th Jan.  At Neo Chorio.  The bonellis eagle again. Perhaps this one is wintering in our valley again as one has done every year since we came here at least.

bullet9th Jan.  At Skoutolonos.  There was an early female whinchat.  Also a female marsh harrier was hunting over the coastal fields.
                 At Tavronitis.  There was a mixed flock of 12 crag martins and 3 swallows.

bullet14th Jan. At Neo Chorio.  The bonellis eagle again but this time so close that I could at last age it.  As a sub-adult it could well be that is the same bird that has wintered in our valley each year, they take four or more years to reach full adult plumage.

bullet15th Jan. While walking round Chania harbour.  We saw a kingfisher perched on a fishing boat while overhead several alpine swifts were circling and calling.

bullet16th Jan. At Kamisiana.  A female hen harrier was quartering the flooded fields. At home a scops owl was calling at night, the first for a long time.

bullet17th Jan. At Aghia Reservoir. A trip was well rewarded with 38 pintail; 500+ gulls (mostly yellow legged but I am no expert on gulls); 100+ little grebe; 130 moorhen; 200+ coot; 30+ black necked grebes; 21 shoveler; 80+ mallard; 150+ pochard; 60+ teal; 6 garganey; 12 ferruginous duck; 1 immature mute swan; 6 kingfishers; a pair of displaying marsh harriers; 1 grey heron; several cettis warblers singing in the reeds; and 3 booted eagles that while not together were all circling at the same time.  A couple of ducks in very strange plumage left me completely baffled as to species and I gave up with them.  A pair of white wagtails; 50+ swallows; and lastly a pair of steppe buzzards.

bullet21st Jan. At Neo Chorio.  A lovely (and ruthlessly determined) female goshawk was hunting over the garden and valley. 
                 At Tavronitis the only bird was a single shag fishing just a metre offshore.

bullet23rd Jan. At Neo Chorio.  A single swallow and at Tavronitis a flock of 6 starlings.

bullet26th Jan. At Neo Chorio.  The same goshawk again and just as determined to make a kill.

bullet28th Jan. At Neo Chorio.  A single swift.

bullet31st Jan. At Rapaniana. A magnificent great white egret stood only a few metres away and impressed us with its perfect plumage.


And a few final words for January.....   A rather thin month as the first half was disrupted by a nasty bout of flu that laid us up indoors and then the weather closed in with lots and lots of rain, high winds and for Crete it was also very cold.

The number of hirundines was pleasing and further shows that many more over -winter than was previously supposed.

Plans for February include a trip to see how the bearded vulture nest is progressing and to venture into the mountains to look for wintering raptors. No doubt by later in the month there will be migrating raptors as well so we should see some good birds.

Good birding to all of you wherever you are!

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