MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR JANUARY 2006

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3rd Jan.  At Neradzi.  A booted eagle.

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4th Jan.  At Polymarchi.  A tight flock of 8 pintail.
                 At Galatas. There was a pair of booted eagles - and unusually one was a pale morph and the other a dark morph. 
                 At Neradzia. To show it was getting colder there were 11 crag martins at Neradzia. 
                 Down on the coast. A male sparrow hawk was hunting vigorously.

 

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11th Jan.  At Neo Chorio.  Another 5+ crag martins.
 

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12th Jan.  At Neo Chorio.  Just for a change from crag martins, 3 swallows circled.
                  At Kolymbari.  Our first whinchat of the year, a female, put in an appearance.
                  At Kamisiana. Another at whinchat.
                  Further along the coast.  A marsh harrier; 2 black redstarts; and a  blackbird.

 

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16th Jan.  At Chania Hospital.  Yet again we saw 3 buzzards; plus a white wagtail and a black kite.
 

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17th Jan.  At Sirili. A single swallow cheered us up.
                  

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20th JanAt Galatas.  At Galatas there were two booted eagles

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28th JanAlong the Coast  A female whinchat fed along the coast.  Further along were another 3 together with a white wagtail. (This short trip was spoiled by three local hunters who managed to shoot at least one collared dove).

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29th Jan. At Topolia.  Were 3 griffon vultures and further down, towards the south coast, we saw two pairs of wintering imperial eagles.  Both pairs appeared to be second year birds but the distance made certainty difficult.
                 At the nest site.  Both adult bearded vultures were guarding the nest, while a honey buzzard, several buzzards and 50+ crag martins all made the trip worth while. On the way back a single griffon vulture and another pair of bearded vultures were a bonus .  Finally a steppe buzzard caught our attention near Kolymbari.

 

A few final words for January.  What a month!  When I was not in hospital having treatment it did nothing but rain. Rain, rain, rain, rain.  Chances for getting out to look for birds were more or less non-existent though what we did see indicated that migration is already starting to get underway.

So,
a very poor month, perhaps the worst we have had in seven years - but then things can only get better!  Look out for next month - we already have some good identification data to discuss what are you like at identifying pipits?

Until next month, Good Birding!  Paul Smith.

(Editors note: Lucky to be alive and already moaning about the weather!  C'mon Paul, get a brolley & some wellies...  But seriously, we are now working very hard on the bird galleries so please, keep watching Paul watching the birds - there is no better or more consistent record on Crete - soon to become illustrated).

Paul's Diary highlights commenced at the end of August 2001.  The current diary is moved to the diary archive at the end of each month - if you are considering a bird watching trip to NW Crete, the previous highlights may well help you decide the best month for your visit - your link to the diary archive is below.

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