MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR FEBRUARY 2003
|And a few final words for February..... What a frustrating month February turned out to be! With improving eyesight I was itching to get out and make up for lost time but the weather was having none of it. Nearly every day it poured with rain all day long and when it rains here it is of the deluge type. All sorts of damage to roads, bridges
and properties. Nearly all the people we know have had water coming into their houses. Some have even had to move in with friends as cascades of water ruin their furniture and short out the electrical systems.
The large raptors are nesting already. We will have to go again to the bearded vulture nest site as I have a sinking feeling about them. By now they should have a chick in the nest so at least one of the adults should be protecting it at all times. To see both adults sail by and show no interest in the nest was perhaps ominous. We can live in hope.
The appearance of the odd wader; flocks of pipits; martins, swallows and wagtails shows migration is getting going. Once this atrocious weather improves we are looking forward to some good trips and seeing again old friends like the lesser grey shrikes, bee-eaters and golden orioles.
My profound thanks to all those who have been rooting for me and sent their best wishes for my eyesight to improve. I can drive with confidence now and while the small birds remain vague blurs, the larger ones are getting easier. I can see well enough to appreciate the finer points of separating steppe buzzard from common buzzard – steppe are smaller, lighter with narrower wings that are not well rounded at the tips and showing fingers. They are usually much lighter in colour.
My ‘right hand man’ is pleased as she can relax a bit and enjoy the views instead of shepherding me around and pointing the birds out to me though she still shouts at me when I start looking at birds when driving. My eyes must be a lot better if I have started doing that again!
|Editor: Preparation of the forthcoming review a of very recent book by another Cretan ornithologist which contains some superb photographs, is progressing. Following a meeting here with the author we have permission to include a photo gallery. Watch this space - and of course the 'Books and Good Reading' page.|