MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR FEBRUARY 2004
|And a few final words for February..... A month with things starting to get moving, migration is now well underway. The raptors especially were noticeable though we did not manage to get out a great deal. The weather left much to be desired with a lot of rain and then on the 14th, we woke up
to 15 centimetres of snow blanketing everywhere. It only lasted a day or so but was enough to smash down a lot of olive trees. Then in total contrast we had the hot south winds blow up from Libya giving us 30 degrees in the shade. It was these winds that brought the migrants pouring across.
As yet there are no waders about at all, they should be arriving in the next fortnight but I wonder how many we will see his year as the fields along the coast where they normally rest and feed are nearly all dry. Unless we get a lot more rain and soon then they will probably have to keep going.
On our trip up to the Omalos plateau we took Eric Rowe, who advises Cretanvista about wildflower identification and Russ Collins, Webmaster of the French website Provencebeyond.com, two personal visitors of this website on a rather active holiday from the South of France. They enjoyed the trip and saw some good birds. Being great walkers they got out and about a lot and also enjoyed the spring flowers that are now showing. Intrepid souls to brave coming to Crete in February when the weather is not what the holiday brochures show to attract clients to partake of their wares. At least getting about was fairly safe for them as the roads and tracks are quiet at this time of year, later when the tourists hordes descend on the island moving around can be dangerous and difficult for those on foot. Except of course off the beaten track...
Moving out of winter now we can expect good weather and with it the arrival of the hoopoes, bee-eaters, red footed falcons and eleonoras falcons – binoculars to be kept cleaned and to hand at all times!