|5th Mar. At Tavronitis. 5 crag martins; 10 swallows; and 11 house martins were hawking over the river and repeatedly drinking.|
|6th Mar. At Kolymbari. A steppe buzzard.|
|8th Mar. At Neo Chorio. A bonellis eagle, presumably the one that wintered in our valley. Also over 1,000 swallows and house martins in mixed flocks.|
|10th Mar. At Neo Chorio. 2 honey buzzards. Later a friend telephoned to ask if I would like to see a scops owl that whilst either prospecting for a nest or looking for food was accidentally trapped when he shut the door of his garage. Most birdwatchers who come here manage to hear scops owls calling but never get to see one as they are very secretive and strictly nocturnal.
to say I dashed down and now have some lovely photographs to prove it. A most beautiful bird with tiny ear tufts and prominent staring eyes that almost accuse you of intruding in its private life. It was of course released unharmed with only its dignity ruffled.|
|11th Mar. In the central park in Chania. Despite the noise and bustle a chiffchaff was singing beautifully. |
Near the coast. We had good close up views of a lesser spotted eagle as it worked its way north. Later there was a rough legged buzzard, and
on the coast. There was a dark phase booted eagle.
|12th Mar. Just along the valley was a flock of 3 honey buzzards.|
|15th Mar. On the coast. A booted eagle was being vigorously mobbed by a short toed eagle.|
On the way up to Afrata. We disturbed a pair of chukkars, an increasingly rare sight due to hunting pressure.
Coming back along the coast. We found 3 honey buzzards; a steppe buzzard; 1 griffon vulture; 1 eleonoras falcon; and the usual pair of bonellis eagles. A good view of a
stonechat with large white wing panels indicated it was probably Saxicola armenica, the eastern race.
|16th Mar. At Neo Chorio. A flock of at least 8 honey buzzards, there was so much calling, wheeling and dive bombing with our trio of local common buzzards it was difficult to be sure how many there were.|
|19th Mar. On the way to the bearded vulture nest. We saw 2 griffon vultures; 2 booted eagles; and a very late black redstart. Most of these have already left us. Also we saw a flock of 3 rough legged buzzards in typical mode of wheeling in tight circles very low down, then we also saw an early hobby while nearby a blue rock thrush sang to us. |
At the nest site. We
had good views of both adult bearded vultures and could see the now well grown chick in the nest. A steppe buzzard circled nearby and in the distance a flock of alpine swifts flew north.
On the way back. We saw an osprey low down and very close as it too worked its way north.
|23rd Mar. On the coast. We found our first black winged stilt of the year; along with a pair of green sandpipers; some yellow wagtails; and a single cormorant. Further along were a kingfisher; some white wagtails; a flock of 7 serins bathing and drinking in a muddy pool with a pair of linnets; and nearby a pair of skylarks were singing and displaying.|
|24th Mar. At Neo Chorio. A noisy pair of ravens and later a booted eagle.|
|25th Mar. On a quick shopping trip. We saw 2 booted eagles and a big flock of swallows.|
|26th Mar. At Neo Chorio. A flock of 3 honey buzzards plus a single steppe buzzard circling together. Unusual this, as buzzards normally are seen in single species flocks. Also the swallows have now returned to nest in our neighbours shed again. Summer must be coming!|
Down on the coast. We heard a fan tailed warbler ‘ticking’ away. A kingfisher sat patiently fishing in some
giant reeds, while 2 spotted crakes crept about at the bottom of the reeds. Then, most unusually, there was a jack snipe feeding right out in the open giving us perfect views of it.
|30th Mar. Another trip along the coast. Revealed the usual pair of bonellis eagles that by now must have well grown chicks. Then plenty of white and yellow wagtails; several northern wheatears; and 5 black eared wheatears; a little egret; a sedge warbler; a pair of little ringed plovers; a pair of little stint; 2 moorhens; a red throated pipit; and in all, several thousand
|31st Mar. At Neo Chorio. To round off the month we had a pair of dark phase booted eagles circling together with a steppe buzzard and one of our local buzzards.|