|MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR APRIL 2002
1st April. At Tavronitis. A flock of white wagtails, 3 little ringed plovers, 3 male and 2 female garganey, many swallows and sand martins, 7 temmincks stints and 1 grey heron.
At Kamisiana. 12 wood sandpipers, 4 little stints, 2 glossy ibis, 7 red throated pipits, over a hundred yellow wagtails (all males) 2 common redshanks, 6 little ringed plovers, 3 mute swans, 1
little egret, 3 black tailed godwits, 3 purple herons and 13 wood sandpipers.
At Neo Chorio. Over 1000 swifts and pallid swifts together with hundreds of swallows and martins.
2nd April. At Neo Chorio. A group of 3 honey buzzards ( again the magic number of 3!) and while thousands of swallows are migrating by, already a pair have started nesting in a neighbours shed.
3nd April. At Tavronitis. 3 garganey, 3 moorhen, 6 wood sandpipers, 3 redshank, several hundred male yellow wagtails, 1 purple heron, 4+ dunlin, 1 marsh harrier, 2 temmincks stints, 1 greenshank, 2 ringed plovers, 1 common sandpiper.
At Kamisiana. 3 glossy ibis, 3 mute swans, 1 redshank, 2 grey herons, 2 black tailed godwits, 3 wood sandpipers, 1 marsh harrier and a single ringed plover.
4th April. At Tsoliana. An adult golden eagle in superb plumage was soaring over the gorge.
At Aghios Dikeus. 2 griffon vultures, 1 adult bearded vulture and an adult rough legged buzzard.
At Strovles. An adult imperial eagle and a pair of griffon vultures.
At Kolymbari. 2 alpine swifts, a marsh harrier and most interesting a cicada was loudly churring away. They are not normally heard until June so this is a
very early record.
5th April. At Tavronitis. 6 greenshank, 3 moorhen, 4 redshank, 5 ruffs, many male yellow wagtails, 1 dunlin, 2 sandwich terns, 1 snipe, 3 garganey, 1 grey heron, 1 little egret, lots of swallows and pipits. The pipits are impossible, small flocks that flit about all over the place and just as you get the telescope set up they are gone.
I put them down as LBB little brown birds!
At Kamisiana. 2 little
ringed plover, 1 male whinchat, 1 glossy ibis, 2 garganey, 1 little egret, 2 ruff, 7 little stints, 1 woodchat shrike.
At Skoutolonas. 5 little egrets and a squacco heron.
6th April. At Neo Chorio. An eleonoras falcon and a male and female lesser kestrel were foraging around the field above the house for several hours. Several small flocks of alpine swifts flew north quite high up but their calls are very distinctive.
7th April. At Tavronitis. There were lots of yellow wagtails, 5 greenshank, 2 ruff and 2 common sandpipers.
At Skoutolonas. An immature mute swan and 1 little ringed plover.
At Neo Chorio. A dark phase booted eagle and later 2 pairs of ravens were fighting with lots of diving at each other and cronking all the time.
8th April. At Kolymbari. A flock of 12 raptors, 4 booted eagles,7 honey buzzards and a short toed eagle.
At Aghios Dikeus. An imperial eagle. At the nest site the bearded vulture chick is now well grown and was visited by one of the parents. Also a collared flycatcher, 3 hoopoe, 1 honey buzzard, 1 woodchat shrike, a short toed lark and a blue rock thrush. Growing in the middle of the track was a lovely clump of
orchids belonging to the Serapias family but I am not sure which species must make a determined effort to learn my orchids better!
At Topolia. 1 blue rock thrush and 2 golden orioles.
10th April. At Neo Chorio. At home a woodchat shrike and a light phase eleonoras falcon.
At Tavronitis. 2 woodchat shrikes, many yellow wagtails, a pair of pied wagtails, 3 squacco herons and 1 greenshank.
At Kamisiana. A woodchat shrike, a grey heron, and lots of of small flocks of pipits.
11th April. At Neo Chorio. A pair of booted eagles and a grey heron.
12th April. At Tavronitis. 4 ruff and several hundred yellow wagtails, nearly all females.
At Kamisiana. 4 greenshank, 2 moorhen and a great white egret. At home an eleonoras falcon, light phase.
13th April. At Neo Chorio. A huge flock of swifts, alpine swifts and martins were going by very high up for over two hours. Many thousands of birds streaming north.
14th April. At Tavronitis. 3 sandwich terns, 11+ moorhen, a little egret, many yellow wagtails, 2 greenshank and a little stint.
At Kamisiana. A great white egret, 1 ruff, 1 greenshank, 1 redshank, 1 black winged stilt, 3 wood sandpipers and 2 moorhen.
At Skoutolonas. 3 moorhen, a great white egret, and a squacco heron.
At Neo Chorio. Lovely prolonged views of an adult male pallid harrier as it quartered the field
behind our house in search of a meal.
15th April. At Neo Chorio. A hoopoe and a dark phase eleonoras falcon.
At Tavronitis. 3 grey heron, 2 woodchat shrikes, 1 sandwich tern, 12+ moorhen, 2 redshank and as always a marsh harrier they breed on the airfield there.
17th April. At Neo Chorio. A grey heron, a booted eagle, several flocks of alpine swifts, a hoopoe and thousands of house and sand martins.
18th April. At Tavronitis. A woodchat shrike, marsh harrier again, dozens of yellow wagtails, a ruff, an eleonoras falcon and many hundreds of sand martins.
At Kamisiana. A black winged stilt, a greenshank, a grey heron and a purple heron.
20th April. At Astrikas. 5 griffon vultures, 2 eleonoras falcons, 4 blue rock thrushes, several alpine swifts, 2 adult bonellis eagles together with last years chick. No sign of this years chick and the nest has been taken over by a pair of griffon vultures that already have a chick of their own. A nightingale singing beautifully in the gorge while a pair of ravens glided by and a peregrine falcon circled
against a majestically blue sky.
At Kamisiana. 2 little egrets, 3 little ringed plovers, a squacco heron, and a ruff.
At Tavronitis. Several dozen yellow wagtails, a little egret, a temmincks stint, a wood sandpiper, 13 moorhens, dozens of alpine swifts, a ruff and a black winged stilt.
At Maleme. A pair of serins were seen to fly out to sea while we relaxed with a well earned and well chilled beer.
At Neo Chorio. A pair of
honey buzzards, a lanner falcon and lots of alpine swifts.
20th April. At Astrikas. 2 griffon vultures, a pair of linnets, a single raven ( they are almost invariably in pairs) a hoopoe and a woodchat shrike.
At Malathiros. An adult golden eagle and a pair of golden orioles they look as though someone is throwing lemons about as they are so gaudy!
In the Sassolos gorge. There were a pair of eleonoras falcons, a female kestrel, lots of singing wood larks, a short
toed eagle and a wheatear.
At Plemeniana. A female sparrow hawk.
At Neo Chorio. A steady trickle of swifts and pallid swifts, a hoopoe and long views of an exhausted hobby as it rested after its long flight across from Africa.
22nd April. At Neo Chorio. A dark phase eleonoras falcon and a cuckoo that came to drink from water running down the road from a neighbours washing.
23rd April. At Neo Chorio. A turtle dove was singing all afternoon.
24th April. At Polymarchi. A dark phase eleonoras falcon.
On the Rodopou peninsula. 8 griffon vultures, lots of spotted flycatchers, collared and semi collared flycatchers, a male kestrel, a pair of linnets, a wheatear, a pair of whinchat, many wood larks, swallows and martins. A cuckoo and a pair of short toed larks, an adult golden eagle and four
bonellis eagles flying together 2 were adults, the third appeared to be last years chick and the fourth could have been this years chick, it certainly was very red as young birds are. At the far end of the peninsula were a pair of lanner falcons usually we see them close to the village of Rodopos.
At Nembros. There was a grey heron and at home a pair of eleonoras falcons. 8 griffon vultures, lots of spotted flycatchers, collared and semi collared flycatchers, a male kestrel, a pair of linnets, a wheatear, a pair of whinchat, many wood larks,swallows and martins. A cuckoo and a
pair of short toed larks, an adult golden eagle and four bonellis eagles flying together 2 were adults, the third appeared to be last years chick and the fourth could have been this years chick, it certainly was very red as young birds are.
25th April. At Neo Chorio. Another pair of eleonoras falcons.
26th April. At Neo Chorio. At home a grey heron and a cuckoo.
At Voukolies. An eagle was circling but the light was too poor for identification.
At Tavronitis. A male red footed falcon, the first this year. Also 7 moorhen, 2 little ringed plovers, a pair of white wagails a male whinchat and a female kestrel.
At Kamisiana. A little egret, a squacco heron and a little stint.
At Neo Chorio. A female collared flycatcher.
27th April. At Neo Chorio. A spotted flycatcher and in one of our olive trees an olivaceous warbler sang for several hours. Many thousands of alpine swifts and house martins were flying north all day.
29th April. At Neo Chorio. A nightingale sang all afternoon.
29th April. At Tavronitis. 3 woodchat shrikes, 2 wood sandpipers, a black winged stilt, a common sandpiper, a pair of little stints and a little ringed plover.
At Kamisiana. 2 woodchat shrikes while at Skoutolonas a single temmincks stint and at home a flock of 11 bee-eaters spent the afternoon raiding the hives that a neighbour keeps on the hillside above our house.