MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR MAY 2007
|A few final
words for May.
month when the number and variety of birds dwindled with the rapid
drying out of stream and river beds. It has to be admitted that this is
the worst year we have experienced for the number of spring migrants.
The dry winter did not help, but the problem has been much aggravated by
the enormous amount of drainage work that has gone on between Chania and
Kolymbari - to facilitate the vast increase in building work that is
still going on despite the tourist season being well under way now. We
feel sorry for anyone holidaying between Kolymbari and Platanias as it
looks more like the Spanish building sites of the ‘60s where tourists
would be arriving through the front door while concrete was being
delivered at the back!
the eighteen sites that I have visited - every few days for the last
seven years - at least ten of them have been destroyed by building work
and drainage over the last winter, so it is no wonder that favourites
like the purple herons and glossy ibis did not stop this year. They must
have just kept going in the hope they were strong enough to make the
Mediterranean crossing in one long hop instead of two shorter ones.
Return migration in the Autumn will tell us something about the long
term effects of what is going on, but as happens everywhere when there
is conflict between wildlife and commercial gain there is only one
the birds I am going to have to change my habits. June is the quietest
month for birds anyway, so perhaps I will get chance to evaluate options
– perhaps the high peaks will figure more though given my health who
knows. All that matters is to make the most of what is available. I will
still be looking in those dry river beds and around the next corner –
never be satisfied!
next month, good watching. Paul Smith.
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.