MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR JULY 2004
|And a few final words for July..... What a poor month for birds! Talk about scraping the barrel - it has been impossible to find them. We have spent as much time and visited the same spots we always do so it is not for lack of time or effort - the birds just aren't there.
It was depressing to see so many barn owls killed on the roads. Here, as everywhere, they are attracted to roads and are killed by traffic when headlights dazzle and confuse them.
Those of you who have visited this part of Crete may be familiar with the Tavronitis river. You might like to know that, as part of a flood defence scheme, lots of gabions (wire cages filled with boulders) have been put in on the west bank by the road bridge and also down at the estuary. Part of this work included bulldozing the river bed which is now broad and flat, so when the rains start there will be huge shallow areas for the waders and herons to rest and feed. No doubt the ferocious winter rains will scour out a new channel, but for this autumn conditions here for the birds could be excellent.
It took until the last day of this month for an eleonoras falcon to turn up. What has become of them? We used to have them regularly in flocks and greatly enjoyed them, but alas no more....
The return migration had best be better than the spring migration - or I will be tempted to hang up my binoculars and take up watching paint dry, or perhaps planks warping. As if....!
For now, good watching. Paul Smith.