bullet1st Oct. At Kolimbari.  7 Ravens.
               At Neo Chorio. Another pair of Ravens.
bullet2nd Oct. On the coast. We found an adult rough legged buzzard, and
                At Potamida.  A booted eagle.
                At the nest site.  A single bearded vulture flew by as if prospecting for the coming breeding season.
                At Vathi.  A single steppe buzzard and a griffon vulture.
                At Kambos.  Good views of a third - year bonellis eagle plus a pair of ravens.
                Along the coast.  A flock of 4 purple herons.
                At Neo Chorio.  A large flock of purple herons was heard calling as they migrated at night.    
bullet3rd Oct. Over a nearby gorge.  Lovely views of a flock of 4 honey buzzards; later another 2 pairs; 8 griffon vultures; and excellent views of a lanner falcon soaring against a lovely deep-blue sky.
bullet4th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  A flock of 5 honey buzzards.  In the garden we still have cicadas calling.
bullet6th Oct.  At Neo Chorio.  2 booted eagles.
bullet7th Oct. Along the coast.  A flock of 5 little egrets flew west.  The next day we found a kingfisher; a single skylark; and several thousand swallows streaming by.
bullet10th Oct. At Topolia.  Three pairs of common buzzards in the air together; a pair of ravens; a single steppe buzzard; followed by a flock of 6 griffon vultures.
bullet11th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  A rough legged buzzard; a male hen harrier.
bullet13th Oct. At Sirili. A rough legged buzzard.
                 At Norpigia.  Another male hen harrier.
bullet15th Oct. At Georgiopoulu.  In the morning,  cettis warblers were calling; several moorhen' lots of coot; 12 little grebes; a male pochard.
                 At Meladania Cave.  An eleonoras falcon flew over;
                 At Bali.  A pair of ravens; a ring tailed harrier.
                 At Iraklion outskirts.  3 griffon vultures; in the city, a very big flock of starlings.
                 At Pedros Gorge.  2 griffon vultures.
                 At Georgiopoulu.  4 grey heron; moorhens; coot; little grebes; hundreds of swallows; and a flock of 63 gargeny.
bullet16th Oct. En-route to the coast.  1 booted eagle; 
                 On the coast.  a fan tailed warbler; a pair of white wagtails.
bullet18th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  A pair of steppe buzzards; a flock of 17 bee-eaters was seen but many more went by very high up but could be heard clearly. Then a lesser spotted eagle.
                  At Sirili. A single hobby was hawking over the dry river bed.
bullet19th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  A juvenile common buzzard perched in a walnut tree, calling repeatedly for food which it's parents provided in the form of a large lizard.  This seemed very late for buzzard to be feeding young!
bullet21st Oct.  Near the sea.  A black kite.
            At Neo Chorio. 
A short toed eagle; several blackcaps singing; an adult booted eagle; an eleonoras falcon.  A pair of steppe buzzards circled above with a pair of honey buzzards and a single local buzzard.  A few robins have arrived to winter.
bullet22nd Oct.  On the coast.  4 purple and 2 grey herons together with a lovely great white egret.  Several cettis warblers were calling ; on the beach we found the remains of adult roller which had been long dead.
bullet27th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  Another pair of steppe buzzards being vigorously mobbed by a pair of hooded crows;  a male hen harrier slipped by.
                 On the coast.  2 ringed plovers; a kingfisher; 5 grey herons.
bullet28th Oct. At Neo Chorio.  An eleonoras falcon.
bullet29th Oct. On the Omalos Plateau.  Several wrens were scolding and there were plenty of stonechats, one of them a very dark male.  Hundreds of goldfinches were feeding on thistle seeds, including one pure white albino - how such a conspicious bird remains alive  is a mystery given the raptor population.  Over 100 swallows; 20+ craig martins; flocks of 27; 16; 7; and 5 alpine choughs.  There may have been more, it being difficult to tell if we were seeing the same birds again or new flocks.  Best of all was a view of a juvenile bearded vulture, probably second year.  2 griffon vultures; several winchats; linnets; 3 tree pipits; a flock of 100+ starlings; a flock of 32 red billed choughs feeding on stubble; a pair of buzzards; a male blackbird; a pair of ravens; a pair of steppe buzzards; a white wagtail; a flock of 32 5 meadow pipits; a male Italian sparrow; and a crested lark.
bullet31st Oct.  On the coast.  16 white wagtails; a kingfisher; a flock of 50+ meadow pipits; a single sand martin; a moorhen; and a female kestrel.


And a few final words for October.....   Another good month with lots of migrants to see plus the arrival of wintering birds like the kingfisher, black redstart and the robin.  All helped by glorious weather.  October here has been maybe warmer and finer than much of August was.  Brilliant sunshine almost every day with temperatures of around 35o not unusual.  Hence our many trips to the coast where my 'right hand man' swims at every opportunity while I look for birds.  She wants to swim every month of the year and is well on the way to achieving that - bless her!

On one of our trips out we discovered a gorge not seen listed on any maps we have seen yet.  It is very deep and very long and certainly more impressive than some which tourists are directed to.  We will be going back to explore fully as it looks to be superb for birds.  More news later perhaps.

For now, good watching.  Paul Smith.

Editor: The review a of very recent book by another Cretan ornithologist - which contains some superb photographs, is on site. The review is linked to a photo gallery - with kind permission from the author Anastasios Sakoulis. Have a look at the review in Books and Good Reading pages. 
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