MY BIRDWATCHING HIGHLIGHTS FOR OCTOBER 2005

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1stOct.  At Neo Chorio.  Hundreds of swallows streamed south on migration.
                Down on the coast. A single grey heron looked very lonely.

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2nd Oct.  At Neo Chorio.  A flock of at least 6 honey buzzards mixed it with our local common buzzards and a booted eagle slid by.
 

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3rd Oct.  At Neo Chorio. The first wintering black redstart showed up and immediately proclaimed our garden as his territory.
                At Kolymbari. A friend picked up a dead kingfisher that tried to fly through a closed window.

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4thOct.  At Neo Chorio.  Our first wintering blackcap appeared and hundreds of song thrushes went by on migration.
               Down on the coast.  A single great white egret was soon followed by a flock of 7.
 

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5thOct.  At Platanias.  Both at Platanias and Neradzia were single booted eagles.
 

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6thOct.   At Neo Chorio. There was a flock of 4 honey buzzards, and 
               On the coast.  Was another great white egret.

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7th OctAlong the coast.  A flock of 6 little egrets and at night we heard what must have been hundreds of some species of heron migrating.

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8th SeptAlong the coast.  2 late spotted flycatchers were busy feeding on small insects beside a shallow pool.
 

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9th OctAt Neo Chorio.  At least 10,000 swallows, house martins and sand martins went by in mixed flocks.

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10th OctAlong the coast. On one of the saline pools along the coast was a broad billed sandpiper - still in full breeding plumage, a beautiful and very confiding bird.

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12th OctAt voukolies.  A booted eagle was circling for over an hour.
 

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14th Oct.  Near Galatas. A steppe buzzard was circling over the motorway, while near Gerani a pair of juvenile lesser spotted eagles showed that raptor migration is well under way. Alpine swifts were clearly heard but were to high up to be seen.
                  At Neradzia. A flock of 5 honey buzzards slowly headed south.
 

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17th OctAt Neo Chorio.  More alpine swifts were heard but again could not be seen..

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19th OctAt Neo Chorio.  At Agia reservoir were a booted eagle; 100+ pochard; 300+ coot; 2 little egrets; 50 little grebes; 40+ moorhen; 15+ ferruginous duck; and at long last I saw a little crake.
                 Up on the Omalos plateau.  Were a merlin; 2 cough followed by 9 more and finally a flock of 70+ with just 2 alpine chough. A single cirl bunting was a pleasant discovery skulking in some low bushes.
                 At Agia Irini.  We found a rough legged buzzard being heavily mobbed by a swallow. A jay; some more alpine swifts; ravens; some crag martins; and yet another booted eagle.

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20thOctAt Galatas A male hen harrier was hunting near the motorway.

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24th Oct Near Chania. We found another rough legged buzzard.
                 On the coast. We were surprised to find a pair of mallard feeding in a shallow estuary this is the hunting season!
 

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26thOctAt Kolymbari.  A crane circled for ages trying to land in the new harbour, but there was too much disturbance for it to settle.

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27th OctAt Neo Chorio. Yet another flock of honey buzzards, this time 5 of them.
            

And a few final words for October.....  A good month with some good raptors seen and surely more to come. Shortly we will be going down to see how many eastern imperial eagles have come here to over as well as checking on how the bearded vultures are doing they should be relining their nest by now as well as doing lots of displaying and mating as they should have eggs by Christmas. The golden eagles too are early breeders so we will check on those as well - weather permitting. Many people find it hard to believe we have a real winter here so cannot rely on getting out as much as we would like to but we will do our best.

To all our regular readers and contacts we send our best wishes and look forward to hearing from even more of you feedback is always welcome and stimulating.

To have seen a little crake at last was very satisfying, especially as I have been looking for them at Agia for six years! Other birdwatchers go there and see them the first time, some people have all the luck!.

Until next month, Good Birding!  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.

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