Nov. Near Platanias A
group of 3 booted eagles were circling.
At Agia reservoir. Were a massive 735+ coots; 24+ moorhens; 60+
pochard; 30+ teal; 47+ shoveler; 7+ ferruginous duck; 7 black necked grebes; 26+ little grebes; a kingfisher; a robin; a
pair of white wagtails; a pair of actively displaying marsh harriers; and
we had good views of a juvenile lesser spotted eagle.
a favourite valley.
A lovely sunny day with still and
calm conditions, so we went up into the mountains to our favourite valley
to look for raptors wintering.
At one stopping point we saw a pair of lanner falcons; a pair of bonellis
eagles; a single swallow; a flock of 5 honey buzzards; a pair of ravens;
and a flock of 20 rock doves at the resident colony. Further on we stopped
again to watch 2 adult eastern imperial eagles; an adult golden eagle; a
steppe buzzard; a flock of 20+ meadow pipits; 19+ goldfinches; and a grey wagtail. These small birds are worth noting because of the
altitude that we found them at.
At the last stop we watched a booted eagle; had lovely views of a pair of
golden eagles displaying by diving, screeching and barrel rolling against
a pure blue Mediterranean sky. Then a lanner falcon arrived and later a
raven; 5+ robins; a flock of 15+ serins; a single griffon vulture; a rock
thrush; and of course the pair of bearded vultures did not let us down.
Theirs was a fine display of seemingly effortless soaring along the high
ridges as they searched for carrion.
Even on the way back we did well when we found a huge flock of 60+ ravens;
a pair of long legged buzzards; and then a pair of must be wintering red
kites. All these birds were foraging at a large rural rubbish dump. My
right hand man was not too impressed at my taking her to a rubbish dump,
but the effort was worthwhile!
Nov. Near the Coast. A black kite; a male goshawk; 6+
meadow pipits; a white wagtail; a black redstart; a male marsh harrier; a
flock of 6+ linnets; and 6+ tree sparrows were tucked in with a large
flock of Spanish sparrows. We even found a flock of 30+ of those awful
Nov. Into the Mountains. Again making the most of lovely
autumn weather, we again headed for the mountains and were well rewarded.
At the first stop were a black kite; a flock of 10+ meadow pipits; a pair
of golden eagles; 4 griffon vultures; 2 ravens; an alpine accentor; a
juvenile female goshawk; and 5+ crag martins. At the next stop were a
steppe buzzard, a bonellis eagle; stonechats; and a kestrel. At the final
stop we saw a flock of 30+ rock doves at this other colony, a juvenile red
backed shrike; a black redstart; 2 juvenile eastern imperial eagles - an
adult and a 3rd calendar year golden eagles; a flock of 50+ ravens; a
peregrine falcon; a long legged buzzard; some whinchats; and a kestrel.
What was amazing was that when the bearded vultures arrived to survey
their territory, one of them perched on a rocky outcrop and was joined
within minutes by the adult golden eagle that flew up and perched within
about four metres, with no hostile behaviour from either bird. Ten minutes
later the bearded vulture lazily flew off after its mate.
Nov. Along the Coast. A leisurely drive along the coast
produced good numbers of stonechat; whinchat; black redstart; meadow
pipits; chaffinches; a kestrel; and even a moorhen.
Nov. At Neo Chorio. A pair of ravens were vigorously
displaying and calling loudly. A booted eagle nearly managed to sneak by
undetected - until the crows found that it was carrying food of some
kind and so mobbed it repeatedly until it escaped over the ridge and into
the next valley.
Nov. On the Coast. Were a male goshawk; and a group
of 4 calandra larks.
Nov. At Neo Chorio. 20th. A kestrel. Then,
Along the coast. Were a
marsh harrier; a juvenile booted eagle; a pair of kestrels; and a flock of
Nov. At Neo Chorio. A flock of 80+house
martins flew by. Some 50+ very late swifts were
with them. Later a booted eagle flew by.
Nov. Along the coast. More whinchats; white wagtails; a pair of
moorhens; a flock of 20+ meadow pipits; and
a male hen harrier in perfect plumage.
Nov. Back along the coast.
The usual stonechats;
whinchats; black redstarts; meadow pipits;
marsh harriers; robins; and blackbirds -
but supplemented by a steppe buzzard; a flock of 15+ serins;
and a male kestrel.
Nov. On the Coast. A lone and very late sandwich tern
was fishing just out to sea for a long period.
28th Nov. Back to
the Mountains. Unable to resist the excellent weather we again
set off for the mountains, this time to a very different area.
At the first stop were a
lanner falcon; 2 ravens; 5+ griffon vultures; and a bonellis eagle.
Further on were 1 griffon vulture; a pair of bonellis eagles; and a lovely
female goshawk soared against the incredibly blue sky.
Returning via the rubbish dump was a good idea, as we saw a flock of 17
griffon vultures; 70+ ravens; 5+crag martins; 1 red kite; a female
sparrowhawk that almost scraped the ground as it swooped by - presumably
after the flock of 5+ meadow pipits or perhaps the orphean warbler that
sat near the car, singing away oblivious of the potential threat. A hoopoe
was very unexpected at this late date but was calling and flying nearby. A
separate flock of 19+ ravens appeared as we were leaving, indicating that
there was plenty of food available nearby.