Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Full day, March 11 2018


Karel and Joost came from Holland and had a full day to spend birding with Greece Bird Tours. Especially for that day, a friend of mine and a very experienced birder joined us.

Early morning found us venturing in the Aesthetic forest of Kaisariani where apart from the interesting birdlife lies an old monastery that was built in the 11th century AD. Some of the species seen were: Short-toed Treecreeper, Firecrest, Eurasian Jay, Coal Tit, Hawfinch, Siskin and some other more common birds. We then went higher on the mountain, hoping to see any early migrants and there it was: a Ruppell’s Warbler was singing on top of a bush showing us its beauty! This might be the earliest arrival for this species. We continued our search and we also managed to see Subalpine Warblers, Chukars, a migrant female Hen Harrier etc, but unfortunately missed the Rock Nuthatch which was singing from a rock in a distance but our efforts to spot him were unsuccessful.

Subalpine Warbler
Next stop was Vravrona wetland; a very beautiful place “decorated” with the stunning temple of Artemis. Our target species here was the Cirl Bunting and we had great views of two birds. Other species seen were Great and Little Egret, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch etc.

We left behind Vravrona for the next stop: Artemis lagoon. Some more new migrant arrivals were found: Black-winged Stilt, Little-ringed Plover, Barn and Red-rumped Swallow but also there were winter visitors like Black-headed and Little Gull, Redshank, Coot, etc.

Last stop was Schinias NP. Schinias has a variety of habitats so we can see different species of birds. Apart from the abundant Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Serins, Corn Buntings, Meadow and Water Pipits we had the star of the area – the Ferruginous Duck – and Yellow Wagtails, Penduline Tits, Snipes, and other more common species like the Hooded Crow, the Crested Lark, the Stonechat, the Black Redstart etc.

Yellow Wagtail

It was another great day of birding with nice weather and 67 species in total!! (5 heard)

BIRD TRIP CHECKLIST

Mallard

(Northern) Shoveler

(Eurasian) Teal

Ferruginous Duck

Chukar

Little Grebe

Great Cormorant

Little Egret

Great Egret

Grey Heron

Short-toed Eagle

(Western) Marsh Harrier

Hen Harrier

Common Buzzard

Sparrowhawk

(Common) Kestrel

Water Rail (heard only)

Moorhen (heard only)

Coot

Black-winged Stilt

Little Ringed Plover

Green Sandpiper

(Common) Redshank

(Common) Snipe

Black-headed Gull

Yellow-legged Gull

Little Gull

Collared Dove

Crested Lark

Barn Swallow

Red-rumped Swallow

Meadow Pipit

Water Pipit

White Wagtail

Yellow (Black-headed) Wagtail

(European) Robin

Black Redstart

(Common) Stonechat

(Common) Blackbird

Blackcap (heard only)

Sardinian Warbler (heard only)

Ruppel's Warbler

(Eastern) Subalpine Warbler

Zitting Cisticola

Cetti's Warbler

(Common) Chiffchaf

Firecrest

Great Tit

Coal Tit

Long-tailed Tit

Penduline Tit

(Western) Rock Nuthatch (heard only)

Short-toed Treecreeper

Magpie

(Eurasian) Jay

Hooded Crow

(Common) Starling

House Sparrow

(Eurasian) Tree Sparrow

Chaffinch

(European) Goldfinch

(European) Greenfinch

(Eurasian) Siskin

(European) Serin

Hawfinch

Cirl Bunting

Corn Bunting

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