Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: March 17 2018

Margaret Vernon is a teacher from the United States, a happy birdwatcher but, most of all, an adorable person. She came to Greece for a few days break and wanted to include some birding to her Greek experience. She wanted a full day trip, to see as many birds and habitats as possible.

We started at 07.00, heading to Schinias National Park. Migration was pretty evident as we managed to see Hoopoes, Marsh Sandpipers, Glossy Ibises, Ruffs, Garganeys and lots of Yellow Wagtails. We also enjoyed great views of several different residents, including Ferruginous Ducks, Penduline Tits and Cetti's Warblers.

Hoopoe


Ferruginous Duck (male)

Penduline Tit
Other interesting birds seen were the Short-toed Treecreeper, the Zitting Cisticola, the Little Ringed Plover and the Northern Wheatear. 

Schinias is a big place and you can spend all day there but we had to leave and visit Mt Hymettus. 

We made our first stop at the ridge, looking for Ruppell's and Subalpine Warblers; we found both! We also saw a beautiful male Blue Rock Thrush. 

Subalpine Warbler

Next stop was the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisarian; we looked for the Firecrest and saw it very quickly. We also saw (among others) Jays, Hawfinches ans Siskins. 

Firecrest
Last stop was Kareas, a scrubby area in the process of regeneration after the wildfire of 2015. The Rock Nuthatch was the last target species to be found, bringing the bird count to 64!

Margaret minutes after seeing a Rock Nuthatch

TRIP CHECKLIST
Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Garganey - Spatula querquedula
Northern Shoveler - Spatula clypeata
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius
Ruff - Calidris pugnax
Green Sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
Marsh Sandpiper - Tringa stagnatilis
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops
Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Common Raven - Corvus corax
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Coal Tit - Periparus ater
Great Tit - Parus major
Eurasian Penduline-Tit - Remiz pendulinus
Western Rock Nuthatch - Sitta neumayer
Short-toed Treecreeper - Certhia brachydactyla
Eurasian Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
Firecrest - Regulus ignicapilla
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Rόppell's Warbler - Sylvia ruppeli
Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros
Blue Rock-Thrush - Monticola solitarius
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Eurasian Linnet - Linaria cannabina
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
Eurasian Siskin - Spinus spinus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus
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