Thursday, 27 April 2017

Great Reed Warblers and Whinchats

Yesterday (26th April) saw only another small arrival and it was hard to know whether relatively few birds were migrating in the light winds or whether the fine conditions meant that most of them passed straight overhead without stopping.
A few species appeared to be present in greater numbers including 20 Great Reed Warbler (the highest day total ever recorded) and 51 Spotted Flycatcher. Totals for the other more abundant species were: 7 Hoopoe, 3 Cuckoo, 69 Turtle Dove, 8 Golden Oriole, 9 Sedge Warbler, 19 Whitethroat, 8 Garden Warbler, 10 Wood Warbler, 65 Whinchat, 26 Nightingale, 17 Pied Flcatcher and 5 Woodchat Shrike.

The first Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was seen and heard singing briefly at Porto Kagio in the afternoon. While an Orphean Warbler trapped and ringed was also a first for e year.  

There were 5 Kestrels through early on otherwise all the other raptors, except the Hobby, went through between 12.30 and 14.30.

Raptors:: 4 Honey Buzzard, 4 Motagu's Harrier, 7 Kestrel and 1 Hobby 

Ringing Totals:    Sedge Warbler 4,  Pied Flycatcher 4,  Wood Warbler 2,  Orphean Warbler 1,  Garden Warbler 4,  Wryneck 1, Nightingale 2,  Spotted Flycatcher 3,  Linnet 3,  Great Reed Warbler 2,  Whinchat 1,  Turtle Dove 1.
Overall total: 28 birds ringed:in 66m of mist net.

Weather: NNE to  NE 2/3 in the morning, only force 1/2 in afternoon. Clear all day.

Spotted Flycatcher at Koikinoghia

Woodchat Shrike at Marmari

Great Reed Warbler at Porto Kagio

Southern Comma at Marmari

Red-throated Pipit on pipit plateau, the only one recorded on 26th 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Small Arrival

The wind was pretty much in the north-east or east north-east all day and generally light, increasing slightly in the afternoon. There had clearly been a clear out overnight with far fewer birds singing below Beehive Pass as the sun rose and fewer birds to be seen in the bushes later on. Still the fine weather and less wind made for much easier and more enjoyable birding.

Totals for the day were 5 Hoopoe, 77 Bee-eater, 2 Wryneck, 57 Turtle Dove, 12 Woodchat Shrike, 18 Golden Oriole, 23 Short-toed Lark,13 Great Reed Warbler, 10 Garden Warbler, 25 Whitethroat, 10 Wood Warbler, 4 Willow Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Icterine Warbler, 60 Whinchat, 21 Nightingale, 35 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Collared Flycatcher, 13 Pied Flycatcher, 24 Tree Pipit and 3 Redstart.

The only very minor oddities were a late Greenfinch at Beehive Pass and a Collared Dove at Paliros.

Raptors: 2 Montagu's Harrier, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Red-footed Falcon, 8 Kestrel, 1 Hobby, 1Falcon Sp.

Lighthouse Watch: (30mins) 4 Scopoli's Shearwater, 11 Yelkouan Shearwater, 4 Swallows in from the south. There was also a Hobby that roared northwards as we started heading back.

Ringing TotalsNightingale 5,  Willow Warbler 1,  Garden Warbler 6,  Whitethroat 2,  Sardinian Watrbler 2,  Pied Flycatcher 1,  IIcterine Warbler 1,  Great Reed Warbler 1,  Wood Warbler 1,  Sedge Warbler 1, Golden Oriole 1,  Chiffchaff 1.
Overall Total: 23 birds from 45m of nets.

Ground feeding Wood Warbler at Koureli

Ophrys orchid near Paliros

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Raptors star in a mixed arrival

Yesterday (24th April) proved a real contrast to the previous day with light winds allowing for some great birdwatching. The main valley resounded to bird song early on and Acrocephalus warblers were particularly noticeable; elsewhere there was plenty to see with flycatchers and Whinchars pretty much everywhere. For various reasons coverage of the headland was incomplete today so the following totals are likely to be underestimates: 13 Great Reed Warbler, 17 Sedge Warbler, 30 Whitethroat, 17 Nightingale, 32 Pied Flycatcher, 40 Spotted Flycatcher, 63 Whinchat, 11 Golden Oriole, 3 Hoopoe, 39 Bee-eater, 21 Woodchat Shrike, 9 Garden Warbler and 2 Icterine Warbler.

It was a great day for raptors with an early flurry of harriers around 09.00 and then a marked arrival of Red-footed Falcons at 13.00. Totals for the day were 13 Red-footed Falcons, 4 unidentifiable Falcons (probably Red-foots), 2 Montagu's Harriers, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 late Hen Harrier, 2 Harrier Sp, a Hobby and 3 Kestrel. There were also 5 Short-toed Eagle, including a flock of 4, though there was no evidence that these had actually arrived from the south.

Good coverage of Pipit Plateau yielded 10 Red-throated Pipit and 9 Short-toed Lark.

Oddities were a single Turnstone in Porto Sternes, a juvenile Night Heron in from the south at the lighthouse and a Lesser Whitethroat below Beehive Pass.

Ringing Totals: Blackcap 1,  Sedge Warbler 8,  Whitethroat 8 ,  Pied Flycatcher 4,  Garden Wearbler 7,  Wood Warbler 3, Nightingale 9,  Great Reed Warbler 1,  Tree Pipit 1,  Whinchat 2,  Golden Oriole 2,  Spotted Flycatcher 2.   
Overall total 48 birds ringed from 45m of net.

Some images from the 24th April, Pied Flycatcher, Red-throated Pipit and Short-toed Eagle.

Monday, 24 April 2017

A Windy Day - 23rd April

Not yet back in to a routine so yesterday's report is a day late ........ whoops 

It proved to be a really windy day, getting steadily stronger as the day wore on. It seemed almost impossible to find a sheltered corner in the second half of the afternoon. That said conditions alloweda reasonable   look around in the morning.

Counts of the dominant species were: 68 Whinchat, 22 Woodchat Shrike, just 18 Whitethroat, 20 Nightingale,  23 Pied Flycatcher and 23 Spotted Flycathcher. There were also 3 Wryneck, 4 Hoopoe, 2 Collared Flycatcher, 9 Golden Oriole, 3 Redstart, 2 Wood Warbler and 2 Great Reed Warbler.

The other species of interest was Spanish Sparrow with a total of at least 240 ground birds, mostly at Kokinoghia and Beehive Pass.

The only raptors on the mover were a single Kestrel and a fine male Lesser Kestrel. 

The other development this year is that we now have an official permission to undertake bird ringing at Cape Tenaro. The windy afternoon allowed us to spend time cutting mist net rides and special thanks are due to Katherina for helping us liaise with the local people and help in chopping out the net rides. One of the nets was even sheltered enough to open briefly enabling us to get the ringing programme off to a start - and the first bird ringed was a Garden Warbler (that must be your influence Christos !!).

Ringing totals: 1 Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warbler, 1 Great Reed Warbler (Total = 5)

Windy bushes at Pailros

A Golden Oriole hiding from the wind

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Arrival at Cape Tenaro

We arrived yesterday afternoon  in torrential rain. Luckily this soon cleared through to reveal a good selection of grounded migrants. Full details to follow later but fow here is a pIcture of one of the 5 Collared Flycatchers we saw.

Evrota Delta and the Conservation Challenge

IWhile much of the delta was converted to agricultural use years ago there are, if you know where to look, still some great areas for wildlife. The picture below shows the largest area of remaining wet grassland and marsh in the eastern part of the delta (with a hunting Marsh Harrier).

It was therefore a shame to see some of these remaining wilder areas of natural habitat within the Natura 2000 site boundaries being lost. Close to where the large flock of 180 Glossy Ibis were feeding and roosting there was an active waste tip burying an area of seasonal marsh.

Further on an area that use to be sand dune grassland was now potato fields.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

A morning in the Evrota Delta

On our way to Cape Tenaro today we spent an enjoyable morning birding in the Evrota Delta. There were plenty of common migrants including 2,500 Swallow, 300 flava wagtails, 60 Wood Sand Piper and 28 Ruff. There was also an impressive flock of 180 migrant Glossy Ibis (one of the key features of the Natura 2000 site), a solitary Whiskered Tern , 2 Cattle Egrets and at least 3 pairs of Peduline Tits.

Glossy Ibis in the Evrota Delta, 22 April 2017, part of a flock of 180 birds

Cattle Egret, Evrota Delta, 22 April 2017

Penduline Tit, Evrota Delta22 April 2017


Friday, 21 April 2017

Spring 2017

The Cape Tenaro Birders will be back on the headland tomorrow (22nd April) and the first post with bird news from the headland should appear in the evening.

For now here's a picture of one of the local Corn Buntings taken last year