The Spotted Eagle we were all waiting, came back once more to overwinter, like the previous 2 years, at Shinias National Park, together with the Ferruginous Duck. But lets take it from the beginning:
I was driving to the Olympic Rowing Center, on Sunday, December 11th 2005, to meet a team of 11 birdwatchers, that we have all arranged to have a birding day in the park. While approaching the rowing center, the wires along the road were full of Starlings, Corn Buntings, Goldfinches. A Kestrel was hovering in the fields beside, and Grey Wagtails were diving in the small stream next to the road. A Cormorant was seen flying over the marsh.
We started at 8pm by scanning the rowing center. About 500 Coots, and 10 Little Grebes was our count. In the area north of the center, we saw one Black Redstart, a flock of Serins, Siskins and Linnets feeding with the seeds of several plants. The first Marsh Harrier of the day flew over our heads.
We continued to the road that connects Kato Souli with the beach of Shinias. Suddenly, a raptor was seen flying over our heads. It was the impressive Spotted Eagle, the bird that was recorder the previous 2 winters and finally arrived this year too. It flew quite close to us, actually fighting with a Marsh Harrier over the marsh. Those of us who had good digital cameras managed to take nice pics. After a few meters of walk, a Ferruginous Duck was spotted, together with about 50 Coots, Little Grebes and Moorhens. Another Kestrel was hovering, with Buzzards and Marsh Harriers were inspecting the area from above.
During the next hour of walking, the most important recordings were 2 Pintails, a Sparrowhawk and 3 Redshanks, 100 Mallards and 30 Teals.
The full bird list for Sunday, December 11th 2005, is the following:
Black-necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Ferruginous Duck, Spotted Eagle, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Redshank, Herring Gull, Collared Dove, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Robin, Black Redstart, Blackbird Corn Bunting, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Siskin, Serin, House Sparrow, Starling, Magpie.
The Spotted Eagle is back again for the 3rd consecutive year!