Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kos island (Dodekanese)

A short trip to Kos island provides excellent birdwatching opportunities. The island has two very important and protected wetlands, Psalidi Marshes and Tigaki Saltpans. This year, the water level is quite low, due to the lack of rainfall during winter. However, on a short half-day trip, 25 Greater Flamingos were recorded, and total of 10 Ruddy Shelducks, were the highlights, together with a Long-legged Buzzard. During migration in April & May, the island is full of Bee-eaters, Rollers and Cattle Egrets even in small fields inside the city of Kos. Together with Lesvos and Limnos (two more Aegean islands with numerous important wetlands), this island provides a resting point for many waders and ducks during migration, being on the of the few breeding places in Europe for Ruddy Shelduck. The birds nest in the islet of Pserimos, while the nestlings are tranferred by their parents on flights over the sea, to Tigaki Saltpans.

Special thanks to restless Eva Dimitriou, Caretaker of Kos Island IBA's, for her hospitality and devotion to nature conservation.

The complete bird list of our half-day trip (38 species):
Greater Flamingo, Little Grebe, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard, Shoveler, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Whimbrel, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow-legged Gull, Black-headed Gull, House Martin, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, Pallid Swift, White Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark, Collared Dove, Nothern Wheater, Song Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Wren, Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Magpie, Starling, House Sparrow, Cetti's Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Great Reed Warbler, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Serin, Corn Bunting

Two Greater Flamingos with 2 Ruddy Shelducks in the backround.

The flock of Greater Flamingos, at Psalidi Marshes

Ruddy Shelduck ,the "duck of the Aegean"

"It takes two to make things all right!" Spring fever in Kos Island with happy tortoises

Flocks of Jackdaws can be seen all over the island, mostly on electricity wires
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