Sunday, July 17, 2011

Breeding summary of an unusual vineyard



The case of Loutros area near the Athens International Airport is very characteristic of how important are shallow freshwater bodies. An otherwise waterbird-empty area got flooded this year, both water- and birdwise. In spring, more than 110 species were recorded, including very rare ones like Citrine Wagtail and Great Snipe. In addition, Coots, Moorhens, Little Grebes, Little Ringed Plovers and Black-winged Stilts bred, while Ferruginous Ducks and Whiskered Terns were seen all summer long.


Several pairs of Black-winged Stilts nested, succesfully rearing many chicks like this one


The area was also rich in farmland birds. Crested Larks, Short-toed Larks and Black-headed Buntings were among the breeders.



Short-toed Larks are quite common in the fields near the airport


The surrounding olive groves and conifer tree stands support healthy populations of Turtle Doves, Hoopoes, Woodchat Shrikes and many other passerines.



Woodchat Shrike is the most common breeding Shrike in Attica




It's already mid July and there's still enough freshwater in the area to support fall migrants. The first Wood Sandpipers and Green Sandpipers are already there, along with Little Egrets, so August is expected to be very fruitful there!



















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