Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Birdwatching in Athens: Summer birding@Mt Parnitha

Mt Parnitha is the highest (1,413 m) of the mountains that surround Athens. Despite the damage inflicted by the great wildfire of 2007, dense conifer and mixed woodland covers large tracts, especially in the eastern part, rendering the area a very good birdwatching destination for the hot summer months.

Among the forest dwellers, the Honey Buzzard is soaring in search of hives, nesting in the large pine trees.

The Honey Buzzard can be seen soaring above the forested slopes

This is also the sole area around Athens to hold breeding Lesser Whitethroats, as this small warbler's distribution extends from central Greece northwards.

Lesser Whitethroat is hard to see, even though it frequently comes very close, looking for insects in the dense foliage

The Red-backed Shrike is also a very interesting breeder, as its distribution in southern Greece is patchy.

Red-backed Shrikes in southern Greece prefers clearings in high and middle altitudes.

Parnitha is also very rich in butterflies, therefore it is highly recommended for those who want to enjoy wildlife even in the hottest period of the year. 

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