Friday, February 27, 2015

Birdwatching in Greece: Cretan specialties

The island of Crete is the best place in Greece to look for large birds of prey, like the Griffon Vulture, the Bearded Vulture and the Golden Eagle. Its rugged terain offers great nesting sites and the thousands of free-ranging goats and sheep provide ample food supply.

The Bearded Vulture (aka Lammergeier) is a very rare raptor,
a handful of pairs are nesting in Crete

The Griffon Vulture is very common and widespread
Another common bird of the Cretan mountains is the Chough. Flocks of up to 100 birds can be easily seen in most of the mountain ranges, from sea level to the alpine zone. 

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
 But it's not just the mountains; coastal areas can also provide very interesting species, like the Pallas' s Gull (Larus ichthyaetus) found in the port of Herakleio.

Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus

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