Monday, March 16, 2015

Athens Half-day trip, March 12th

It's spring time and even a short trip around Athens can yield a good number of species. On March, 12 we visited the famous Schinias National Park for a few hours and the results were more than satisfactory; we saw and heard 54 species!

The day began with a thorough scan of the marshes. Winter visitors, like the Reed Bunting and the Water Pipit were still present, but we could also find spring arrivals, like the Northen Wheatear and the Hoopoe! 
Hoopoe Upupa epops
Large flocks of House Martins along with a few Barn and Red-rumped Swallows were flying low, chasing insects above the reeds. The first Sedge Warblers were singing, and the last remaining Moustached Warblers were calling from the dense reedbed. Green Sandpipers were found in every ditch and pool.

Green Sandpiper 
The seasonal lake of Agia Triada, held Shovelers, Mallards, Ferruginous Ducks and Garganeys (that had just arrived). Little Ringed Plovers and Redshanks were also present.
Other interesting species seen include the Penduline Tit and the Fan-tailed Warbler, both common and widespread residents of Schinias.

The trip ended with a very short visit to the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani, on Mt Hymettus. The area was full of singing birds: Song Thrushes,Firecrests, Short-toed Treecreepers and Chaffinches were everywhere, but not a single bird came out in the open! Fortunately some Blackcaps and Jays were more birder-friendly and gave us enough views. Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits were also, surprisingly, always under cover. Anyway, it was a fruitful day and we had a really good time!

CHECKLIST OF TRIP (S = Schinias, H = Hymettus)

Mallard S
Garganey S
Shoveler S
Ferruginus Duck S
Little Grebe S
Little Egret S
Great Egret S
Grey Heron S
Marsh Harrier S
Common Buzzard S
Kestrel S
Water Rail S
Moorhen S
Coot S
Little Ringed Plover S
Common Snipe S
Redshank S
Green Sandpiper S
Black-headed Gull S
Yellow-legged Gull S
Collared Dove SH
Crested Lark S
Skylark S
Barn Swallow S
House Martin S
Red-rumped Swallow S
White Wagtail S
Meadow Pipit S
Water Pipit S
Robin SH
Black Redstart S
Stonechat S
Northern Wheatear S
Blackbird SH
Song Thrush SH
Cetti's Warbler (heard) S
Fan-tailed Warbler S
Moustached Warbler (heard) S
Sedge Warbler (heard) S
Blackcap SH
Sardinian Warbler SH
Chiffchaff SH
Firecrest H
Short-toed Treecreeper (heard) H
Long-tailed Tit (heard) H
Blue Tit SH
Great Tit SH
Coal Tit (heard) H
Penduline Tit S
Jay H
Magpie SH
Hooded Crow S
House Sparrow SH
Tree Sparrow S
Chaffinch SH
Serin S
Goldfinch S
Greenfinch S
Linnet S
Hawfinch (heard) H
Cirl Bunting (heard) H
Reed Bunting S

62 SPECIES (8 heard)

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