Sunday, September 06, 2015

Birdwatching in Athens: Athens Half-day Trip, September 3rd

September is the peak month of autumn migration and even a few hours in the field can be really productive. Such was the case of a half-day trip on September, 3 with Robert and Joanne Kowalczyk from Massachusetts, USA.

First, we visited Mt Parnitha; to look for resident breeders like the Sombre Tit and any migrant that would be present. And there were a lot! Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers, Black-eared Wheatears, Whitethroats and many more were feeding on the berries of the Turpentine Tree. Sombre Tits, Cirl Buntings, Sardinian Warblers were also easy to find in the bushes, while Rock Nuthatches and Blue Rock Thrushes were calling from the nearby rocky outcrops.
Black-eared Wheatear


Deeper in the forest, Long-tailed Tits were abundant, while Jays and Great Tits were also very common.
Long-tailed Tit

Next station was Oropos Lagoon, Athens' most important brackish wetland. We found Kentish Plovers, Shags, Mediterranean Gulls and many Wood Sandpipers. Migrating Yellow Wagtails were around, along with lots of Little Egrets and Grey Herons. A few Red-rumped Swallows were also present.

Kentish Plover

Last stop was Mt Hymettus. We looked for Coal Tits, Firecrests and Short-toed Treecreepers and we found them all!

It was a very hot day (no winds at all and very increased humidity in the air) but still Athens proved once again how rich birdlife it holds; 43 species seen and heard!

CHECKLIST OF THE TRIP (P = Mt Parnitha, O = Oropos Lagoon, H = Mt Hymettus)

Shag O
Little Egret O
Grey Heron O
Kestrel P
Kentish Plover O
Redshank O
Greenshank O
Wood Sandpiper O
Mediterranean Gull O
Yellow-legged Gull O
Collared Dove O
Crested Lark O
Barn Swallow PO
Red-rumped Swallow O
Yellow Wagtail O
Northern Wheatear P
Black-eared Wheatear P
Blue Rock Thrush P
Blackbird PH
Zitting Cisticola O
Blackcap P
Lesser Whitethroat P
Whitethroat P
Sardinian Warbler POH
Willow Warbler PH
Firecrest H
Spotted Flycatcher PH
Great Tit PH
Coal Tit H
Log-tailed Tit P
Sombre Tit P
Rock Nuthatch P
Short-toed Treecreeper H
Red-backed Shrike P
Jay PH
Magpie OH
Hooded Crow PO
Raven P
Chaffinch PH
House Sparrow OH
Cirl Bunting PH

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