Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Birding in Athens: Trip Report, Athens 28.8.2016

Birdwatching in Athens can be rather challenging in August. Autumn migration has already started, with shrikes and small waders reaching peak numbers. We run a birding tour for S.Burton, a birder from England, on Sunday 28th, basically around Easten Attica.
Broad-billed Sandpiper at Artemis (Loutsa) Lagoon
We started from Spata fields, were Sylvia warblers start their migration, basically the juveniles. Garden Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap,  (and Lesser Whitethroat the next day), together with Red-backed Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Northern Wheatear and Black-eared Wheatear.

Garden Warbler at Spata fields
Spotted Flycatcher at Spata fields

Our next stop was Schinias National Park. Two impressive Short-toed Eagles was well observed. Other specialties of the area were Zitting Cisticola, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black-headed Wagtail (heard), and beautiful Penduline Tits at the Olympic Rowing center. We also had Rock Nuthatch around their nesting area, and the close by hill, as well as Chukar.
Our last stop was the small Artemis (Loutsa) Lagoon, north of Athens International Airport. This small pond always holds water in summer, which attracts a lot of migrant waders. So, we had the chance to see Black-winged Stilt, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Redshank.

Red-backed Shrike enjoying cicada as lunch, at Pikermi
Little Owl at Schinias National Park
The complete bird list (54 species) for this Athens half day birding trip on August 28th 2016 is as follows:
Little Grebe
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Mute Swan
Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Common Kestrel
Short-toed Eagle
Black-winged Stilt
Ringed Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Curlew Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
Yellow-legged Gull
Little Owl
Collared Dove
Common Swift
Crested Lark
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Red-rumped Swallow
Black-eared Wheatear
Northern Wheatear
Spotted Flycatcher
Cetti's Warbler
Willow Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Garden Warbler
Subalpine Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Great Tit
Penduline Tit
Rock Nuthatch
Red-backed Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike
Hooded Crow
Cirl Bunting

Ringed Plover at Artemis Lagoon

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