Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Birding in Athens, trip report: 2 Yellow-browed Warblers at Imittos Mt

Today's birding trip around Athens was fascinating, combining late migrants, awesome resident species as well as mega rarities. Let's start from the morning pick up:
Patty Meehan from Oregon and Ann Howe from Boston asked us to run a birding trip around the city for October 15th. We picked them up from their flat in Acropolis area and started our trip from Schinias National Park. Along with Zitting Cisticola, Red-backed Shrikes and Tree Sparrows, we had great views of breeding Ferruginous Ducks, which were one of Patty's lifers.

Continuing in Rafina's stream we saw colorful Kingfisher as well as a Grey Plover close to the seaside. Artemis Lagoon was also interesting, with waders such as Turnstones and Dunlins.
One of todays' highlights was seen at Spata fields, an impressive Short-toed Eagle that we enjoyed mostly with out spotting scope.

After an authentic greek lunch with gyros, greek salad and lots of tzatziki we headed for Imittos Mt, looking for the first arriving Robins and other winter passerines. A nice Red-breasted Flycatcher was observed, a species which is very rare in western Europe.

Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) at Imittos Mt
Firecrest in Imittos Mt

However, the birds of the day was just beside Kesariani Monastery, we saw 2 Yellow-browed Warblers (Phylloscopus inornatus), which have invaded Europe from Siberia this autumn. This species is vagrant in Greece, with around 20 sightings. There were 2 birds moving very fast, so we had to run to our car in order to bring a camera with big zoom lens, in order to take pictures of this rare visitor. Pics will be send to the Hellenic Rarity Committee, for justification.
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) in Imittos Mt
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) in Imittos Mt
Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) in Imittos Mt     

Here's in the complete bird list for Oct 15th
Little Grebe
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Ferruginous Duck
Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Short-toed Eagle
Grey Plover
Water Rail
Collared Dove
Crested Lark
Barn Swallow
Grey Wagtail
Spotted Flycatcher
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Yellow-browed Warbler
Sardinian Warbler

Zitting Cisticola
Red-backed Shrike
Hooded Crow
Great Tit
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Corn Bunting

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