Thursday, February 23, 2017

Birdwatching in Athens: Half-day trip, January 25, 2017

Debbie Bangasser is a photographer/birder from USA. She wanted to do a half-day birding trip in Athens in order to see and take photographs of European birds. The weather forecast was not good for that day and, indeed, with the exception of the early morning hours, it rained all day.

Our first stop was close to the port of Rafina where a small stream flows to the sea. We had close views of Mute Swan, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Kingfisher, (European) Goldfinch and other more common species.

Juvenile Mute Swan in the rain

Next stop was Schinias NP.  This place is always very fruitful and gave us a good look of the endangered Ferruginous Duck, one of the most sought after species of the area. Despite the rain, birds were very active and we added many more species new to our list, having many chances to take photos of different species like the Red-crested Pochard, the Marsh Harrier, an overwintering Black-winged Stilt, Meadow and Water Pipits, Sardinian Warblers, Cirl Buntings and many more.

Male Red-crested Pochard

A visit to the beach gave us distant but clear views of Yelkouan Shearwaters and European Shags. 
Our trip was almost at its end, but we still managed to add a few more species like the Cetti’s Warbler, the Corn Bunting, the Crested Lark etc.

 In a day that weather wasn’t an ally, our final tally was 53 species!!!

BIRD TRIP CHECKLIST (R = Rafina, S = Schinias NP)

Mute Swan                           R         
(Common) Shelduck            S
Mallard                                 S
Gadwall                                S
(Northern) Pintail                 S
(Northern) Shoveler             S
(Eurasian) Wigeon               S
(Eurasian) Teal                    S
(Common) Pochard             S
Red-crested Pochard           S
Ferruginus Duck                 S
Little Grebe                        S
Yelkouan Shearwater         S
Great Cormorant             RS
European Shag                   S
Little Egret                         R
Gray Heron                      RS 
(Western) Marsh Harrier    S
Common Buzzard              S
Moorhen                            S   
Coot                                   S
Black-winged Stilt            S
Green Sandpiper               S
Spotted Redshank             S
(Common) Redshank       S
Black-headed Gull         RS
Yellow-legged Gull       RS
Collared Dove               RS
Little Owl (heard)           S
Kingfisher                       R
Crested Lark                   S
Meadow Pipit              RS
Water Pipit                     S
White Wagtail             RS
Grey Wagtail                 S
(Winter) Wren              S
(European) Robin       RS
Black Redstart            RS 
(Common) Stonechat RS
Song Thrush                 S
(Common) Blackbird   S
Blackcap                       S
Sardinian Warbler         S
Cetti's Warbler              S
(Common) Chiffchaf  RS
Great Tit                        S
Magpie                          S
Hooded Crow             RS
House Sparrow           RS
Chaffinch                      S
(European) Goldfinch RS
Cirl Bunting S
Corn Bunting S

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