Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Birdwatching in Athens: Birding with the Ashleys, March 16 2017

Michael Ashley is a teenager with a real passion for birds. He came to Greece with his family for Spring Break vacations.

The Ashleys 
Being a bird maniac, Michael contacted us to arrange a half-day birding trip around Athens. Even though his family wasn't really crazy about seeing birds, they joined us because they wanted to see the Athenian nature, away from the busy capital. 

Our first stop was the wetland of Vravrona. We managed to see quite many species there, both winter visitors and spring migrants; Mediterranean and Slender-billed Gulls shared the coast with Little Ringed Plovers, while small groups of swallows were flying low, looking for insects. A Great Spotted Cuckoo was seen in the fields and we also saw Sparrowhawks, Common Buzzards and a Hen Harrier Michael's family enjoyed the scenery, the large variety of flowers and the very interesting Archaeological Site and Museum. 

Great Spotted Cuckoo
Next stop was Artemis Lagoon. Apart from the typical Coots and Moorhens, Teals were still present, while the first Yellow Wagtails were seen flying over or stopping for a quick snack at the shore. 

Birding@Artemis Lagoon
We left Artemis and headed towards Spata fields. There were a few water pools that held Black-winged Stiltt and  Ruffs, while a Marsh Harrier flew low over the ground, flushing large flocks of passerines (Skylarks, finches etc). 

Our last stop was the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani. Apart from the abundant Great Tits and Jays, we managed to see Coal Tits, Goldcrests and Short-toed Treecreepers. 

Short-toed Treecreeper

At the end, we managed to see or hear some 65 species! A very good record for a half-day trip. 

TRIP CHECKLIST

Species Name
Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Garganey - Anas querquedula
Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea
Great Egret - Ardea alba
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Northern Harrier - Circus cyaneus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius
Ruff - Calidris pugnax
Common Snipe - Gallinago gallinago
Green Sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Mediterranean Gull - Ichthyaetus melanocephalus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius
Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Eurasian Skylark - Alauda arvensis
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Bank Swallow - Riparia riparia
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica
Common House-Martin - Delichon urbicum
Coal Tit - Periparus ater
Great Tit - Parus major
Eurasian Penduline-Tit - Remiz pendulinus
Short-toed Treecreeper - Certhia brachydactyla
Eurasian Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
Goldcrest - Regulus regulus
Firecrest - Regulus ignicapilla
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava
Gray Wagtail - Motacilla cinerea
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Eurasian Siskin - Spinus spinus
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus


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