Monday, February 12, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Half-day trip, Feb 4 2018

Jodelle and Dick came from Seattle, USA and had a half day to spend birding with Greece Bird Tours.

Schinias National Park was the place we decided to visit as it always “offers” many different species.
On the way to Schinias NP, we had a brief stop close to Rafina Port where a small stream flows in to the sea and a few species can be seen. Our first bird of the day (apart from the very common Magpie, Eurasian Collared  Dove and House Sparrow), was a White Wagtail, one of the many we saw that day.

A Kingfisher offered us very close views of its characteristic way of fishing and perching on a tree just a few meters from us. A flock of Chaffinches with some Goldfinches were concentrated in another tree nearby. Birds were keep coming and we had very good views of Little Egret, Black-headed Gull, Kestrel etc.

We left Rafina port behind and after another short stop to a bakery for taking some traditional Greek pies, we went straight to Schinias NP. It was clear from the beginning that small birds would . So, dozens of Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Serins, Corn Buntings, Meadow Pipits and a few Greenfinches were everywhere.In the small water pools we saw Eurasian Teals, Mallards and a lone Redshank.
White Wagtail

An impressive spectacle was two Eurasian Marsh Harriers flushing a flock of more than 65 Grey Herons!

Marsh Harrier
One of the highlights of the trip was an overwintering Black-winged Stilt; most likely the same bird we had last year in the area.

Our last stop was at the Olympic Rowing Center where we saw more new species for the day like Cormorant, Water Pipit, Crested Lark, Black-necked Grebe etc. The second highlight for the day was a Pygmy Cormorant, a species we rarely see so south in Greece.

Pygmy Cormorant
At the end, we had seen the impressive (for a half day tour) number of 51 species. Another great day of birding with Greece Bird Tours!

BIRD TRIP CHECKLIST

Mallard
(Eurasian) Wigeon
(Eurasian) Teal
Little Grebe
Black-necked Grebe
Great Cormorant
Pygmy Cormorant
Little Egret
Grey Heron
(Western) Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
(Eurasian) Sparrowhawk
(Common) Kestrel
Moorhen
Coot
Black-winged Stilt
(Common) Redshank
Black-headed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Collared Dove
Kingfisher
Crested Lark
Woodlark
Meadow Pipit
Water Pipit
White Wagtail
(Winter) Wren
(European) Robin
Black Redstart
(Common) Stonechat
Song Thrush
(Common) Blackbird
Blackcap
Sardinian Warbler
Cetti's Warbler
(Common) Chiffchaf
Great Tit
(Eurasian) Jay
Magpie
Hooded Crow
Raven
(Common) Starling
House Sparrow
(Eurasian) Tree Sparrow
Chaffinch
(European) Goldfinch
(European) Greenfinch
(European) Serin
Hawfinch
Cirl Bunting
Corn Bunting
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