Saturday, March 10, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Full day trip, Feb 16 2018

Tokihiko 'Toko' Nagano is a veteran birdwatcher and tour guide from Japan. He's been birding for more than 50 years and his list is very impressive. As a guide, he has visited Europe many times but Greece was not on his visited countries' list. Not till this year, that is, as he went on a two-month trip around the globe to record at least 1,000 species. He had just one day to spend here and he wanted to see as many species as possible; contacting Greece Bird Tours was the wisest choice of course! 

The weather was not good; rain and strong winds hindered our efforts but who dares wins. We managed to find more than 60 species. 

We started at Vravrona wetland, where we saw lots of winter visitors like the Great Egret, the Mediterranean Gull and the Kingfisher but also early spring arrivals like the House Martin. 

Great Egret

House Martin
Next stop was Artemis Lagoon. A quick stop yielded Common Pochards and Shovelers, among others. We headed for Schinias National Park, where we enjoyed dozens of House Martins but also Ferruginous Ducks and one Pygmy Cormorant that overwintered. 

Pygmy Cormorant

Ferruginous Duck
We also visited the surrounding hills to look for the Sombre Tit; we managed to find one individual despite the strong winds. 

Last stop was Mt Hymettus. There, we added a few more species like the Hawfinch, the Woodlark, and the Linnet before the sunset. The total count was 61 species, another fine trip was over, another happy birder was taken a photograph!


Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Northern Shoveler - Spatula clypeata
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca
Common Pochard - Aythya ferina
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Tufted Duck - Aythya fuligula
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
Hen Harrier - Circus cyaneus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Mediterranean Gull - Ichthyaetus melanocephalus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Wood Lark - Lullula arborea
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Common House-Martin - Delichon urbicum
Sombre Tit - Poecile lugubris
Eurasian Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit - Parus major
Eurasian Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
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
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Water Pipit - Anthus spinoletta
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Eurasian Linnet - Linaria cannabina
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
Eurasian Siskin - Spinus spinus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

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