Matthias came from Germany and wanted to spend a day birding around Athens. Picking him up from the airport at 10.30 was not a problem for us; our first stop was Markopoulo Fields and Vravrona Wetland, where ww found hundreds of finches (Serins, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Greenfinches etc), Corn Buntings and a new species for Matthias: the Cirl Bunting.
We also heard a male Quail singing that was literally next to our car but could not see it because of the tall grass. Flocks of Barn Swallows were passing overhead but at the same time lots of winter visitors like the Great Egret and the Teal were still around.
Next stop was Spata Fields, a site that is known to hold Great Spotted Cuckoos in spring. We found one after a while, along with a few Hoopoes!
Leaving Spata, we headed for Mt Hymettus. First stop on the mountain was the scrubby area close to the peak, ideal place for warblers and especially for the Ruppell's and the Subalpine. We saw both birds and quickly descended to the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani to look for the Firecrest, another lifer for Matthias. The quest for that crest lasted for only a few minutes as a male birds showed up very quickly!
|Male Cirl Bunting|
We headed north for Artemis Lagoon and the situation there was similar; the first Black-winged Stilt had arrived and at the same time overwintering Shovelers were present.
|Great Spotted Cuckoo|
Last stop for the day was the area of Kareas on the central part of the mountain; the best place to look for the Chukar and the Rock Nuthatch that is still recovering from the wildfire of 2015.
We found both species right before dusk and started walking down the mountain listening to a Scops Owl. and two Little Owls...
By the time of the trip we had seen and heard 52 species, a great number considering it was not a full day!
|Another happy birder|
|Northern Shoveler - Spatula clypeata|
|Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca|
|Common Quail - Coturnix coturnix|
|Chukar - Alectoris chukar|
|Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis|
|Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo|
|Great Egret - Ardea alba|
|Little Egret - Egretta garzetta|
|Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus|
|Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus|
|Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus|
|Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra|
|Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus|
|Ruff - Calidris pugnax|
|Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis|
|Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto|
|Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius|
|European Scops-Owl - Otus scops|
|Little Owl - Athene noctua|
|Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops|
|Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus|
|Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius|
|Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica|
|Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix|
|Crested Lark - Galerida cristata|
|Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica|
|Great Tit - Parus major|
|Western Rock Nuthatch - Sitta neumayer|
|Firecrest - Regulus ignicapilla|
|Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti|
|Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita|
|Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis|
|Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla|
|Rόppell's Warbler - Sylvia ruppeli|
|Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans|
|Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala|
|European Robin - Erithacus rubecula|
|Blue Rock-Thrush - Monticola solitarius|
|European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola|
|Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula|
|Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos|
|Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava|
|Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis|
|Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus|
|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|
|House Sparrow - Passer domesticus|