Saturday, June 02, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Half-day trip May 11, 2018

Kevin and Martin are two birding pals that had the time of their life in Lesvos. They wanted, however, to get the most of their presence in Greece; they had a half-day to spend at the Athens International Airport, waiting for their flight home to the UK so they decided to run a trip with Greece Bird Tours. 

Even though Lesvos is a haven for birds (especially in late April-mid May) there were a few birds that they hadn't seen or they wanted better looks/photos. 

Picking them from the airport in the morning, the first stop was Markopoulo Fields. Hoopoes, Bee-eaters, Little Owls and lots of passerines were present but the highlight was a very close Great Spotted Cuckoo that stood for a while right in front of us. 

Great Spotted Cuckoo
 A small group of Red-footed Falcons were also present and we also had great views of the birds.



Next stop was Mt Hymettus where we looked for the Ruppell's Warbler and the Chukar; we managed to find both and get very good views and photos. 

Chukar

Ruppell's Warbler
We also saw a Short-toed Eagle, many Swifts of all three species (Common, Pallid and Alpine), Black-eared Wheatears and Subalpine Warblers, among others. 

Next stop was the southern slopes of Mt Penteli where we saw more Chukars and a Long-legged Buzzard and Spata Fields where the highlight was a very close Black-headed Bunting and a group of Turtle Doves . 

Black-headed Bunting

Turtle Dove
It was time to get back to the airport. We saw and heard 45 species. Kevin and Martin were ready to return to the UK with their minds full of memories and their cameras full of photos! 



TRIP CHECKLIST

Chukar - Alectoris chukar
Short-toed Snake-Eagle - Circaetus gallicus
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Long-legged Buzzard - Buteo rufinus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
European Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia turtur
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius
Little Owl - Athene noctua
Alpine Swift - Apus melba
Common Swift - Apus apus
Pallid Swift - Apus pallidus
Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops
European Bee-eater - Merops apiaster
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Red-footed Falcon - Falco vespertinus
Woodchat Shrike - Lanius senator
Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Greater Short-toed Lark - Calandrella brachydactyla
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Common House-Martin - Delichon urbicum
Great Tit - Parus major
Western Rock Nuthatch - Sitta neumayer
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - Iduna pallida
Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
Eastern Orphean Warbler - Sylvia crassirostris
RΓΌppell's Warbler - Sylvia ruppeli
Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata
Whinchat - Saxicola rubetra
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Black-eared Wheatear - Oenanthe hispanica
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Black-headed Bunting - Emberiza melanocephala
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus




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