Sunday, July 01, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Full day trip, May 19 2018

Robert is a Canadian birder, spending his holidays in Greece. He is also a keen birdwatcher so a full day in Athens was a must. He had a really long list of lifers so we had to visit many different sites.

As he was very interested in owls, we started very early in the morning to try for the Scops Owl at Lycabettus Hill. It didn't take long before we had a male bird at close range. It was time to move to our next destination, the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani.

The second owl to see was the Tawny Owl. We got great views and photos of it, and there were also Short-toed Treecreepers, Firecrests, Coal and Long-tailed Tits present, among other species.

Tawny Owl
We left the forest and reached the top of the mountain; Ruppell's and Subalpine Warblers were seen, along with Black-eared Wheatears. 

Ruppell's Warbler
Next stop was Mt Parnitha. A Short-toed Eagle welcomed us but the target bird of the area was the Eastern Orphean Warbler. We found a singing male and had very nice views. We also found Blue Rock Thrushes, Rock Nuthatches, Cirl Buntings. 

Eastern Orphean Warbler
Close to Mt Parnitha lies Oropos Lagoon, the most important brackish wetland of Athens. Black-winged Stilts, Kentish and Ringed Plovers, Redshanks and Little Terns where some of the species seen, while a Litle Owl was found in the nearby town. We also found Penduline Tits at Asopos River. 

Little Owl
We left Oropos and headed towards Schinias National Park, through the hilly area of Varnavas and Grammatiko. We managed to see Nightingales, Turtle Doves and Sombre Tits on the way (all lifers to Robert). 

At Schinias, the most important birds seen where the Lesser Kestrel, the Ferruginous Duck, the Little Bittern, the Glossy Ibis, the Eastern Olivaceous and the Great Reed Warbler. 

It was time to move to the last site, Markopoulo Fields. We were looking for the Black-headed Bunting and the Rufous Bush Robin. It was a huge success as we found both and had really good pictures. 

Rufous Bush Robin
We also saw many Little Owls, Crested Larks and Swifts. 

Another succesfull birding trip was over; we saw and heard 77 species, including more than 20 lifers for Robert. A full day, indeed! 



TRIP CHECHKLIST

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
European Shag - Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Little Bittern - Ixobrychus minutus
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Squacco Heron - Ardeola ralloides
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
Short-toed Snake-Eagle - Circaetus gallicus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
Black-bellied Plover - Pluvialis squatarola
Kentish Plover - Charadrius alexandrinus
Common Ringed Plover - Charadrius hiaticula
Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius
Ruff - Calidris pugnax
Little Stint - Calidris minuta
Common Redshank - Tringa totanus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Little Tern - Sternula albifrons
European Turtle-Dove - Streptopelia turtur
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
European Scops-Owl - Otus scops
Little Owl - Athene noctua
Tawny Owl - Strix aluco
Alpine Swift - Apus melba
Common Swift - Apus apus
Lesser Kestrel - Falco naumanni
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus
Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Greater Short-toed Lark - Calandrella brachydactyla
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica
Common House-Martin - Delichon urbicum
Coal Tit - Periparus ater
Sombre Tit - Poecile lugubris
Great Tit - Parus major
Eurasian Penduline-Tit - Remiz pendulinus
Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus
Western Rock Nuthatch - Sitta neumayer
Short-toed Treecreeper - Certhia brachydactyla
Firecrest - Regulus ignicapilla
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - Iduna pallida
Eurasian Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Great Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus arundinaceus
Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
Eastern Orphean Warbler - Sylvia crassirostris
Ruppell's Warbler - Sylvia ruppeli
Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striata
Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin - Cercotrichas galactotes
European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Common Nightingale - Luscinia megarhynchos
Blue Rock-Thrush - Monticola solitarius
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Black-eared Wheatear - Oenanthe hispanica
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Cretzschmar's Bunting - Emberiza caesia
Black-headed Bunting - Emberiza melanocephala
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Eurasian Linnet - Linaria cannabina
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus


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