Monday, December 17, 2018

Birdwatching in Athens: Family birding tour, Dec 8 2018

Svante and Elisabeth are a lovely couple from Sweden. They came to Athens for a short holiday, along with their 5-year old son, Oscar. Despite his age, Oscar has joined his parents on birding trips several times and this trip was no exception. Of course, the trip was adjusted to cover a toddler's needs as well and the pace was more relaxed but by no means not focused on seeing as many birds as possible.

Starting from the hotel at 08.00 and headed to Schinias National Park, looking for the site's specialities of the season like the Pygmy Cormorant, the Ferruginous Duck, the Red-crested Pochard and the Moustached Warbler. We saw them all at the Olympic Rowing Center quite effortlessly. A very nice Eared Grebe was lookin for food quite close and there were also a lot of other waterbirds (Coots, Cormorants, Gray Herons etc).

Red-crested Pochards
Eared (aka Black-necked) Grebe
Svante, Elizabeth and Oscar at the rowing center

We left the rowing center and searched the central marsh for raptors. We had good views of Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzards, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks but no sign of the Great Spotted Eagle. Lots of passerines, however, made our search very productive and kept as quite busy. 

As the Rock Bunting was another target species, we headed south and reached Vravrona Wetland. It was late noon and time was running out but we managed to find 3 Rock Buntings! 

The trip was over and we managed to find 50 species, a great number for an easy-going trip. 


Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Red-crested Pochard - Netta rufina
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
Eared Grebe - Podiceps nigricollis
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Green Sandpiper - Tringa ochropus
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Pygmy Cormorant - Microcarbo pygmeus
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Eurasian Marsh-Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Eurasian Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Great Tit - Parus major
Western Rock Nuthatch - Sitta neumayer
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
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Water Pipit - Anthus spinoletta
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Rock Bunting - Emberiza cia
Reed Bunting - Emberiza schoeniclus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

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