Friday, July 05, 2019

Birdwatching in Greece: Western and Central Greece Tour, 17-21 May 2019 Day 4

DAY 4

We had a very early start on the fourth day of the trip as the first target bird was the Scops Owl and we had to be at Lycabettus Hill before dawn. So, at 05.30 we reached the hill and in just a few minutes we managed to find one Scops Owl and start our drive towards Agia Marina Port, close to Schinias National Park, as our main birding hotspot would be Lake Dystos in the island of Evvoia.

We made a stop at Schinias and saw Ferruginous Ducks, Glossy Ibis, Zitting Cisticolas among others. Reaching the port of Agia Marina, the first great sighting came from the port: three Mediterranean Monk Seals!

Mediterranean Monk Seals
On our way to Nea Styra port, we managed to see Scopoli's and Yelkouan shearwaters, shags and rock doves. 

Scopoli's Shearwater
We reached Nea Styra and drove to Lake Dystos; when we reached the lake, the first surprise came from the surrounding fields where a flock of Rosy Starlings were feeding on a mulberry tree stand. 

Rosy Starling
The fields also held large numbers of Black-headed Buntings, Crested and Short-toed Larks, finches and warblers, while Lesser Kestrels, Eleonora's and Red-footed Falcons were foraging overhead. 

Red-footed Falcon

Short-toed Lark
In the lake, Mute Swans and Mallards, Grey Herons and Marsh Harriers were the most common birds seen. We left the lake and drove uphill to Mt Koskina in the west. We looked for Cretzschmar's Buntings and found several birds, along with lots of Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Nuthatches, Linnets, Sombre Tits and Subalpine, Sardinian and Eastern Orphean Warblers. 

Cretschmar's Bunting
Early in the afternoon, we drove back to Nea Styra and took the ferry to Agia Marina. We visited Schinias National Park again, this time to find the secretive Water Rail. Even though we heard a lot, none was "bold" enoigh to come out of the dense vegetation. At least we saw Ferruginoud Ducks, Little Bitterns, Little Grebes and heard a couple of Scops Owls at dusk. That was the end of the fourth day of birding and most of the target birds were found!

TRIP CHECKLIST

Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus
Rock Dove - Columba livia
European Turtle Dove - Streptopelia turtur
Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Common Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Scopoli's Shearwater - Calonectris diomedea
Yelkouan Shearwater - Puffinus yelkouan
European Shag - Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Little Bittern - Ixobrychus minutus
Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Squacco Heron - Ardeola ralloides
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
Western Marsh Harrier - Circus aeruginosus
Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Eurasian Scops Owl - Otus scops
Little Owl - Athene noctua
European Bee-eater - Merops apiaster
Lesser Kestrel - Falco naumanni
Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Red-footed Falcon - Falco vespertinus
Eleonora's Falcon - Falco eleonorae
Woodchat Shrike - Lanius senator
Eurasian Golden Oriole - Oriolus oriolus
Common Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Common Raven - Corvus corax
Greater Short-toed Lark - Calandrella brachydactyla
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Sombre Tit - Poecile lugubris
Great Tit - Parus major
Eurasian Penduline Tit - Remiz pendulinus
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
Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Black-eared Wheatear - Oenanthe hispanica
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Rose-coloured Starling - Pastor roseus
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Common Linnet - Linaria cannabina
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Black-headed Bunting - Emberiza melanocephala
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Cretzschmar's Bunting - Emberiza caesia
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus













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