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Santorini (Thira) August 2010

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Old Thursday 2nd September 2010, 14:26   #1
chrisjo
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Santorini (Thira) August 2010

I knew before we went to Santorini for two weeks in August that birds were going to be at a premium. With no water and few trees, this is never going to be a birding hotspot. It was bloody hot though.

However, determined to make the most of whatever free time I was allowed, I managed to clock up 32 species, which I consider to be fairly satisfactory.

The first few days were spent at Akrotiri (Apanamo Studios - highly recommended), then we moved to Vlichada (Porto Villas - cheaper but fine), and then to Imerovigli (Merovigliosso apartments, again highly recommended).

Sun 08-Aug-10. Akrotiri village. House Sparrows very common. Probable Sardinian Warbler on a wire but my bins were elsewhere so I cant be 100% sure. Feral Pigeons / Rock Doves. Heard a Cuckoo. Yellow-legged Gulls overhead and two Eleonora's Falcons along the crater edge. Hooded Crows, Common Swifts and a Kestrel.

Mon 09-Aug-10. Akrotiri village and walk to beach. Two Ravens and a family of four Chukar on the crater edge. Collared doves in the village, Crested Larks and a Kestrel in the vineyards. At the beach, two Shags, Yellow-legged Gulls and a frustrating glimpse of a possible Audouin's Gull. I was buying a drink at the time and didn't bother looking closely in the expectation that I'd see more again. I didn't. Hoodies, Swifts, House Sparrows and a (the same?) Cuckoo seen this time. Six Linnets.

Tue 10-Aug-10. Slid down the crater edge in a cloud of scree ash dust to the sea edge, back up a path. Peregrine, Ravens, Blue Rock Thrush, Common Buzzard, Eleanora's, Swifts.

Wed 11-Aug-10. Akrotiri - Vlichada. At Akrotiri Swifts, Ravens, Eleanora's and a pair of Long-legged Buzzards. At Vlichada House Sparrows, YL gulls and Collared Doves.

Thu 12-Aug-10. Vlichada. More of the same plus a weird calling bird that I eventually nailed as a Double-spurred Francolin in a cage in someone's back yard. A lot of evidence of bird-trapping activities on the ridges behind the village, areas set out with artificial perches, hangers for caged lure birds, and concrete drinking pools, each overlooked by a gun butt.

Fri 13-Aug-10. Vlichada - Perissa (ugh!). A single Swallow paused for a few skimmed sips from our swimming pool, and I heard a Blackbird chucking in the tamarisks.

Sat 14-Aug-10. Nowt worth mentioning.

Sun 15-Aug-10. Walk from Vlichada to top of Emborio through vineyards, then back along 'Windmill Ridge'. Female Red-backed Shrike, Crested Larks, Kestrel, Ravens, Juv or 1W Lesser Grey Shrike, and a Hoopoe. In the late afternoon there was a passage of several hundred shearwaters past Vlichada harbour, heading west.

Mon 16-Aug-10. Late afternoon on the harbour wall, and the passing shearwaters all turned out to be Cory's (presumably "Scopoli's").

Tue 17-Aug-10. Vlichada - Imerovigli. Six Swallows drank briefly from the hotel pool and quickly headed on their way south over the sea. At Imerovigli got Common Swift, Pallid Swift and Alpine Swift before we'd even got out of the car, all hawking along the crater edge. Crag Martins there too.

Wed 18-Aug-10. Shopping in Fira (avoid at all costs).

Thu 19-Aug-10. Walked from Imerovigli to Oia along the crater edge, an excellent walk on good paths with only a few 100 meters of road. Icterine Warbler and Whitethroat in a lone bush just outside Imerovigli, then at the monastery which is located at the highest and narrowest part of ridge, a Spotted Flycatcher, two or three more Iccys, and a Northern Wheatear. Further along two more Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrushes, Kestrel, Eleanora's, Crag Martin and a Steppe Buzzard. Some convincing flocks of Rock Doves, no feral influence seen.

Fri 20-Aug-10. Skaros rock. Male Chukar calling from a rocky perch, BR Thrushes, Crag Martins, Ravens.

List:

Cory's ('Scopoli's') Shearwater
Shag
Common (& 'Steppe') Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Common Kestrel
Eleonora's Falcon
Peregrine
Chukar
Yellow-legged Gull
Feral Pigeon / Rock Dove
Collared Dove
Cuckoo
Alpine Swift
Common Swift
Pallid Swift
Hoopoe
Crested Lark
Crag Martin
Swallow
Northern Wheatear
Blue Rock Thrush
Blackbird
Icterine Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Whitethroat
Spotted Flycatcher
Red-backed Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike
Hooded Crow
Raven
House Sparrow
Linnet

Chris Jones
Inverurie, Aberdeenshire
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Old Monday 6th September 2010, 18:02   #2
brianfm
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Mention of Santorini (lost city of Atlantis), brings back very fond memories. I was there over twenty-five years ago, before the airport was built. I have to confess, long before I was into birdwatching in any way and I still don't have Eleonora's Falcon on my list!

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Old Wednesday 8th September 2010, 20:09   #3
wolfbirder
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Interesting to see a report from this beautiful island. Nice one!
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