Greece & Crete May 3rd - 19th 1999

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT surfbirds.com)

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By Georges & Mireille Olioso
Georges & Mireille Olioso, le Mail, 26230 Grignan (France)
georges.olioso@wanadoo.fr



Practical information:

Language: Greek language is very difficult. Many Cretans speak English or German.

On the roads: Driving is on the right. All the roads but the main on the north coast are narrow with often big holes. It is necessary to drive carefuly above all in the small villages and on mountain roads. Motor fuel is cheap. Car rentals and motorbike rentals are numerous in all the cities.

Accomodation: Renting a room is a good idea. Rooms are numerous and often cheap. There are hotels in the toursitic areas, which are cheap during April and October but often expensive or very expensive in summer (June to September). Booking is not necessary in April or in the first half of May.
Taberna and restaurants: are cheap and a good meal is possible with $8.00 or $10.00. Traditionnal Cretan food is the best choice: Zaziki (cucumber, yoghourt and garlic), aubergine salad, Souvlaki, fried rabbit, Greek salads (tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta and olive oil).

Our best addresses in Crete: In Spilia, 3 or 4 km south of Knossos, just under the Agia Irini aqueduc, there is the small taverna OXPEIAZOMERO, the last restaurant at the end of the beach.

Festos area: very good fried rabbit at the first taverna (on the left) after the archeological site, en route to Matala. Very nice rooms in Kamilari, 2 km after (especialy at Sifogiannis house).

In Omalos: the hotel/taberna on the right of the road (arriving from Chania) is very good with traditional vegetables.

In Platanos: 50 km west of Chania on the west coast, Zaharias taberna, on the road to Falassarna.

Traveller's cheques are a good idea. Credit Cards are not often used. Visa Card is the most accepted. There are money machines only in the bigest cities.

Season: We went to Crete 20 April to 10 May 1998 and 10 to 29 May 1999. Second half of May is later for migrants, especially Flycatchers and Crakes, but is better for Olivaceous Warbler...

Books

The Birds of Greece G. Handrinos & T. Akriotis. It is not a field guide but it is very usefull.

Birds of Europe; Lars Jonsson. (click here for info on this guide and other European guides)
A Birdwatching Guide to Crete; Stephanie Coghlan. Numerous sites, but maps are often unprecise and the bird list is not free from mistakes. Still useful.
click here for Amazon search boxes.




Itinerary:

Igoumenitsa, Margariti, Amoudia (Archerondas River), Nikopolis, Louros, Petra, Strongili, Filothei (130 km).

Filothei, Koronisia, Petra, Strongili, Preveza, Vrisoula, Revmatia, Louros, Filothei (200 km).

Filothei, Stefani, Tirgia, Kervazovo, Derviziana, Akladee, Vargiatis, A. Paraskevi, Katsikas, Longades, Perama, Ioannina, Katsikas, Serviana, Kalentzi, Skoupa, Filipiada, Filothei (220 km)

Filothei, Katafourko, lake Amvrakia, Klissoua gorges, Gouria (Acheloos river), Neokori, Etoliko, Mesologi, Delphi (320 km)

Delphi: Delphi, Parnasse Mount, Delphi (70 km)

Delphi, Parnasse Mount, Amfiklia, near Livadia, Thiva, Pireas (240 km). Night on the ferry to Irakleion.

Irakleion, Elounda, Sitia, Palekastro, Kato Zakros (200 km)

Kato Zakros: Kato Zakros, Xerokambos, Kato Zakros (40 km)

Kato Zakros, Xerokambos, Hametoulo, Ziros, Sitanos, Karidi, Kato Zakros (80 km)

Kato Zakros, Hohaklakies, Kato Zakros (40 km)

Kato Zakros, Sitia, Agios Nikolaos, Irakleion, Platanes (Rethymno) (250 km)

Platanes, Georgioupoli, Kournas lake, Kefalas, Kalives, Vrysses , Episkopi, Platanes (140 km)

Platanes, Hora Sfakion, Aradaina, Imbros gorges, Georgioupoli, Platanes (170 km)

Platanes, Geropotamos river, Platanes (25 km)

Platanes, Chania, Agia reservoir, Omalos, Chania, Platanes (200 km)

Platanes, Perama, Anogia, Ideo cave, Skinakas observatory, Anogia, Thilissos, Marathos, Perama, Platanes (200 km)

Platanes, Irakleion, Knossos, Thrapsano, Irakleion, Sises, Aloides, Perama, Platanes (220 km)

Platanes: Platanes, Petres river, Armeni, Kare, Mirthios, Prassies gorges, Apostoli, Foufouras, Agia Galini, Spili, Platanes (165 km)

Platanes, Moni Prevelli, Chania, Kastelli/Kisamos, Kaliviani, Limani, Chania, Platanes (310 km)

Platanes, Kourtaliotiko gorges, Prevelli, Plakias, Kotsifos gorges, Angouseliana, Platanes (75 km)

Platanes, Mili, Hromonasteri, Platanes (20 km)

Platanes, Chania, Kastelli/Kisamos, Sfinari, Kambos, Hrissoskalitissas, Kantanos, Sougia, Kantanos, Floria, Voukolies, Tavroniti, Chania, Platanes (370 km)

Platanes, Episkopi, Miriokefala, Kournas lake, Platanes (90 km)

Platanes, Irakleion, Hersonissos, Gonies, Lassithi, Kastelli, Thrapsano, Irakleion (225 km). Night on ferry to Pireas.

Pireas, Korinthos, Patra, Kato Achaia, Kalogria lake, Kalogria, Metochi, Patra (340 km). Ferry to Ancona (Italy) in the evening





Continental Greece

Acherondas Delta:This area is 36 km south of Igoumenitsa. There is a good wiew of the main road (telescope is necessary). Turn right to Amoudia and explore riparian forest, agricultural lands and beach. 3rd May, we saw Glossy Ibis, White Stork, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, White-winged Black Tern, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Fan-tailed Warbler, Penduline Tit, Black-headed Bunting, etc.

Amvrakikos Gulf. Very good area, but large. The best sites are:

Nikopolis Lagoon 6/8 km north Preveza on the main road. 1 km after the August's Monument, turn right on the old road to Arta, drive 2 km and turn right on a small concrete road to the lagoon. Great White Egret, Gloosy Ibis, Dalmatian Pelican, Osprey, Fan-tailed Warbler, etc.

Petra and Strongili area: Driving west to east, 8 km after Louros, turn right. Watch the marsh for Squacco Heron and Spoonbill. Continue this small road, pass the village of Petra and Strongili (White Stork nest in both) and drive to the Strongili cimetery. Park here and explore olive tree orchards, riparian forest and marsh. There is an observatory at the end of the track. Dalmatian Pelican, Waders, Penduline Tit, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Bunting, etc
Koronisia: 15 km east of Louros, turn right on the Arta road and, immediatly after the bridge, right to Rachi. Drive right to the end of the road (10 km) and turn right to Koronisia (12 km). Dalmatian Pelican, Black-headed Wagtail, etc.

Ioannina Lake. Ioannina is 75 km north of Arta. There are small roads around the lake. Pygmy Cormorant, Ferrugineous Duck, Short-toed Eagle, Hoopoe, Great Reed Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Penduline Tit, etc. There are also numerous snakes.

Delphi area: Archeological site, village and surroundings. Explore the area above the village (a track starts near the small church) and the archeological site. Golden Eagle, Alpine Swift, Hoopoe, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martin, Black-eared Wheatear, Ruppell's Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Sombre Tit, Western Rock Nuthatch, Woodchat Shrike, Serin, etc.

Kalivia Arachovas. Agricultural and rocky area. From Delphi, drive east to Arachovas and follow the Ski Station signs. Red-footed Falcon, Hoopoe, Tawny Pipit, Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Subalpine Warbler, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Corn Bunting, etc.
Parnasse Mount: Pass Kalivia Arachovas and drive to the Ski Station. 8th May, there was snow above the station. Explore the forest and the rocky areas. Wood Lark, Tawny Pipit, Black Redstart, Rock Thrush, Firecrest, Serin, Rock Bunting, etc.

Cap Araxos area: Extreme North-West of the Peloponese, between Kato Achaia and Manolada. The lake, marshes and forest between Cap Araxos and Metochi are very good. Purple Heron, Little ringed Plover, Olivaceous Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Penduline Tit, Western Rock Nuthatch, etc. The marsh near Metochi seems very good but we have not had time to explore...

Klissoura gorge. On the main road, between Agrinio and Mesologi. Griffon Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Alpine Swift, Western Rock Nuthatch, etc.

Kato Zakros area:
A small bay with a small rivers, gorges, olive orchards, small lagoon and rocky hills.

Kato Zakros village and gorge: For the gorge, pass the archeological site and turn right at the start of the gorge. Explore the small ponds near the beach and in the archeological site. This site is very good for migrants in April (see our 1998 report). This year, we saw Squacco Heron, Red-footed Falcon, Chukar, Scops Owl, European Bee-eater, Blue-cheecked Bee-eater, Black-eared Wheatear, Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole, etc.

Xerokambos. There are two roads to go to Xerocambos. From Kato Zakros, drive back to Zakros and trun left to just before the village on a small dirty road and drive 10 km. From Sitia, drive the Makrigialos and Piskokefalo road. After 10 km, in Episkopi, turn left to Handras, Ziros, Hametoulo and Xerokambos (45 km from Sitia, on a new surfaced road). Explore the beach. There is a small temporary lagoon (dry from the end of May). Shag, Eleonora's Falcon, numerous waders, Alpine Swift, European Bee-eater, Black-headed Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole, etc.

Hohlakies gorge: This village is 10 km north of Zakros. Follow the signs for Karoumes gorge and beach (2,5 km on foot). Beautiful and very calm. Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, etc.
Selinari gorge: 8 km west of Agios Nilolaos. Both old and new roads pass here. On the new road, arriving from west, just after Agios Georgios Selinari, turn left on the old road at the old quarry level and drive 300 m. Park at the observatory and watch the nearest cliff. There are Griffon Vulture nests here.

Georgioupoli area
: For Georgioupoli lake, drive the old road Xania - Rethymnon, this road follows the lake for 4 km before Georgioupoli (Little Grebe, Great Reed Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Terns...). For Kournas lake, east Georgioupoli, always on the old road, follow the signs. Terns, waders, Olivaceous, Reed, Great Reed, Cetti's Warblers, etc.

Agia reservoir: Very good site. En route from Xania to Samaria gorge, Agia reservoir is 5 km south of Xania. At the small village of Agia, turn right on the road to Kirtomados and watch to the signs for the reservoir. Little Grebe, Squacco Heron, Marsh Harrier, Alpine Swift, Olivaceous Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, etc.

Omalos plateau. After Agia reservoir, drive south for Samaria gorge. The road crosses Omalos plateau, a cultivated area. Griffon Vulture, Lammergeier, Alpine Swift, Woodlark Tawny Pipit, Woodchat Shrike, Red-billed Chough, etc.

Mountains south of Anogia. This is the only mountainous site easily accessible. Leaving Livadia, drive to Anogia then turn right to observatory and ski resort. After 15 km there is a road on the left to the observatory. It is at 1742 m (5,250 feet). Griffon Vulture, Eleonora's Falcon, Chuckar, Crag Martin, Alpine Accentor, Wheatear, Red-billed Chough,etc. The other road goes to Ideo Cave (species are the same).

Thrapsano lake
: Drive from Iraklion, pass Knossos. 12 km after the archeological site turn left to Kastelli and, well before this city, right to Voni and Thrapsano. In the village, follow the main road until the church. Turn left just before the church and follow the sign to Kastelli. 200 m after the exit, turn left on a large road and drive this road until the lake. Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Little Egret + (in 1998) Spotted Sandpiper, Hobby, Eleonora's Falcon, Bee-eater, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Little Bittern, Whiskered Tern,etc.

Rethymnon area
Platanes river: 3 km east of Rethymnon. There is a small road on the left side of the river, upstream the bridge with easy park. Walk on the road to the gorge. Waders, Red-rumped Swallow, Crag Martin, Reed, Great Reed, Cetti's and Olivaceous Warblers, Blue Rock Thrush, etc.

Petres River. 12 km west of Rethymnon. There is a car park east of the bridge and another near the beach (arriving from Rethymnon, turn right 400 m after the bridge). The small road on the left is also good. Chukar, Black-eared Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Olivaceous Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, etc.

Geropotamos River: 15 km east of Rethymnon, on the new road. Just before the bridge, turn right on the dirty road and park. Explore the riparian vegetation and also the steppe area. Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Olivaceous Warbler, etc.
Plakias area: Very good area. 22 km south of Rethymnon, turn right to Asomatos and Plakias.

a) Kourtaliotiko gorge. 4 km after Koxare, the road follow the Kourtaliotiko gorge. Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Raven, Crag Martin, Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush, etc.

b) Drive to Moni Prevelli. Chukar, Ortolan, Black-eared Wheatear, etc.

Turkish bridge to Palm Beach: At Kato Prevelli, there is an old Turkish bridge. Park here and follow the dirty road to the Palm Beach, long of 5 km. Possible, but difficult with car. Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Black-eared Wheatear, Ortolan Bunting, etc. The beach is beautiful with Little Bittern, Crag Martin, Olivaceous Warbler and numerous migrants. Return is possible by a small track to Moni Prevelli.

Limani. It is a small harbour at the far west of Crete, 6 km west of Platanos. Shag, Eleonora's Falcon, Greater Short-toed Lark, Woodchat Shrike, etc.

Plemeniana:
This small town is near Kantanos, 62 km south-west Chania. Explore the road to Dris and Psariana. Olivaceous and Olive-tree Warblers

Lasithi plateau. In the west, between Agios Haralambos and Kato Metohi, there is a temporary pool (dry in 1999) with some waders. After the last village, look at the river and the farmland for Woodchat Shrike, Chough, Black-eared Wheatear... In the east, past Mesa Lasithi, walk the dirty roads on the right (Griffon Vultures, Long-legged Buzzard...). Near Agios Georgios walk the durty roads in the farmlands (Wryneck, Red-footed Falcon, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark...)

Miriokefala. This is a very small village in mountain area. From Rethymnon, drive the old road west to Episkopi, in this town, turn left to Arhontiki and Miriokefala (12 km). At a fork, drive left on the durty road to Katapori and Hora Sfakion. Park where is possible and walk. After 1 km, there is a crossroads. Turn left (the is a gate) and walk... Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture, Chukar, Wood Lark, Crag Martin, Tawny Pipit, Wheatear and Black-eared Wheatear, Ortolan Bunting, etc.

Species Lists

abbreviations: f = female ; m = male ; Max = maximum

During these three weeks, we saw 100 species (or races). Many of these species are East-European species.

Birds (but Chukar !) are tame, this is extraordinary for a Mediterranean land where hunters are numerous! The more common species are Chaffinch, Italian Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Crested Lark, Swallow, Stonechat and European Black Swift.

(Numbers in brackets are the number of observations fot the species)
GR = Continental Greece ; CR = Crete

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
(7). GR Elefteri and Petra (03/05) and Ioannina (05/05) where there is two families (3 and 4 pulli). CR Georgioupoli and Kournas lake (16/05), Agia reservoir (19/05).

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
(1). GR 3 at sea at Koronisia (04/05) and > 6 Ioannina lake (05/05).

Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
(2). CR 18 in front of Platanes (Rethymnon)(18/05). GR 4 in front of the Cap Araxos (30/05)

Mediterranean Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
(1) CR 1 in front of Platanes (Rethymnon)(18/05)

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
(1) GR 4, Amvrakia lake (06/05).

Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmaresti
(3). CR 2 Xerokambos (12/05), 2 Limani (24/05) and 1 Stomio bay (27/05).

Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus
(1). GR 2 Ioannina lake (05/05).

Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus
(2) GR 2 Nikopoli lagoon (03/05), 8 Koronisia (04/05).

Little Bittern Ixobrichus minutus
(2). CR 2 Kato Zakros (11/05) and 2 Prevelli Palm Beach (25/05).

Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
(4). CR 1 Kato Zakros (10/05), 2 Agia reservoir (19/05), 4 Thrapsano (21/05) and 1 here (29/05). All immatures.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides
(12). GR 25 Petra marsh (03/05) and 23 (04/05). CR 8 Kato Zakros (15/05) and 7 Agia reservoir (19/05). Also Amoudia (GR), Georgioupoli and Thrapsano (CR).

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
(22). Seen near all the waters. Max. 40, Amoudia GR (03/05).

Great White Egret Egretta alba
(2). GR 4 Amoudia and 2 Nikopoli lagoon (03/05).

Grey Heron
Ardea cinerea
(10). CR 6, arriving from the sea, 17/05 Hora Sfakion.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
(1). GR 1, Metochi lake (30/05).

White Stork
Ciconia ciconia
(13). GR Numerous nests on the villages near Amvrakikos Gulf (10 + in Filipiada). Nest also in Katsikas, near Ioannina.

Glossy Ibis
Plegadis falcinellus
(4). GR 11, Amoudia and 1, Nikopoli lagoon (03/05). CR 3, Thrapsano (21/05) and 1, here (29/05)

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
. (1). GR 45 together, Petra (04/05).

Greater Flamingo
Phoenicopterus ruber
(1). CR 1 young, Elounda (10/05).

Mute Swan Cygnus olor
(1). GR 6, Eleftheri (03/05).

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
(2). GR 2, Amoudia (03/05). CR female with 5 pulli, Agia reservoir (19/05).

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca
(1). GR 6 (5 males), Ioannina lake (05/05).

Honey Buzzard
Pernis apivorus
(1). CR 1, Prevelli Palm Beach (25/05).

Black Kite Milvus migrans
(1). CR 1, Kato Zakros (11/05).

Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
(4). CR 1 (2nd year), Ommalos (19/05), 1 (adult) Kourtaliotiko gorge (25/05), 1 (2nd year) near Stomio (27/05) and 1 (age ?) Miriokefala (28/05).

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus
(11). GR 5, Klissoura gorge (06/05). CR Seen in all the mountains. Small colony in the Selinari gorge with 1 young at nest 15/05. Max. 27, near Ideo Andro on a carcass (20/05).

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
(2). GR 1, Ioannina (05/05) and 1, Mt Arakinthos (06/05).

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
(3). GR 1, Eleftheri (03/05) and 2, Ioannina (05/05). CR 1, Omalos (19/05). All are females.

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
(1). GR 1 (male), Strongili (03/05).

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
(3). GR 1, Mt Parnasse (07/05). CR 1, Kato Zakros (11/05) and 1 (female attacking Aquila chrysaetos), Kato Metohi (29/05).

Buzzard Buteo buteo
(40). GR Only 1, Amoudia (03/05) and 1, Ioannina lake (05/05). CR Common. Pair at nest, Hromonasteri (26/05).

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
(1). GR 1 (adult), Klissoura gorge (06/05).

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
(3). GR 1 adult and 2 youngs, Delphi (07/05). CR 1, Kourtaliotiko gorge (25/05) and 1 Kato Metohi (29/05).

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
(1). GR 1, Nikopoli lagoon (03/05).

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
(22). Widespread GR and CR. Nests in Kato Zakros gorge 11/05.

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
(8). GR 3, Arichovas (08/05). CR Kato Zakros (10 to 14/05, with max 8 11/05), 1 Georgioupoli (19/05).

Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae
(13). Only in Crete, widespread. Max 24, Vizari lake (23/05) and 16, Droxia (21/05).

Peregrine Falco peregrinus brookei
(1). CR Pair, female catching a Feral Pigeon, Palekastro (10/05).

Chukar Alectoris chukar
(4). CR 1 (with pulli) Kato Zakros (14 and 15/05), 1, near Karoti (23/05) and 2, Miriokefala (28/05).

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
(9). Seen at all the lakes in GR and CR. Pairs with 1 and 4 pulli, Ioannina lake (05/05)

Fulica atra (5).GR Family with 6 pulli, Ioannina lake (05/05). CR Only Agia reservoir.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
(5). GR Strongili 03/05) et Metochi (30/05). CR 1, Thrapsano (21 and 29/05).

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
(6). GR 1, Metochi (30/05). CR 1, Kato Zakros (10/05) ; 1, Geropotamos mouth (18/05) ; 5, displaying, Platanias river (18/05).

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
(1). 1, Xerokambos (12/05).

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
(1). GR 1, Strongili (03/05)

Little Stint Calidris minuta
(5). GR 23, Strongili (04/05). CR Max 75, Xerokambos (12/05).

Ruff Philomachus pugnax (2). GR 14, Strongili (03/05). CR 5, Thrapsano (21/05).

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
(1). GR 1, Strongili (04/05).

Redshank Tringa totanus
(1). GR 2, displaying, Strongili (04/05).

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
(3). GR 2, Strongili (04/05) and 1, Etoliko (06/05). CR 1, Thrapsano (21/05).

Green Sandpiper
Tringa ochropus
(2). GR 2, Strongili (04/05). CR 1 Xerokambos (12/05).

Wood Sandpiper
Tringa glareola
(6). GR 2, Strongili (04/05). CR 1, Kato Zakros (10 and 12/05) ; 1, Hametoulo (13/05) ; 2, Agia reservoir (19/05) and 3, Thrapsano (21/05).

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
(8). The passage is nearly finished. GR Nikopoli, Strongili and Ioannina. CR Kato Zakros, Platanias and Agia reservoir.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
(1). GR 3 imm, Preveza harbour (04/05).

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
(2). GR 1, Strongili (04/05) and 1, Ioannina lake (05/05).

Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans
(32). Widespread in GR and CR, but not very numerous in Crete. CR Max. 150, near Apostoli, on a quarry (23/05).

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
(1). GR 5, Koronisia (04/05).

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
(6). GR Xidespread. Max 10, Koronisia (04©05).

Little Tern Sterna albifrons
(4). GR Not common. Seen at Koronisia, Strongili, Etoliko and Katafourko.

White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
(1). GR 3, Amoudia (03/05).

Rock Dove Columba livia
(9). Wild birds only in Crete where are widespread in gorges.

Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
(9). Only seen in Crete. Singers in Afrates (23/05), Angouseliana (25/05), Prevelli (25/05), Mili (26/05) and Kato Metohi (29/05).

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
(13). Widespread in GR, but not in CR where is common in Xania, Rethymnon, Iraklion and Knossos. Also seen in Hora Sfakion.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
(25). GR Not numerous. 1 singer, Ahladee (05/05). CR Numerous migrants in Kato Zakros: 24 (10/05) and 13 (15/05). Singers: Fres (2, 16/05), Aradaina (17/05), Lavris (2, 18/05), Droxia (3, 21/05), Platanias (3, 22/05), Afrates (2, 23/05), Karoti (2, 23/05), Prasies (2, 23/05), Angouseliana (25/05), Hromonasteri (4, 26/05), Mili (26/05), Sfinari (27/05), Miriokefala (28/05) and Thrapsano (2, 29/05).

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
(6). GR Eleftheri, Vrisoula, Ahladee, Arichovas. CR Hohlakies and Aradaina.

Barn Owl Tyto alba
erlangeriƒ (1). CR 1, killed by a car, Viran Episkopi (20/05).

Scops Owl Otus scops
(3). CR singers in Kato Zakros and Hromonasteri.

Black Swift Apus apus
(17). Widespread. Very common in the large cities: GR Pireus, Patra. CR Agios Nikolaos, Irakleion, Rethymnon, Chania.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus
(3). GR Nest under a roof in Kato Loutro (30/05). CR 3, on an islet, Amnisos (15/05) ; 1, Kournas lake (16/05).

Alpine Swift Apus melba
(15). Widespread. GR > 25 above Pireus harbour (09/05). CR 15, Omalos (19/05).

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Merops (superciliosus) persicusƒ
(1). 2, Kato Zakros (13/05).

Bee-eater Merops apiaster
(10). Not very common. GR eared only at Amoudia (03/05). CR regular at Kato Zakros (max 7, 11/05).

Hoopoe Upupa epops
(4). GR Ioannina, Delphi (1 nest with young 07/05) and Arichovas. CR Nest with youngs, Elounda (10/05), perhaps the first for Crete.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla
(1). CR 1, Droxia (21/05).

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
(2). CR 3, Limani (24/05) and 1, singing, Kato Metohi (29/05).

Crested Lark Galerida cristata
(31). Widespread, very common. CR 1 young, Elounda (10/05) ; birds carrying food seen Hametoulo and Karidi (13/05), Kaliviani (24/05). 6 singers on 1 km, Xerokambos (12/05).

Woodlark Lullula arborea
(12). Widespread on hills and mountains. GR 2 singers Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05). CR 9 pairs on 4 km, Omalos plateau (2 feeding youngs at nest, 1 young out of nest ; 19/05).

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
(2). GR 2, Koronisia (04/05). CR 1, Hora Sfakion (17/05).

Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
(14). In small number in gorges and cliffs. Max GR 6, Delphi (07/05). CR 9, Miriokefala (28/05).

Swallow Hirundo rustica
(38). Widespread and common. Nests also in cities center.

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
(13). GR and CR widespread in small numbers. GR nest building, Filothei (03/05). 1 near the sea, Derveni (30/05). CR seen at Droxia, Platanias gorge, Prasies, Kastelli/Kisamos, Angouseliana, and Mili.

House Martin Delichon urbica
(14). GR common between Korinthos and Patra. CR not common, nests only seen on Lassithi where the species is widespread. 28 migrants Agia reservoir (19/05). 7, arriving from the sea, Prevelli Palm Beach (25/05).

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
(4).GR 1, Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05) ; 1, Arichovas (08/05). CR 4, (3 singers + 1 carrying food) in a 4 km walk, Omalos plateau (19/05) ; 1, singing, Miriokefala (28/05).

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
(2). Only migrants. GR 1, Amoudia (03/05) ; 1, Revmatia (04/05).

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flava
(3). CR 4, Kato Zakros (12/05) ; 1, Hohlakies and 2, Kato Zakros (14/05).

Motacilla (flava) feldegg
(3). GR 2, singing, Koronisia and 10 (+), singing, Strongili (04/05). CR 1, singing, Xerokambos (12/05).

Motacilla flava thunbergi
(1). CR 5, Elounda (10/05).

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
(6). Only seen in Crete. Not widespread. Only on the coasts at Xerokambos, Hora Sfakion, Limani, Prevelli Palm Beach and Sfinari. Family with 3 youngs, Petres river mouth (23/05).

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes (23). Common and widespread in hills and mountains, in the rocky and dry areas. CR 14 singers on 2 km at Miriokefala (28/05). Pair carrying food, Omalos (19/05).

Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
(1). 5 (2 singers), Skinakas observatory (20/05).

Robin Erithacus rubecula
(2). GR 1 singing on 1,5 km, Vargiatis (05/05) ; singers on My Parnasse forest (09/05).

Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
(12). GR widespread. 7 singers on 1,5 km, Vargiatis (05/05). CR 3 singers Agia reservoir (19/05) ; 2 singers south Prasies (23/05).

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
(1). GR > 10 singers, Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05).

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
(1). CR 2, Kato Zakros (10/05).

Stonechat Saxicola torquata
(29). Very common breeder. CR pair carrying food, Kato Metohi (29/05).

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
(7). Common in mountains. GR > 10 singers Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05). CR 9 singers on 1 km climbing to Skiakas observatory (20/05). 12 singers on 2km above Miriokefala + 1 pair carrying food (28/05).

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca
(25). Widespread in rocky areas, from sea level to 1400 m. GR pair building nest, Delphi (07/05).

Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis (1). 2 pairs displaying, Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05).

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius
(27). Common in gorges and cliffs, sometimes in villages. CR 11 singers on 3 km in Kato Zakros gorge (11/05) ; 10 singers on 2,5 km in Hohlakies gorge (14/05) ; Pairs feeding youngs GR Erativi (06/05), Delphi (07/05) ; CR Selinari gorge (15/05), Cap Drapanon (16/05), Platanias gorge (22/05).

Blackbird
Turdus merula
(46). Common and widespread. GR 10 singers on 1,5 km, Vargiatis (05/05). CR 12 singers on 5 km Kato Prevelli to Palm Beach (25/05).

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
(4). GR abundant in the Mt Parnasse forest.

Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti
(41). Common near water. Sometimes in drt areas. GR 5 singers on 500 m riparian forest, Gouria (06/05). CR 10 singers on 1,5 km, Sfinari (27/05).

Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis
(6). GR 2 singers, Amoudia, 1 singer Nikopoli lagoon (03/05) ; 2 singers, Antirio, 2 singers, Katafourko (06/05) ; 1 singer, Limanaki (30/05). CR 1 singer near the Georgioupoli harbour (16/05).

Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
(2). CR 3 singers, Geropotamos mouth (18/05) ; 1 singer, Agia reservoir (19/05).

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
(11). More widespread than the late species. GR eared at Amoudia, Petra, Strongili, Nikopoli lagoon (> 10 singers), Ioannina (very numerous), Gournia (6 singers on 600 m riparian forest of Acheloos river), Katafourko and Metochi. CR 1 singer, Georgioupoli lake (16/05) and 4 singers, Agia reservoir (19/05).

Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida elaeica
(14). Common. GR 2 singers, Gouria (06/05) and some singers, Metochi (30/05). CR widespread in riparian forest and olive orchards. 6 singers on 500 m, Kournas lake (16/05) ; 4 singers on 800 m, Petres river (23/05).

Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum
(1). CR 1 singer, Plemaniana (27/05).

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
(7). Only in GR. 8 singers near Vrisoula (04/05).

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
(50). Very common up to 1740 m. CR 29 singers + 1 pair carrying food + 1 family of 3 juv, on 5 km between Kato Prevelli ans the Palm Beach (25/05). Pairs carrying food Georgioupoli (16/05), Agia reservoir and Omalos (19/05), Anogia (20/05), Karoti (23/05) and Kato Metohi (29/05).

Ruppell's Warbler
Sylvia rueppelli
(2). GR Delphi (07/05), 1 female archeological site, 1 pair above the site. CR none seen !!

Orphean Warbler
Sylvia hortensis crassirostris
(1) GR 1 singer above Delphi (07/05).

Whitethroat
Sylvia communis
(3). GR 1, Nikopoli lagoon (03/05) ; 1 singer, Ioannina lake (05/05) and 1 singer Kalivia Arichovas 08/05).

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
(8). GR 1, Vrisoula (04/05) ; 2 singers, Ahladee and 6 singers on 1,5 km, Vargiatis (05/05) ; 1 singer, Delphi (07/05). CR 1 singer, Afrates (23/05) ; 2 singers, Hromonasteri and 1 singer, Mili (26/05) and 1 singer, Plemeniana (27/05). The species does not breed in Crete...

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
(1). GR 2 singers on 2,5 km, Vargiatis (05/05).

Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus
(3). GR Only betwaeen Delphi and Mt Parnasse. > 15 singesr, Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05).

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
(55). Widespread in small number.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
(1). GR 4, Vargiatis (05/05).

Sombre Tit Parus lugubris
(4). GR 1 singer, Vrisoula (04/05) ; 6, archeological site and 1 family in the town (2 youngs), Delphi (07/05).

Coal Tit Parus ater
(2). GR Only Mt Parnasse forest where it is abundant (07 and 09/05).

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
(15). Widespread breeder.

Great Tit Parus major
(45). Widespread under 1000 m.

Nuthatch
Sitta europaea
(1). GR 1, Mt Parnasse forest (09/05).

Rock Nuthatch
Sitta neumayer
(4). GR 2 singers, Klissoura gorges (06/05) ; pairs at nest above Delphi and in archeological site (07/05) and 1 singer, Kalogria (30/05).

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla
(2). GR 1, Vargiatis (05/05) and 1, Metochi (30/05).

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus
(7). GR 1 nest, Petra (04/05) ; 2 nests, Gouria (06/05). Also Amoudia and Filothei (03/05), Strongili (04/05), Ioannina (05/05) and Lousika (30/05).

Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
(4). GR 2 singers on 500 m riparian forest, Gouria (06/05). CR 1 female, Kato Zakros (10/05) ; 1, Xerokambos (12/05) and 2, Aradaina (17/05).

Red-backed Shrike
Lanius collurio
(1). GR 1 male, Kalivia Arichovas (08/05).

Woodchat Shrike
Lanius senator
(16). Widespread in GR and CR.

Garrulus glandarius (8). Not common in Crete, but 8 on 4 km, Omalos (19/05).

Magpie Pica pica
(8). Common in GR.

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
(4). CR 1, Omalos (19/05), 10, road of observatory, Anogia (20/05) and 6 very tame, Kato Metohi (29/05).

Jackdaw Corvus monedula soemmerringii
(9). Widespread. GR numerous in Klissoura gorge (06/05). CR 80(+) on the Agia Irini aqueduct (29/05).

Hooded Crow Corvus corone sharpii
(51). Common and widespread. CR bird incubating, Thrapsano (21 and (29/05). 19, Vizari lake (23/05).

Raven Corvus corax
(16). Widespread.

House Sparrow
Passer domesticus
(24). GR widespread and abundant. CR 1, Georgioupoli (16/05) and 1, Marathos (20/05).

Italian Sparrow Passer (hispaniolensis) italiae
(45). CR Very common and widespread, also at great distance of human installations.

Spanish Sparrow
Passer hispaniolensis
(2). GR small colony, Strongili (03/05). CR 1, Georgioupoli (16/05).

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
(56). Very common and widespread. CR 12 singers on 2,5 km, Hohlakies gorge 14/05). Pair feeding youngs, Kato Zakros (16/05).

Serin Serinus serinus
(13). GR widespread. CR not common. 1 singer, Fres (16/05) ; 1 singer, Fournes (19/05) ; 1 singer, Prasies (23/05) ; 1 singer, Drapanias (24/05) ; 2 singers, Angouseliana (25/05) ; 2 singers, Kato Metohi (29/05).

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
(42). Widespread and common. Not seen above 900 m.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
(47). Widespread and common. Not seen above 900 m.

Linnet Carduelis cannabina
(20). Seen on hills and mountains in GR and CR. CR. 1, Kaliviani beach (24/05).

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus
(17). GR widespread. CR above 300 m, but 1, Platanias gorge (22/05).

Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
(1). 3, Mt Parnasse ski resort (07/05).

Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
(5). CR 1 singer, Hametoulo and Sitanos (13/05) ; some singers, Meskla (19/05) ; 4 singers on 5 km between Kato Prevelli and Prevelli Palm Beach (25/05) and 6 singers on 2 km, road above Miriokefala (28/05).

Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia
(1). GR 1 singer, Kalivia Arichovas (08/05).

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala
(5). GR 1 singer, Amoudia, 2 singers, Nikopoli lagoon and 2 singers, Strongili (03/05) ; 1 singer, Vargiatis (05/05) and some singers, Amvrakia lake (06/05).

Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra
(13). widespread.


Georges & Mireille OLIOSO, le Mail, 26230 GRIGNAN, France
E-mail Georges at: georges.olioso@wanadoo.fr