Sunday, 30 August 2015

Small Things...

Been a while...

Small things found dans le jardin...

Migrant Hawker - Aeshna mixta

Median Wasp - Dolichovespula media. The second most common social wasp in the UK

Green Bottle Fly - Lucilia sericata

Large White Eggs - Pieris brassicae

Old Lady - Mormo maura, A first for the garden, attracted to wine rope.

False Ladybird - Endomychus coccineus (Found in the Peak District)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Great greek goodness...

After a long intermission I have finally returned to update the blog. This time with a short holiday report from a week in Crete.

We based ourselves around Plakias in Southern Crete, from 25/4/15- 2/5/15. The week wasn’t specifically about birding but we managed some good species. We hired a car to visit various places, mostly on or around the south coast, although there was ample good birding within easy walking distance of Plakias.

On arriving at Plakias this very confiding Little Bittern flew down to the dirt road beside our accommodation, a good start.
Little Bittern
Around Frangokastello fort we found several Great Reed Warblers singing away in the beds. On the beach here we also had a single Greenshank, one of the few waders seen during the week. Other waders included Wood Sand, Common Sand and Little Ringed Plover.
Wood Sandpiper
Griffon Vultures and Alpine Swifts were common around the impressive gorges and mountain passes. Also around the gorges we picked out a nice Long-legged Buzzard.
Sardinian Warblers, Blue Rock Thrush and Cetti’s Warblers seemed to be everywhere. The list goes on; Pied Fly, Golden Oriole, Turtle Dove….
Black-eared Wheatear (singing and displaying everywhere)

Female Blue Rock Thrush

Squacco Heron
Butterflies included Scarce Swallowtail, Small Copper, Eastern Dappled White, Speckled Wood and a Skipper Sp.  

Scarce Swallowtail
Balkan Green Lizard
The island had some amazing displays of Mediterranean wildflowers, the Orchids in particular were stunning.
Italian Man Orchid - Orchis Italica

Dragon Arum - Dracunculus vulgaris

Spider Orchid Spp.

Cretan Ebony - Ebenus cretica
Tricky driving

Plakias Bay

Couldn't resist a wall like that... should have taken the climbing gear.
All in all a very good week with great food, friendly people, sunshine and birds… I’ll be back one day for the Rûppells Warblers we missed out on.