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A Report from

Kefalonia 29th Sept - 6th October 2005,

John & Sue Roberts

We decided to take a week’s holiday in Kefalonia only a few weeks beforehand with no prior research into birding on the island. We chose the resort of Lassi as being a central location to tour the island by hire car and the travel agent recommended the hotel Limanaki as being quiet. We were very fortunate with our choice. Lassi is written off by the guidebooks as ribbon development but from the little we saw of it, is quite innocuous with plenty of restaurants. Our very pleasant hotel turned out to be a mile and a half from the resort on the attractive road around the Lassi peninsula - within sight of the lighthouse at the entrance to Argostoli Bay. It was surrounded by farmland and scrub and was ideal for birders. A car was essential both for touring the island and for getting into Argostoli or Lassi for an evening meal.

We explored most of the island and although we had some storms the rain fell mainly at night. The island is extremely attractive but the birding at this time of the year was not easy. There are only two areas of wetland, so far as we are aware. The southern end of Argostoli Bay (Koutavos Lagoon) is designated a nature reserve and was good for Herons and Kingfishers. We saw little on Livadi marsh but the adjacent shallow end of the bay and the nearby fields were quite productive. Two other productive sites were the walk from Asos up to the fortifications on the isthmus and looking down from the castle at Ag Georgios. A new small reservoir has just been constructed south of Tzanata (west of Poros) which may become attractive to birds. We just saw goldfinches there.

Systematic List

Little Grebe               One seen at Argostoli Lagoon on 1/10

Cormorant                Just one or two sightings inc near hotel

Night Heron                 at least 4 seen roosting in a tree by Argostoli Lagoon on 30 /9

Grey Heron              always present around the Argostoli Lagoon and at Livadi

Great White Egret      2 present in bay off Livadi  on 4/10 

Little Egret               8/9 at Livadi 0n 4/10

Black Stork                 single bird at Argostoli Lagoon on 5/10

Mute Swan                  small numbers always present in Argostoli Lagoon

Mallard                        hybrids at Argostoli Lagoon

Teal                              2 in bay at Livadi on 4/10 and 40 on marshes there.

Common Buzzard       2 or 3 seen most days inc from hotel

Bonelli’s Eagle           one on road to Mt Enos on 5/10

Sparrowhawk              just one at Sami on 1/10

Kestrel                      one between Atheras and Livadi on 4/10

Hobby                           probable between Skala and Poros

Coot                              sizable numbers in Argostoli Lagoon

Moorhen                       uncommon – one seen at Argostoli Lagoon on 1/10

Dunlin                           3 on shoreline at Livadi on 4/10

Little Stint                     3 on shoreline at Livadi on 4/10

Common Sandpiper     first seen from causeway at Argostoli Lagoon on 1/10. Seen by lagoon on several  occasions.

Greenshank                   one on edge of bay at Livadi on 4/10

Yellow–legged Herring Gull    always present around Argostoli

Black-headed Gull         always present in reasonable numbers around Argostoli – esp south end of lagoon

Woodpigeon                  only one heard - at Asos on3/10

Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon One or two looked fairly pure RDs

Collared Dove                  very common – up to 14 around hotel

Kingfisher                        up to 4 seen at Argostoli Lagoon – esp south end. Also seen near hotel on 2/10

Common Swift                  just one seen from hotel on 30/9

House Martin                   Several among mixed flock of Hirundines at Melissani Lake on 1/10

Barn Swallow                   seen most days often in small flocks

Red-rumped Swallow      2/3 among hirundines at Melissani Lake on 1/10

Skylark                              single seen near hotel on 30/9

Tawny Pipit                       single near Atheras on 4/10

Grey Wagtail                  seen  at Asos on 3/10 and several around Argostoli. Also 2 on beach near Lixouri on4/10

Whinchat                      several at Livadi and near Atheras on 4/10

Stonechat                     surprisingly not seen til 4/10 at Livadi

Robin                           not common  first heard by hotel on 30/9

Blackbird                     fairly common in ones and twos

Cetti’s Warbler           several heard inc near hotel on 2/10

Blackcap                     female seen on way to Skala on 2/10 and several around castle at Ag Georgios on 5/10

Sardinian Warbler      fairly common but generally heard – not seen

Chiff-chaff                  just one on 3/10 at Asos

Wood Warbler             seen at Asos on 3/10on way up to castle and on 4/10 at Livadi

Icterine Warbler          near hotel on 6/10

Spotted Flycatcher       one near hotel on 30/9 and several others there and at other locations during the week inc Ag Georgios on 5/10

Collared Flycatcher     female near hotel on 2/10 & a couple near castle at Ag Georgios on 5/10

Blue Tit                       fairly common

Great Tit                     fairly common

Jay                             very common  - seen and heard everywhere

Hooded Crow               one seen from track up to castle at Asos on 3/10 and another later that day at Fiskardo

Raven                          one heard in mountains on 5/10

Starling                        one seen from hotel on 3/10 & 3 near Atheras on 4/10

House Sparrow              common – flock around hotel

Chaffinch                      rare – one seen near hotel on 3/10 and one at Asos on 3/10

Greenfinch                    seen near hotel on 1/10

Goldfinch                       common – one flock always around hotel

Rock Bunting                  two in olive grove at Dagvati on 30/9

Corn Bunting                  one heard at Livadi on 4/1


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