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A Report from

Birding in Crete ( 20 April to 11 May 1998),


Georges & Mireille Olioso, le Mail, 26230 Grignan (France).

e-mail :

1)  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. Il is necessary drive carefully above all in the small villages and on mountain roads. Motor-fuels are cheap. Cars renters and motor-bike renters are numerous in all the cities and expensive.

Accomodation: Rent a room is a good scheme. Rooms are numerous and often cheap. There is hotels in the toursitic areas, 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.

Food: Taberna and restaurants are cheap and a good meal it 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 Spilia, 3 or 4 km south of Knossos, just under the Agia Irini aqueduc, there is the small taverna OXPEIAZOMEROå.  Traditional food.
                - In Agios Georgios (Lasithi plateau), Maria hotel is cheap. Traditional house food.
                - Kato Zakros, room on the sea at Nikos Perakis. Ask for the room in the Maria restaurant, the late 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 Rethymnon, a room at the Pearl Beach hotel *** is cheap ($ 34 for 2 with abundant breakfast). Alana Taverna, 15 Salaminos road (near the catholic church) is very good.

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

2) Books

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

Birds of Europe, Lars Jonsson.

A birdwatching guide to Crete, Stephanie Coghlan. Numerous sites, but maps are often imprecise and the birds list is not safe of mistakes. Yet useful.

3) Itinerary

# 20/21-04 (night in the the car near Knossos
# 21-04: Iraklion, Arhanes, Mounts Jouchtas, Agios Georgios (Lasithi plateau) ( 110 km)
# 22-04: Lasithi plateaui.
# 23-04: Lasithi plateau.
# 24-04: Agios Georgios, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Plaka, Sitia, Toplou, Vai, Kato Zakros (± 200 km).
# 25-04: Kato Zakros.
# 26-04: Kato Zakros, Palekastro, Sitia, Skordila, Makrigialos, Ierapetra, Ierapetra lake, Ano Viannos, Pirgos, Festos, Kamilari (± 250 km).
# 27-04: Festos area.
# 28-04: Kamilari, Agia Galini, Spili, Moni Prevelli, Plakias (± 100 km).
# 29-04: Plakias, Moni Prevelli, Frangokastello and return (± 100 km).
# 30-04: Plakias, Rethymno, Georgioupoli, Kournas, Xania (± 110 km).
# 01-05: Xania, Omalos, Kasteli/Kisamos (± 100 km).
# 02-05: Kisamos, Kaloudiana, Topolia, Mili, Vathi, Hryssoskalitissa, Elafonisi, Paleochora, Kantanos, Tavroniti, Kisamos (±
180 km).
# 03-05: Kisamos, Falassarna, Kisamos, Xania, Georgioupoli, Kournas, Episkopi, Rethymno (± 150 km).
# 04-05: Rethymno, Platanes river (± 10 km).
# 05-05: Rethymno, Askifos, Georgioupoli, Rethymno (± 90 km).
# 06-05: Rethymno, Perama, Anogia, Ideo cave, Skinakas observatory, Anogia, Metohi (Limni Hersonisou) (± 150 km).
# 07-05: Metohi, Kastelli, Thrapsano, Kastelli, Gonies, Agios Georgios, Dzermiado, Gonies, Limni Hersonisou, Metohi (± 150 km).
# 08-05: Metohi, Agios Nikolaos, Elounda, Iraklion, Fodele, Paleocastro (± 220 km).
# 09-05: Paleocastro, Iraklion, Thrapsano et retour (± 80 km).
# 10-05: idem + Mounts Jouchtas (± 90 km).
# 11-05: start to France.

4) Sites (numbers are the same than in Annexe)

1- Knossos area. To Mounts Jouchtas, pass the Knossos archeological site, after 5 km, turn right to Ano Arhanes. 4 km after this small town, a small road goes down on the right (there is a European Union panel). Park here and walk the dirty road (Griffon Vultures, Eleonora's Falcon...). En route, look the Agia Irini aqueduc (Jackdaws of the sommerringii race).

2- Lasithi plateau (map 1). In the west, between Agios Haralambos and Kato Metohi, there is a temporary pool with some waders. After the late 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 dirty roads in the farmlands (Wryneck, Red-footed Falcon, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark...)

3- Elounda old salt pans and neighbourhood. Driving north, in the middle of the city, turn right at the panel the other side of Elounda (in English). This site is very good late April (Black-headed Wagtail, Woodchat Shrike...). Driving Iraklion to Agios Nikolaos, 17 km before this city, the road follows the Selinari gorge. Park on the left after the Moni Agios Georgios (Monastery of Saint George) near an old quarry. Griffon Vultures nest above the road. (also seen, Golden Eagles, Blue Rock Thrush, Crag Martin...)

4- Kato Zakros (map 2). A small bay with a small river, gorge and olive orchard (Collared Flycatcher, Olive-tree Warbler, Audouin's Gull, Rock Dove, Scops Owl... )

5- Analipsi, east of the Makrigalios bay. Small river with Grey Heron, Red-footed Falcon, Cetti's Warbler...)

6- Ierapetra lake. Big reservoir near the city (Black Tern, White-winged Black tern, Black-winged Stilt, Squacco Heron, Little Grebe, Alpine Swift...)

7- Festos area. Near the Gortys archeological site, there is a river with Common Sandpiper, Squacco Heron, European Oriole... In the small village of Kamilari, Collared Dove and Scops Owl bred. The Monastery of Vrondissi and neighbourhood, near the village of Ano Zaros, north of the main road, are good (Black-eared Wheatear, Crag Martin, Blue Rock Thrush, Alpine Swift...)

8- Agia Galini. This small harbour is surrounded by cliffs where Alpine Swift and Blue Rock Thrush nest. Walking the track at the east of the harbour, you arrive to a small river (Kingfisher, Reed Warbler and other migrants...)

9- Plakias area. (map 3). Very good area. 22 km south of Rethymnon, turn right to Asomatos and Plakias. After 4 km, the road follow the Kourtaliotiko gorge (Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Raven, Crag Martin, Alpine Swift, Blue Rock Thrush...). Drive to Moni Prevelli (Chukar, Ortolan, Black-eared Wheatear...). Return to Plakias, en route, pass the village of Lefkogia ; 200 m after the motor-fuel station, turn left to a small bay with a river (Little Bittern, Great-reed Warbler...)

10- Frangocastello. The village is between Plakias and Hora Sfakion. After the small village of Skaloti (22 km after Sellia), turn left to Frangocastello, park as soon as possible on the side of the road and explore pastures and orchards (Short-toed and Crested Larks, Tawny Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail... We saw here a Richard's Pipit !).

11- Georgioupoli area. For Georgioupoli lake, drive the old road Xania - Rethymnon, this road follow the lake 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...).

12- 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, park near the church and walk the small road in the Eucalyptus wood. There is a gate... Ask to open. (Little Crake, Little Bittern, Little Grebe, Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Harrier...)

13- Omalos plateau. After Agia reservoir drive south for Samaria gorge. The road cross Omalos plateau, a cultivated area (Woodlark, Tawny Pipit, Griffon Vulture...)

14- Kasteli/Kisamos area (map 4). There is a small river at the western exit of the city. The mouth is good for waders (Little-ringed Plover, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail...). To the mouth, driving to west, turn right just after the bridge on the river and drive right following this. There is small wet farmlands in the city, just at the west exit on the right (250 m after the bridge), with Little Egret, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Wagtails...

15- Hrissoskalitissa. This monastery is on the south-west coast. From Kisamos, drive south and pass Topolia, Mili, Elos. When the road arrive in the small bay of Stomio, look at sea for Shag and Shearwaters.
Walk the last road on the left before the monastery and explore the cultivated lands (Chukar, Woodchat Shrike, Black-eared Wheatear, Olivaceous Warbler, numerous migrants...). Then drive the new road  to Elafonisi beach (Yellow-legged Gull colony, Little-ringed Plover...)

16- Rethymnon area. Look at the Platanes river, 3 km east Rethymnon. The is a small road on the left side of the river, upstream the bridge with easy park (Waders, Reed, Great Reed, Cetti's and Olivaceous Warblers, Blue Rock Thrush...)

17- Askifos plateau. Between Vrisses and Hora Sfakion. Farmlands (Corn Bunting, Woodchat Shrike, Stonechat...)

18- Livadia neighbourood. Driving the old road Rethymnon - Iraklion, 24 km after Rethymnon (at Perama), turn right to Anogia. Livadia is 12 km after. Explore pastures and farmlands (Griffon Vulture, Red-throated Swallow...)

19- Mountains south of Anogia (map 5). This is the only mountainous site easily accessible. Living Livadia, drive to Anogia then turn right to observatory and ski resort. After 15 km a road start on the left without sign. This is the road to the observatory at 1742 m (5,250 feet) (Chuckar, Wheatear, Chough, Eleonora's Falcon, Griffon Vulture..). The other road go to Ideo Cave (species are the same.).

20- Aposelemis mouth. Arriving from east, turn right just after the bridge on the dirty road and park where is possible. A very good site for migrants (numerous waders, Olivaceous, Cetti's, Reed, Great Reed and Sedge Warblers, Short-toed Lark, Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Bee-eater...)

21- Thrapsano lake (maps 6a & 6b). 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, Spotted Sandpiper, Hobby, Eleonora's Falcon, Bee-eater, Red-throated Pipit, Black-headed Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Little Bittern, Wiskered Tern...

5 - Annotated species lists

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


During this three weeks, we saw 127 species (or races). Many of this species are east Europe species. We have not seen Rüppell's Warbler or Black-headed Bunting. 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).

1- Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis (5). Kournas, Ierapetra lakes & Agia reservoir. At Georgioupoli lake, a pair feeding 1 young, 30/04 et 05/05.

2- Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (1). 1, Ierapetra lake, 26/04.

3- Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (2). 12, Stomio bay,  02/05 & 3 Limni Hersonisou,  06/05.

4- European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmaresti (2). 2,  02/05 Stomio bay & 1, 03/05 Phalassarna.

5- Little Bittern Ixobrichus minutus (4). 1 m, 28/04  east Plakias ; 2 m. & 2 f., 01/05  Agia reservoir ; 1 f.,  07/05 Thrapsano lake & 1 f., 08/05 Aposelemis mouth.

6- Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (5). 1 j., Lasithi 22/04 ; 2 flying in the night 24/04 Kato Zakros ; 1 j. 28/04 Agia Galini, 30/04 Kournas and 08/05 Aposelemis mouth.

7- Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (11). Seen on the sides of every lake and river mouthes. Max. 5, 01/05 Kisamos and 07/05 Aposelemis mouth.

8- Little Egret Egretta garzetta (16).Seen near all the waters. Max. 5, 01/05 Kisamos and 07/05 Aaposelemis mouth.

9- Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (8). 2 arriving from the sea, 26/04 Kato Zakros. A party of 17, 09/05 Thrapsano.

10- Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (2). 1, 01/05 in a small wetland in Kisamos ; 1, 09 & 10/05 Thrapsano.

11- Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber (2). 1 young, 24/04 & 08/05 Elounda.

12- Garganey Anas querquedula (3). 3 le 01/05 à Agia reservoir et un couple les 07 et 10/05 à Thrapsano.

13- European Honey -buzzard Pernis apivorus (2). 1, 21/04 mounts Jouchtas and 01/05 Kisamos.

14- Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus (1). 2 imm. 28/04 Kourtaliotiko gorge.

15- Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus (14). Seen in all the mountains. Small colony in the bSelinari gorge with 2 youngs at nest 08/05. Max. 15, 07/05 above Krassi (west Lasithi).

16- Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus (3). 01/05,  f. at the Tavronitis and Agia reservoir. 1, Phalassarna  03/05.

17- Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus (2). 1 f. 23/04 Agios Georgios (Lasithi) et 2 m. imm. 29/04 near Frangokastello.

18- Buzzard Buteo buteo (34). Common. Pair displaying 21/04 Gonies. 1 with a Lacerta trilineata 08/05 Selinari gorge.Pair breeding 08/05 Paleocastro.

19- Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (1). Adult  23/04 east Nikifordion, Lasithi, with Griffon Vultures.

20- Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (3). Pair 28/04 Kourtaliotiko gorge ; 1, 07/05 above Krassi and 2, 08/05 Selinari gorge.

21- Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (16). Widespread. Nests in Kato Zakros gorge 25/04 and 27/04 Festos et Gortys archeological sites.

22- Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus (10). Numerous migrants 23/04 to 09/05. Max. 4, 23/4 Agios Georgios and 26/04 Gangales.

23- Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo (2). 1, 07 & 10/05 Thrapsano.

24- Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae (5). 04/05 Rethymnon beach ; 06/05 Ideo cave and 10/05 Mounts Jouchtas, Thrapsano and Knossos.

25- Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus brookei (1). Pair with nest, 25/04 Kato Zakros gorge.

26- Chukar Alectoris chukar (3). 1 singing 28/04 Moni Prevelli ; 1 singing 02/05 à Hrissoskalitissa  and pair 06/05 road to observatory.

27- Common Quail Coturnix coturnix (1). 1 singing Agios Georgios 23/04.

28- Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus (1). 1 singing 08/05 near Aposelemis mouth. Probably an introduced bird.

29- Little Crake Porzana parva (1). 3 m. 01/05 Agia reservoir.

30- Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (9). Seen at all the lakes and rivers. Max. more of 50, 01/05 Agia reservoir.

31- Eurasian Coot Fulica atra (5). ± 50 Ierapetra lake 26/04 ; 21, 30/04 Kournas ; 2 Agia reservoir 01/05. At Georgioupoli lake, a pair seen building a nest. This species is an occasional breeding in Crete.

32- Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (6). Elounda, Ierapetra, Agia reservoir and Thrapsano.

33- Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (7). 2, 02/05 Elafonisi. All other data from north coast at river mouth (Kisamos, Platanes, Aposelemis) or on beach (Elafonisi, Rethymnon, Metohi). Pair displaying 08/05 Aposelemis mouth.

34- Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (2). 2, 07 & 08/05 Aposelemis mouth.

35- Little Stint Calidris minuta (7). Kisamos, Agia reservoir, Thrapsano (7, 07/05), Aposelemis mouth.

36- Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii (4). 1 Kisamos 01 & 02/05 ; 3 then 2 , 07 and 08/05 Aposelemis mouth.

37- Ruff Philomachus pugnax (5). 2,Lasithi 22/04. 1 m. Kisamos 02/05. 1 f. Aposelemis mouth 07/05. 7, 09 and 10/05 Thrapsano.

38- Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago (1). 1, 30/04 Kournas.

39- Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus (1). 1, 09/05 Thrapsano.

40- Common Redshank Tringa totanus (2). 1 Aposelemis mouth 07 and 08/05.

41- Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia (4). Kournas, Kisamos and Platanes river.

42- Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus (2). 1 Analipsi 26/04 and Thrapsano 10/05.

43- Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola (11). Seen at all the lakes and river mouths. Max. 17, 07/05 Thrapsano.

44- Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (19). Widespread.  Seen at all the lakes and river mouths. Max. 9,  24/04 Elounda.

45- Common Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (6). 1, 24 and 25/04 Kato Zakros (imm.), 26/04 Ierapetra lake and 07, 09 and 10/05 Thrapsano (ad.).

46- Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii (1). Un subadulte 25/04 Kato Zakros beach.

47- Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans (26). Widespread. Max. 150, 26/04 Ierapetra lake.

48- Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus (3). 1 Thrapsano 09 and 10/05. 2 Iraklion harbour 10/05.

49- Black Tern Chlidonias niger (1). 13 Ierapetra lake 26/04.

50- White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (2). 2 Ierapetra lake 26/04 and 3 Kournas lake 30/04.

51- Rock Dove Columba livia (6). Wild birds seen Kato Zakros and Kourtaliotiko gorge, Vrondissi, Fodele and Agia Galini cliffs. In the late site, there are also feral birds

52- Common Wood -Pigeon Columba palumbus (8). 3 singers Lasithi 22/04 and 1 another south Anogia 06/05. Pair displaying 23/04 Dikteo cave, Lasithi. Also seen: mounts Jouchtas, Skordilo and Paleocastro.

53- Eurasian Collared  Dove Streptopelia decaocto (6). Not widespread. Common in Xania, Rethymnon, Iraklion and Knossos. Also seen in Kamilari.

54- European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (14). Numerous migrants. 12 arriving from the sea 24/04 Kato Zakros and 6 à Hrissoskalitissa 02/05. Singers 02/05 Kisamos and  07/05 Thrapsano.

55- Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (1). 1, 30/04 Kournas.

56- European Scops Owl Otus scops (4). 3 singers night 20 to 21/04 à Knossos. Also Agios Georgios 23/04, Kato Zakros 25/04 and Kamilari (2 ind.) 26/04.

57- Common Swift Apus apus (22). Widespread. Very common in the cities.

58- Alpine Swift Apus melba (12). Seen in all the gorges. Colony in the cliff above the sea at Agia Galini.

59- Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (2). 1, 26/04 Kato Zakros and 28/04 Agia Galini.

60- European Bee-eater Merops apiaster (8). Not very common. Max. 24, 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa.

61- European Roller Coracias garrulus (1). This bird is rare in Crete. 1, 09/05 Apostoli.

62- Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops (4). The late 27/04 Gortys.

63- Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla (4). All the data (5 ind.) from Lasithi 22 and 23/04.

64- Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (6). 6 migrants 29/04 Frangokastello and 1, 05/05 Rethymnon beach. 4 singers 23/04 Lasithi. 2 singers 07 and 08/05 Aposelemis mouth. Pair displaying, west de Limni Hersonisou 07/05.

65- Crested Lark Galerida cristata (24). Widespread, very common.

66- Woodlark Lullula arborea (11). Widespread on hills and mountains. 6 pairs on 4 km, Omalos plateau (1 feeding youngs at nest). Not seen under 200 m.

67- Sand Martin Riparia riparia (7). Numerous migrants between 26/04 and 08/05.

68- Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris (8). In small number in gorges and cliffs.

69- Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (27). Widespread and common.Numerous migrants 29/04 Frangocastello.

70- Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica (2). 3 collecting mud near Kaloniktis 03/05 and 3 le 06/05 Livadia.

71- House Martin  Delichon urbica (15). Numerous migrants 26/04 to 05/05. 2 pairs building nest 23/04 Agios Georgios.

72- Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi (1). 1, 29/04 near Frangokastello is the 8 for Crete.

73- Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris (3). 2, 29/04 Frangokastello ; 1, 02/15 Hrissoskalitissa. 7 (5 singers) in a 4 km walk,  01/05 Omalos plateau.

74- Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis (19). Widespread and common migrant.

75- Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus (5). 1, 29/04 Frangokastello ; 2, 01 then 3, 02/05 Kisamos ; 1, 07/05 Aposelemis mouth and 1 same day Thrapsano.

76- Yellow wagtail
Motacilla flava flava (12). Common migrant. 17, 05/05 Askifos plateau.
                Motacilla (flava) feldegg (8). 9, 24/04 Elounda. Seen at Frangokastelo, Kisamos, Platanes, Askifos, Aposelemis river and Thrapsano. Pair (male singing) 08/05 near Aposelemis mouth.
                Motacilla flava thunbergi (3). Elounda, Kisamos and Askifos.

77- White Wagtail Motacilla alba (9). Not widespread. Only on the coasts.

78- Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes (16). Common and widespread in hills and mountains, in the rocky and dry  areas.

79- Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos (5). Heared only 24/04 to 01/05.

80- Winchat Saxicola rubetra (12). Common migrant. 11,  05/05 Askifos plateau.

81- Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata (29). Very common breeder.

82- Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (7). Common in mountains near Anogia. Some pairs above the Lasithi.

83- Black-eared Wheatear

                Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca (14). Widespread in rocky areas, from sea level to 1400 m.
                Oenanthe hispanica hispanica (1). 1 male Stomio bay  02/05.

84- Blue Rock-Thrush Monticola solitarius (16). Common in gorges and cliffs, sometimes in villages (Paleocastro). 11 singers on 3 km in Kato Zakros gorge. Pairs feeding youngs 27/04 Moni Vrondissi, 06/05 Ideo cave and Platanes river.

85- Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula (38). Common and widespread

86- Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (28). Common near water. Sometimes in drt areas (mounts Jouchtas). 6 singers on 500 m Aposelemis river. Very abundant Kournas lake.

87- Zitting Cisticola Cisticola juncidis (2). 1 singer 01/05 Tavronitis and 08/05 Ammoudara.

88- Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (4). Migrants between 01 and 10/05 Kournas, Agia reservoir, Thrapsano and Aposelemis river (4 le 07/05).

89- Eurasian Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (6). Seen along the riparian forests. More than 30 on 500 m (!!) 07/05 along Aposelemis river, but only 5 here 08/05.

90- Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus (11). More widespread but less common than the late species.

91- Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida  elaeica (6). Frequent Migrant. 2 singers 30/04 Kournas lake ; 1 in olive trees 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa ; singers 04 and 06/05 Platanes river, 05/05 Georgioupoli lake and le 07/05 Aposelemis river.

92- Olivetree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum (1). 1 26/04 Kato Zakros.

93- Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina (1). 1, 30/04 Kournas lake.

94- Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans (2). 1, 25/04 Kato Zakros 1 f. 05/05 Askifos.

95- Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala (38). Very common up to 1700 m. More than 12 singers on 1 km along durty road in mounts Jouchtas.

96- Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis (3). 2, 23/04 Lasithi ; 1, 25/04 Kato Zakros and 2, 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa.

97- Garden Warbler Sylvia borin (1). 1, 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa.

98- Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (1). 1, 21/04 Agia Irini aqueduc.

99- Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix (2). 1, 24/04 Kato Zakros and 3, 27/04 Gortys.

100- Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (6). Seen in small number in riparian forests.

101- Spotted Flaycatcher Muscicapa striata (25). Widespread. Pair building a nest 06/05 near Livadia.

102- Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis (2). 2 males 24/04 Kato Zakros. 1 f. 28/04 Moni Prevelli.

103- European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (7). A few migrants.

104- Blue Tit Parus caeruleus calamensis (22). Widespread breeder.

105- Great Tit Parus major (32). Widespread under 1000 m.

106- Eurasian Golden-Oriole Oriolus oriolus (10). Frequent Migrant in riparian forests. 4, 27/04 Gortys. 4 arriving from sea 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa.

107- Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator (13). Numerous 24/04 in the east of Crete.
                L. s. senator : 1, 24/04 Elounda, 1, 02/05 Hrissoskalitissa and Stomio.
                L. s. badius : 1, 23/04 Lasithi.

108- Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius (2). 1, 24/04 Lasithi and 1, 01/05 Nea Roumata.

109- Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax (4). On the Lasithi, 20 Ambelos Pass and 36 Kato Metohi 22/04 ; 2 Dikteo cave 23/04. Numerous between Anogia and the observatory 06/05.

110- Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula soemmerringii (6). Colonies at Agia Irini aqueduc and in Kourtaliotiko gorge. Seen in the city of Mires, Festos archeological site and Paleocastro village.

111- Hooded Crow Corvus corone sharpii (36). Common and widespread.

112- Common Raven Corvus corax (21). Widespread. Nest with youngs 25/04 Kato Zakros gorge.

113- Italian Sparrow Passer (domesticus) italiae (49). Very common and widespread, also at great distance of human installations. We have not seen the House Sparrow Passer domesticus.  

114- Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis (2). Moni Prevelli 28/04 and Kisamos 01/05, perhaps not full Spannish but intermediate between italiae and hispaniolensis.

115- Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus (1). Not common in Crete. 1, 07/05 Thrapsano.

116- Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (49). Very common and widespread.0. 17 singers /3 km Lasithi.

117- European Serin Serinus serinus (7). Not common, seen Lasithi, Kamilari, Moni Prevelli, Nteres, Prases and Agia reservoir.

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

119- European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (32).Widespread and common. Not seen above 900 m.

120- Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina (15). Seen on hills and mountains. Some on the nord coast.

121- Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (1). 1 male seen  22/04 à Kato Metohi (Lasithi) is the 2nd for Crete.

122- Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus (6). Lasithi, Omalos and Livadia area.

123- Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana (3). 1 then 2 singers Moni Prevelli 28 and 29/04. 1 singer Plakias 29/04.

124- Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra (10). Very abundant on Lasithi with 38 ind. (26 singers)/3 km. Common Askifos, but not seen Omalos. Common near Frangokastello.


1- Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus concolor (6). Plaka, Ierapetra, Mires, Plakias, Vulgaro and Aposelemis mouth.

2- Greater white-toothed Shrew Crossidura russula (1). Hrissoskalitissa.

3- Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus (1). near Geropotamos mouth and Festos.

4- Ship RatRattus rattus (1). Kisamos.

5- Weasel Mustela nivalis (4). Kamilari, Prases, Hrissoskalitissos and mounts Jouchtas.

6- Beech Marten Martes foina (2). Agios Georgios and Drapanias.

7- Badger Meles meles (1). Hrissoskalitissa.


Only 3 species in Crete.

1- Green Toad Bufo viridis (3). East Plakias, Platanas. Limni Hersonisou.

2- Common Tree-Frog Hyla arborea (5). Abundant on Lasithi and Kato Zakros. Also Thrapsano, Agia reservoir and Moni Prevelli.

3- Marsh Frog Rana ridibunda (6). Common Kournas, Georgioupoli, Thrapsano and Aposelemis mouth. Some near Agia Irini (sur de Knossos) and east Plakias.


1- Stripe-necked Terrapin Mauremys caspica (4). Abundant Thrapsano and Georgioupoli lakes and Agia reservoir. Some near the Aposelemis mouth. Very shy.

2- Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilineata (15). Common and widespread.

3- Erhard's Wall Lizard Podarcis erhardii (2). Kakopetros gorge and Hrissoskalitissa.

4- Balkan Whip Snake Coluber gemonensis (3). Festos, Askifos, and Livadia.

5- Dice Snake Natrix tessellata (1). 1 young  Metohi (Limni Hersonisou).


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