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A Report from

Kefalonia, 7th-14th May 2006 ,

Kevin and Susan Boyd

Kefalonia is the most beautiful of Greek Islands and the scenery certainly makes up for the lack of birds.  We travelled out to Kefalonia with Thomas Cook on the early morning flight from Manchester Airport. On arrival we picked a car up at the airport from Pefkos Car Hire, they were the cheapest at the airport and cost £109 for the week.  The car with a very small Diathatsu, four doors and very cheap to run.  Petrol cost just over 1 euro a litre and we did nearly 600 km in the week.  We stayed in Sami on the East Coast at the Hotel Pericles.  The hotel suited us very well, it was a half hour walk through the olive groves to the harbour where we had the choice of about 10 Tavernas to eat in.  The information we used was from  Friends of the Ionians, and  (which we forgot to take with us, but used an Internet café in Sami to find the info, pity the printer did not work!)

The places  we visited were

Karavomiles Lake – This spring fed lake in the next village to Sami has a few domestic ducks and geese, but in the reeds at the back of the pond was a Little Bittern and Common Sandpiper.  The next morning the Little Bittern was walking on the beach in front on the lake.

Mount Aenos – This is the highest point on Kefalonia. The summit of the Mount is  covered in pines and we found Firecrest and Mistle Thrushes common here.  On the lower reaches, near the satellite dishes, we found Black-eared Wheatear, Linnets and a Siberian Stonechat. 

Lake Avithos -  this small lake near Aghios Nikolas it is hidden by reeds in a deep valley.  The only bird on the lake was a Moorhen.  The surrounding countryside was wonderful, but the only other birds were Chaffinchs, Great Tits and Blue Tits.

Katelios – This small seaside resort has a marsh area along the beach.  The marsh was dried up when we visited, but we did see  Whinchat and Red-rumped Swallow.

Lourdata Beach – We went down to this beach to see if Bee eaters were present, unfortunately they were not there.  We did find Sand Martins over the Beach and Turtle doves in the woods at the rear of the beach.

Argostoli Lagoon – This is a parkland and nature reserve near the bridge which crosses the Lagoon. (The bridge is closed for repair work and the road now goes around the edge on the Lagoon) We had the usual domesticated Geese and Ducks here, but also about 10 Mute Swans which were nesting in the reeds.  There was seen Squacco Heron  and Grey Heron on the edge of the Lagoon.  There is a pond on the reserve which had a Great Reed Warbler and Spotted Flycatchers.  There was also a Wryneck present.

Tzanata Reservoir   - This newly built reservoir, best accessed from the Argostoli Road, South of the village, is at the moment a featureless body of water.  We only had 4 birds here, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Common Sandpiper and Grey Heron. The reeds are just starting to grow on the edge of the reservoir, so in time this may be a better site to watch.

Livadi Marsh – This was the best place on Kefalonia is see birds.  To observe this marsh drive down the mountain road and just before you get into the valley there is a track to the right on the hairpin bend.  Park on the track next to the concrete parapet and you will have views on the whole of the Marsh.  From this vantage point you can see Great White Egrets, Little Egrets, Purple Heron, Grey Heron, Squacco Heron, Marsh Harriers, Montague’s Harrier, Whiskered Tern, Coots, Garganey and wonderful views of Elenora’s Falcon. Travel down onto the coast road and we had Crested Larks, Black headed Yellow Wagtails, Ringed Plovers, Hoopoe, Corn Bunting, Cettis Warbler all observed on the farmland and the beach alongside the Marsh.

Lixouri – In Lixouri there is a storm drain – at the time there was only a small trickle of water, but there was a Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint wading in the stream.

South of Lixouri there are Headlands and beaches where Black headed Buntings had just arrived, more Stonechats, Whinchats, Red Rumped Swallows, Northern Wheatear.

In our opinion staying in Lixouri would be the best place to stay on Kefalonia to view most birds without travelling too far.

The commonest birds on the Island are Chaffinch, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Jays and Blackbird.  We had 68 species of Birds and here is our list


Where Seen

Little Bittern

Karavomiles Lake and Tzanata  Reservoir

Squacco Heron

Livadi Marsh and Argostoli Lagoon

Little Egret

Seen on the Coast and Livadi Marsh

Great White Egret

Livadi Marsh

Purple Heron

Livadi Marsh and Tzanata Resovoir

Grey Heron

Livadi Marsh

Glossy Ibis

Livadi Marsh


Livadi Marsh

Marsh Harrier

Livadi Marsh

Montagu’s Harrier

Livadi Marsh

Common Buzzard

See on Hillsides throughout the island

Common Kestrel

Livadi Marsh

Peregrine Falcon

Mount Aenos

Elenora’s Falcon

Livadi Marsh & Sth Lixouri


Lake Avithos

Black Winged Stilt

Livadi Marsh

Ringed Plover

Beach Livadi Marsh

Little Stint

Lixouri – storm Drain

Curlew Sandpiper

Lixouri – Storm Drain

Common Sandpiper

Lake Karvomiles

Mute Swan

Argostoli Lagoon

Yellow legged Gull

Sami and other coastal villages

Collared Dove


Feral Pigeon

Few seen

Turtle Dove

Lave Avithos and Lourdata

Whiskered Tern

Livadi Marsh

Scops Owl

Heard in Olive Groves – Sami

Alpine Swift

Potamianta & Cape Dafnoudi

Common Swift

Cape Dafnoudi & Faraklata




Argostoli Lagoon

Crested  Lark

Livadi Marsh

Sand Martin

Lourdata Beach



Red Rumped Swallow

Katelios, Sami and Lixouri

House Martin


Yellow Wagtail

Livadi Marsh and Assos


Headland – West of Xi


Headlands – West of Xi

Siberian Stonechat

Road to Mount Aenos Nr Satellite dish

Northern Wheatear

Road to Mount Aenos and W. of Xi

Black Eared Wheatear

Road to Mount Aenos nr Satellite dish



Mistle Thrush

Mount Aenos

Cetti’s Warbler

Few heard

Zitting Cisticola

Several South of Lixouri

Great Reed Warbler

Reeds in Drain S Lixouri and Argostoli Lagoon

Icterine Warbler

Olive Trees, nr Soullari

Subalpine Warbler

Roadside Sami to Argostoli

Sardinian Warbler


Lesser Whitethroat

S. Lixouri near Soullari


Mount Aenos


Mout Aenos

Spotted Flycatcher

Livadi Marsh, Xi and Argostoli Lagoon

Blue Tit


Great Tit


Woodchat Shrike

Sami and Common



Hooded Crow

Livadi Marsh

House Sparrow









Road to Mount Aenos, Nr Satellite Dish

Cirl Bunting

Few seen

Black Headed Bunting

Headlands S of Lixouri

Corn Bunting

Farmland nr Minata (Robola Winery) others heard on farmland


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