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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Rhodes 18th - 31st October 2001,
Late October is an ideal time to visit Rhodes. The crowds have gone, the weather (certainly while we were there ) is very pleasant and there are excellent late deals to be had. The downside from a birdwatching perspective proved to be the low number of bird species present. Having read the reports of A Wraithmell et al & N Moss we certainly expected to see a reasonable number of birds we assumed to be resident. We also hoped to perhaps catch late autumn migration. We were disappointed on both counts save that in retrospect we probably caught the tail end of some migration on our first day (18th) and there was undoubtedly a minor fall of Robin, Black Redstart and Chiffchaff (+ a few Blackbird & Chaffinch) on the 29th.
It did not help that the island had enjoyed a very long hot summer and consequently all the rivers were completely dry (save for the springs in the woods at Epta Piges) and there was no standing water anywhere until after thunderstorms on the 26/27th and then only the odd puddle. As a consequence we saw very few "water" birds.
We were based at a small hotel between Lardos and Pefki just south of Lindos and with a hired car this proved to be an ideal location to explore all parts of the island. Probably anywhere on the east coast, south of the tourist grot around Faliraki would be fine.
The scrub, olive groves and agricultural land to the north of the road from Pefki to Lardos proved quite productive especially on our first day when we probably caught the tail end of some migration. Handy tracks just south of the "Eko" petrol station give easy access to this area.
Areas on both sides of the main road south of Lardos and roads off into the hills and especially in the south before the road off to Plimmyri at Chohlakas (near Cape Istros)
The reservoir near Apolakkia should be worth a visit at the right time of year, although on our visit was notable only for a flock of Lesser Kestrels.
Cormorant, One near Kameiros on 25th & 5 at Kiotari on 29th
Grey Heron, Just 2 sightings; on beach near Pefki on 19th and in valley of R Loutanis near Epta Piges on 25th
Little Egret, Only one bird seen on our last morning (31st) on beach near Pefki
Long-legged Buzzard, The only common large raptor. 1 or 2 seen on several days.
Honey Buzzard, One near Chohlakas on 21st
Kestrel, Singles at Asklipieio on 20th, Charaki on 27th, Ialyssos on 28th and two at Plimmyri on 29th & Stegna Beach on 30th.
Lesser Kestrel, 20 together both hawking and resting at the top end of the resevoir at Apolakkia on 21st
Sparrowhawk, one on the 27th at Charaki and another being mobbed by Hooded Crows at Lindos on 30th
Merlin, Individuals on road to Laerma on 20th and on road to Plimmyri on 29th
Moorhen, A juvenile on our last afternoon, on small pool formed after heavy rain behind beach at Lardos
Stone Curlew, The only "wader" of the holiday over scrub/farmland at Charaki
Herring Gull,One on beach at Kiotari on 20th with 3 Yellow-legged
Yellow-legged Herring Gull, 3 on beach at Kiotari on 20th
Turtle Dove, just one with Collared Doves near Lardos on 18th
Collared Dove, fairly common, small flock near Lardos on 18th and one and twos thereafter
European Bee-eater, 3 over scrub/farmland near Lardos on 18th
Kingfisher, seen at 4 coastal locations..Skala Kamirou (22nd),Rhodes Harbour (23rd),Kolympia "Harbour"(24th) and Stegna (30th)
Crested Lark, very common ; seen daily often in large numbers(e.g.60+ in stubble field at Plimmyri on 29th)
Crag Martin, not common, a couple seen near Lardos on 18th and several mobbing a Long-legged Buzzard at Kolympia on 24th
Barn Swallow, only seen in small numbers on 19th near Lardos and near Kiotari on 29th.
Grey Wagtail, a couple around the spillway to the resevoir at Apolakkia on 21st and near Epta Piges on 25th and Valley of Butterflies on 28th.
White Wagtail, fairly common, seen most days with good numbers at a roost in a rear "garden" backing on to beach near hotel on 19th
Dunnock, just one heard singing in park in Rhodes Town on 26th
Redstart, one near Lardos on 18th and another near "river" Gaidouro on 27th
Black Redstart, seen in main street at Siana on 22nd , at Ialyssos on 28th, 4 at Messanagros on 29th +several others along roadside in SE, one from Hotel on 30th and 2 at Stegna Beach on same day
Robin, common but especially so on 29th at Messanagros (12+) and along coast
Blue Rock Thrush, seen from hotel room on a number of days and also on 21st at south end of island (near tavernas on beach at Prassonissi & near Chohlakas)
Blackbird, seen near Lardos on 18th at the Valley of Butterflies on 28th & several along south west coast on 29th
Mistle Thrush, 2 near Dimylia on 25th
Blackcap, single bird near Lardos on 18th with Willow Warblers
Sardinian Warbler, very common
Willow Warbler, half a dozen or so near Lardos on 18th and several on 20th but not seen again.
Chiffchaff, not seen at all until the 29th at Plimmyri (3) & Kiotari(3) and more along back of beach at Pefki & Lardos on 31st. Part of the late fall.
Pied Flycatcher, female with Willow Warblers near Lardos on 19th
Blue Tit, not common, seen near Lardos on 18th & in River Gaidouro area on 24th & 27th
Woodchat Shrike, 1 near Gennadi on 22nd
Red-backed Shrike, 1 near Chohlakas on 21st
Raven, 2 on road to Laerma on 20th and 21 flying around the coast at Monolithos on 22nd
Hooded Crow, very common. 23 counted on 18th on wires on hillside near Lardos and numbers seen daily
Jay, seen near Lardos on 18th and several at Ialyssos on 28th
House Sparrow, numerous
Chaffinch, seen off road to Laerma on 20th, a small flock in R. Gaidouro area on 24th, at Epta Piges on the same day, nr Dimylia on 25th , at Ialyssos on 28th and several along SE coast on 29th.