PARAKILO CHAPEL - AGRA - SKALA ERESOS - ERESOS TO SIGRI COAST ROAD VIA MELADIA VALLEY
BIRD OF THE DAY: COLLARED FLYCATCHER
Keep it coming!!! Another great day of birding in superb weather, the only downside is the lack of migrants because of the weather, there are many species but not many of each.
We started at 8am after an early breakfast heading for Sigri by taking the coast road along the north side of the Gulf of Kalloni. Our first stop was at the Chapel just west of Parakilo where we found a number of nice species. Our first Cretzchmar’s Bunting was exciting for the group but the beauty of the Cirl bunting was equally admired. A Blue Rock Thrush sang from the top of a spruce tree, a pair of Common Whitethroats chased around and at least three Black-eared Wheatears flitted about one the rocky slopes. More distant birds included a Short-toed Eagle (carrying a snake), a Golden Oriole seen briefly and a Common Kestrel.
A brief stop at the ‘towers’ above the town of Agra produced our first Western Rock Thrush, more Blue –rock Thrushes and Black-eared Wheatears. Then just a couple clicks along the road we stopped to watch soaring raptors, three of which were Eleanora’s Falcon and one a Short-toed Eagle.
At Skala Eresos we were very lucky to find a nest of the Penduline Tit, it was still under construction and we enjoyed watching the birds collecting nesting material from the nearby reed mace. Other birds seen included great views of Nightingale and Night Heron as well as Olivaceous Warbler, Reed Warbler and we heard a couple of Cetti’s Warblers.
From Eresos we took the coast track through the Meladia Valley, we spent a good 3 hours during several stops including a picnic lunch break. Over the whole valley and the ford area we listed a number of great species, the best of which were: Collared Flycatcher (2), Barred Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Whinchat (6), Masked Shrike (1), Red-backed Shrike (24), Woodchat Shrike (8), Spotted Flycatcher (18), Pied Flycatcher (2) and lots of Black-headed Buntings, Cretzchmar’s Buntings and a couple of Little Owls.
We drove through Sigri and up through the hills back towards kalloni via Andissa. Along the road above Sigri we saw 8 Lesser Kestrels feeding over the hillside. At the Eresos crossroads we found a couple of Isabelline Wheastears and a Middle Spotted Woodpecker.
Back at kalloni at 6pm we decided to have a quick look at the Tsiknias river, a good decision as we found some good birds. New for the trip list were Montagu;s Harrier and Red Footed Falcon but we also enjoyed TRemminck’s Stint (4), Little Bittern (3), lots of Wood Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers and Yellow Wagtails. The evening light was superb and I didn’t want to leave this magical scene, but we had to go back to the hotel for dinner.