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Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Birds & Wildlife on the Greek island of Kos

Just returned from a very enjoyable holiday to Kos, from Tuesday 16th to Tues 23rd September 2014 one of the eastern Dodanese Greek islands off the southern coast of Turkey. On Wednesday 17th after the rep had told us about all the excursions were walking back in the hot sunshine and just by the pool on the path ahead were there was a pool of water, incredibly, a Snake was drinking from here, when it saw us it froze, I dashed back to the hotel room, grabbed my camera and took some pictures before it quickly slid off behind some bikes in a corner to shelter, it was a superb Black Whip Snake. We also saw a Hummingbird Hawk Moth flying around too. A Sardinian Warbler was seen in bushes on the left side of the hotel at the front. Going to Tigaki Salt Lake, we noticed a few Red- veined Darters and a group of 19 Greater Flamingoes, with 1 juvenile amongst them. Walking around the scrubby area, I saw 5 Red- backed Shrikes, 5 Whinchat and 3 Plain Tiger butterflies flying around. Also seen on the Salt pans were a group of 4 Ringed Plover. In the evening around the hotel, I was delighted to see another Red- backed Shrike on a distant bush and the chortling sound of Bee- Eaters revealed around 8 flying around as ever, rainbow coloured birds. As night fell, I saw a Preying Mantis, sat next to the outside door of someone else's room next door but one from us. On Thursday 18th going to Kos looking at the archaeological sites no Lizards seen, but at Kos castle by a particularly large expense of wall a Starry Agama Lizard seen and a Yellow Wagtail sp heard only as it flew over. Up to 3 Swallowtail butterflies seen here by a grassy area. In the evening at the hotel, I first noticed a Hummingbird Hawk Moth perched on a smoke alarm in the hotel cocktail bar, which didn't move from there for the rest of the week. On the Boat trip to several islands, 11 Cory's Shearwaters seen plus several Yellow- legged Herring Gulls, Shags and on the island several Rock Grayling butterflies and Southern Meadow Browns. On Saturday we explored the Magic Beach and saw a large 4 foot long Grey Lizard that ran round to a cylindrical hole in the middle of a sand bank. It was later seen perched just outside the hole and I managed some distant shots. When we visited later it was seen at another cylindrical hole nearby. Several Red- veined Darters and Rock Grayling butterflies seen too. On Sunday 21st, the North wind had died down and we visited the abandoned village of Old Pyli, up to 4 Wall Lizards seen including a confiding individual close to the path, that was well photographed. At the top, it was wonderful to see 2 Black Stork soaring overhead, at Zia, 1 Common Buzzard flew overhead. and Great Tit and Coal Tit heard here too. In the evening it was great to see first 1 Green Toad by the rim edge of the hotel eastern path with 3 at the very end and another 1 further along, totally 5 Green Toads, I noticed one move towards an insect and the tongue shot out caught it and swallowed it. On Monday 22nd September, early morning at the hotel by a back hedgerow a Mediterranean Skipper and Holly Blue type butterfly seen. At Psaldi Salt Lake a Spotted flycatcher seen in the tamarisks plus 19 adult Greater Flamingoes At another abandoned village, a Clouded Yellow butterfly seen.(the juvenile had disappeared and replaced by an adult. 5 Crested Larks seen including a very confiding singing individual at the side of the road. At Magic Beach, the Lizard was seen again plus a Hoopoe flew over the road as we just turned off the main road. By the Agios Stephanos Basilica temple by the beach, 7 Starry Agamas and they all were very photogenic posing on the side and top of the wall sometimes just inches away!. At Kalimnos 31 Bee- eaters flew around on the way back, were seen on the mount overlooking an impressive vista looking down to a village countryside. In the evening, 2 Green Toads seen along the Eastern path of the Hotel, 1 Preying Mantis briefly landed on my arm then on the ground. 1 Gecko and then a Turkish Gecko seen too. There were 3 Wall Lizards seen- 1 with a Gecko at the Hotel front. On Tuesday 23rd September, a bigger foot long Wall Lizard seen by the eastern hedgerow of the Hotel plus around 5 Starry Agamas along the front. Whilst around 8 Swallows, a House Martin, 2 Alpine Swifts flew over the front of the Hotel. Finally a Chiff- Chaff heard and a Sardinian Warbler were seen.

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