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Monday, 11 September 2017

Birds & wildlife of Rhodes part 2

On 2nd September, at breakfast a Sub- Alpine warbler seen in the bushes and a Spotted Flycatcher seen in Pines on the hill opposite. At Rhodes town, walking up to the Grand Palace a slightly tatty Scarce Swallowtail was seen feeding on flowers enclosed by a rectangular wooden box. It was quite confiding. A Pallid Swift flew over the Knights Grand Palace of the Grandmasters, and going through the entrance a fine close view of a Crag Martin that flew and perched above the entrance arch. 2 Yellow- legged Herring Gulls seen perched on the rocks by the harbour. On 3rd September on Sunday in the Hotel grounds a Sub- Alpine Warbler was seen in the pines area. At Garoudas bridge, a repeat visit revealed an Egyptian Grasshopper seen jumping out of the vegetation near the bridge. A respondent Scarce Swallowtail flew across the dry riverbed fling west. Driving over to the east side, driving down the stoney track, a magnificent Short- toed Eagle flew up from the ground and flew away. Back at the Atrium Palace Hotel at Kalathos. By the bushes to the west side of the hotel, settled a Long- tailed Blue butterfly. On the lawn, 16 Black- headed Wagtails fed on the lawn, whilst close still was 1 White Wagtail seen. Also by the pool was a confiding Little Stint and 5 Crested Larks. On 4th September the other side of Lindos, a female Sparrowhawk flew past the road and under the ridge. A drive south down to genadi beach initially only revealed 3 Crested Larks and House Sparrows. By the side bushes on the south side of the dry river bed, a Sub- Alpine Warbler and a Sardinian warbler plus a Darter Dragonfly. At a pond at the end, 3 Stripe- necked Terrapins seen that plopped into the water as soon as they saw me, plus a Black- headed Wagtail that flew down to drink and then perched in the bush. Whilst overhead a Swallow flew by. A Scarlet Darter settled on vegetation close to the water whilst up to 3 male Lesser Emperors flew around and settled tantalisingly on reeds the far side. Scrambling back up the bank, a confiding Egyptian Grasshopper initially showed well. Whilst walking back I heard some unusual 'takking' near a bush I looked into a large Tamarisk with thick central branches and amazingly, an Olive- tree Warbler, there was no doubting what it was, a large (Great Reed warbler sized bird) grey Hippolais warbler with long dagger like bill and yellow on the lower mandible, came out and looked at me barely 10 feet away then hopped back and I had the presence of mind to change to my 150mm macro camera and take 2 pics of it. A fantastic new species for me. Also skulking right of that was a smaller Sub- Alpine warbler. On Tuesday 5th September, at Keraki Gorge, I dove down to a magnolia coloured bridge, a female Kestrel flew by. A 'chortling' Bee- eater was heard but not seen. I parked the car by some bushes, where a faded male Red- backed Shrike was seen. walking north along the dry river bed, Goats were seen, just past a Solar farm, where another male red- backed Shrike seen perched on a fence, a Blue Rock Thrush heard singing but not seen. In evergreen trees a Blue Tit seen, plus 3 Crested Larks seen around the dry river bed plus another male Red- backed Shrike by shrubs at the side of the dry river bed and assorted darters. Driving back near Lindos, a female Sparrowhawk flew across the road.

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