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Kefalonia 1998, John Jennings

We visited Kefalonia between the 3rd - 17th of May 1998. The following report details the sites visited and the birds seen at each of the sites.

The most productive areas were Katelios, where he had an apartment and the Livadi Marshes.

At this time of year, the resident species were supplemented by good numbers of migrants which added increased variety to the birding.

Not a great birding island as you really have to work hard to find a lot of the birds. The marshes near Livardi were the only wetlands on the island and as a consequence produced the largest variety of birds.

The island itself is a stunning island with beatiful mountainous regions, lovely valleys and tree lined streams.

The sites visited:

* Argostoli Lagoon Water birds including Little Bittern. Twenty species seen.

Black-necked Grebe, full summer plumaged bird by bridge, Little Egret, up to three birds. Only seen here and Livadi marshes. Grey Heron, two, far end from Argostoli. Little Bittern, male flew from reeds at far end of lagoon. Common Sandpiper, Three birdS. Wood Sandpiper, At far end (away from Argostoli). Common Buzzard, on approach road to Argostoli. Yellow-legged Gull, 20 or poss more flying around lagoon. Collared Dove, fairly common in localised areas. Cetti's Warbler, heard only. Woodchat Shrike, numerous. Willow Warbler, seen in trees at furthest end of lagoon. Common Swift, numerous. Swallow, numerous. House Martin, numerous. Fan-tailed Warbler, 1st of year plus a few more heard. Great Tit, Greenfinch, bird near to bridge. Goldfinch, numerous. Cirl Bunting, On road other side of lagoon (opposite Argostoli).

* Croda beach Eleonora's Falcon.

Little Bittern, One flushed male from reeds by stream. Common Buzzard, Two flying near to beach. Eleonora's Falcon, Two flying over approach road to beach. Common Swift, numerous. Alpine Swift, eight flying by beach and out to sea. Sand Martin, numerous. Swallow, numerous. House Martin, numerous.

* Karavomilos Mainly common species.

Grey Heron, Whinchat. Common to localized areas, Blackbird, numerous. Blue Tit numerous. Great Tit, five seen. Goldfinch numerous. Linnet, approx a dozen birds seen. Hooded Crow, four seen.

* Katelios area Very productive area, over sixty species including waders, raptors and warblers. Best birds included Red-footed Falcon and Broad-billed Sandpiper.

African Collared Dove, in garden by newspaper Kiosk. Alpine Swift, seven seen on one occasion. Blackbird, numerous. Black-headed Bunting, numerous-all around the telephone wires etc. Femails seen only after the 14/5/98. Black-headed Wagtail, numerous. Blue Rock Thrush, on houses on Skala end of Ano Katelios. Blue Tit, fairly numerous. Blue-headed Wagtail, numerous. Bonelli's Warbler, by bushes on track leading away from accomodation. Broad-billed Sandpiper, one dropped exhausted right by beach. Collared Dove, up to five around Katelios village. Common Bittern, flushed up approx 06:00am by beach bar. Common Buzzard, regularly seen around area, one caught a snake within 50' of where we were walking. Common Kestrel, 1 pair seen regularly, poss-nesting in hill back of Katelios. Common Sandpiper, two seen regularly on edge of beach by stream near beach bar. Common Swift, numerous. Common Whitethroat, on bushes next to stream bridge on main road. Corn Bunting, quite a few dotted around wires and bushes. Crested Lark, fairly numerous. Curlew Sandpiper, Up to five seen, aprrox 200 yards from beach bar. Dunlin, by beach bar, seen only once. Eleonora's Falcon, flew from ridge overlooking Katelios beach. European Bee-eater, four on 7/5/98, Goldfinch, numerous. Great Tit, in Ano Katelios village. Greenfinch, numerous. Grey Heron, two seen flying across beach on 10/5/98. Grey Wagtail, up to three dotted along stream running through Katelios. Honey Buzzard, one seen towards dusk-approx 1 mile from Katelios. Hooded Crow, numerous. Hoopoe, one flew past apartment balcony. House Martin, numerous. House Sparrow, very numerous. Jay, by apartment. Lesser Grey Shrike, 1st of year on wires only about 50 feet from apartment. Little Bittern, 1 pair flying up from stream and one by beach bar on reeds. Marsh Sandpiper,one by beach bar. Moorhen, up to four in stream by beach bar in Katelios. Nightingale, one seen plus others heard around stream. Olivaceous Warbler, Fairly numerous. Pied Flycatcher, female and only P.Fly seen. Red-footed Falcon, on wire outside of apartment. Red-rumped Swallow, very numerous in this area fairly large numbers. Rufous Bush Chat, one dropped into bush within 20 yards of us. Sand Martin, numerous. Sardinian Warbler, 1 pair with 4 chicks in hedge by our apartments, numerous. Scops Owl, on wires on top of hill overlooking the area. Spanish Sparrow, 20 by pool on dirt track on edge of Ano Katelios, Spotted Flycatcher, fairly numerous, Stonechat, numerous. Swallow, numerous. Turnstone, with C.Sandpiper. Turtle Dove, on telephone wires in Ano Katelios. Whinchat, numerous. Wood Sandpiper, by beach bar in Katelios. Woodchat Shrike, numerous with females in some places. Yellow Wagtail, numerous in fields (especially by grazing sheep), Yellow-legged Gull, around beach and village area.

* Lakithra-Mouikis Village complex Mainly common species but including Short-toed Eagle

Short-toed Eagle, flying over village-only 2nd one seen on holiday. Common Kestrel, in very tatty condition. Hobby, one flew over swimming pool. Lesser Black-backed Gull, only 2nd one seen on holiday. Sand Martin, numerous. Swallow, numerous. Red-rumped Swallow, numerous. House Martin, numerous. Stonechat, two below balcony from swimming pool. Blackbird, two seen. Sardinian Warbler, numerous. Cirl Bunting, two in gardens of village.

* Livadi marshes A fine marshland area with a good variety of birds including Squacco Heron and Imperial Eagle

Glossy Ibis, six seen, difficult to find amongst reeds. Purple Heron, one near quarry end. Squacco Heron, EU Lifer - one right below quarry by farm buildings. Grey Heron, three scattered across marshes. Little Egret, 30+ birds seen-many more hidden amongst the reeds. Common Buzzard. Common Kestrel. Eleonora's Falcon, one seen part of mini raptor migration, Imperial Eagle, EU Lifer one on dead tree quarry side. Marsh Harrier, one flying over Marshes, Peregrine Falcon,one, part of mini raptor migration spiral, Red-footed Falcon, 25+ pairs in first field on main rd from quarry. Black-eared Wheatear, one at edge of beach and one seen by quarry. Blue Tit, numerous. Blue-headed Wagtail, numerous. Grey Wagtail, by quarry side near farm buildings. Yellow Wagtail, hundreds of birds in freshly cut field back of quarry. Black-headed Wagtail, numerous. European Bee-eater, five close to quarry side. Great Grey Shrike, one approx 100 yards from Imperial Eagle, Great Tit, numerous. Sardinian Warbler, one pair protecting young with broken wing routine. Sedge Warbler, fairly numerous-only seen at these marshes. Spanish Sparrow, huge colony in trees near to quarry. Spotted Flycatcher, numerous. Turtle Dove, two flying across reserve on the quarry side.

* Lourdas area This area and the nearby Trapezaki Beach provided a good variety of birds including Bee-eater.

Swallow, common & numerous. House Martin, common & numerous. House Sparrow,common & numerous. Common Swift, common & numerous. European Bee-eater, twenty on lourdas beach by The restaurant. Sand Martin, common & numerous. Cetti's Warbler, heard only by Lourdas beach restaurants. Sardinian Warbler, common & numerous. Blue Tit, common & numerous. Woodchat Shrike, common & numerous. Jay, common & numerous. Spanish Sparrow, fifteen flocking around small pool in ditch. Greenfinch, common & numerous. Goldfinch, common & numerous. Black-headed Bunting, EU Lifer (became very Common in this area).

* Trapezaki Beach-near Lourdas See above.

Common Buzzard. Common Sandpiper, common to localized areas. Cetti's Warbler, only Cetti seen though many heard on holiday. Great Tit, fairly common. Little Ringed Plover, dropped down by Denis restaurant exhausted. Nightingale, common but mainly heard and not seen. Blackbird, common & numerous. Spotted Flycatcher, common & numerous. Sardinian Warbler, numerous. Wood Warbler, one seen only wood warbler seen on holiday. Jay. Cirl Bunting, two seen, one bird flew down onto branch by car. Sand Martin, numerous. Swallow, numerous. Red-rumped Swallow fairly numerous. House Martin, numerous. Woodchat Shrike, numerous.

* Near Hionata Alpine Swift was the highlight.

Common Buzzard. Cuckoo, heard only. Alpine Swift, two seen. Blackbird, numerous. Cetti's Warbler, heard only. Blue Tit, numerous. Woodchat Shrike. Jay. Greenfinch, fairly numerous. Cirl Bunting, common in localized areas. Corn Bunting, odd birds dotted around Katelios.

* Near Kastro castle Short-toed Eagle and Spanish Sparrow.

Short-toed Eagle, one seen 1st of year. Alpine Swift, three seen. Swallow, numerous - drinking from water leaking onto road. House Martin, numerous - drinking from water leaking onto road. Greenfinch, numerous - drinking from water leaking onto road. Goldfinch, numerous - drinking from water leaking onto road. Linnet, numerous - drinking from water leaking onto road. Spanish Sparrow, two drinking water on road from leaking pipe.

* Near Poros A nice variety of birds including Rock-Bunting.

Honey Buzzard, two near reservoir on junction of Poros Sami road. Common Buzzard, three on road from Poros towards Sami. Common Kestrel, pair seen possibly near nest in gorge coming out of Poros. Cirl Bunting, three on wires just outside of Poros (Skala side). Marsh Sandpiper, bird near main road bridge on dried up river. Blue Rock Thrush, two by Poros Gorge. Blue Tit, numerous in village in trees by river. Rock Sparrow, two by Poros gorge. Greenfinch, numerous in village in trees by river. Goldfinch, numerous in village in trees by river. Rock Bunting, Two by small stream about 1 mile from Poros.

* On road to Mount Aenos summit Mountain birds including Cretzschmar's Bunting.

Goldcrest, numerous around summit and just below it. Firecrest, numerous around summit and just below it. Crested Tit, Two at picnic area between radar station and summit. Coal Tit, numerous between picnic site and summit. Chaffinch, numerous towards summit. Linnet, Three right by radar station. Cirl Bunting, halfway along main road before radar station. Cretzschmar's Bunting, seen with 3 Linnets by radar station.

* Overlooking Luxori Near Katohori Sombre Tit and Black-headed Bunting were the highlights.

Black-eared Wheatear, one of only 3 birds seen on holiday. Spotted Flycatcher, fairly numerous. Sombre Tit, the only one seen on this holiday. Great Tit, two. Corn Bunting, the odd bird on the telephone wires. Common Buzzard, three. Common Swift, numerous. Sand Martin, six. Swallow, numerous. House Martin, numerous. Woodchat Shrike, three. Black-headed Bunting, two. Blue Rock Thrush, 1 pair plus another couple on wire

Minor Sites:

Near Cape Vliotis. (Visited 8th May '98) Rock Partridge. EU Lifer - two seen, the only birds seen on this trip.

Assos (visited 7th May '98) Common Swift numerous, Alpine Swift seven seen, Black-eared Wheatear

Jnct Sami Rd to Mt Aenos (Visited 4th May '98) Common Buzzard, fairly common all over island, Alpine Swift 1st of year ( Common to localized areas), Stonechat common to localized areas, Corn Bunting 1st of year ( Common to localized areas)

Near Andisamos beach (Visited 8th May '98) Blackbird numerous, Sardinian Warbler quite large numbers seen, Spotted Flycatcher fairly numerous, Blue Tit numerous, Chaffinch numerous - only seen in mountainous areas, Cirl Bunting Two near to car on mountain dirt track above Sami.

Agia Evfimia (visited twice: 8th and 9th May '98) Yellow-legged Gull up to five seen, Common Swift, Swallow numerous, House Martin numerous, Blue Tit only ones seen, House Sparrow numerous

Near Farsa (Visited 9th May '98) Blue Rock Thrush Two seen on wires about half a mile from Farsa

Near Fiskardo (Visited 7th May '98) Alpine Swift Three flew around us for about 10 minutes. European Bee-eater Two birds briefly seen as they flew over. Hooded Crow only bird seen here

Near Lassi (Visited 5th May '98) Stonechat two seen

Near Valsamata (Visited 4th May '98) Honey Buzzard One about a mile prior to Monastery, Yellow-legged Gull fifteen in fields near to Monastery. Woodchat Shrike just the one seen here

Near Xapakti (Visited 14th May '98) Common Buzzard one seen in same place as the Ravens. Turtle Dove four on wires near edge of Xapakti. Jay two at edge of Xapakti village. Raven two flying over road and circling above us

Old Skala Town (close to ruins) (Visited 6th May '98) Red-footed Falcon Three seen. Very localized. Golden Oriole only one seen-flew past car.