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Trip Report Athens March 26th 2018

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26/03/2018
Trip Report Athens March 26th 2018

Indrajit and Rachel is a lovely couple from the United States. Their holidays in Greece were organized by Triton Holidays company that contacted us because they wanted to include one day of birdwatching. The couple did not have any particular 'wish list; they were happy enough to see as many birds as possible.

Pick up time was 07.00 from downtown Athens and the first place to visit was Vravrona Wetland. A new wave of African dust created a very misty atmosphere but this didn't prevent us from seeing lots of great species like the Great Spotted Cuckoo!


Great Spotted Cuckoo
Lots of passerines (finches, larks, pipits, buntings etc) were foraging in the fields, while a Great Egret was at the estuary, along with Little Egrets. 
 
Great Egret
Swifts, Alpine Swifts, Barn Swallows, Red-rumped Swallows and House Martins were flying low, giving nice views. 
 
After Vravrona, we headed north to the small but precious Artemis Lagoon. Ferruginous Ducks and Black-winged Stilts were the most important species seen while Teals, Coots, Little Grebes and Moorhens were also present, among others.
 
Very close to Artemis Lagoon is the estuary of one of the very few perennial streams of East Attica at Rafina. This vulnerable and threatened ecosystem is an important stopover site for migrants. Within a few minutes we saw Yellow Wagtails, Little Ringed Plovers and a Kingfisher!
 
Time was flying and we had to start our way back to Athens. Last stop was Mt Hymettus, more specifically the Aesthetic Forest of Kaisariani. Lots of birds there too, from the ubiquitous resident Blackbird to the Eastern Bonelli's Warbler - a rare passage migrant. 
 
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
There were still lots of winter visitors like the Siskin and the Hawfinch. Cirl Buntings were the last birds to be seen, ending the trip in the best possible way. 54 species was the total count of this great day! Here are the reviews about the bird trip.


Indrajit and Rachel
TRIP CHECKLIST
Green-winged Teal - Anas crecca
Ferruginous Duck - Aythya nyroca
Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
Great Egret - Ardea alba
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Hen Harrier - Circus cyaneus
Water Rail - Rallus aquaticus
Eurasian Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian Coot - Fulica atra
Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus
Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius
Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis
Eurasian Collared-Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Great Spotted Cuckoo - Clamator glandarius
Alpine Swift - Apus melba
Common Swift - Apus apus
Common Kingfisher - Alcedo atthis
Eurasian Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius
Eurasian Magpie - Pica pica
Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix
Crested Lark - Galerida cristata
Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica
Common House-Martin - Delichon urbicum
Great Tit - Parus major
Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus
Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti
Willow Warbler - Phylloscopus trochilus
Common Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler - Phylloscopus orientalis
Zitting Cisticola - Cisticola juncidis
Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Sardinian Warbler - Sylvia melanocephala
European Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Common Nightingale - Luscinia megarhynchos
European Stonechat - Saxicola rubicola
Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava
White Wagtail - Motacilla alba
Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis
Tree Pipit - Anthus trivialis
Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus
Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra
Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
Hawfinch - Coccothraustes coccothraustes
European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
European Serin - Serinus serinus
Eurasian Siskin - Spinus spinus
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus


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