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Chris Pedroza, UK

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02/07/2017
Chris Pedroza, UK

In Athens for a wedding had a spare half day.Contacted Greece Bird Tours who offered two possible dates. I chose Sunday 2 July 2017 and arranged to be picked up at my Hotel at 6 Am by Akis. He had warned me that birds tended to be scarce in this part of Athens, Cape Sounion Area and that it was going to be very very hot. Set out at 6 and were soon looking at Yellow legged gulls which turned out to be as common as Herring gulls in the UK. It was very nice to see these gulls so easily as one really struggled to see them in the UK. The road wound along the coast where we heard a rock nuthatch but failed to see it. Akis very often turned off the main road on to dirt roads winding through the hills where we saw Hoopoe, Crested lark. and Sardinian warbler and a Little owl sitting quite calmly on the balcony of a house. Akis then took me to place where a Bonelli's eagle had a nest and we were lucky, the eagle was sitting on a ridge against the sky and we had very good views. While we were there a falcon flew out which we first thought was a kestrel, a closer look by Akis identified it as Elenoras falcon. Both these birds were life birds for me and I really began to enjoy the birding. We returned to the Coast and two more life birds Scopoli's shearwater and Chukar. Both birds I had never seen before, the shearwater was in the water and was very easy to see. The Chukar was wandering around the entrance to the the temple of Poesidon and didn't seem to mind people. Akis said these were still wild birds who had got used to people, just like snow buntings in the Caingorms. We also got very good views of red rumped swallow and alpine swift.and hooded crow, all scarce birds in the UK. In total Akis showed me 23 birds and one heard. Even as we were returning to the hotel Akis kept looking out for birds especially Black eared wheatear which I am afraid is the one that got away.It was a brilliant half days birding with which I was well pleased. Akis is a very good birder with good local knowledge; it was a pleasure to go out with him.
I have no hesitation in recommending Greece Bird Tours to anyone wanting to see birds while in Greece.



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