May 2010

During the month of May, a total of 82 species of birds were sighted and inventoried, three of which for the first time, raising the total species count from 203 to 206.

During the end of May, a lot of water bird species are completing their first birth. So, as would be expected, during this month’s survey many families were observed, such as those of mallards, coots and moorhens. Some species – specifically shelduck, pochard and the ferruginous duck – started their nesting season late this year and so we expect to observe their first families in the beginning of June. What was also of great interest was the spotting of a young swan, which is rare in shallow-water wetlands and those close to the sea at this time of year.

In total, 7 species of herons were observed this month in the Sani wetlands, in significant quantities (such as the little egret and night heron). Our suspicions of the nesting of the purple heron in the Sani wetlands was confirmed by the spotting of at least 2 couples reproducing. An addition to the heron species in the wetlands this month is the little bittern.

We observed great variety in terms of wader species and their populations. The sightings of species such as ruff, greenshank, wood sandpiper and little stilt, as well as the two ringed plovers, are considered especially significant. Kentish plovers, little ringed plovers and avocets, as well as black-winged stilts started their nesting in small populations, due to the high level of water in the wetlands observed this year. In the highlights of the month, the spotting of two collared pratincoles certainly deserves a mention.

From the observations conducted at sea, the most important was that of the cory’s shearwater, a large group of which spent a long while hunting along the coast, a beautiful sight.

In total, seven species of raptors were observed. The most of important of these were 7 hobbies, which were hunting in the agricultural land that borders the wetlands. From the night species, we confirmed the presence of the long-eared and scops owls.

In terms of passerines, nightingales, black-headed buntings and the olivaceous warbler were spotted, as well as big groups of starlings. In the pine forest edges, those bordering with agricultural land, the red-backed shrike was often sighted, as well as the woodchat shrike and the lesser grey shrike. In the highlights of the month, the roller and the bea-eater should also be mentioned.

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