Monday, April 22, 2013

my day off in Crete

A day spent ferrying various clients not coming on the Crete extension to their respective destinations gave me five hours in the field on my own yesterday and I made the most of it! First stop was Georgiopolis lake which produced some great birds in a short session. I was excited about the great views of spotted crake (1) and pygmy cormorant (1 - vagrant in Crete I think?) but then this great snipe wandered out of the Juncus briefly. I have never seen a great snipe wading about before but this might reflect the lack of suitable habitat in Crete I suspect.

Nearby Kournas Lake gave me a chance to photograph black-winged stilt.

Other birds at Kournas Lake included this greenshank and also a lone whiskered tern.

Next stop was Petres, where the sun finally came out after nearly a week of very poor weather and a wander along the river was great for invertebrates.

Petres finally produced a single Sympecma fusca for the dragonfly triplist. 

 Ischnura elegans was abundant at Petres but I am still looking for a pumilio for my Crete list.

The first of two reptile lifers at Petres came in the form of great views of Cretan wall lizard (at last!).

Thistles accommodated the splendid Cretan endemic sub-species of Agapanthia cyanarae - longhorns rock!

Been busy photographing Orthoptera in Crete and will do a separate post once I have them sorted out. Not sure on the id on this one yet...

Finally whilst enjoying watching the Cory's shearwaters and a flyby male red-footed falcon offshore I came across another new reptile on the beach - Balkan whip snake. Sweet! The day was rounded off nicely by a flyby Eleonora's falcon as I drove to my last pick-up of the day. Driving through Crete at night to get to the next hotel was excellent too with three beech martens on the road as well as nightjar and Scops owl. Great 'day off'.

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