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Raptor Count 2015.Day 13: Goshawk!

Early this morning the wind was still strong, but the day was bright, the air clear, and we climbed the hill with the hope of some nice spotting. And so we spotted, in the afternoon, a Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) juvenile, mobbed by several Eleonora’s Falcons.

The first hours passed with no birds. Few minutes after 11, one Marsh Harrier, adult male, suddenly appeared in a fast glide on the western side of the island. Following it, we’ve seen 3 more. After a few minutes, 2 Black Kites arrived from the western side, gliding very low over the ground almost against the wind, until they reached an inner valley where they gained height and passed by the island. Also the other birds that we’ve seen today had a similar track, consisted with what we observed last year. When the wind is from NE, the birds approach the island mostly from the west side and try to reach its inner valleys to fly safely and, if they need, to roost and hunt.

Total counts:

Species Number
Pernis apivorus 1
Milvus migrans 5
Circus aeruginosus 6
Accipiter gentilis 1

Raptor Count 2015.Day 12: changing of the guard in Windykythira!

The ringing activity is starting tomorrow and Eli and the volunteers, with the new entry Angie, have been busy setting the mistnets.

I, Giacomo, have been charmed by the island last year and I’m here again to count the raptors. If only the wind lets me!

Raptor counters passing the binoculars

Passing of the binoculars between the raptor counters

Today it’s been very wind, as well, with gusts of 70 km/h. The wind was blowing mainly from NNE. With so strong winds the raptors may not attempt to cross the sea and. What’s more, a wind from NNE is blowing in a favourable direction, and if the wind is not too strong the birds may take advantage of the tailwind to reach more directly their destination.

Goats on the lee side of the hill of Lidi, to find relief from the wind.

Goats on the lee side of the hill of Lidi, to find relief from the wind.

Thus, today no migrating raptors have been counted. But we’ve got some action, though. First, 1 Marsh Harrier has been spotted hunting close to the Guest House, waiting for better conditions.

Then, from the watchpoint, we’ve seen the family flights of several resident Common Buzzards. But the best moment was when we saw an Eleonora’s Falcon mobbing a Kestrel. It’s the breeding season for Eleonora’s Falcon and so they are more aggressive towards competitors. What a spectacular aerial fight, with two agile and swift species involved!

The wind speed dropped down a little in the evening, hopefully tomorrow we’ll be more lucky.

Raptor Count 2015.Day 11,no count.

The wind decided to be stronger than ever and we had to stop the raptor count even though we did not see any raptor.

We stopped for some hours and in the afternoon we went up again with the wind just below sixty kilometers per hour but only our friendly kestrel dared to fly today.


Raptor Count 2015.Day 10, record of wind.

Continuing the routine of the previous days, today we had the record of wind!

We put some stones in our pockets to hold on in our places; despite the wind, we had some observations in the afternoon.

As we spent so much time in the observation point, and luck is not with us, one male kestrel comes every day to cheer us up; we decided to name him Periklis.

Species Count
Black Kite 1
Honey Buzzard           3
Total 4



Periklis.Photo by Petros Petrou



Record of wind.Photo Silvi Ursul

Raptor Count 2015.Day 9,unlucky day.

As the previous days we are still unlucky; the wind was strong all the day and we did not see any bird flying during the morning.

The afternoon we had two observation and we hope that tomorrow our luck will change.

Species Count
Black Kite 1
Honey Buzzard  1
Total 2



Our volunteer from Moldavia , Silvia.




Raptor Count 2015.Day 8,where are the birds?

It was a frustrating day; we did not observe any bird during the morning and in the afternoon we had only three observations.

Besides the poor number we could contemplate a flock of Eleonora’s Falcon hunting close to the observation point and hearing swift passing by.

Species Count
Buteo Buteo 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Marsh Harrier 1
Total 3

Raptor Count 2015.Day 7, a hoping day.

After a promising start with two different flock of Honey Buzzards and Black Kite, the things calmed down and the wind change direction from north east to North West, so we had only two birds in the afternoon.

From the blog, I have to thanks the work of the volunteers it would have been impossible.

Species Count
Black Kite 8
Honey Buzzard 63
Marsh Harrier 2
Total 73



Marsh Harrier.Photo by Petros Petrou


Raptor Count 2015.Day 6, frustratingly slow day.

Today was a very slow day, we did not see any flock and the birds were passing one by one and in a very long space of time.

We were scanning the sky all day long but it was not our day.

The wind was not so strong as yesterday but still was unpleasant.

Species Count
Marsh Harrier


Honey Buzzard





We had the chance to phograph also, this beauty of a nocturnal raptor.


Scops Owl.Photo by Petros Petrou

Raptor Count 2015.Day 5, new record for the wind.

We had a good migration in the morning, several flocks of Honey buzzards passed through the island and this time we managed to take some good photos.

The afternoon  was a completely different story, the wind was blowing from the west and reach the fifty kilometers per hour, it was very hard for us to keep scanning.

We also saw a Peregrine Falcon, which might be one of the residents of the island.

Species Count
Black Kite


Honey Buzzard






Honey Buzzard flock.Photo by Petros Petrou



Male Honey Buzzard. Photo by Petros Petrou

Raptor Count 2015. Day 4 Far away.

The wind calmed down a bit today and it was a better day for the raptor migration.

Three differents flocks with more than thirty individual were spotted today but they were far away and could not be  photographed; it is the first day  with more than a hundred raptors counted.

Species Count
Black Kite 3
Honey Buzzard 129
Lanner Falcon 1
Montagus Harrier 1
Total 134


One of our volunteers went for birdwatching and photographed a flock of Egretta garzetta.


Photo by Petros Petrou.