Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lift Off

We arrived back in the UK just yesterday following 14 days in sunny Skiathos. I’m hoping that blog readers haven’t deserted Another Bird Blog in its absence so I put together a few pictures of Greece so as to get the blog up and running again. Hopefully there will be local birding news soon after the essential catching up with friends, family, post and emails. 

It’s a four hour flight from Skiathos to Manchester and for once Manchester Airport was bathed in Greek-like sunshine. 

Lift Off - Skiathos Style

The town of Skiathos is the only built-up area of the island of Skiathos. It is situated on the south-eastern tip of the island in a windless bay which separates the island of Bourtzi in two. The area of the old and new harbours holds few birds where the requisite Yellow-legged Gulls can be seen flying over the buildings and the waters, occasionally resting on the rocky shore but rarely frequenting the many boats moored there, as if they are not welcomed by the fishermen. 

Yellow-legged Gull

The Bourzti - Skiathos

One morning as we walked the old harbour there was an unfamiliar gull waiting for hand-outs from a man gutting small fish. As this was a shopping for gifts and tourist photo day I had only my 50mm lens so took a couple of shots when I realised the bird to be a Caspian Gull. 

Caspian Gull

I think the current situation is that the pink-legged gulls of Britain and other northern countries are still called Herring Gulls Larus argentatus, the yellow-legged ones from the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast of Iberia, Morocco and the Atlantic Islands are called Yellow-legged Gulls Larus michahellis. The ones that have pale pink or pale straw-coloured legs, and which breed north of the Black Sea, in the Ukraine and east of there, are called Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans

At the wooded Bourtzi there were resident House Sparrows and passage migrants of both Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, and along the quayside the resident and ubiquitous but fairly unapproachable Hooded Crow. The only other crow noted during the holiday was Common Raven, numerous around the high tops and rugged coast of the north of the island. 

Hooded Crow

Skiathos Town

Further along our walk and frequenting a waterfront restaurant was another gull, this one a juvenile bird which I suspect is also a Caspian Gull, but I’m far from being a gull fanatic so stand to be corrected.

Caspian Gull

Walking east towards the airport there are numerous waterside restaurants, one of which is splendidly named αλκυόνα - Kingfisher. We stopped for a delicious Greek salad without spotting a Kingfisher however the shallow clear waters and the often rocky shore looks eminently suited to the species. 

Greek salad

Near the airport lake and along the quieter shore were water birds represented by Great White Egret, Little Egret and Grey Heron, plus more Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and unseen Sardinian Warblers. 

Little Egret

Skiathos

Little Egret

 Great White Egret

There's more Greek delight soon from Another Bird Blog. And hopefully back to the patch tomorrow.

Linking today to Skywatch Friday.

24 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hi Phil, glad you made it home safely! I love your Greece images! What a beautiful place for a vacation! Great shots of the gulls and egrets! Enjoy your day!

Russell Jenkins said...

All looks so nice, Phil. That salad would suit me for lunch tomorrow and good observation on the Caspian Gull. I have lots of gull pictures but I don't have the courage to post them on my blog. The scenery is just splendid too. I can almost feel the air.

TexWisGirl said...

just beautiful seaside views! glad you're back safely!

Germán Ibarra Zorrilla said...

You see we have not abandoned you've done great trip, lucky. The hooded crow luxury. Greetings from Spain.

Sylvia K said...

Ah, your captures have brought me some great memories today!! I do love Greece and was able to spend several weeks there when I lived in Europe -- years ago!! And these are such beautiful birds and a great looking salad as well! Delightful post for the day!! Thanks for sharing, Phil!! Have a great weekend!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Skiathos looks amazing! Great photos.

Christian Weiß said...

Wonderful photos of Greece.

Jim said...

Greece is fantastic.
Sydney – City and Suburbs

David Gascoigne said...

W elcome back Esteemed Professor Of Pilling! We will look forward to your posts to come.

'Tsuki said...

When I saw the first pic, just after the title of your blog, I thought : "wow, that is a BIG bird"... ^^

It is a very nice serie, you take your bird pics with great art, and you have quite the eye to catch beautiful details in your surroundings...

Margaret Adamson said...

hi Phil Look like you had a great time as these photographs show us. great reflections and critters in this post

Mary Cromer said...

So you saw no Kingfisher at the Kingfisher Restaurant (the salad on crusty bread looks so good) and we saw last 3 visits to Grouse Mountain Lodge, no Grouse...sigh ;) It looks like a magical place to spend vacation time~

Betsy Brock said...

Beautiful birds...that wee young gull is adorable! Looks like you had fun. That sandwich looks wonderful!

sandyland said...

lovely all the pictures nice place to be

Anne (cornucopia) said...

What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing your photographs of it.

DeniseinVA said...

Welcome home and thank you for all these great photos from your trip. Looks like you had a great time and I enjoyed your post very much.

carol l mckenna said...

Welcome home ~ Greece looks so inviting! And your photography is awesome especially the lovely birds!

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Jane said...

Great selection of photos, Skiathos looks very beautiful. Thanks for sharing :)

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots from your trip and lovely birds there.

Adam Jones said...

Nice to have you back and with some cracking gull shots too. Great stuff.

Maria Gagliano said...

Thanks for allowing me to visit. Lovely shots
Maria’s Space

Our photos said...

Beautiful photos of Greece.
Greetings...

Marie said...

Glad you're back! LOVED the photos! The views of the water and Greek shoreline as well as that amazing shot of the yellow-legged gull were my favorites! Have an awesome week! Can't wait to see more!

Julie said...

Your shots are fantastic.

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