Sunday, September 18, 2016


Good Morning. Yes, Sue and I are in Skiathos, Greece, so apologies that there is no local news today. Instead here are pictures and a few words about Skiathos until we return. I really enjoy my local birding as regular readers will know; but once or twice a year spending quality time in the sunshine of the Med or Greece is just the job to reinvigorate the birding senses. 

The economy of Skiathos island is mainly centred on tourism and fishing, followed closely by crop and livestock farming. Skiathos is greener than someone might expect from many of the typical hot and sunny Greek island in holiday brochures. While Skiathos has many beaches they are often flanked by lush green hills. This landscape feature makes it one of the more naturally attractive Greek islands. Skiathos is also called “the boomerang island” because it is said that once someone has visited this island they will feel an irresistible urge to return. This is our fourth visit here. 

The island of Skiathos and the neighbouring one of Skopelos are both renowned for their population of wasps, and I daresay that the creatures are all pervasive on nearby islands and the mainland. No wonder then that Skiathos has a good resident population of Honey Buzzards, a raptor that specializes in raiding the nests of bees and wasps. The numbers of this buzzard are swelled in September by migrating birds from further north, but Common Buzzard also occurs here as a migrant. 

Eleonora's Falcon and Honey Buzzard

We always rent a Suzuki Jimny when in Skiathos. On the neglected roads and rough tracks of post-financial crisis Greece, the legendary robustness and fun factor of the tiny 4x4 is sought after by European tourists looking for an authentic Greek experience. For us it’s a bit of nostalgia for the electric blue Jimny we once owned. 

Birding Greek Style

You are never far away from a beach in Skiathos, but if sun bathing is not your thing, just a few yards away is the real Greece where a spot of birding is possible. 


Birding to the beach 

Red-backed Shrike

Yellow Wagtail



This year’s list of birds may not be the longest or contain a large number of rare birds, but it’s an eclectic mix containing a number of “goodies”. And boy, are we having a good time! 

These are the species so far during days split between exploring, chilling and soaking up the Greek sunshine: Honey Buzzard, Kestrel, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Yellow-legged Gull, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Spotted Flycatcher, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Bee Eater, Eleanora’s Falcon, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wood Warbler, Whinchat, Wheatear, Cuckoo, Common Whitethroat, Olivaceous Warbler, House Sparrow, Woodchat Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, Little Owl, Scops Owl, Common Buzzard, Raven, Hooded Crow, Yellow Wagtail, Richard’s Pipit, Caspian Gull, Hobby, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Blackcap, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Lesser Whitethroat, Bonelli’s Warbler, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, European Shag. 

This week I managed a number of return visits to fellow bloggers but with just a smartphone and intermittent WiFi it’s not easy, so please bear with me for a while. I will be with you all soon. 

Chicken Souvlaki

I hope everyone enjoyed this taste of Greece. Back soon.


David M. Gascoigne, said...

Looks to me like French fries have become an obligatory item with every meal in Greece. When did this happen? In any kind of decent Greek restaurant here (and there are many) one never sees French fries. Have they just dumbed everything down in Greece to cater to the egg and chips tourists?

Jenn Jilks said...

I wish I liked to travel! Thanks for sharing yours!
(ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, enjoy your trip. The birds looks awesome there too.

Pretty scenes and photos. Have a happy new week ahead!

Linda said...

I love Greek food, Phil! If you get a chance, try some lamb chops, you will love them! The Greeks have an amazing way of preparing them and they are delicious! Your chicken souvlaki plate looks great. I hope you are enjoying your time there and again, your photos are fantastic! I love your header, by the way! It is stunning!

Anu said...

Great collection of birds!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Sounds like you and your wife are having an amazing time with so many birds!
Lovely images of the birds but my favourite has to be the jumping Jimny!! Being the proud owner of a shiny white one I do have a soft spot for them. Used to have a red one that looked like Postman's Pat van! Enjoy the remainder of your holiday :)

Stuart Price said...

Well I had chicken on a stick (yakitori) and was watching (Oriental) Honey Buzzards this weekend too..........

Hope you are having a great time.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to read about your travels, and see your photo's.
I love salad with chicken!

All the best Jan

Mary Howell Cromer said...

The chicken looks really yummy...what is that French fries and a half baked potato...I love potatoes any way they are served. I am happy that you all have such opportunities as day we shall take a holiday once again. Two years this month, all due to my health...but I am feeling so much better~

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