Thursday, September 30, 2021

Trip Over

We’re back from Greece. I’m catching up with the world as Sue unpacks suitcases while being careful I hope not to drop the two bottles of ouzo packed between the sun towels. There’s a question for Mr Sunak. Why is Ouzo 12 just £9 a bottle in Skiathos and £16.50 or more in the UK? 

An offer to help with emptying the cases is met with “You will just get in the way”. Outside its raining and will do so all day. Welcome back to Britain. 

Being absent for two weeks, I decided to revisit the blogging world and post a few photographs. In Skiathos we had 14 days of glorious sunshine marred one morning by a couple of hours of dark cloud and intermittent rain before the sun reappeared as temperatures rose to their normal early thirties. The wealth of sunshine and clear nights led to little in the way of bird migration, just small numbers of the usual – shrikes, wagtails, chats, swallows, Chiffchaffs, Spotted Flycatchers and Blackcaps. 

Red-rumped Swallow

The “best” bird of the two weeks may have been a single Magpie, glimpsed one morning flying overhead. Although Hooded Crows are common and Ravens less so, other members of the crow family are very rare. In any case, birdwatching and bird recording is not a pastime of the average Skiathan resulting in a poor bird list for this unwatched island. 

Red-backed Shrike and Spotted Flycatchers dominated our mostly casual birding during trips to various beaches and viewpoints.

Red-backed Shrike
It seems that the only shrikes left in late September are juveniles of the year and perhaps females as adult males have by now all left for Africa. The shrikes are mostly wary and difficult to bring into photo range except for the occasional and innocent youngster like this one near Aselinos beach. Aselinos is located in the rugged north of the island, and while it can be wild and windswept, it is simply beautiful. 



Likewise, Spotted Flycatchers were difficult to approach until we found this very confiding one in the same location, Aselinos. 

Spotted Flycatcher


Late in the day the goatherd brings his goats down to Aselinos and corrals them for the night so that this valuable stock cannot roam and revert back to their wild ancestry.


It was here at Aselinos that after brief morning showers we found a flock of forty and more Yellow Wagtails. The same species plus occasional Grey Wagtails could be seen and heard on a numbers of days in this and other locations but only where a semblance of water could be found.

Yellow Wagtail


Spotted Flycatcher

Now follows a set of non-birdy photos from Skiathos. Click each picture to get a feel for this beautiful and friendly island. 

Skiathos Town

The Bourtzi

The Old Harbour

Skiathos Town




The Bourtzi



View to Skiathos Town



Spiti Oneiro (Dream House)

Coffee and Cake - Fresh Cafe

Ferry to Thessaloniki mainland Greece


Papadiamantis Street


Rain over Skopelos Island

Skiathos Town

I’ll be back soon with a new book review, WILDGuides Europe’s Birds. The book arrived mid-way through the holiday. 

Europe's Birds

Hopefully I can get a review out before the book arrives on general sale. 

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Blogspot and Anni in Texas.



Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

Good to hear you are both back safe and sound and had wonderful weather and a number of good birds seen. Loved the shot of the Flycatcher and the surrounding scenery is beautiful Phil.

Wally Jones said...

Welcome home, travelers!

Thank goodness you have escaped the searing rays of near-constant sunshine. We know you're thankful for the familiar embrace of damp clouds and water droplets gently falling from all the leaves.

The photographs of the island are truly magnificent! The goatherder, beach, boats - and the cake and coffee alone is enough to compel one to purchase an airline ticket.

All that, and you even found birds!

Of course, the best news of all, the Ouzo appears to have made the trip intact.

Rest, recuperate and go birding!

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil, Welcome back,:=) Thanks for the picturesque views, and your super bird captures.

It does look like a wonderful place to visit, although there are not many people in your photos, and scenes of those lovely sandy beaches are deserted, "Perhaps this is all part of it's charm for you." I love the view of rain over Skopelos Island, and the Olive trees with the sea on the horizon and the Goatherd, also which is so typical of Portugal.
I would love a glass of Ouzo, enjoy yours!!:=))

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil,
Your trip to Greece sounds wonderful. Gorgeous scenic views and beaches.
The birds are all beautiful too, the Red-backed Shrike is a beautiful bird.
Wonderful collection of photos. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

Shiju Sugunan said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Awesome bird sightings. I especially liked the shrike. The goatherd preventing the revert to wild ancestry made me chuckle. I enjoyed the non-birdy photos too.

My latest post:

Jean said...

Wow, looks like such a beautiful place. Glad you enjoyed your trip, thanks for taking us along for a few gorgeous photos. The one with the steps looks like it should be a painting. And of course, I also enjoyed the beautiful bird photos! Hope you have a great weekend!

Anni said...

LOVE all those beach scenes. What a perfect sounding vacation in Greece (is this the trip where you had to go back from banding to clear up the confusion on reservations?)

Beautiful birds too Phil. Oh. And, I'm truly impressed with that ferry!!!

Hope you enjoyed your weekend and thanks for linking in.

Rain said...

Hi Phil!! I can imagine it must be hard to leave Greece, it looks so wonderful and the weather!! The photos of Skiathos are lovely. I can relate to your question about the price of Ouzo...a bottle of bourbon that costs $50 CAD here is about $20 USD in the States...not fair at all!! ☺

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh my! The city is so picturesque and I'm glad you had such good weather. Love the birds you saw and the goats. I especially love the water and boats! What a lovely place to spend time. I see you had a cute little Suzuki to drive! We missed you! My Jeep missed you! lol Enjoy your week!

Veronica Lee said...

Welcome back, Phil!

Your trip to Greece sounds wonderful

I enjoyed the gorgeous photos you shared.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I'm glad you had beautiful weather. Your photos are wonderful. Love the birds, the beach and even driftwood.

NCSue said...

That red-rumped swallow is really cool! Great photos, all!
Thanks, Phil, for joining us at

Lowcarb team member said...

I did enjoy seeing your lovely photographs.

All the best Jan

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