Birdwatching tour in Athens, March 6 2022

Birdwatching tour in Athens, March 6th, 2022

We run our first spring 2022 bird tours around Athens for Richard Greenhalgh, a UK birder who has moved to Bolivia but every now and then travels to Europe to photograph birds of the Western Palearctic. During his stay in Greece, he contacted GREECE BIRD TOURS for a full day birdwatching tour around Athens. 

We started well before dawn as the first species on Richard's wish-list was the Eurasian Scops Owl. An easy task, it took less than 10 minutes to find it at Lycabettus Hill, at the heart of Athens. 

It was time for coffee and breakfast and then we moved to Mt Hymettus, to look for the Tawny Owl; the bird was literally waiting for us, perched inside a hollow in its favourite tree. At the same spot, we enjoyed several Coal Tits, Firecrests, a Short-toed Treecreeper and several Hawfinches, among others. 

We left Mt Hymettus and drove east to Schinias National Park, the most important freshwater wetland of Athens. Spring migrants like the Black-winged Stilt, the Ruff and the Hoopoe were waiting for us and lots of nice photographs were taken. There was, however, another bird waiting for us, a totally unexpected species for the area. A Northern Bald Ibis, escapee from Attica Zoo, has chosen the coastal pine forest of Schinias to be its new home; the bird has adapted very well, feeding on inverterbrates found in the sandy soil and using the tall pines to perch or avoid predators. 

Ruff at Schinias National Park
Ruff at Schinias National Park

Hoopoe at Schinias National Park
Hoopoe at Schinias National Park

Northern Bald Ibis (escapee)

Last stop of the tour was Mt Penteli, where we looked for Rock Nuthatches and managed to find at least one bird, that spend most the time not in rocks but inside Kermes Oaks(!). 

Richard after taking photos of the Rock Nuthatch on Mt Penteli
Richard after taking photos of the Rock Nuthatch on Mt Penteli

At the end of the day, the total species count was 56 species and most of them were photographed!


Mute Swan
Green-winged Teal
Little Grebe
Collared Dove
Water Rail
Common Moorhen
Eurasian Coot
Black-winged Stilt
Black-tailed Godwit
Common Snipe
Green Sandpiper
Common Redshank
Black-headed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Great Cormorant
Northern Bald Ibis
Western Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Eurasian Scops Owl
Tawny Owl
Eurasian Hoopoe
Common Kestrel
Eurasian Jay
Common Magpie
Hooded Crow
Coal Tit
Eurasian Blue Tit
Great Tit
Crested Lark
Common Chiffchaff
Cetti's Warbler
Long-tailed Tit
Eurasian Blackcap
Sardinian Warbler
Common Firecrest
Western Rock Nuthatch
Short-toed Treecreeper
Eurasian Wren
Common Starling
Song Thrush
Eurasian Blackbird
European Robin
Black Redstart
European Stonechat
House Sparrow
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Water Pipit
Common Chaffinch
European Greenfinch
European Goldfinch
Corn Bunting
Common Reed Bunting