Birding in Athens: Sept 24th Trip report

Birding in Athens: Trip report Sept 24th

Today we run a guided birding tour around Athens for two evolutionary biologists from Michigan. Their goal was to see as many species as possible, together with some lifers.

We started from Oropos Lagoon. The wetland was full of waders, gulls and hirundines. Among other, we enjoyed great views of Greater Flamingos, Kentish Plovers, Curlew Sandpipers, breeding Zitting Cisticolas, together with dozens of Grey Herons and Little Egrets. As for ducks, 4 Gadwals were the highlight species, followed by Teal and Mallard. 

Our next stop was Mt Parnitha, and more specifically the northern part of it, called Avlonas. This is the home of Rock Nuthatch, Blue Rock Thrush, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. More than 10 Raven were soaring, while Cirl Bunting were singing from the dense pine forest. Coal Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches were all very active. 

Marginated Tortoise
Saving a Martinated Tortoise from the road

After a very tasty tradition lunch in the nearby village, we headed south, to Spata fields. We had great views of Common Buzzards, Red-backed Shrikes, Common Kestrels and Stonechats. The terebinth trees were full of migrating warblers and chats, such as Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher

Photographic raptors at Spata fields, Athens
Photographic birds of prey at Spata fields

Our next stop was Rafina's Stream. We walked down to the river mouth and managed to have encellent views of two Kingfishers that were having their afternoon display. The shallow waters provide an ideal habitas for small fish, so this is why Kingfishers prefer this small but important bird area.

Taking close up shot of Kingfishers at Rafina's Stream
Taking close up shot of Kingfishers
at Rafina's Stream

We ended up at Artemis Lagoon by late afternoon. Surprisingly, two water Rails were seen wondering close to the reeds, a species that is usually very elusive. However, the highlight was two Red Foxes that enjoyed the afternoon breeze, mobbed by the dozens of Magpies.

Birding in Athens
Birders' selfie by the end of the trip

The full bird list (62 species) for Athens full day bird trip, September 24th 2022

Eurasian Teal
Greater Flamingo
Collared Dove
Feral Pigeon
Water Rail
Kentish Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Little Plover
Grey Plover
Curlew Sandpiper
Little Stint
Common Snipe
Wood Sandpiper
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Common Buzzard
Common Kestrel
Pallid Swift
Common Swift
Alpine Swift
Red-rumped Swallow
House Martin
Sand Martin
Yellow-legged Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Black-headed Gull
Sandwich Tern
Eurasian Jay
Hooded Crow
Rock Nuthatch
Great Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Crested Lark
Tree Pipit
Spotted Flycatcher
Blue Rock Thrush
Red-backed Shrike
Grey Wagtail
Zitting Cisticola
Cetti's Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Cirl Bunting
House Sparrow