Birding National Gardens of Athens: trip report Nov 5th 2022

Urban birding tour at National Gardens of Athens, Nov 5th 2022

Urban birdwatching at the National Gardens of Athens has become very popular among birders that visit the city for a few days. During a 2 hour birding walk in November, we enjoyed the arrival of winter species, together with resident parakeets!

National Gardens: the main entance with solar clock
National Gardens: the main entance with solar clock

Right after entering the gardens, we could hear the sreaming sound of Ring-necked Parakeets. These birds have been introduced in the 19th century and they have succesfully adopted in the city of Athens. Together with Monk Parakeets, they can be seen in several urban parks. Later on, we also saw Senegal Parrot, two birds have been recorded and are still considered escape species. 

Ring necked Parakeets of Athens
Ring necked Parakeet looking for food
at the National Gardens, Athens

Under the canopy at the National Gardens
A small orange orchard under the tree canopy
at the National Gardens, Athens

Walking in the labyrinth of paths through the gardens, we spotted the first winter visitor, Song Thrush looking for small worms. Other winter arrivals included Grey and White Wagtails and Black Redstarts

Song Thrush at the National Gardens, Athens
Song Thrushes have just arrived from nothern Europe
  
November colors at the National Gardens
November colors at the National Gardens

Water pond at the National Gardens, Athens
Ideal for a bird bath, these water ponds are
visitors most photographed areas of the National Gardens


Suddenly, a Sparrowhawk flew over our heads. An unexpected but common species of raptor, that hunts small passerines and is able to make acrobatic moves in order to catch its prey. A few Blue Tits were seen too, the National Gardens being one of the few places that this striking species succesfully breed around Athens.

Sparrowhawk at the National Gardens, Athens
Sparrowhawk flying over Athens city center

Blue Tits performing acrobatics
Blue Tits performing acrobatics


Bird list of the 2 hour guided birding walk

Sparrowhawk
Collared Dove
Feral Pigeon
Ring-necked Parakeet
Monk Parakeet
Senegal Parrot (esc.)
Eurasian Jay
Magpie
Blackbird
Song Thrush
Black Redstart
Robin
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Chaffinch
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
House Sparrow