Birding tour in Athens: Nov 3rd 2022

Birding tour in Athens: Nov 3rd 2022

By early November, fall migration is usually over: most summer species has departed and a few winter birds have started to arrive. It was a great opportunity today to search for some species breeding species and possible vagrant surprises.


Ferruginous Duck at Schinias National Park
Ferruginous Ducks breed succesfully
at Schinias National Park

Since our pick up point was at Pallini Metro Station, we started at the closest wetland of the east region of Attica, the coastal lagoon of Artemis. Redshanks, Snipe and a flock of Teal were observed, together with Dunlins, the first Grey Wagtails of this winter. At a nearby building, the first Black Redstart, a nice male bird perching on the roof.

Black Redstart
Black Redstarts are often seen on rood tops

Our next location for this birding tour around Athens was the small but always worth checkin estuary of Rafina stream, next to the port of the city. This is a great spot to see and photograph Kingfishers, Water Rails, Moorhens, Little Egrets and Little Grebes.  

Water Rail at Rafina Stream
Water Rail at Rafina Stream

Our main destination was Schinias National Park, the most important birding area around Athens. As soon as we arrived, we saw a beautiful Common Buzzrd perching on a rusted wire. We headed towards the Olympic Rowing Center, were we enjoyed very close views of Ferruginous Ducks. A Red-backed Shrike was a surprise, since these birds usually have already departed for Africa.

Common Buzzard at Schinias National Park
Common Buzzard at Schinias National Park

Red-backed Shrike at Schinias National Park
Red-backed Shrike still present in November
 at Schinias National Park

We decided to take a look at the gorge of Rapendosa, at Mt Pendeli, known worldwide for the high quality marble production. We heard Rock Nuthatches, but unfortunately we could not spot one of them. However, the highlight of the day was soaring over our eyes: a striking Long-legged Buzzard. The bird was flying for a few minutes and gave as some photo opportunities when it sat on the rocky hill on the gorge. 

Long-legged Buzzard at Mt Pendeli
Long-legged Buzzard at Mt Pendeli, Athens

The bird list for the day:

Mallard
Teal
Ferruginous Duck
Little Grebe
Feral Pigeon
Collared Dove
Water Rail 
Moorhen 
Coot
Grey Plover
Dunlin
Common Snipe
Redshank
Black-headed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Eurasian Marsh Harrier
Common Buzzard
Long-legged Buzzard
Common Kingfisher
Common Kestrel
Red-backed Shrike
Eurasian Jay
Eurasian Magpie
Hooded Crow
Woodlark
Skylark
Crested Lark
Zitting Cisticola
Chiffchaff
Cetti's Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Western Rock Nuthatch
European Starling
European Robin
European Stonechat
Black Redstart
Dunnock
House Sparrow
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Common Chaffinch
European Goldfinch
European Serin