Athens full day Birdwatching Tour: 1st for 2023

Birdwatching around Athens: Jan 3rd 2023

Happy New Year everyone! 

May 2023 bring joy and many travels to all fellow birders. 

And what a better way to start the year than a full day tour around Athens? 

D.Parsley from Tennessee, USA was our first visiting birder for this year. He had no particular target species list but he wanted to a lot of European species, as part of his birding holiday in Greece.

We started early in the morning and our first destination was Oropos Lagoon, a premium birding site at this time of year. Greater Flamingos, Little and Great Egrets, several different waterfowl species (Mallard, Teal, Pintail, Widgeon etc), Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls were few of the numerous birds that we saw. 

Birding in Oropos Lagoon, Athens
Greater Flamingos, Black-headed Gulls and Mallards at Oropos Lagoon

There were also Kentish and Common Ringed Plovers, Turnstones and Curlews were also present, as well as many small passerines. 

Leaving Oropos, we headed to Schinias National Park for the site's mascot: the Ferruginous Duck. We managed to see quite a few at the rowing center, together with a couple of Tufted Ducks and hundreds of Coots. The real surprise, however, came at the marshes; we saw two Black-winged Stilts that decided to spend the winter in Greece instead of Africa. 

Tufted Ducks at Schinias National Park
Tufted Ducks at Schinias National Park

David taking photos of the Ferruginous Ducks

After Schinias, we visited the small river mouth of Rafina, getting great close views of a Water Rail and a female Teal, and the marvelous archaelogical site of Vravrona, where we enjoyed a Little Owl perched right at the temple of Artemis. 

Water Rail at Rafina river mouth
Water Rail at Rafina river mouth

Little Owl of Athenae, at Vravrona
Little Owl nesting at Artemis Temple in Vravrona

Just before dusk, a Hen Harrier and hundreds of Starlings were the last birds to see before returning to the hotel. We managed to record 64 species, the best way to start a birding year! 



Scientific name

Eurasian Wigeon

Mareca penelope


Anas platyrhynchos

Northern Pintail

Anas acuta

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

Ferruginous Duck

Aythya nyroca

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

Greater Flamingo

Phoenicopterus roseus

Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)

Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Water Rail

Rallus aquaticus

Eurasian Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian Coot

Fulica atra

Black-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus

Black-bellied Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

Northern Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

Kentish Plover

Charadrius alexandrinus

Common Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula

Eurasian Curlew

Numenius arquata

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres


Calidris alpina

Common Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

Common Redshank

Tringa totanus

Slender-billed Gull

Chroicocephalus genei

Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Mediterranean Gull

Ichthyaetus melanocephalus

Yellow-legged Gull

Larus michahellis

Great Cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

Gray Heron

Ardea cinerea

Great Egret

Ardea alba

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

Eurasian Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

Common Buzzard

Buteo buteo

Little Owl

Athene noctua

Common Kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

Eurasian Kestrel

Falco tinnunculus

Eurasian Magpie

Pica pica

Hooded Crow

Corvus cornix

Great Tit

Parus major

Crested Lark

Galerida cristata

Common Chiffchaff

Phylloscopus collybita

Cetti's Warbler

Cettia cetti

Long-tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

Eurasian Blackcap

Sylvia atricapilla

Sardinian Warbler

Curruca melanocephala

Eurasian Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos

Eurasian Blackbird

Turdus merula

European Robin

Erithacus rubecula

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros

European Stonechat

Saxicola rubicola


Prunella modularis

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Gray Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

Meadow Pipit

Anthus pratensis

Common Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs

European Greenfinch

Chloris chloris

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Corn Bunting

Emberiza calandra

Reed Bunting

Emberiza schoeniclus