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Post Info TOPIC: Corfu


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Posts: 1549
Date:
Corfu



October 6th to 13th (2017)

Non-Birding holiday to Gouvia on Corfu's east coast but as always I managed to squeeze a bit of birding in.
Hotel was on the beach and the way the coastline is, part of the hotels massive grounds were set in a bay with a long accessible spit, surrounded by small areas of forest and other hotel grounds, with a backdrop of mountains and hills. Most of the birding was done around the hotel.

Many thanks to Ian for reviewing some of my photos, a couple needed clarification.

Best of the Birds seen...

- Yellow-legged Gulls 100's of them in the bay, around the harbour, flying over constantly.

- Woodchat Shrike 1 at Corfu International Airport, just sat on one of the rooves overlooking the coach pick up area

- Long-legged Buzzard 1 over the hotel, I thought it was just a Common Buzzard at first but the wings looked really long, cheers Ian for the re-identification.

- Goshawk 1 circling over the bay

- European Scops Owl 1 flew right out infront of us chasing what looked like a Cicada one evening whilst we were strolling into the village, I wastotally shocked as I'd not heard any. A quick chat with the hotel groundsmen next morning soon confirmed that 'Yonis' (Night Bird) were present.

- Alpine Swifts a group of around 15-20 birds came flying over the hotel every night with their sweet whistling sound. One night they didn't hang around though as I noticed 2 slightly larger birds chasing them, small Falcons of some sort but too high up to identify safely.

- Red-rumped Swallow 2 flew through over the hotel first afternoon and that was it, gone, never saw anymore.

- European Bee-eater 3 flew over me whilst sat by the pool, heard them calling and there they were.

- Great Egret 1 probably same bird present all week around the spit in the bay.

- Cattle Egret 1 was with the Great Egret on the 1st day as we were walking round the bay but then wasn't seen again all week, it was replaced with a Little Egret which remained the rest of the week.

- Purple Heron 1 flew right over the hotel whilst I was sat on the balcony chilling with a beer, ran over for the camera and just got tail end of it.

- Common Sandpiper 1 hanging around the bay and the spit early week and then disappeared.

- Sardinian Warbler seen most days around the gardens and scrub areas the hotel, and on the spit

- Cetti's Warbler 1 calling at first then popped up on top of a thicket near the start of the spit where the bay ended.

- Garden Warbler 1 on the spit in the scrub, got the species right but it had a bright pinky red bill, cheers for clearing that up Ian, it was berry stained.

- Eastern Olivaceous Warbler again seen most days in various areas.

- Eastern Orphean Warbler 2 together around the start of the spit. Attention was drawn by the singing, not a full song (I've heard and seen these in Zante) but more of a random little sound of delicate song...in October? But after watching where they both were, they did eventually show from hiding.

- Nightingale 1 again on the spit where most of the warblers were seen. I could hear it at first, a constant almost melodic ticking so I sat quietly and out it came, chestnut brown with the reddish rump and tail, totally unexpected. Got bitten by Ants for my trouble!

- Blackcap absolutely everywhere, I counted 9 individuals in one group alone one day but they were seen all week all over.

- Chiffchaff and possibly Willow Warbler few singles seen, I thought I had an Icterine Warbler too and all the features looked ok whilst watching it but the images I managed to take when it showed out in the open very briefly don't do it any justice and as discussed with Ian there probably isn't enough to call it.

- Spotted Flycatcher 2

- White Wagtail 1

- Hooded Crow 1 with Carrion Crows

- Kingfisher were abundant around the hotel bay with 4 seen together flying round then others seen close by. Seen every day.

- Grey Wagtail 1, pretty sure it was one, it just appeared very dark on the mantle.

Usuals seen inc...
Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Wren, Jay, Collared Dove, Swallow, House Martin etc

One other thing of note, at the side of the runway at Corfu Int Airport is a wetland reserve called Chalikopoulou Lagoon.
Only saw this from the plane when we were due to fly out, and unbelievably whilst we were stationary waiting for take off clearance I saw...
- 1 Purple Heron adult
- plenty of Grey Heron
- lots of Little Egret
- around 10 Great Egret
..and that was just the area I could see near the runway!

A great place, nice people, hot weather, good food, and plenty of birding to be done all over the island not just around the hotel like I did.







-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 26th of October 2017 08:26:40 PM

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Well back and tanned from an excellent week in Corfu!

If anyone wants a destination to go birding and still have an excellent family holiday try Corfu! Its a beautiful, lush green island with gorgeous views!

Birding wise, without really trying, we got a good selection together, just by walking the quiet small roads into the hills to the next village. By going into the groves, you will obviously see more than we did!

Total list:-

Swallow - everywhere!
Red Rumped Swallow - Very common further from the coast. Nice to compare the two.
House Martin - Everywhere!
Swift
Alpine Swift
Buzzard
Yellow Legged Gull - Large Colony on outcrop. I also learned that Herring Gull werent found in the Med which lead to reading more and really looking at the ID.
Magpie
Blackbird
House Sparrow
White Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail - Blue Headed sat next to our pool! plus 4 flew over!
Woodchat Shrike - Several - One sat on Power lines next to our accomodation!
Pied Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Subalpine Warbler
Eastern Orphean Warbler
Whitethroat
Blue Rock Thrush
Collard Dove
Turtle Dove
Hoopoe
Jay
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Heard Cuckoo
Heard Nightingale
Saw Egrets and Herons but no bins at the time!
And one very annoying bird call which was like a Pied Flycatcher but could we see them? They seemed to be everywhere!

All in all, fully recomend that you visit Corfu!

biggrin.gif

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Simple advice which has worked absolute wonders for me is to find your destination on Google Earth and search out any likely looking areas. The maps can be printed off to take with you too! I used to go to Corfu regularly from being a barely 10 year old birder and loved it. 'On-spec' birding is best. Don't worry about site guides or what to see, just go, take it as you find it and enjoy. At the end of the day olive groves cannot fail, I grew up birding in them and still have very fond memories.






Cheers Ian, I think thats what we are going to do, just wander and see what we see. Where we are staying is in a steep coves with rock hillsides coved in olive goves and lemon and pine trees so there will be stuff in there all right!! biggrin.gif

And its a holiday not a birding trip, so it will be nice and liesurly!! biggrin.gif

Cheers

Matt

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Simple advice which has worked absolute wonders for me is to find your destination on Google Earth and search out any likely looking areas. The maps can be printed off to take with you too! I used to go to Corfu regularly from being a barely 10 year old birder and loved it. 'On-spec' birding is best. Don't worry about site guides or what to see, just go, take it as you find it and enjoy. At the end of the day olive groves cannot fail, I grew up birding in them and still have very fond memories.

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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Matt
just checked...Lefkimmi Saltpans...and I think they're in the south of the Island...
Nev

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Hi Matt
Was in Corfu last year in August, staying in the North East...didn't travel much, v hot, but generally loads of Red-rumped swallow, alpine swift (probably thousands Corfu town in evening!!) generally. April/May should be great...cooler and greener. August was a bit dry.
Old Perithea is worth a visit near Mount Pantokrator...managed Short-toed eagle smile.gif, black-eared wheatear, woodchat and red-b shrike. It a ruined village worth a stroll in it's own right. Take plenty of water too!! Also walked around the northern cape Ekaterinis (park in Ag Spiridon)..only one bee eater! Loads of warblers about generally, but they can be challenging as always....icterine warbler in quiz was from Corfu. Didn't manage to visit the big lake area on the west coast...sorry can't remember it's name, but it should be near you and is recommended by others.
Good Luck
Nev

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Mark Rigby wrote:

I would start with tree's, any water body, cliffs, scrub land...................biggrin.gif

But if its birdies you are after, then try the local golf course...if you are lucky, you may see an eagle or an albatross smile.gif






I can always rely on you for useful info!! biggrin.gifwink.gif

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I would start with tree's, any water body, cliffs, scrub land...................biggrin.gif

But if its birdies you are after, then try the local golf course...if you are lucky, you may see an eagle or an albatross smile.gif

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Me and Mrs P are off to Corfu next week and was wondering if anyone had any info or pointers of where to watch some birdies or where certain birdies are!

We are in Aghios Gordios which is South West Corfu, I think!

Cheers Matt

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