Some birds I have seen
The area is important for passerines and large birds moving between Africa and Europe. In the springtime, depending on the direction of the wind, a steady stream of small and large birds can be seen heading north. The large birds use the wind and the action of the waves and fly without effort. Some times from the headland (sto pharos) you can observe a steady steram of raptors. Once I saw Bubo Bubo (Eagle owl) one metre above the waves heading towards Vananda and taking avoiding action from an eagle (species unknown but perhaps Hieraaetus pennatus (Booted)) that seemed half its size.
In order; Name, Location, Comments
Bubo Bubo (Eagle owl) sto pharo going north
Buteo Rufinus (Long Legged Buzzard) Diafani to Forokli Seen Avlona. Used to breed south of Diafani
Hieraaetus fasciatus (Bonelli Eagle) Avlona, Olymbos, Saria, Steno Nests south Saria and ? west of Avlona. Hides in trees to hunt birds.
Falco Eleonorae (Eleanora's Falcon) Mostly north of Diafani and around Saria, especially sto cabo and Alimounda. About 500 pairs. In the daytime they go inland eg Avlona, to hunt, drink freshwater and bath in freshwater. In the evening they return to the coast to hunt passerines. They breed late, timing the births to coincide with the autumn migration which starts in September. The adults hunt at night forming a net several kilometres out to sea. Mating ritual in July, hunting in august, teach young to fly September. Most of them travel to Madagascar for the winter, returning to Karpathos in April. Reputedly some stay behind.
Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon) Diafani, Olymbos, sto cabo (among the Eleanora's) Often seen in pairs.
Falco tinnunculus (Kestral) Diafani Often seen in village at dusk. Nests near the school.
Falco naumanni (Lesser kestral) Cliffs north of Diafani Rare
Falco vespertinus (Red footed falcon) Sto Cabo Roosts amongst Eleanora's. Rare
Falco biarmicus (Lanner falcon) Diafani to Papa Minas Rarely sighted
Corvus corax (Raven) Diafani, Avlona, Steno, Calamnia One flock has about 30 birds. probably young. Pairs are territorial. Very large. Passerine.
Apus pallidus (Pallid swift) Kamara and other caves on the east side of Karpatos and Saria. West side? Big cave Saria?
Larus melanocephalus (Mediterranean gull) Breeds on Amoi (? better check) Common, widespread
larus cachinaus (Yellow legged gull) Breeds on Amoi (? better check) Common, widespread
Laurus Audouinnii (Adouin's gull) Sometimes solitary pair seen in Diafani. Isolated, nests on cliffs eg Mavri petra Rare. Red beak, grey-green legs. Larger than Mediterranean.
Alcedo atthis ( Common kingfisher) One pair in every bay in later September/October for two weeks. Not seen in Springtime
Bubulcus Ibis (Cattle egret) Springtime going north on East side, Diafani to Alimounda Few. Threatened by the cats at Vananda.
Ardeola ralloides (Squacco heron) ditto Diafani (sto potamos) Flies at night. Few
Egretta garzetta (Little egret) ditto Few. Threatened by the cats at Vananda.
Egretta alba (Great egret) ditto Few
Ardea Cinerea (Grey heron) ditto, but linger around Alona. ? breed
Ardea purpurea (Purple heron) ditto Few
Ciconia ciconia (Stork) ditto. Also Avlona. Once or twice
Platalea leucorodia (Spoonbill) ditto Few
Ardea goliath (Goliath heron) ditto Huge bird. One pair seen one year
Pelecanus Crispus (Pelican) Diafani 3 or 4 times When food is scarce due to bad weather. Fed by fishermen. Become domesticated.
Phalacorakas carbo (Cormorant) Forokli to N Saria Dark feet Fishes
Phalacorakas aristotelis (Shag) Ditto Often yellow feet
Pandion haliaetus (Osprey) East Saria, Diafani bay Fishes off Diafani. Appears in autumn going
South. Flies with wings at high angle.
Tyto alba (Barn owl) Diafani, Avlona Eats rats and mice
Athena noctua (Little owl) Alimounda In the autumn
Otus scops (Scops owl) Diafani Heard at night in the spring
Caprimulgidae (Nightjar) Diafani cemetry and sto potamo
Cuculidae (Cuckoo) Beaches South of Diafani Years ago I found several exhausted cuckoos along the riverbed at Country. Also Avlona
Upupa epops (Hoopoe) Cliff tops towards Vananda and to papa Minas Spring and autumn
Merops apiaster (Bee eaters) Arrive in spring and gradually go north to Alimounda. Return in the autumn. Easier to ear than to see.
Oriolus oriolus (Golden oriole) Diafani, Vananda and Ag Konstantinos Rarely seen, easy to recognise
Alopechan aegyptiacus (Egyptian goose) Forokli to Ag Minas Solitary
Calonectris diomedea (Cory's sherwater) Off shore 5pm and later heading north More than 200 going north daily. Where do they nest? Also solitary around Steno in calm weather
Puffinus yelkouan (Mediterannean shearwater) Off shore south of Diafani Fewer than Cory's
Hybrobates pelagicus (storm petrel) Off shore in rough weather Rare
Monticola solitarius (Blue rock thrush) Sings early morning and evening A dozen pair around Diafani. Others along the cliffs of Karpathos and Saria
Ptynoprogne rupestris (Crag martin) Diafani and to pharo Spring. Suffer from cats.
Delicos urbicha (House martin) Flocks mixed with above Ditto
Alectoris chukar (Chukar) Mountains and Cliff tops Saria and North Karpathos
Himantopus himantopus (Black-winged stilt) The rocks in Diafani Four seen first time Spring 2009
Actitis hypoleucos (Common sandpiper) Shore Diafani and Alimounda Spring. Solitary
Tringa ochropus (Green Sandpiper) ditto Ditto
Chlidonias hybridus (Whiskered tern) Diafani harbour Ditto