Saturday, 9 July 2016

Corfu trip

It's been an exceptionally quiet few weeks on the Teign, so in a departure from this blog's usual content I thought I'd do a brief post on some of the avian highlights of my holiday to Corfu last week. This was not a 'birding trip' and the island isn't well known for its ornithological diversity, but without trying hard at all I recorded 27 species, mostly around my hotel at Nissaki Beach on the north-east side of the island. Olive groves covered the land and Pantokrator, Corfu's highest peak, was just a few kilometers away. The best birds were:

Scopoli's Shearwater - often present in small numbers offshore towards dusk, viewed from hotel balcony. At least a dozen seen on boat trip from Sarande (Albania) to Corfu on 5th, one passing within 20m.
Yelkouan Shearwater - one seen from boat between Sarande and Corfu.
Honey Buzzard - pair flew east over hotel driveway on 6th.
Short-toed Eagle - pair often seen distantly over foothills of Pantokrator. One appeared over hotel driveway on 7th.
Levant Sparrowhawk - male flew over hotel driveway on 7th.
Yellow-legged Gull - common offshore and around coast; several juveniles seen.
Turtle Dove - one heard along hotel driveway on 7th.
Alpine Swift - frequent single figure counts around the hotel; 250+ over Corfu town on 4th.
Red-rumped Swallow - common around hotel grounds, sometimes in double figures.
Sardinian Warbler - often heard but rarely seen around hotel grounds.

There are weekly flights from Exeter airport to Corfu during the summer season with Thomson.

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