Thursday, 28 July 2016


Trawling through the photo archive of late, I began to see just how many photos of wildlife (not all of them very good, admittedly) I've now got accumulating on the HD. So, I thought I'd shove just a few of them in a post, along with a brief caption to accompany them.

Here goes then (Usual reminder: Don't forget you can view the photos larger by clicking on them)...

This is a female black redstart. As with most bird species, the males are usually more colourful. Black redstart males have a black face and a more brightly red-coloured tail. When the weather is dry they go to the nozzles on the watering system in their search for water.

Same bird as the picture above. They're about robin-sized (The European robin that is, not the American one, which is more like a blackbird size-wise). They behave very much like robins too, bobbing their head down while their tail goes up and visa versa. In fact, when we first encountered them here, I thought that they were a southern European robin, but they aren't.

There she is again, can you see her on the truncated palm frond?


This is a sad photograph, but serves to show anyone who may have their doubts that we have a thriving red fox population on the island. This one had been struck by a vehicle during the night and was left on the side of the road. Such a handsome fellow too. TBH, I don't know whether it's a male or a female. I was just hoping when I saw this that there wasn't a clutch of cubs awaiting to be fed in some nearby den.

We frequently get birds of prey sitting on the telephone posts down our valley. In winter time we're sure which birds we are seeing because they have their circuits and habits and often sit on the same post on a daily basis, scanning for potential prey. I'm fairly sure that this one's a buzzard. We do get golden eagles and a whole host of hawks and falcons. I can never tell the difference between most of these, but buzzards are among the easier ones to ID. Even so, we have several types of buzzard too. Where's Bill Oddie when you need him, eh?

You may have to study this shot, but you'll spot the cicada, sitting in our olive tree just the other day. Cicadas, as I'm sure you'll know, can be a devil of a job to spot, because they have an uncanny ability to stop making their rasping sound whenever a human gets within a few metres of them. Walk on past and when you're far enough away they'll start up again. This one I managed to catch unawares. They're as big as your thumb and totally harmless. What fascinates me about them is the fact they they have a built-in temperature gauge. They only start their "rasping" when the temperature reaches 28ºC (about 82ºF). We always know when summer has arrived because there will be a day, usually in June, when the daytime temperature reaches 28 and all of a sudden you notice that the cicadas have started up. Sometimes their cacophony can be deafening. In the evenings they all stop in unison if the temperature drops below 28 again. Clever little blighters they are, eh?

During my Bay-to-Bay excursion one day last summer, we were cruising along Kalathos Bay when this mother dolphin with her calf came to keep us company. You always stand a better chance of dolphins putting in an appearance if the sea is, as the Greeks say "san lathi", which means "like [olive] oil". Of course, we northern Europeans would say "like glass".

OK, so not actually wildlife, but this little baby goat was only hours old when we walked past last February. Mum was keeping a beady protective eye as we passed.


And, finally. Full marks to the staff at the Rodos Princess Hotel, just along the road from our place. We always take a cheeky shortcut through the hotel when walking home from a dip at the beach. This swallows' nest is situated half-way up a stairwell, on the wall of the corner landing, and the staff I'm glad to say didn't knock it off, but let the parents build it and, as I type this, rear two broods so far this summer. Anyone who's had swallows nesting on their property will know the mess that can accumulate on the floor beneath the nest. The staff at the hotel have been diligently cleaning that up and keeping the area spick and span, whilst mercifully allowing these most beautiful of visitors to do what comes naturally. The parents have to fly out from the stairwell and along a short section of corridor before they reach the open air, so they regularly fly very close to the human guests at the hotel.

We're fairly sure that this was the last of the young to fledge. They look very much like adults before they finally flee the nest. When we passed a couple of days ago the staff had still left the nest to remain. The parents are very likely to rear another brood yet before they fly back to Africa for the winter.

So, there you are folks. My attempt at a little nature-watch. I was hoping to meet Kate Humble, but she hasn't put in an appearance. Drat.


  1. Lovely glimpses of the non-human life with which you share your home and surrounding areas, John. I thought myself very lucky in April to catch sight of a golden oriole above Fokia bay in Pefkos. By the time I had picked my jaw up from the ground I was too late to use either camera or phone to grab a photo.

  2. Far be it from me to doubt you Vicki, but we do get Hoopoes here, but as yet I have never seen an oriole, although I did see them in Southern France some years ago. I'll private message you a couple of photos. If you're sure it was a Golden Oriole then it's very exciting. The Hoopoe can be confused with an oriole, although not if one sees them together of course. The oriole's yellow is much more vivid.