It wasn’t one of my birding holidays to Greece five years ago with a group of friends from Edinburgh but the birds were unmissable all the same. The journey out had its highlights too.
They started at Edinburgh Airport on the first leg to Schiphol when one of our party (you know who you are!) presented an out-of-date passport. The chain effect of that was that some of us had to wait for her (yes, it was a lady, of sorts) long into the evening at Athens. Then there was a 180-kilometre drive to Delphi along roads that had seen better days and in solid rain, just to add to the challenge.
However, Thursday, April 5 gave us good recovery time and my 846th lifer with a party of sombre tits out the back of our hotel. 847 followed later in the day with a rock nuthatch. Other notables over the next 48 hours were:
- Sardinian warbler – you know you’re in the Med…
- blue rock thrush, because Delphi overlooks a rocky gorge
- alpine chough (lifer) – clouds of them spiralling up the gorge
- subalpine warbler (lifer)
- cirl bunting
- peregrine falcon
Kirra & Delphi Again
Kirra was a beach town at the bottom of a winding road from Delphi on the Gulf of Corinth so seabirds should have joined the trip list. Either it wasn’t that time of year or the Gulf is too landlocked and I only added yellow-legged gull and crested lark. Yup, the latter isn’t even a seabird!
So, due to holiday logistics, Delphi alone had to deliver over the next few days and it didn’t do a bad job:
- red-rumped swallow
- pallid swift – lifer number 850, yay!
- alpine swift
- short-toed snake eagle
- Rüppell’s warbler
- black-eared wheatear
the last three all being lifers for a tally of eight in the week. Which could easily have been the answer to the question: What’s it all about, Delphi? Groan!