The Hoopoe is an exotic looking bird, and it was there, down in the olive grove pecking happily. I wouldn’t have noticed it, but my friend, a birding expert, had been sitting on The Good Life Greece balcony all morning with binoculars. April is the best time to see migratory birds on the Greek islands, he told me. And Poseidonia Bay, (where our small organic vineyard is) would seem like a perfect spot for rest and recuperation to a migratory bird. Here are just a few of the many birds I came to know this April.
The Hoopoe is about the size of a mistle thrush, but with a beautiful crest and distinctive black and white wing feathers. He wasn’t the only bird we saw that week, with the expert help of our friends. There were many Sicilian Warblers coming right into the farmhouse area and a few lonely WoodLarks, singing like angels on their way to the south coast of England. We even heard a solitary Cuckoo one morning. I was told they had become increasingly rare in the UK.
We were used to seeing various native hawks and eagles over our bay, but without detailed knowledge we couldn’t identify them. Now we know that the elegant falcon we kept seeing with a long slender black body and pointed wings was an Eleonora’s Falcon. We knew it’s call, the typical falcon “kek-kek-kek,” but I didn’t realize that two thirds of the world’s Eleonora Falcons breed on our Cycladic Islands. Having an expert on hand makes a huge difference.
The magnificent Bonelli’s Eagle circling the bay must also have been passing on it’s way to Naxos where there are breeding pairs.
What I thought would be just another fun holiday with friends turned out to be my first birding adventure in Greece. Now I’m busy planning my second!