A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi

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This site is dedicated to the wildlife of Symi and in particular anyone who has an interest in birds.

Symi belongs to the Dodecanese group of islands about 25 miles North West of Rhodes and over 250 miles from the Greek port of Piraeus. Symi lies between two peninsulas of  Turkey and at its closest is just six miles from Asia. Symi is mountainous and rocky with its highest peak, Vighla, at 620m.  The coastline is irregular  and measures about 85 km with numerous bays and headlands whilst being surrounded with a score or more islands and rocky islets. The island is mostly infertile and rocky (limestone) supporting a typical Mediterranean garrigue comunity of  dwarf shrubs and many aromatic herbs. There are a few small cultivated areas dotted throughout the island, notably above the harbour, Pedi  and elsewhere. Inland there are areas of coniferous forest consisting of cypresses and pine trees. The once cultivated valley of Pedi still supports a wide and varied range of flora and fauna. 

I hope you find this site interesting and I would encourage visitors to send in any pictures or comments you have that would add to the interest of those looking at the wildlife on Symi. Please go to the contact page for an email address.

Latest Sightings and Reports.

Have a Good Summer! Καλοκαίρι!

August 9, 2016

I'm away for a couple of weeks but I found this book on the Birds of Symi which I will be studying. Now where's my Greek dictionary......


August 7, 2016

Finding fresh subjects at this time of year is always difficult, not least because of the heat and also the goats and sheep have eaten everything on the ground.


August 6, 2016

I am surprised by this little annual growing out of the stones after months of no rain and searing temperatures. Heliotropium hirsuitissimum.


Reptiles and Other Animals.

August 5, 2016

The next report is mainly related to reptiles which are not everyone's cup of tea but nevertheless are an important part of the environment and ecology on Symi. I am just a novice in this field and over the last week I've had the great pleasure and privilage of spending time with Matt Wilson looking for and learning about reptiles and amphibians. His knowledge is extensive particularly when related to the Greek Islands, including a favourite of his, Corfu. He has worked with David Bellamy (an early hero of mine), Lee Durrell and Mark O'Shea, all notable naturalists in their field. Matt's reptile and amphibian blog can be found here and will no doubt include a more comprehensive report of his findings on Symi.  What follows next are some of the animals we found while travelling around S…

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August 3, 2016

The fruits on the fig tree are ripening fast and the leaves are turning brown and falling due to the heat stress, leaving the trees looking bare.

Επτά Πηγές

August 2, 2016

Seven Springs is a tributary of the Loutanis river about 5 kilometres west of Kolymbia on Rhodes. Very busy in the Summer months but still worth a visit. There is just a trickle of water at this time of year at the source.

Set in glorious woodland where big plane trees take central place near the water.....

Domestic geese seem happy enough here......

Even a green toad seems content to sit in the shade......

The area is covered in pine woodland........

Below the road where the springs meet the Loutanis river just odd ponds remain......

And on the the gravelly bottoms fresh water mussels abound.......

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Turtle Doves

August 1, 2016

Looking for lesser kestrels around the Toli area around wasn't successful but we did come across a decent group of turtle doves in a field and a distant little owl.


Red or White?

July 31, 2016

A more pleasant subject today that's making the most of the sunshine. Red and white bougainvillea, both on the same plant. Personally I prefer retsina.


July 30, 2016

Not something I've personally come across on Symi but none-the-less an interesting subject photographed by Matt Wilson. Mesobuthus gibbosus

Πεύκοι, ΡΟΔΟΣ

July 29, 2016

A lazy afternoon spent swimming around the sea shore near Pefkos on Rhodes.

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