A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

header photo

Blog posts April 2014

Little Owls

Some great pics of little owls from Rene Nielson........


Read more

More birds from R. Nielson

A further selection of photos from Rene Nielson including a blackeared wheatear, chukars, woodchat shrike and yellow wagtails.

Read more



Some great photos of  bottle nose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Rene Nielson seen off the harbour in Symi. They've been around for a few weeks now.

Read more

Dwarf snake

These nice photos of a dwarf snake (Eirenis mosestus) were taken by Justine and identified by Matt Wilson. A harmless small snake with a pencil thin body and a head that is poorly differentiated from the rest of its body. It is to be found on many Dodekanese islands and mainland Turkey and it feeds on spiders, invertebrates scorpions and small li…

Read more

Easter Sunday Dolphins

While we sat at a taverna in Horio we watched a small pod of dolphins making their way into the harbour area at Yialos. Could be the same group as a few weeks ago where about 4 adults and 2 calves where spotted. Good to see although a fisherman was complaining that they were eating his fish! You can find more info on dolphins here.

Just a couple o…

Read more

Καλο Πασχα!

A southerly wind has brought mild damp air, a small thunderstorm and a fall of warblers. On a  trip down to the supermarket this morning, apart from dodging the fire crackers, it seemed that every olive and fig tree had its own Olivaceous warbler calling its long and squeaky song. Hopefully I'll get a photo of one soon.

Happpy Easter!

Read more

Profitis Ilias

The walk up to the monastery of Profitis takes about an hour from my house and the uphill bit starts at the Marina cemetery through a gate disguised as an old bed base. The cemetery is busy today, being the big week before Easter and smell of incense wafts across the hillside. The path is still in place particularly near the entrance to the monaste…

Read more

Aghios Ioannis

The most difficult part of the walk to Aghios Ioannis is the start. I walked most of the way down to Faneromeni on the dirt track that leads up from Panormitis and back up to the top of the hill before locating the sign off the track! Fortunately some kind soul has marked the way with red crosses. Just as well for in places the ground is entirely c…

Read more


Another addition on Sunday's trip to the Kastro which I almost forgot about is this Redstart. Unlike the Black redstart which is a resident here, the Redstart is a migratory bird spending our winter on the edge of the Sahara and travelling North in the Spring to Central and Northern Europe. It looks a little out of place here as it prefers shrubs…

Read more

Hoppy Black Bugs!

If anybody knows what these are please let me know! They are congregating on a shrub tobacco bush and stripping it (nicotene addication!).



Read more

Goat's Beard

Next to my house is a deserted area full of Goat's beards. They stand about a metre tall and are now producing these large "clocks" or seed heads that are 100mm across.


Read more

Kastro again!

Having failed to find the ancient fortification a week or so ago, we set off this time with eager determination. Only a couple of hours walk from the village, all up hill I might add, this is what we found. 

 The view from the top was stunning and you can see a pic on my Blipfoto of the day here at http://www.blipfoto.com/entry/4224987  Rodos,…

Read more

The Little Owl

In Greek mythology, Athene, the Goddess of Wisdom was so impressed by the great eyes and solemn appearance of the little owl that she honoured the bird by making him her favourite among feathered creatures. In the great Acropolis in Athens the bird was protected and bred in large numbers. It was believed that an inner light gave the owl magical pr…

Read more

Birding in Rhodes by Erik Tambuyzer

 Birding in Rhodes - Erik Tambuyzer, Oud-Heverlee, Belgium – April 5, 2014

Photography with Nikon D7000 with 18-300 mm objective, or D700 with 70-200 mm objective  plus 2x teleconvertor.

With the aim to combine my interest in culture and in birding, I was visiting Rhodes during the week of March 22-29th, 2014. This should be a good period for…

Read more

Hoopoe and Irises


Up in the mountains about half an hour's walk from the dirt road is an old monastery called Sotiris Mikros. The monastery which is well cared for still, and its grounds sit on a gentle sloping hillside with old terraces along with a disused threshing circle, a possible dried pond and various buildings. In a number of corners irises flour…

Read more

White Henbane

White henbane or Hyoscyamus alba is in flower at the moment and is considered a strong poison and is best left alone. It grows all over the southern Mediterranean often near old buildings and around cultivated ground. Its hypnotic and medicinal properties have been known for centuries. 

Dioscorides (first century A.D.), who used it to procure s…

Read more

All singing, dancing shag.

Roger Sharp has sent me this video of a close up of a shag fishing!

Read more

Summer Visitors

We walked out of the village for about an hour and half to a place called Lappatoniou castle along a windy and dusty track. A warm spring day with a cool breeze made the going easy but the rocky path meant it was always heads down. Only the call of bird song alerted us to any life nearby. A group of larks were working the hillside below us and a pa…

Read more

Something fishy.

Erik Tambuyzer very kindly sent me these photos while on a day trip to Symi. The yellow legged gull has a good sized fish in its bill!






A nice view of a kestrel from below.







And a swallow.


Read more

19 blog posts