A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts January 2015

Blue Rock Thrush

A lovely plump blue rock thrush perching on an old rooftop in Horio.

Spot the Lizard!

A very torpid starred agama, alive but cold and wet waiting for the suns rays to warm it up.









A garish looking centipede which I would do well to avoid!



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Me thinks this sparrow is preparing his nest in the church tower along with the rest of the colony! 

We live just next door to this church and this is what it sounds like on a Sunday morning sometimes! It can't imagine how the sparrows cope, or maybe they just have a day out.......

















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This is Cyclamen persicum that flowers all over the Pedi Valley.

The common name "persian sowbread" derives from the tuberous roots of the flower being a favourite food of the the wil boar. The name Cyclamen is derived from the Greek "kyklamenos" meaning "circular or circle form", either from the spiralling flower stalk or from the round shape of …

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Tempskyana or Ramiflora!

This little flower is a member of the Iris family and looks like a crocus. It stands just 2 inches tall, is solitary and has a corm like a crocus but belongs to a genus of plants called Romulaes.

This is Romulae tempskyana.

However there is an almost identical Romulae found on Symi and I had to go back and have a second look the next day.

The di…

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Song Thrush

As I write this it is raining old ladies and sticks (in Welsh: hen merched a fon), oh, and the lights have just gone out which means the electric wires have just been hit! But this morning the sun shone through a hazy sky and I ventured out around the Pedi valley.

Here is a first for me on Symi; a song thrush. Probably on migration to warmer clime…

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Greek Wildlife Photography


A bout of coughing and a cold (and inclement weather) has forced me to spend much time indoors. Thankfully my partner's lemon tree is full of juicy lemons and mixed with a large dollop of Symi honey and some paracetamol, a hot drink seems to have kept the worse symptoms at bay.

I came across this website recently and it does have some wond…

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Yellow Henbane

This is yellow henbane or Hyoscamus aurea.

Here seen growing on the face of the old kastro walls at the acropolis in Horio.

Hyoscamus is a derogatory term in Greek meaning Hog-bean used by the physician and botanist Discorides.





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Pictures From a Greek Island

Cover artPictures From A Greek Island: Photographed by Jordan Blakesley

Jordan also has a facebook page you can follow here.

Fab pictures!

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Oleander Hawk Moth

This beautiful moth was photographed by Jordan Blakesley on Symi just a few days ago. Here is the caterpillar.

Here is some info on this moth.



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Scops Owls

Walking back up the Kalistrata last night at about 10pm I heard two scops owls "Pinging"  like a sonar.

These birds are entirely nocturnal unlike the little owl which is diurnal. The photograph by Peter Vidal shown here  is the only time I have ever seen this bird.

The Common Scops Owl is  most active from after sunset to midnight. Roosts by …

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Yet another link to wild flowers in Greece ....


All Quiet!

After two and a half days of rain I managed to take a short walk up to Ksisos in the late afternoon when eventually the sky cleared, the wind dropped and all was quiet. A party of 6 ravens were playing on the hillside and were joined by 2 rather larger very noisy ravens, possibly parents. There was lots of vertical diving, twisting and turning in t…

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Another link to the flora of the Datca peninsular, Turkey. English language option.


Less Cold!


A glassy sea as seen from the old terraces around Profitas Ilias.

But at least the wind has dropped today and the temperature has started to rise again. It reached 10c this afternoon although it was clouding over when we finished our walk.





Still, this icicle was just hanging on. Hereabouts the rocks are very wet and are drip…

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More Cold

An interesting photo of Symi from Mihalis Tsavaris placed on facebook earlier today!

A Very Cold Symi

It's 5c and blowing a northerly gale (Bf7). So although I ventured out to the harbour to watch the diving for the cross (and just missed it) I returned home pretty sharpish for the warmth and comfort of indoors! Here are a few links to explore from a wildlife group just across the water in Datca, Turkey.


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The view from Pedi beach yesterday. Relative peace and quite and some sunshine after the thunder and lightening, hail, and copious amounts of rain we received on New Years day!






Just the odd cyclamen is flowering at the moment. I think we are a month away from a major outbreak of flowering cyclamens!







A c…

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A walk around Pedi bay produced this (long distance) fantastic shot of a European Kingfisher. I have seen one once before elsewhere on Symi but today he (or she) stayed around long enough for a photo. We watched it for half an hour or so flying between boats and ropes and rocks. Definitely a first!







Later at the sewage w…

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Virgins Bower

This evergreen climber is flowering in many places in the Pedi valley. This plant has a number of forms but here it is the 3 lobed (leaved) variety. The leaves are shiny green with lovely bell shaped cream flowers, here seen without red spots which are common elsewhere. The flowers are honey scented and unlike other clematis flower from early Decem…

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20 blog posts