A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts October 2015

The Rains

Today saw a large amount of rain; the first big rains of October. Pictured here outside our front door the same time last year. Not a day to be out!

I will be away for a couple of weeks exploring south east Crete and Karpathos but I will not be able to post any photos on my tab for tech reasons. Anyway, full report when I come back.


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Date Palm

This date palm is loaded with fruits. There are a few on Symi and the more mature trees are looking like this at the moment.

I've often wondered how you date a date palm? This one is in a back yard at Nimborio so if it's contemporary with the house it could be 150 years old possibly.

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Sage Skipper

A rather moth eaten sage skipper and a painted lady below.











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Autumn Fruits

Top left, clockwise; Mediterranean medlar; Olive; Turpentine, Wild pear. 

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Amaryllis Belladona

Not a native but a plant from the Cape Province of South Africa. I suspect this bulb has been thrown out of a pot after a Christmas flowering indoors, however it seems to be doing rather well here at the side of the road!

These plants are quite capable of naturalizing an area and indeed do so in the Med.

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Carob Tree

The trunk of a carob tree. Native to the Mediterranean.

"10 Useful Facts About The Carob Tree" is an amusing article by someone called "Piglet in Portugal".

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Panagia Mirtidiotissa

The little chapel of Panagia Mirtidiotissa sits high above Ksissos overlooking the surrounding countryside and in the private grounds of  a local family. The gate is always locked but if you ring the bell a member of the family will open the gate and allow to look around for a while.









The view…

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Biarum davisii

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine falcon over Horio yesterday. Photographed by Rene Nielsen. I did see a bird of prey at the same time (but I wasn't able to identify it) but there was a lot noise coming from two kestrels nearby for half an hour or so, so I guess they were being harassed by the peregrine!

The rufous marking on the nape and chest suggests the variati…

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Colchicum Balansae

A first for me on Symi. Another Autumn crocus; Colchicum Balansae. 

Here is a link to wild Greece.

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Starred Agama

Red Veined Darter (female)


Not an untypical view of Sesklia island, with low shrubs and bushes all of which are adapted to harsh drought conditions for six months of the year, here seen with an olive tree in the foreground.

This photo, taken at the end of the summer, shows  most of the herbaceous plants have been grazed away by the sheep leaving bare ground between the shru…

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Autumn Squill

The tiniest of plants, a couple of inches tall and easily overlooked, nestles in the soil between the rocks on the cataractus.

Scillia autumnalis.

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Autumn crocus


I finally got a decent shot of the Autumn Crocus. There were many scores of them in the rocks on the cataractus path down from Horio to Symi harbour.

Colchicum Macrophyllum.

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It's taken me nearly three years to get a photo of these game birds. I have been just a few yards from them but they pop out of the rocks and are gone in a second or two before I can get my camera out.

This was taken just a few days ago at the height of the hunting season here on Symi, so you can imagine they are very shy birds. 

The hunting…

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Southern Gatekeepers

Southern gatekeepers on sea squill.

Sea Birds

Mediterranean shag and some yellow legged gulls.

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Spotted Flycatchers

Possibly my favourite bird seen here in the Pedi Valley perched in a turpentine tree.













This is where I discover that my camera's shutter has a time lag of about half a second! This flycatcher was perched when I hit the release button.

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Autumn Crocus

More signs of Autumn with this flower, Colchicum variegata.

Lots of them in the grounds around Triatha church at Nimborio.

Sadly for me this was the only shot that came out unblurred!

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20 blog posts