A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts February 2015

More Yellow Flowers

Found all  over Symi, the tuberous hawkbit brightens the day with its lovely yellow flower. Here on the steps of the Cataractus.

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This lovely orchid I found in the Pedi Valley with one other nearby.

It seems that identifying an orchid is not straight forward

It looks as if a bee has got its head stuck in the flower......ok it's a bee orchid!

If this is Ophrys basilissa it is a first for Symi. 

Well not even that, here's a sample of the discussion on the Greek Flora pag…

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One Swallow Does Not A summer Make.

Just seen my first swallow flying around Horio while standing on my friends roof (as you do)!


This is the Bermuda buttercup or Cape sorrel (Oxalis pes-caprae), a widespread weed found everywhere in the Mediterranean. It was introduced into Malta c1806 as a garden plant. Still, pretty enough here after days of rain and cold.





And here is exactly the same plant but as a double!

For some reason prolific at …

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Warm and Sunny (for a bit)!

After almost three days of continuous rain and cold the sun came out for a few hours and under my four layers and a waterproof I felt totally overdressed! It topped 17c today.

The blackbirds were singing and this member of the germander family, Prasium majus was in flower on a rocky outcrop.


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Blue Rock Thrush

What a joy to be able to hold the camera without freezing fingers and being buffeted by the wind. Some change to weather today (last saturday)! Here's a nice fat blue rock thrush, that seems to be none the worse for wear after the terrible weather we've been having.

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Flowers from Pedi


Coronilus Emerus subspecies emeroides.

Otherwise known as scorpion vetch or False senna.

The leaves where once used as a purgative.










A member of the umbellifer family.  This is a hedge parsley, Torilis arvensis, but the flowers have distinctly unequal petals which could mak…

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This is possibly Ranunculus creticus, or Cretan buttercup.






This is a lesser celandine, again possibly Ranunculus ficaria, subspecies ficariiformis.

If confirmed, two new species for Symi, both found in the Pedi Valley not far from each other.

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This is a large and complicated genus of plants with nearly 90 species in Europe alone.

There are at least 5 species on Symi of which one is unique to this island and lives no where else.

This is probably Verbascum asheronii, but I can't be certain.

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Candle Wicks

This is Greek Horehound.

The calyces are used as floating wicks in oil lamps. Once dried the calyx is placed on the surface of the oil and soon becomes saturated with oil. It is then lit. Plants are often grown as a ground cover,  forming a slowly spreading clump. This plant is very drought resistant, here seen growing out of the limestone rocks…

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Pedi Valley

More flowers from the Pedi Valley.

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Pictures from the Pedi Valley




Lupinus varius.

Lupins in the Pedi valley.













An old clematis tangled around this oak tree.




A patchwork of greenery with a glimpse of the hills beyond.
















The flowers of the mediterranean medlar.

Very pretty bu…

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Rodos; day 3 afternoon

St Nikolas Foundoukli

The return down from Profitis Ilias was slightly less traumatic being in the lee of the winds and in the shelter of the trees.

This is St Nikolas Foundoukli and the plaque tells me it was built in the 14th century.

The Murals inside are stunning and this place is well worth a stop.










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Rodos; Day 3

Kremasti & Profitis Ilias

Just south of Kremasti, on the west coast of Rodos, is the Kremasteikos river. A dry river bed for most of the year, but today (friday) it does have some running water and a few still ponds.

Here in this rather uninspiring spot I saw or heard a kingfisher, a cetti's warbler, a possible sedge warbler, a coot, goldfinches,…

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St Georges (Nimborio)


Wednesday was a lovely sunny windless day and two kestrels (female common eurasion kestrel shown here) were mobbing a couple of ravens. Lots of calling from both parties.













Ravens seem to do well on Symi.









This Oertzeni's lizard was warming itself on a rock in…

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Rodos: Day 3

LinkCommercial harbour in Rhodes town




After 2 days of strong winds today (friday) sees a force 9 blowing from the nort-east, effectively stopping all shipping and leaving my ferry anchored off Kalymnos until the storm blows itself out.

The harbour car park at Rhodes town seemed to be a good place to start. With its large expanse of gra…

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A Little Yellow Flower Updated!

I'm pretty sure this is Gagea peduncularis which I found by St George's above Nimborio. Gagea is a large genus of spring flowers in the Liliaceae found in Europe and western Asia. It is named after the English naturalist Sir Thomas Gage. They were originally described as species of Ornithogalum, which, together with the usual yell…

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Rodos; Day 2 late afternoon




About 8 kilometers north of Apolakia on a tarmacadamed road is a man made resevoir. This lake sits on the Sianitis river. The view from the dam wall is stunning in both directions.

The view to the south is a patchwork of green fields growing all sorts of vegetables and cereals and criss-crossed by drainage ditches and…

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Rodos; Day 2 afternoon

Kalamos Bay



This is Kalamos Bay between the villages of Katavia and Apolakia, a distance of about 17 kilometers. It is also marked on the map as Anemomylos Bay or windmill bay.

This section is almost completely unspoilt with the foreshore a few hundred yards to the left of the road and fertile fields to the right.



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Day two: Prasonisi


Prasonisi is a small island on the southern tip of Rodos connected to the mainland by a small causeway. It's a two hour drive from Rhodes town and takes another hour to walk to the lighthouse at the southern end of the island.

I had the whole island to myself today!









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20 blog posts