A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts April 2015

Seed Heads

April 30, 2015

The small world of seed heads of medicks and others. 

Medicago orbicularis Medicago disciformis

Tordylium apulum

Leguminosa sp.

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The Other Web

April 29, 2015

Wild Grasses (with added moth eggs).

April 28, 2015
Grass with moth eggs Quaking grass
Wild oats Aegilops geniculta

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Golden Orioles et al

April 27, 2015

I don't usually make day lists of birds I've seen on Symi as they might look like the list of ingredients for a rice pudding. However today was different. A two hour walk to Lappatoniou castle on Symi's west coast produced the following:-

Golden oriole (x3), Snake eagle (short toed eagle), Eleanora's falcon (x2), Black eared wheatear, blue rock t…

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Onions to Bellflowers.....

April 26, 2015
Allium neopolitanum Convolvulus Althaeoides Torilis leptophllya
Scrophula peregrina Valantia hispida Campanula nisyria

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Viper's grass!

April 25, 2015

undefinedThis is a member of the Compositae (daisies) family and belongs in the Genus of Scorzonera (S.elata) or viper's grass. It is a perennial about 70cm tall and here on the slopes below Profitis Ilias is very numerous. 

Up until today I had it down as a goat's beard but expert opinion has once again put me right. Hey ho, well there are about 6ooo s…

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The Terrace

April 24, 2015

Here is the latest photograph of the terrace above the harbour which I've been following since November when it had just been tilled. 

It is looking positively green (and yellow) compared with the surrounding countryside. There hasn't been any rain for a couple of weeks now and there many only be a splash between now and October. The goats are …

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April 23, 2015

Quite a rare plant on Symi; Gladiolus anatolicus. I found these with others on some old and disused terraces above Horio.

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A Windy Day

April 22, 2015

A common kestrel holding steady in the wind. On closer examination of a distant shot this bird has a black moustache which the lesser kestrel does not have, otherwise a difficult subject to identify.

A cretzschmar's bunting, common enough here perched on a rock below the road to Panormitis.

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Some Small Plants

April 21, 2015

A few very small plants easily overlooked and all in the Pedi Valley. The last two are new finds for me on Symi.

Anagallis arvensis-scarlet pimpernel Plantago cretica-plantainundefined Gagae graeca-gagae Gagea graeca

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Yellow fields....

April 20, 2015

"In no fix'd place the happy souls reside. In groves we live, and lie on mossy beds, by crystal streams, that murmur thro' the meads: but pass yon easy hill, and thence descend; the path conducts you to your journey's end.” This said, he led them up the mountain's brow, And shews them all the shining fields below. They wind the hill, and thro' th…

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Patterns from Nature.

April 20, 2015

A Reptile Sort of Day

April 19, 2015

Looking back from just outside the Drakhos ruins in the Pedi Valley. Walking through the undergrowth can be quite tricky although come high Summer the path will become more distinct.

 A starred agama basking on the wall in the strong sun.



Here an oertzeni's lizard keeping a keen lookout for anything threatening. A good jo…

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April 18, 2015

Just for the record I've noted three large birds of prey flying over the windmills this morning. Larger than the short toed eagles (snake eagles) we had here last year and with very broad wings, possibly bonelli's eagles. There were three of them and they didn't hang about.

Later this afternoon many hundreds of alpine swifts and in amongst them …

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Common Dragon Arum

April 18, 2015

Not everything smells of roses in the Pedi valley at the moment.  If you enjoy the smell of rotting flesh then you are probably an insect of sorts and will be doing the common dragon arum a favour by pollinating it.

Dracunculus vulgaris is best viewed from a distance. However my book tells me that it is often planted in gardens as an ornamental…

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April 17, 2015

He's not a pony or a horse or even a donkey. This chap is a big strong mule and no doubt he will be put to good use on Symi carrying building materials up and down the Kalistrata.

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Some Warm Sunshine

April 13, 2015

A southern gatekeeper.






A starred agama.

Both enjoying the warm sunshine.

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Easter Sunday

April 12, 2015



At last a warm wind blows through the house. A subtle change in the wind direction from NE to NW yesterday in the space of an hour or so raised the temperature from 10c to 17c. Yea. 

Off now for roast lamb!


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Fruits of Mandrake

April 11, 2015

These are the fruits of the mandrake plant, Mandragora autumnalis, they look very tempting and are in the same family as the tomato, potato, deadly and woody nightshade and henbane, but they are poisonous.

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Easter Friday

April 10, 2015

Some flowers from the Pedi valley on Easter Friday (orthodox calender);  11c,  cold north easterly wind, sunny with clouds! (yup this is Symi!)

Morea sisyrinchium

Muscari comosum (tassel hyacynth)

Neteta cataria (catmint)

Orbanche minor (parasitic …

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20 blog posts