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

The small world of seed heads of medicks and others. 

Medicago orbicularisMedicago disciformis

Tordylium apulum

Leguminosa sp.

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The Other Web

Wild Grasses (with added moth eggs).

Grass with moth eggsQuaking grass
Wild oatsAegilops geniculta

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Golden Orioles et al

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.....

Allium neopolitanumConvolvulus AlthaeoidesTorilis leptophllya
Scrophula peregrinaValantia hispidaCampanula nisyria

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Viper's grass!

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

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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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

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

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 pimpernelPlantago cretica-plantainundefinedGagae graeca-gagaeGagea graeca

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Yellow fields....

"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.

A Reptile Sort of Day

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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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

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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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

A southern gatekeeper.






A starred agama.

Both enjoying the warm sunshine.

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Easter Sunday



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

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

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