A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts October 2016

Black Redstart

It's just started raining here on Symi and this black redstart is doing a bit of grooming. At this time of year they come back into the village and this male is showing its plumage at its best. The word "start" is old english for tail and this bird shows its red tail beautifully.

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This is Cyclamen graecum subsp graecum and is a native plant found all over Southern Greece, Crete and the Aegean islands. It is highly prized for its variable leaf forms and is an Autumn flower, here seen on Crete.

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Cretan Arum

I usually have to go up the mountain to find this lily - Biarum davisii - but I found this one on the Cataractus below Horio. According to The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) B. davisii is endemic to Crete (here seen on Symi) and on the red list as near threatened.

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More Butterflies

From the botanical gardens of Crete. A long- tailed blue and a Cleopatra. A speckled wood, last, at Kastelli beach.


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Plain Tiger

This common, colourful butterfly is an African migrant found on the shores of the Mediterranean from Spain to Cyprus. Here found on some waste land in northern Crete in the Kastelli area. Danaus chrysippus.


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Sea Daffodil

The endangered jewel of the Mediterranean coastline and sacred flower depicted in the famous painting with the blue bird in the palace of Knossos. Pancratium maritimium is native to the Mediterranean sandy shores and has a strong presence on the Aegean islands (I've not found one on Symi yet) and Crete where it grows in sand dunes, estuaries and ri…

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For those of you that know Rhodes this is what the Northern tip of Rhodes town looked like in 1882. The windmills on the left are still there in front of the big hotels and it's where we will be passing through on our way to airport and away for a few weeks. 

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Waiting for Autumn Rains

The ground has been prepared on this terrace and is waiting for the Autumn rains which hopefully will be a lot more plentiful than last year.


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Here's the equivalent of the English garden wren. He's noisy, industrious and skulks low in the undergrowth. The Sardinian warbler.

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9 blog posts