A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts February 2016

The Cretan Arum

Crown Daises

The view looking up the Pedi Valley with crown daises or Chrysanthemum coronarium var. discolour.

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Yellow Wagtail

Or if you prefer latin "Motacilla flava dombrowskii" on its way to Romania. I checked its passport. The passport here being its distinctive head markings which identifies it as one of nine or so races of yellow wagtails.

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Images from Pedi Terraces....

Stone Roses

A rather unusual shield found on the castle walls in Rodos. Could it be the head gardener's shield? Or a crusader from Lancashire or Yorkshire?

Below a few more images of the castle.
















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Daises in Pedi

Looking for a Nest.

Wall Plants

An entirely goat proof Euphorbia grows out of a rock face half way up a cliff.

Below, an aoenium arborium grows out of an old ruin in the village.









Above, the house leek will grow on any North facing wall. Elsewhere an interesting collection of plants on a rock in the Pedi valley.

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On The Way Down


This kestrel seems to be taking an interest in a house sparrow colony that inhabits the local church bell tower. 

The cataractus is covered in wild flowers at the moment; below, the yellow tuberous hawkbit; a member of the geranium family, Erodium malacoides; borage family - Anchusa aegyptiaca; Biscutella didyma; Veronica-cymbalaria;  an…

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The Cataractus, Ο Χαταράχτης

This is the quick way down to the harbour. It takes me about 15 minutes and there's usually some wildlife to look at.

Sage Leafed Cistus; Sage......

Sage to the right and a sage leafed cistus almost in flower. Below, a very early rock rose flower.

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Jerusalem Sage

A widely cultivated garden flower showing the flower, the buds and last year's empty seed pods. Phlomis fruticosa.


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Kritinia Castle

This is a member of the stock family, Alyssoides cretica, which my reference book says is endemic to Crete and Karpathos only.

Here found at Kritinia castle on Rodos which was built by the crusaders in the 16th century to defend the island from the Ottomans. 

Kritinia means "New Crete" and the nearby village was built by the people who were …

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A few birds on the Atavyros

A raven mobbing a long legged buzzard on the highest mountain on Rodos. Sadly I wasn't able to make the top (1216m) due to the dirt track. I spent just half an hour there and I think a return trip is in order later in the spring. 

Others seen were a woodlark, stonechat, and the inevitable sardinian warbler. 





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Anemones (on Rodos)

A roadside verge full of crown anemones on Rodos. 

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A bit of Spring in the Air

The buds of the Mediterranean medlar are opening slowly now that the days are lengthening. Below, the smooth sow thistle is a cosmopolitan plant and often seen as a weed. (click on images for a different or larger view)

Lupins are beginning to show themselves now although they are being eaten as soon as they emerge. Lupinus varius in this in…

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Beginning to look a little more promising with a few wild flowers showing their heads before they are eaten by the goats and sheep.

Here the common poppy with its paper thin petals and below the hairy buds; Papaver rhoes.

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The view North East across to Turkey from Profitis Ilias. A snow capped mountain probably in the Mugli province of Turkey some 60 miles away.

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A Curiosity

In english I know this as a centipede, i.e. it has one hundred legs. In Greek it is a "σαρανταπαρουσα" or fortypede.

However this has sixty legs so I guess that makes it a "εξηταπαρουσα".


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The Valonia Oak

This is the large oak tree that marks the end of Horio on the road to Panormitis. I'm sure many of you will know this tree well.

It also marks the start of the footpath down through the Pedi valley.

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20 blog posts