A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts September 2016

Striped Hawk Moth

A striped hawk moth sent to me by Trevor  Burton found in the Pedi Valley. Hyles livornica is found in Africa, Southern Europe and Central and East Asia and is occasionally found as a vagrant in the UK.

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Autumn Fruits

The last two weeks has seen temperatures slowly decline with a few cloudy days thrown in looking as if we were heading towards Autumn. Not so the last two days with temperatures back up to 35c. Still, nature follows a time honoured pattern.

​Mediterranean medlar, prickly pear, olive, almond leaved pear and a cultivated vine.

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Sea Squill

The harbinger of Autumn.  I'm told that if they grow upright we will have a good winter! They are very poisonous and the bulbs are shredded to make rat poison which rodents find very palatable. Occasionally a red form occurs as in the picture below (Sue Price) more commonly found in North Africa and is prized as a rat poison. The are also a sign of…

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Here is a juvenile Serin. He is not yellow like the adults and was one of scores that passed through the tamarisk trees on a beach on Rhodes. Below is an adult and a typical flock on Symi.

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A couple of nice close ups of chiffchaffs taken by James Collins. Again, migrants travelling from northern climes, some of which will stop here the winter and others will overwinter all around the Mediterranean areas. Very difficult to distinguish from a willow warbler but in the first picture the lower white eye ring shows up well against the dark…

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Snake-eyed Lacertid

Ophisops elegans is a ground dwelling diurnal lizard that has starring eyes like a snake that lacks an eyelid.

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Scarce Swallowtail

Not very scarce on Symi but elsewhere it is a protected species, Iphiclides podalirius is an urban butterfly often seen feeding in gardens and parks. It exploits wind currents making a rapid ascent followed a graceful glide down to a feed source. It is common in central and southern Europe but absent from the Iberian peninsular.


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Spotted Flycatcher

A lovely spotted flycatcher working a nearby ravine. Another sign that migration is in full swing. (click on the picture for whole screen & double click for a close up picture)

From above the markings on its head are plain to see, dark spots.

Yesterday also brought the first autumn thunderstorm, but over Turkey, so we sat outside and …

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Globe Thistle

Here's a nice globe thistle enjoying the view across the water to Nimos. Or, if you prefer, Echinops spinosissimus subspecies spinosissimus, the last name refering to numerous glandular, purplish, bristles covering it.

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Autumn has arrived

Another favourite, the red backed shrike, seen on the Cataractus on on the way to the harbour. Lanius collurio is a carnivorous passerine bird and member of the shrike family Laniidae. The genus name, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher", and some shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their feeding habits. The specifi…

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A Perennial Favourite

A little owl, never far away, here perched on a ruin after the sun went down.

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11 blog posts