A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts March 2017

Gadouras Reservoir, Rhodes

A half day at Gadouras reservoir on Rhodes turned up a few surprises for me not least a white pelican (probably on its way to the Danube estuary in Romania where a declining population breeds), a squacco heron and a nice eagle, which now looks like a sub adult white tailed sea eagle (also on migration) scaring all of the wildfowl on the water and a…

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Larking about on Rhodes

Larking about on Rhodes.
The day started at approx 6.21 am on a cold Afandou beach. Plenty of specialist foreshore plants to look at but as I don't have any reference books with me I can't name them. I missed a lesser grey shrike, a common buzzard, a hoopoe on the golf course and more larks than I could shake a stick at plus a few others because o…

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Back on Symi

After returning to Symi and a few hectic days moving house we've now settled in, so here's a pic of a cultivated white bearded iris.

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The last day.

A few pics from the last day on Karpathos.

A village woman picking wild greens from the mountainside.

An old shepherds hut atop of some nearby terraces.

A raven and one of a small group of corn buntings that were almost invisible amongst the rocks.

No album of Greece would be complete without a picture of a goat.

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Round Profitis Ilias

Karpathos: part two.

This was the mid way point and the highest place on the walk at about 500 metres. The views were literally breathtaking.

Shortly after this point we stopped for lunch. In the distance was an old farmstead and you can see the threshing circle, long since disused. behind us on the hill the terraces stretched almost to …

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The Windmills of Olympos

Early morning mists roll over the mountains above the village.

Some have been restored and one two still grind wheat for bread flour in the summer.

These windmills are mainly fixed horseshoe shaped in design, relying on the prevailing North West winds.


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A River Valley

We decided that Monday was going to be a lazy day so we drove for twenty minutes on tarmac south of Olympos and then twenty minutes on a dirt track to a secluded river valley. The day did not disappoint and it was all about the wildlife in the end. We were rewarded with frogs, crabs, orchids and a lot more. I've labelled some pictures so you can se…

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Ancient Vrikounda

Ancient Vrikounda sits on a small finger of land jutting out into the sea, overlooking a wild and isolated  bay beneath  its precipitous cliffs and a view of the distant island of Saria. The peninsular is covered with ancient ruins and terraces wherever  you look and in the cliffs there is an ancient church where water drips through the roof into a…

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Collecting "Horta".

Gathering horta (χόρτα) from ancient Vrikounda (Βρυκούνδα) is a complicated business. It takes an hour and a half to walk there and a lot longer to walk back up the hill to Avlona (Αυλόνα) in Northern Karpathos. Radiki and Kardamo are on the menu today, that's dandelion and garden cress.


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The Saddle of Konstantinos

We started the day at a Kafeneion in Diafani. Two greek coffees served by a woman in local traditional costume who happily informed us that we were the first tourists to visit this year. In the bay there was a raft of yelkoun shearwaters and a common sandpiper on the beach. An auspicious start. The coastal track led us through olive groves painted …

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Round Profitis Ilias

Karpathos. Part one.

An eight kilometre amble around the 600 meter mountain of Profitis Ilias turned into one of the scariest walks I've ever done and alternately one with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. It took us four hours to traverse ancient stone paths that occasionaly had been eroded by scree slopes and others where the …

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Diafani, Διαφάνι

Day 2, Karpathos. We walked up a hill a lot, we walked down hill a lot, we missed a path back to Olympos, we spotted orchids and other wonderful plants and walked down a gorge and arrived at the fishing village of Diafani. We had a beer in a taverna. And caught the school bus back to Olympos (Olibos). We met many cousins of our host. We watched Oli…

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Olympos, Karpathos

The view from our balcony; let's see what the day brings.

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A View Over Pedi towards Turkey

After the warm fronts have crossed this part of the Aegean over the last week and left lots of precipitation the air temperature has dropped to 10 degrees celsius. The air is dry and cool and very, very clear. The warm fronts did bring a few swallows, the first I have seen this year.

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Yellow Henbane

Hyoscamus aureus looking rather menacing on the walls of the castle on Symi.

"Sleeping within mine orchard, 
My custom always of the afternoon 
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, 
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, 
And in the porches of mine ear did pour 
The leprous distillment."

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Five or six days of on-off rain (I forget how much) has produced a few mushrooms.........

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More rain today on Symi and I've lost count of the number of rainy days we've had in a row but it has to be good for the plant life. Here's a honeywort that's just coming into flower on roadsides, waste ground etc. A very nice annual, Cerinthe Major.

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Yesterday, last night and today has been very wet with much needed rain, soaking Symi. I did manage to get out between showers to get some pics of the Diavates Islets and Kephalos last night and this afternoon an interval provided some sunshine and a rainbow. A blocked drain on the road above Horio flooded the paths in the village........

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St Nikolaos

The trip up to the church from the taverna in Niborios takes about 40 minutes on a reasonably well defined track to a height of about 180 metres. 

The view is quite panoramic but we had a bit of haze on the day we went. The two islands, Flat island and Fat island are visible to the north west as is the Kokkinochoma  that stretches out beyond. T…

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The One That Got Away......

20 blog posts