A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Chania harbour, Crete

28th October - 1st November

This is a view of a bit of the inner harbour of Chania, in this case one of the few days that the sun shone. The south side is lined with boats moored against the old harbour wall beneath the Venetian walls. Amongst the boats I could hear a constant pipping sound, just audible, above the crowds - it was "Ochi Day" - a public holiday. A few days later while sitting on the shore wall outside the harbour during stormy weather two kingfishers popped up and sat on the wall a few yards away before they departed.  A long hunt produced this photo of one, albeit in the gloom of the afternoon rain. 



 This one never stood still for long, the constant comings and goings of humans causing it to make flight every minute or so. Still, a good look into the clear waters seemed to show lots of small fish, so I imagine it and its mate were well fed. Whether they breed in the harbour I cannot tell. There are plenty of nooks and crannies in the harbour wall to make a nest. The rivers are still dry after a long hot summer so it may well be that in a month or so they will return to the mountain streams for the winter.

Another bird seemingly undisturbed by all the bustle was a common sandpiper, working its way along the harbour edge, occasionally jumping down on to a rock. 



Alas I was having coffee that morning without my camera and the little fella passed just a few feet away from me.

Elsewhere a little egret was working the step on the harbour edge. 

On the castle walls other birds included were serins, blue rock thrush, gold finches, pied wagtails, sparrows, and the usual selection of feral pigeons.




More often than not, though, the harbour looked like this.








One bird that seemed unperturbed by the inclement weather was this black stork who happily sat atop this chimney throughout!


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