A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Day two: Prasonisi

 

Prasonisi is a small island on the southern tip of Rodos connected to the mainland by a small causeway. It's a two hour drive from Rhodes town and takes another hour to walk to the lighthouse at the southern end of the island.

I had the whole island to myself today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                         

 

This is looking north back on to Rodos. No sign of habitation apart from a small fisherman's hut on a flat bit of ground half way up the hill. There is a grave to the left of the picture.

Sadly lots of evidence of four wheel drive tracks cutting great swathes out of the very delicate garrigue (despite a large sign on the beach saying "Save Prasonisi").

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

 

This is a typical view of the ground cover on most of the island. A gale was blowing on the day I was there so although there were plenty of birds flitting about they spent most of the time hiding in bushes.

The garrigue here is quite unique and there are many plants that I have not yet got to grips with.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the strawberry tree or bush. It is native to the mediterranean. Due to the exposure here on Prasonisi it is growing as a dwarf bush. This tree will be familiar with anyone living in southwest Ireland as it grows wild there too.

More information on this tree can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the top of the hill there were a group of larks mainly foraging in the lee of the island low in the bushes, but occasionally one would ascend and let out a burst of song before returning to cover.

This is almost certainly a skylark, Alauda arvensis although I am informed that there is a significant overwintering population of calandra larks on Prasonisi and a few shore larks.

Other birds about; sardinian warblers, a kestrel, yellow legged gulls, blue rock thrushes, crows and small flocks of serins.

 

 

 

 

A remote beach on the island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally the lighthouse at the very southerly tip of the island. In the distance I could see the mountains of Karpathos, perhaps some 30 - 40 kilometers, although not visible in this photograph.

The island of Rhodes has 80 breeding residents but 228 species of bird have been recorded so a great many of these birds will summer visitors or passing migrants.

I shall definetly be back in the spring when there are more migrants about.

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