A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Blog posts : "General"


A not unusual nightmare identifying blue butterflies (Lycaenidae) for me of which there are scores in Greece and some only specific to individual Greek islands. On this particular occasion they were in abundance and settling on the sage leafed rock rose or cistus (a clue there to the species of butterfly) common throughout this part of Greece. Rhod…

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Symi Wild Life

A long viral infection has coincided with my decision, sadly, to stop adding to my blog, so I apologise to my readers for an absence here. The website will remain live and I will still receive emails over any matters relating to wildlife on Symi and hope to answer any queries you may have. I have had great fun exploring the wildlife on Symi, met ma…

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Season's Greetings

Olive Tree

Occasionally I come across an olive tree with real character and age such as this one. I am guessing it was probably part of an olive grove once upon a time. Appolakia bay on Rhodes.


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Mediterranean Funghi

The birth of a mushroom. On Rhodes in pine woodland, the smaller ones on open arable fields. Lots of rain this year so should be good for mushroom hunters! Waiting for identification.

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Mesanagros is a small village perched on the side of a hill at about 400 metres above sea level in the middle of the southern tip of Rodos. On three sides every hill and slope has been terraced by man for cultivation but lost through the ages with just a few olive groves here and there. Indeed, the village's name means "large enclosed byzantine far…

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Common Buzzard

It's been a few days since I posted anything and the square at Stavros and staircase above it is still the same as in the photo on a previous post. We have moved to our winter quarters after doing some repair work, sorting the water supply out etc. Indeed we are told some able bodies will be coming to start work on the square this week. 

In a…

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A muddy blanket dangles limply over a pipe, its sodden ends dripping into the chasm below. Where once a neatly paved square afforded a view of the colourful houses and churches in the village there is now just the bare bones of Symi, a ravine, pure bedrock scoured clean by a million gallons of water, mud and rocks. Years of household rubbish, aband…

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I am standing on the balcony and watch the storm approaching. Night becomes day; a brief instant in time and the Acropolis in front of me is revealed. The houses below light up and the church on top almost touching the sky. The thunder is constant but still the rain is light, a few drops here and there. The lightning zigzags across the sky from clo…

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By now I'm sure that most of you have heard of the terrible storm that's happened here. Until the situation improves I will be unable to post any further articles. This is the view of our local square. The harbour has been devastated and many businesses flooded. I have not heard of any loss of life but people have lost homes and their welfare etc..…

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Rain, Thunder, Lightning and Hail......

A welcome drop of rain for Symi today.

Phoenicurus ochruros

The black redstart is a common sight during the winter months in the village with its "tick, tick" call. Originally it nested in cliffs and cracks in rocks in the mountains so it is not hard to understand why these birds may do well amongst the ruins here on Symi.


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Common Sternbergia

An early flowering Autumn bulb and a member of the daffodil family, Common sternbergia (Sternbergia lutea), basking in some late afternoon sunshine.


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Turpentine Tree

Autumn again now on Symi. One of my favourite trees, the turpentine tree. The fruits are used in Cyprus for baking of a specialty village bread. In Crete, where the plant is called tsikoudia, it is used to flavour the local variety of pomace brandy, also called tsikoudia. In the Northern Sporades the shoots are used as a vegetable (called tsi…

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Autumn migration seems to have nearly passed us by this year on Symi with very few birds. Crag martins can be seen here now, taking up residence for the winter with an abundance of chiffchaffs and robins. I did manage to find a few migrants, a distant red back shrike and some spotted flycatchers in the residual oak forest that grows at the tops of …

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A mediterranean shag at Panormitis.........

A Rather Ripe Pomegranate

It's the season for ripening pomegranate fruit. The pomegranate is a symbolic fruit, signifying beauty, love, marriage, fertility, birth, rebirth, hope and prosperity. It is also the symbol of the start of a new year, the first rains, planting the fields or the "first spring" here on Symi.

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Little Owls

Nice to see the return of a little owl in our area. He comes every afternoon about 5pm and makes a great deal of noise so it makes up for the loss of the six pairs of kestrels that we we used to have in the village and harbour last year......

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Predator & Prey

Not a good outcome for the agama, I suspect.


Basking in the warm Autumn sunshine are a couple of common reptiles seen around Symi. The starred agama which changes colour to suit its surroundings and the snake eyed lacertid which is forever darting from rock to rock.

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20 blog posts