A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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This site is dedicated to the wildlife of Symi and in particular anyone who has an interest in birds.

Symi belongs to the Dodecanese group of islands about 25 miles North West of Rhodes and over 250 miles from the Greek port of Piraeus. Symi lies between two peninsulas of  Turkey and at its closest is just six miles from Asia. Symi is mountainous and rocky with its highest peak, Vighla, at 620m.  The coastline is irregular  and measures about 85 km with numerous bays and headlands whilst being surrounded with a score or more islands and rocky islets. The island is mostly infertile and rocky (limestone) supporting a typical Mediterranean garrigue comunity of  dwarf shrubs and many aromatic herbs. There are a few small cultivated areas dotted throughout the island, notably above the harbour, Pedi  and elsewhere. Inland there are areas of coniferous forest consisting of cypresses and pine trees. The once cultivated valley of Pedi still supports a wide and varied range of flora and fauna. 

I hope you find this site interesting and I would encourage visitors to send in any pictures or comments you have that would add to the interest of those looking at the wildlife on Symi. Please go to the contact page for an email address.

Latest Sightings and Reports.


November 15, 2017

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...There are sites up on Facebook where you can offer financial help so please refer to that. We are ok but have a limited water supply as does most of the top of Horio so until we get help we can only help others to clear up the mess.

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

November 13, 2017

A welcome drop of rain for Symi today.

Phoenicurus ochruros

November 11, 2017

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.


Common Sternbergia

November 10, 2017

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


Turpentine Tree

October 25, 2017

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 tsitsíravla). And of course turpentine, a well known paint thinners!


October 21, 2017

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 one valley. 


October 17, 2017

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

A Rather Ripe Pomegranate

October 16, 2017

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.

Little Owls

October 15, 2017

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......

Predator & Prey

October 14, 2017

Not a good outcome for the agama, I suspect.

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