A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

header photo

Blog posts : "rhodes"

Gadoura Reservoir

October 2, 2017

Last stop is a very low  man made lake in the middle of Rhodes. Not really expecting much after the earlier disappointments with migrating birds and indeed apart from huge numbers of coots and the odd great crested grebe and little grebe there was just a circling common buzzard nearby. However there was a lot of noise coming from the reeds  and nea…

Read more

Afandou Beach, Rhodes

September 30, 2017

An early morning quick look around the extensive stoney area behind the beach at Afandou (maybe 4 kilometres by 1 k) produced no migrant birds at all. The "waste" land is colonised by crested larks (and acres of dumped rubbish) who specialise in this environment where there are plenty of seeds still lying on the ground from the spring flowers. Non …

Read more

House Sparrows

July 19, 2017

The heat of the last few days has abated and a relatively cool wind off the sea makes moving around easier (the wind brings dust and covers everything in a fine layer, though). There seems to be a good population of house sparrows here on Symi and Rhodes and this photo of a  colourful male blends into the background of a tree where he can chirp …

Read more

A Sea of Yellow

July 11, 2017

Heavily worked by honey bees as nectar sources become scarce, fennel sits by the road side in a sea of yellow blaze below an olive grove on Rhodes. Foeniculum vulgare.

Read more

Sun Dried Tomatoes

July 10, 2017

Plum tomatoes drying under the sun at Kritinea, Southern Rhodes. The man was happily singing to himself under the shade of a tree as he worked.

Read more


July 9, 2017

The old mulberry tree at the little village of Βατί giving plenty of shade at Petrino's taverna on  southern Rhodes. The area used to be afforested but fires have reduced the area to open countryside although there are many olive groves and today the environment looks green enough and if given a chance will recover. A few kilometres down the road i…

Read more

Nightjars and Bats.

July 7, 2017

No photos today, but a very pleasant hour watching a nightjar flying low over our out of town hotel pool on Rhodes at dusk. Very clear white spot markings on the wings make for a good identification. Plenty of moths and insects to catch over the warm water. Lovely to watch and the date palms that surround us seem to be host a small colony of possib…

Read more

Booted Eagles

June 7, 2017

Here's 1 of 3 booted eagles last seen on Symi's southern group of islands, Sesklia heading off to Rhodes.....

Read more

The Sea

May 22, 2017

The return from Rhodes harbour to Panormitis on the Skiadenni was relatively calm and eventless on Sunday with lots of holiday makers doing a day trip to Symi. I didn't expect to see any of the three shearwaters on the crossing (Cory's, Yelkouan or storm petrel) as they were likely to be concerned with bringing up their young but an adult mediter…

Read more

Wood Sandpiper

April 25, 2017

A migrating wood sandpiper in the commercial harbour of Rhodes. 

Read more

Forests on Rhodes

April 13, 2017

The Area around St Nikolaos Foundoukli church has a few grass lanes and tracks that are worth exploring. The church is 14th century and in the nearby carpark there are a few very old trees that may well be contemporary with the church. A plane tree and a number of olive trees sit near a spring of fresh running water.

The Giant Orchid (Barli…

Read more

Forests on Rhodes

April 12, 2017

The ground is covered in a carpet of needles under the pine forests and there are more flowers to be seen other than orchids.​ The endemic peony of Rhodes is just one of them and can be seen in great numbers here and there. 

Anemone blanda covers large areas of the forest floor and  flowers in various colours.....

And i…

Read more

Forests on Rhodes

April 11, 2017

The main flowering time for orchids is slowly coming to an end and in this case I was looking in pine woodlands on the slopes of a very large hill on Rhodes. My guide book was written some 13 years ago when most of the roads were dirt tracks and also many of the orchids nomenclature has changed as a greater understanding of the plants described has…

Read more

A Look Back at Some Wild Plants on Rhodes

April 10, 2017

Some of the plants that have stood out over the last few weeks. French lavender (Lavendula stoechas) below....

A goat's beard (Tragopogon hybridum)......

Yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavum).......

And Wild mignonette (Reseda lutea).......



Read more

A Rhodes Gorge

April 9, 2017

A green outlook across the Atavyros mountains on Rhodes and a small gorge.

Looking up the gorge and down to a heavily wooded forest.

Far too steep and short of time this was as far as I got. I disturbed an Eagle Owl, some where up there roosting, at this point and the shock of seeing it about 12 feet above my head caused me to…

Read more

The Peony of Rhodes

April 6, 2017

The peony of Rhodes (Paeonia clusii) is a wild plant endemic to Rhodes and I found this one high up beneath the mountain of Profitis Ilias in the pine forests. This plant took its name from Peony, a pupil of Asclepius, the doctor of Gods. Peony cured Pluto from a fatal wound and then Asclepius killed him out of envy. Pluto transformed him into a fl…

Read more

White Tailed Sea Eagle

April 4, 2017

After much discussion from seasoned and more knowledgeable birders than myself, I'm happy to confirm this large raptor I photographed over the reservoir on Rhodes is a sub-adult, 2-3 year old white tailed sea eagle. In Scotland I have heard them referred to as flying barn doors, the king of all eagles, with a wing span  of up to 11 feet I'm not sur…

Read more

Olive Trees

April 3, 2017

The olive trees at the monastery of Tharri near Laerma on Rhodes are some of the largest I've ever seen. There are a number of ways to date a tree; radio carbon, dendrology and so on all of which can be unreliable or not possible especially when tree has split into many sections through old age. The annual growth of the rings varies between 0.7m…

Read more

Gadouras Reservoir, Rhodes

March 30, 2017

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…

Read more

19 blog posts