Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Saturday, 28 May 2016

DRAGON ARUM (Dracunculus vulgaris) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Dragon Arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) is a tuberous perennial
plant in the family Araceae which is in the genus Dracunculus. Alternative names include the Black Arum, Black Dragon, Black Lily, Common Dracunculus, Dragon Arum Lily, Dragonwort, Ragons, Snake Lily, Stink Lily and Voodoo Lily. It is the largest arum found in Europe with a height of up to 1.5m and a spread of 1.0m. It is native to Southeast Europe and occurs in the Balkans, Greece including the island of Crete, Southwest Turkey and the Aegean Islands. It is absent from Cyprus. It has been introduced to other parts of Europe as well as Canada and the USA. It also grown as a ornamental garden plant.
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Monday, 23 May 2016

BLUE ROCK THRUSH [Male] (Monticola solitarius) Kokino Chorio, Crete, Greece


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The Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) is in the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Monticola. Although superficially thrush-like in appearance, it is a species of chat that was formerly placed in the thrush family Turdidae. It breeds in  northwest Africa, southern Europe and across central Asia in a narrow band to Japan. There are five races or sub species recognised. The western population is sedentary but the eastern population is mainly migratory, wintering in sub Saharan Africa and southern Asia.
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Friday, 20 May 2016

EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is of the family Columbidae which is in the genus Streptopelia.
Over the last 150 years or so this dispersive species has greatly expanded its original range which stretched from Turkey eastwards to southern China and the Indian sub-continent. The first record for Europe was from Bulgaria in 1838 and by the end of the 20th century it had colonised the rest of Europe with the exception of Iceland but including the Canary Islands as well as the North African countries from Morocco to Egypt and parts of the Middle East. First record for Britain was in 1953 followed by the first for Ireland in 1958.   
To the east of its original range, it has also spread northeast to most of central and northern China as well as Japan. 
In 1974, less than 50 escaped from captivity in the Bahama Islands and from there it spread to Florida. It is now found in nearly every state in the USA, as well as in Mexico. 
 
Patrick J, O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 14 May 2016

(EASTERN) BLACK EARED WHEATEAR [Male] (Oenanthe hispanica subspecies O. h. melanoleuca) Cape Kutri, Kisamos district, Crete, Greece


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The Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) is a migratory passerine in the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Oenanthe. Two subspecies are recognised, the Western Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica hispanica) breeds in Northwest Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, Southeast France, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. and the Eastern Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca) occurs in the rest of the Balkans eastwards to the Caspian Sea and south as far as Iran. Some males of both subspecies are of the pale throat-ed form. It winters in sub Saharan Africa.

Monday, 2 May 2016

CRETAN FESTOON BUTTERFLY [Male] (Zerynthia cretica) Cape Kutri, Phalasarna, Crete, Greece

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The Cretan Festoon Butterfly (Zerynthia cretica) is an Old World swallowtail butterfly in the family Papilionidae which is in the genus Allancastria. This endemic species is found only on the Greek island of Crete but some authorities consider it to be a subspecies of the Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisyi) and give it the scientific name (Zerynthia cerisyi cretica). The flight period is from mid-March to June. After the egg laying stage, the caterpillars hatch out to feed on the endemic Cretan Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia cretensis). They then overwinter as a pupae and in mid to late spring emerge as butterflies.
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Sunday, 1 May 2016

POPPY [CROWN] ANEMONE (Anemone coronaria) Samariá Gorge, Mousoures, Crete, Greece


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The Poppy Anomone (Anemone coronaria) is a perennial plant in the family Ranunculaceae which is in the genus Anemone. Alternative names are Crown Anomone or Spanish Marigold. This tuberous herbaceous flowering plant is the commonest anemone that occurs over most parts of the Mediterranean Region. The flowering period is January to April. Height is 35 to 75mm and flower colours include blue, lavender, pink, purple and red. It is widely cultivated as a garden plant.