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, 30 July 2016

COMMON LINNET (Linaria cannabina subspecies L. c. mediterranea) male, Moni Gouvernetou Monastery, Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Linnet (Linaria cannabina) or Common Linnet is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria.
 It derives its name from its fondness for the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen. This small finch occurs in Europe as well as Western Asia but is absent from northern latitudes and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East. 

There are seven subspecies :
  • Linaria c. autochthona - occurs in Scotland     
  • L. c. cannabina - occurs in the rest of Britain, Ireland also northern Europe, eastwards to central Siberia. It is a partial migrant, wintering in north Africa and southwest Asia
  • L. c. bella - occurs in Middle East, eastwards to Mongolia and northwestern China
  • L. c. mediterranea - occurs on the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece, northwest Africa and on the Mediterranean islands
  • L. c. guentheri - occurs on Madeira Island
  • L. c. meadewaldoi - occurs on the Western Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria)
  • L. c. harterti - occurs on the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura)
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_linnet

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) is a medium sized shorebird or wader of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa. It is a summer resident which breeds across a wide band that stretches from the uplands of Scotland, where 10 to 25 pairs breed annually, to Scandinavia eastward to the Pacific coast of Asia. This long distant migrant spends the winter in sub Saharan Africa, southern Asia and parts of Australia. During spring and autumn, it is irregularly encountered outside its normal range as a scarce or rare overshooting migrant. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Sunday, 24 July 2016

CRESTED LARK (Galerida cristata) Akrotiri Peninsula, Chania, Crete, Greece


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The Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) is a small songbird and is one of 82 species of lark in the family Alaudidae which is in the genus Galerida. It is commonly found across most of the temperate regions of Europe and Asia but is absent from northwest and northern Europe as well as northern Asia. It also occurs in the northern half of  Africa as far south as Niger. It is sedentary by nature and is only a rare vagrant outside the normal range.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Thursday, 21 July 2016

EUROPEAN STONECHAT [Female] (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. rubicola) Techniti Limni Agia, Agia Lake, Crete, Greece


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The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine in the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. It is closely related to the Old World flycatchers. Stonechats breed in a variety of open type habitats including coastal headlands, sand dunes and heath land. It is a partial migrant, in particular the northeastern part of the population which moves south to winter in southern Europe and north Africa.
There are two subspecies generally recognised.   
  •  Saxicola rubicola hibernans occurs in north-western Europe including Britain, Ireland, France and Norway.  
  •  Saxicola rubicola rubicola occurs in central, eastern and southern Europe as well as northern Morocco and south-eastern Turkey.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Sunday, 17 July 2016

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a large wading bird of the family Threskiornithidae which is in the genus Plegadis. The scientific name derives from Ancient Greek plegados and Latin falcis, both meaning sickle and referring to the distinctive shape of the bill.
 This is the most widespread ibis species, breeding in scattered sites in the warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, as well as the Atlantic and Caribbean regions of the Americas. 
 This species is migratory, most European birds winter in Africa and in North America birds from north of the Carolinas winter farther south. Birds from other populations may disperse widely outside the breeding season.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossy_ibis

Saturday, 16 July 2016

PALE SHOULDER MOTH (Acontia lucida) Moni Gouvernetou Monastery, Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Pale Shoulder (Acontia lucida) is a macro moth in the  family Noctuidae which is in the genus Acontia. This day flying moth is commonly found in southern Europe and western Asia as fast east as India. There are also records from northwest Africa and from further north in Europe where it has occurred as a rare autumn migrant. There are two generations which are on the wing in April/May and again in July/August. The wingspan is 26–30 mm. The food plants of the lavae include Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) and Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis). 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

PALE SHOULDER MOTH (Acontia lucida) Moni Gouvernetou Monastery, Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece 



Saturday, 9 July 2016

PAINTED LADY BUTTERFLY (Vanessa cardui) Moni Gouvernetou Monastery, Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a migratory butterfly in the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Vanessa. It is one of the most widespread butterflies in the world and occurs on every continent except the Antarctic. 
Having over wintered in North Africa, this species migrates north and arrives back in Southern Europe in early spring. It then gradually progresses further north and recolonizes the rest of Europe over a number of generations, reaching the extreme northern part of the range by July. In the autumn, it migrates south at higher altitudes where higher wind speeds greatly assist this southerly movement to its overwintering areas. 
In the rest of its World range, similar spring and autumn migrations are undertaken but as is the case in Europe there are small sedentary populations in the tropical parts of its range.  
Alternatively known as the Thistle Butterfly and the Cosmopolitan Butterfly in North America. 

Text © www.rawbirds.com

Thursday, 7 July 2016

PURPLE MILK THISTLE (Galactites tomentosa) Pelekaniotikos River, Koundoura, Crete, Greece


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The Purple Milk Thistle (Galactites tomentosa) is a biennial herbaceous plant in the family Asteraceae which is in the genus Galactites. The genus name derives from the Greek γάλα meaning milk and refers to the dense white hairs covering the stems and leaves. The species name tomentosa means hairy in Latin. It grows up to 1 metre tall and the flowering period extends from April to July. The flower colour varies from white or pink to lilac-purple. It grows on uncultivated or barren ground, waste places, well-drained soils, pastures and roadsides. It occurs in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactites_tomentosa

Saturday, 2 July 2016

COMMON CHAFFINCH [Female] (Fringilla coelebs subspecies F. c. schiebeli) Agia Marina, Crete, Greece


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The Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) or Eurasian Chaffinch is a small tree nesting finch in the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Fringilla. It is found throughout Europe but is absent from Iceland and also occurs in Western Asia as well as parts of North Africa. The northern populations are migratory and winter in the southern part of it's range. There are many subspecies recognised including Fringilla coelebs schiebeli which occurs on Crete and also in Southern Greece and Turkey. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com