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

Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greece. Show all posts

Monday, 19 December 2016

SQUACCO HERON [Male] (Ardeola ralloides) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) is small heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ralloides. It is resident south of the Sahara Desert in western, eastern and south eastern Africa, including Madagascar. There is also a small population in Morocco and Algeria on the North West African coast. In addition, this heron occurs as a summer resident in central and southern Europe as well as in western central Asia. In the autumn, it migrates back to Africa to spend the winter months there. Its diet includes frogs, lizards, small fish and a wide variety of invertebrates. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Rawbirds.com

Saturday, 17 December 2016

CHUKAR PARTRIDGE (Alectoris chukar subspecies A. c. cypriotes) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece

CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) or more commonly called Chukar is in the pheasant family Phasianidae which is in the genus Alectoris. It has a widespread distribution which stretches in a wide band from south eastern Europe to eastern China. There are many subspecies recognised including Alectoris chukar cypriotes which occurs on the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus as well as in parts of Bulgaria and Syria.This gamebird has been widely introduced, for hunting purposes, in many countries including the USA and New Zealand where feral populations have become established.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / rawbirds.com

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

COMMON CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is a member of the cuckoo order of birds, Cuculiformes, which includes the roadrunners, the anis and the coucals. This species is a widespread summer migrant to Europe and Asia, and winters in Africa. It is a brood parasite, which means it lays eggs in the nests of other bird species, particularly of dunnocks, meadow pipits, and reed warblers. Although its eggs are larger than those of its hosts, the eggs in each type of host nest resemble the host's eggs. The adult too is a mimic, in its case of the sparrowhawk; since that species is a predator, the mimicry gives the female time to lay her eggs without being seen to do so.

Text reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_cuckoo

Saturday, 12 November 2016

RED FOOTED FALCON [Male] (Falco vespertinusi) Katholiko Monastory, Akrotiri, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) is a small bird of prey in the family falconidae which is in the genus falco. It's breeding range extends from Eastern Europe eastward to Central Asia. In the autumn it migrates south to spend the winter in Southern Africa and in April/May the following year returns to its breeding grounds. Its scientific species name, vespertinus, is Latin for ‘of the evening’ and probably refers to the time of the day when it can be seen hunting.

Text reference: http://www.arkive.org/red-footed-falcon/falco-vespertinus/

Sunday, 6 November 2016

VIOLET CARPENTER BEE (Xylocopa violacea) Techniti Limni Agia, Agia Lake, Agia, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Violet Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa violacea) is a member of the family Apidae which is in the genus Xylocopa. Its range extends from the temperate regions of Western Europe eastward across Asia as far as central China. In recent times, it has greatly expanded its European range northward and by 2006 had reached Britain. This very conspicuous species is the largest European bee. After mating, the gravid female bores tunnels in dead wood, hence the name "carpenter bee".

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

Sunday, 30 October 2016

RED FOOTED FALCON [Female] (Falco vespertinusi) Katholiko Monastory, Akrotiri, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) is a small bird of prey in the family falconidae which is in the genus falco. It breeding range extends from Eastern Europe eastward to Central Asia. In the autumn it migrates south to spend the winter in Southern Africa and in April/May the following year returns to its breeding grounds. Its scientific name, vespertinus, is Latin for ‘of the evening’ and may refer to the time of the day when it can be seen hunting.

Text reference: http://www.arkive.org/red-footed-falcon/falco-vespertinus/

Monday, 24 October 2016

ITALIAN SPARROW [Male] (Passer italiae) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Italian Sparrow (Passer italiae) or Cisalpine Sparrow is a small perching bird in the family Passeridae which is in the genus Passer. It is very closely related to and is intermediate in appearance between House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis). Some authorities treat it as a subspecies of House Sparrow but recent DNA research strongly supports its status as a full species. The Italian Sparrow occurs in Italy and small populations are also found in the adjoining countries of Austria, France, Slovenia and Switzerland. It is also resident on the Greek island of Crete and other Mediterranean islands including Corsica and Malta. 


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

Friday, 14 October 2016

WHINCHAT [Male] (Saxicola rubetra) Pelekaniotikos River, Koundoura, Crete, Greece



CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) is a small migratory passerine in the family Muscicapidae and is closely related to the Old World flycatchers. It is a summer breeding resident in Europe and in parts of Western Asia which winters in sub Saharan Africa. Small numbers also winter in north western Africa. The autumn migration south commences from late August. By early April the following year the first of the returning migrants begin to reappear in southern Europe. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small member of the heron family Ardeidae which also includes Bitterns and Herons. It is found in the temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa as well as Australia and New Zealand. Over the last 60 years or so this species has greatly expanded its range including recolonising its former breeding areas in Northern Europe. It first bred in the Caribbean in the mid 1990’s and is increasingly being recorded along the North American eastern seaboard.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Rawbirds.com

Monday, 3 October 2016

LESSER KESTREL [Female] (Falco naumanni) Katholiko Monastory, Akrotiri, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a small migratory bird of prey of the family Falconidae which is in the genus Falco. It is a summer resident which occurs across a narrow band that stretches from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards as far as Mongolia and north western China. This colonial breeder has a patchy distribution in southern Europe.
It arrives back from its wintering areas in sub Saharan Africa and Pakistan during April and early May. In addition, there are small non migratory populations mainly in southwest Spain and northwest Africa. Prey items include small birds, invertebrates, reptiles, mice, shrews and voles. It remains in the breeding areas until late August and early September when the return migration south begins. 
 Where their ranges overlaps, it can be easily confused with the closely related Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) especially the females as they are very similar in appearance. The European population is in serious decline probably as a result of overuse of pesticides and rodenticides.

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

Sunday, 2 October 2016

CANDIA TULIP (Tulipa saxatilis) Samariá Gorge, Mousoures, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Candia Tulip (Tulipa saxatilis) is primarily a plant of the Southern Aegean Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also native to the limestone areas of the Greek Islands of Crete, Karpathos and Rhodes as well as the Datça peninsula in Western Turkey. It grows at the edges of fields, scree slopes and rock faces up to 900 m. It is naturalized on the Greek mainland as well as parts of Italy and in Britain it occurs on the Scilly Isles. This bulbous species is widely cultivated in gardens. The flowering period extends from March to May.

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

Thursday, 15 September 2016

PYRAMIDAL ORCHID (Anacamptis pyramidalis) Cape Kutri, Kisamos district, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the of the family Orchidaceae which is in the genus Anacamptis. The scientific name Anacamptis derives from Greek ανακάμτειν 'anakamptein' meaning 'bend forward', while the Latin name pyramidalis refers to the pyramidal form of the inflorescence. The triangular arrangement of the flower spike gives this orchid its English name. Colour variations range from pure white to dark magenta. It is commonly found in Europe on roadside verges, in meadows and parks. On the Greek island of Crete this conspecious orchid is in flower from late March to early May.

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

Monday, 12 September 2016

YELLOW LEGGED GULL (Larus michahellis) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
  
The Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) is a large gull of the family Laridae which is in the genus Larus. It breeds mainly in the southern half of Western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. There is a post breeding dispersal of part of the European population to winter in Northwest Europe. It was formerly considered a subspecies of Herring Gull (L. argentatus). The genus name is from Latin Larus meaning gull or other large seabird and the species name honours the  zoologist Karl Michahelles.

Two subspecies are generally recognised.
  • Larus michahellis michahellis - western and southern Europe, northwest Africa and the Mediterranean Basin.  
  • Larus michahellis atlantis - Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores. This subspecies is also known as Atlantic Gull and is potentially a full species. Birds breeding on the Atlantic coasts of Morocco, Portugal and Galicia in Spain (and spreading north from there) are usually also included here but are sometimes considered to be a third subspecies Larus michahellis lusitanius.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow-legged_gull

Thursday, 1 September 2016

SPECKLED WOOD BUTTERFLY (Pararge aegeria) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae which is one of three species in the genus Pararge. It is commonly found throughout much of the Palearctic ecozone, but is absent from the colder northern regions.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

RED VEINED DARTER DRAGONFLY [Male] (Sympetrum fonscolombii) Techniti Limni Agia, Agia Lake, Agia, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Red Veined Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is a member of the family Libellulidae which is in the genus Sympetrum. It has a wide spread distribution and is commonly found in Africa, western, central and southern Asia as well as most of Europe. This species is nomadic by nature and since the 1990’s has greatly expanded its European range as far north as southern Scandinavia.  

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

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

RED RUMPED SWALLOW (Cecropis daurica) Techniti Limni Agia, Agia Lake, Agia, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a migratory member of the family Hirundinidae which is in the genus Cecropis. World wide, there are 74 species of Hirundines (Swallows and Martins). In addition, the only known record of the Red Sea Cliff Swallow (Hirundo perdita) was of one found dead at Sanganeb Lighthouse, Sudan in May 1984. 
 It is mainly a summer resident in the temperate regions of southern Europe, Morocco in northwest Africa as well as parts of western, central and eastern Asia. Its range extends from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards to Japan. There are also non migratory populations resident in tropical Africa and in South East Asia. This insectivorous species feeds exclusively on small flying insects, mainly flies and midges. Outside of the breeding season, it is a very rare but annual overshooting spring and autumn migrant to northern Europe. 
  The European, Moroccan and northern Asian populations migrate south in the autumn to spend the winter in sub Saharan Africa, the India sub-continent and northern Australia. 

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

Saturday, 13 August 2016

LESSER KESTREL [Male] (Falco naumanni) Katholiko Monastory, Akrotiri, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) is a small migratory bird of prey of the family Falconidae which is in the genus Falco. It is a summer resident which occurs across a narrow band that stretches from the Iberian Peninsula eastwards as far as Mongolia and north western China. This colonial breeder has a patchy distribution in southern Europe.
It arrives back from its wintering areas in sub Saharan Africa and Pakistan during April and early May. In addition, there are small non migratory populations mainly in southwest Spain and northwest Africa. Prey items include small birds, invertebrates, reptiles, mice, shrews and voles. It remains in the breeding areas until late August and early September when the return migration south begins. 
 Where their ranges overlaps, it can be easily confused with the closely related Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) especially the females as they are very similar in appearance. The European population is in serious decline probably as a result of overuse of pesticides and rodenticides.

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

Friday, 5 August 2016

RED AND BLACK SOLDIER BEETLE (Trichodes creticus) feeding on COMMON BRIGHTEYES (Reichardia picroides subspecies R. p. galatsida) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Red and Black Soldier Beetle (Trichodes creticus) is a species of soldier beetle or checkered beetle of the family Cleridae which is in the genus Trichodes. It is endemic to the Greek island of Crete. It relies on its warning coloration to deter predators. The larvae are parasites of bees and wasps. On Crete, there are a number of very similar beetles but the dark line along the inner edges of the elytra that join the black patches on the back readily identifies this species. The adults prey on small invertebrates and are also commonly found feeding on the pollen of a variety of flowers, including Common Brighteyes (Reichardia picroides subspecies R. p. galatsida), from April to August.

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

Saturday, 30 July 2016

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Common Linnet (Linaria cannabina) is a small perching bird of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria. It derives its scientific name from its fondness for hemp and its English name from its liking for seeds of flax, from which linen is made. It is found in Europe but is absent from Iceland and the northern parts of Scandinavia. It also occurs in Western Asia and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East. 

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