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 Palaiochora. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palaiochora. Show all posts

Monday, 19 December 2016

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


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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

Monday, 24 October 2016

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


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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

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

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


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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, 12 September 2016

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


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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

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, 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. This migratory species occurs in the warmer regions of North America, Eurasia, Africa and Australia.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 11 June 2016

COMMON MOORHEN (Gallinula chloropus) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) or Waterhen is a member of the rail family Rallidae which is in the genus Gallinula. Its name derives from the old English name word 'moor' meaning 'marsh' as it doesn't occur on moorland. It is commonly encountered in marshlands, ponds, lakes, canals, estuaries as well as wet areas in reed beds. This species is a partial migrant and the northern populations move south for the winter. It occurs in most of Europe and in many parts of Asia and Africa. There are several sub species recognised. The former sub species found in the Americas, the Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), is now treated as a full species.

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) world distribution map
Yellow: breeding summer visitor. Green: breeding resident. Blue: non-breeding winter visitor
 Source: Map By Viktor Kravtchenko - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) world distribution map based on data from Handbook of the Birds of the World (del Hoyo et al), Birds of the Western Palearctic (Snow et al) and regional field guides. Updated with the split in 2011 by the American Ornithologists Union of Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata) which occurs in the Americas that was formally treated as a subspecies of Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

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


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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

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON [1st summer] (Nycticorax nycticorax) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), more commonly known as Night Heron, is a medium sized heron in the family Ardeidae which is in the genus Nycticorax. It is the most widespread heron in the world but is absent from large parts of North Africa, Northern Eurasia and Australasia as well as the more northern and colder regions. There are four subspecies or races generally recognised. The northern populations are migratory and winter in the southern parts of the range.

Friday, 20 May 2016

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


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T
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

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

WESTERN (ROMANIAN) YELLOW WAGTAIL (Male) (Motacilla flava subspecies M. f. dombrowskii) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) is of the family Motacillidae, which includes longclaws, pipits and wagtails. It is a summer resident in the temperate regions of Western Asia and Europe which migrates south in early autumn to winter in southern Asia and Africa. Up to 20 subspecies are recognised including the Romanian Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava dombrowskii).

Thursday, 7 April 2016

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is a small shorebird or wader in the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Actitis. This Eurasian species is a summer resident that returns from its wintering areas in April. It breeds around fresh water lakes and has a scattered  distribution that extends from the Atlantic coast of Europe to Eastern Asia. Unlike most other shorebirds or waders seen on passage, it does not occur in flocks, single individuals are normally encountered. It migrates south in late Summer to spend the Winter in Africa, southern Asia and Australia. Small numbers over winter in western and southern Europe. The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is an almost identical species that is a summer resident in North America which winters in South America and to a lesser extent in parts of southern USA. It is a rare but annual vagrant in Europe. Remarkably in 1975, a pair attempted to breed on the Isle of Sky in Scotland but alas the eggs failed to hatch.
 
Reference: Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 14 February 2016

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

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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 in 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.

Reference: Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 5 February 2016

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) with CORKWING WRASSE (Symphodus melops), Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece

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The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is of the  family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ardea. It is resident in the temperate regions of Eurasia as well as parts of Africa. The more northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter. It occurs mainly in wetland habitats where a wide variety of aquatic creatures are preyed upon.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 24 January 2016

WESTERN (BLACK HEADED) YELLOW WAGTAIL (Motacilla flava subspecies M.f. feldegg) male, Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece

 
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The Western Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) is of the family Motacillidae which includes longclaws, pipits and wagtails. It is a summer resident in the temperate regions of Western Asia and Europe which migrates south in early autumn to winter in southern Asia and Africa. Up to 20 subspecies are recognised including the Black Headed Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava feldegg)
who’s breeding range extends east wards from the Balkans to the Caspian Sea and as far south as Iran.  
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 16 January 2016

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

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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