On every trip to a foreign country I take my binoculars and try to spot birds, especially the one’s you normally don’t see in Holland. There must be living a lot of different species on Mount Athos, but the problem is the vegetation is so thick, that you can hardly see any birds! It’s very frustrating only to hear birds and hardly see any, except for the nightingale, of whitch I heard hundreds last May.
Another problem is that usually you’re always busy walking and if you really want to see some birds you have to take some time and stay on one spot for a while. By that time my good friend was already way ahead of me and I did not want to bother him with my hobby, so most of time I choose to follow my friend and leave the birds behind……………….
On my 5 trips I saw off course the well known birds like sparrows, pigeons, crows, seagulls, birds that you’ll find anywhere in Europe: but here is the list of birds that were in a way special. I saw them on the Holy Mountain or in the surroundings of the border.
Dutch name English name Latin name
Noordse Pijlstormvogel – Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)
Gierzwaluw Swift (Apus apus)
Alpengierzwaluw Alpine Swift (Apus melba)
Bruinkeelortholaan Cretchmars Bunting (Emberiza caesia)
Baardgrasmus Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans)
Withalsvliegenvanger Collared Flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis)
Zwarte Ibis Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Blauwe Rotslijster Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitaries)
Nachtegaal Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Cetti’s Zanger Cetti’s warbler (Cettia cetti)
Scharrelaar Roller (Corasias garrulus)
Roodstuitzwaluw Red rumped Swallow (Hirundo daurica)
Rotszwaluw Crag martin (Hirundo rupestris)
In a way the list is a little bit disappointing, you might expect more birds on this special place in Greece. But as I mentioned before, it is not easy to spot birds on Athos.
Maybe that’s why there are no good sites or reports about birds of Mount Athos on the internet ?!