194 – The Birds of The Holy Mountain

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……………….
Glossy Ibis
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)
Alpine Swift
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)
Cetti’s Warbler
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 ?!
Wim ,18/9

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15 Responses to 194 – The Birds of The Holy Mountain

  1. William says:

    Nice article and beautifull pictures ! I think this is first article about an trip to the top on the internet !
    From now on I wil be numbering the posts on the weblog, so it will be easier to find the old blogs.
    William, 19/5

  2. hv says:

    Zenx, en nu maar afwachten of we wat buitenlandse hits krijgen.

  3. jeltsin says:

    Dear friends. I turned around in my grave after reading this astonishing story. I will tell my friend Poetin to send more russian monks to walk the way you three did! What beautiful pictures!

  4. herman says:

    vertaling van het russisch

    Today on holy Afone act 20 monastery, including one Russian, one Bulgarian and one Serbian. However, in the times of its glory of saint Of afon were included 180 orthodox monastery. The first monastic monasteries appeared here even in THE VIII century A.D., and republic obtained status of autonomy under the patronage of byzantine empire in 972 years. Through several centuries Byzantium lost byluyu yield force of crusaders from one side and Turkish tribes with another… For afonu it was necessary to exist independently, to suffer persecutions from the side of the Papacy, to pay tax to the conquerors of region. As a result “survived” only 25 monastery. Only to the middle KH.IKH of century, after the proclamation of the independence of Greece, for the holy mountain came peacetimes. Ein unglaublige Leistung. Itak, into the way

  5. fanta says:

    Beste broer,
    Ik wist niet dat jij het Russisch machtig was.

  6. herman says:

    Dan heb je mijn grieks nog niet gezien:
    ? ????????? ???????, ??? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ??????? ???????. Fanta

  7. herman says:

    Moppenmonnik Fantanopoulos Hypothecou!
    You got me!
    De eerste keer heb je geplakt maar dit laatste bericht aardig gecomponeerd. Ook met babelfish?

    Dear brother, 4 is frightened 4 must admit that I was one it dressed into the Russian text Athos-weblog. But I is confident you he knows for that in order to appreciate joke. Bye, your brother F.

  8. fanta says:

    Het is een wonder. Dat babelfish. Eindelijk herstel van het onrecht dat de Almachtige ons heeft aangedaan. Toen met die Toren van Babel.

  9. h says:

    No Capercalie Grouses and Eagles?

  10. herman says:

    Beste Yves
    Wij liepen van Kavsokalivia naar de top en terug via Skiti Anni naar Paulou in 12 uur. We waren redelijk getraind maar daarna wel behoorlijk moe en blij dat er de volgende dag alleen nog maar teruggevaren werd naar Ouranopolis. Het kan korter in circa 8 uur als je van Skiti Anni begint en daar ook weer terugkeert. Leuker is het om ergens te beginnen en ergens anders uit te komen. bv Anni top Paulou circa 9 uur. Of proberen te slapen in het op 700 m hoge Kerasia ( ik heb geen contact maar het schijnt te kunnen) dan naar de top en terug naar Anni, Paulou of zelfs Dionysiou.

  11. Josxe9 says:

    Dear Friends,
    The storie is fantastic! And the picture too!
    Is the only blog or website that talk about the Athos summit. Did you see the Lemmos Island or the planicies of Troy?
    I am planning go in 2009. Could you send me a walk or hiking map from the Athos. Because I probably will go alone and I prefered read the footpath early.

  12. Josxe9 says:


  13. Josxe9 says:

    My email es palandrijm@gmail.com

  14. Erwin Mantingh says:

    Herman, Met veel plezier je verhaal gelezen over de beklimming en het visioen van de blauwe rotslijster op de top (overtuigende identificatie, hoor!). Ook me verder vergaapt aan de mooie afbeeldingen en interessante info. Ga zo door!

  15. Snowy says:

    Keep up the good work.

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