2179 – A flock of birds

On the boat between Dafni and Ouranoupolis, on the way back from the Holy Mountain, you are often surrounded by seabirds. Mostly seagulls that follow the ferry. They are so greedy that they even pick a piece of bread of a stretched hand.

low flying birds

The last time we left Athos, may 2019,  we saw a flock of different birds, flying fast and very low over the waters. They were shearing over the sea. They had relatively long wings.

Yelkouan or Levantine Shearwater

I zoomed in and took a closer look.

Only recently I tried to find out what kind of seabird this might be. I’m not an expert on birds but some googling taught me that it is probably an Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan, also known as: Levantine Shearwater).

The Shearwater breeds in the yellow section of the peninsula

According to the information on BirdLife International it is a native breeder on Mount Athos, especially on the stretch between Dafni and Ouranoupolis, where we sailed. It breeds on uninhabited islands or on very isolated headlands. The species is on the red list and is classified as vulnerable.

Bas Kamps

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