A Sunday visit at Shinias Wetlands

Last Sunday I visited Shinias Wetland which is located next to Athens Olympic Rowing center. Although it is the largest wetland in Attica and hosts a large number of birds during spring, in summer it dries up and becomes almost lifeless. Unfortunately I discovered soon that despite the rains that fell in the area recently, the wetland was still almost completely dry. As a result apart from the many Cetti's Warblers that can be found throughout the year there and some other common species such as Magpies, Barn Swallows, Sardinian Warblers etc. I didn't find anything interesting. I decided to move at some of the surrounding farmlands hoping to see something interesting since the migration is not yet completed. However I was unable to find anything special apart from the many young Redbacks who haven't left for Africa yet. I decided to stop in a field and watch a couple of Stonechats and a Willow Warbler, who were using the tip for watering of the field as a perch in order to find their food. After spending some time there and taking some pictures of them I decided to go home. It was not to far away from this point however, when I came upon a young Cuckoo! It was a pleasant surprise because normally he should be gone for Africa several days ago. I stayed there for some time and watch him feeding on maggots he found in the field. He was sitting on an iron pole and as soon as he spotted the prey, he rushed to grab it and then he returned to the pole in order to eat it. I hope that he will complete the journey to Africa successfully and that I will be able to see him again next year.

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