A rarity at mount Vardousia

This photo is certainly not one of my best. In fact, normally I would delete it without second thought. The light is from the wrong direction, it is heavily cropped, and I had to remove a number of metal wires beside the bird during post processing. BUT this little bird is a Pine Bunting (Emberiza leucocephalos) and this is only the 5th observation of this species for Greece. The 4th was at 2004 and the previous one (3rd) was back at 1981! This short (less than 2 minutes) encounter and the spotting (from a distance) of at least five Ring Ouzels (Turdus torquatus) saved an otherwise mediocre weekend.

After a pleasant close encounter with a young Goshawk at the beginning of the ascent to the mountain refuge, the rest of the weekend was not so exciting. Even though we did see the couple of Golden Eagles that nest in the area, they stayed quite far from us and we had no chance of getting any good pictures. The only alpine species that we found was a group of Alpine Choughs but the distance was even bigger than that of the Eagles. Other notable observations include a Hen Harrier and a Marsh Harrier! at an altitude of more than 2000 meters. We also found a large group of about 30 Yellowhammers that I have never seen that south, feeding together with the sole Pine Bunting

1 comment to A rarity at mount Vardousia

  • Hi Petros,

    Mediocre in photography terms. But in birdwatching terms i think that it was great, although i did not manage to observe the super rarity species !
    Vardousia is a great mountain where there are always nice surprises !