Saturday, 12 May 2018

Greece, Day 4 - the stunning Greek coast! 8th April 2018

(Apologies for late posts again - I have an exciting RE GCSE next week so have been doing much more revision.)

After a few long, tiring days we were given a day which was slightly more relaxing. After a fairly late start where we left Olympia at 09:30am ish, we had another long journey back towards Athens to the coastal town of Tolo. The journey itself was enjoyable - a Honey Buzzard was the first bird to make the list, and Sedge Warblers, Cuckoos and more were all heard from the coach within the first hour. The 2 hours afterwards were dull actually - this might have been because it was absolutely boiling and the temperature loitered just beyond the 30C mark due to the heat intensity from the sun. 

When we eventually arrived at the hotel after a pleasant lunch in a different nearby village, we were amazed at the view we got of the sea and bay of Tolo from the balcony of the entrance area. Though quiet birdwise it really was stunning, and we were pleased that this was the hotel we'd be staying in for 2 nights. 
After relaxing for a good while and taking some pictures - other than the odd Yellow-legged Gull and House Martin - we got ready for an evening visit to explore a local seaside town called Nafplion. 

We arrived at approximately 17:00 at Nafplion, and walked to a significant landmark - a place known to be the best place for ice creams in the Mediterranean. En route I had one of the moments of the trip. 
As we walked I heard a solitary Swift cry and looked up to be made to stop in awe at an absolute spectacle of nearly 300 Swifts swirling, en masse, above the edge of the sea. Swifts have always been one of my favourite birds and I was really ecstatic to be able to watch them - all 3 Species (Common, Pallid and Alpine) - swirling above the town. I then, once again, found myself feeling jealous of the locals - and dragged on by my friends.
We then had our ice creams, and blimey the Mango was good!

After enjoying this myself and my friends opted to walk along the coastal front and buy any bits and pieces, and additional drinks, as well as have some group photos (which I won't publish for personal reasons.) 
As we walked I was checking out the local birds and found some goodies amongst the tons of Yellow-legged Gulls and Caspian Gulls: 3 Med Gulls, including 2 1st winters, were flying distantly as were 2 ad Sandwich Terns. These have been long time coming - I'd never seen Sandwich Terns before and I don't really know how I managed that. Also was another seabird I was unsure about - possibly another gull sp. 

Shortly after we gathered in the square behind the seafront and prepared to return to our coach. However ironically the responsible 6 formers got lost, giving me time to return to my Swifts. It was another brilliant 10 minutes, and I really got a chance to watch them closely. 

It was another superb day in Greece - not visiting a major place was quite pleasant and the rest of the trip didn't disappoint!

Hotel Tolo - view

Just a tiny portion of the Swifts

Pallid Swift

1w Yellow-legged Gull

1w Med Gull

ad Sandwich Tern

? - Med Gull??

Fortress of Palamidi

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