11th Athens Bird Race

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11th Athens Bird Race

Hellenic Ornithological Society ATHENS: 6 participating teams (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

XI Athens Bird Competition, April 16, 2016

Athens has been in an economic recession since 2009. But how can a hobby like bird watching survive in a city plagued by so many challenges?

Bird watching is a very special sport. Encourage laypeople to engage in natural history research. Bird Racing, a kind of Bioblitz, creates a special atmosphere for the event. The main thing is to look forward to the bird watching competition during the day. Of course, this requires the spirit of togetherness and “team spirit”. Athens is a city of 4 million people, such an event could be bigger. Our events are usually simple events.

For me, Bird Race is the perfect excuse to get away from our computer screens. Two old friends, Aris Vidalis and Vassilis Hatzirvassanis, joined the Sainia team with me. We left around 12:45 (he's not an early riser...) and made an excursion very close to the center of Athens: Hymettus Mountains (about 900m above sea level), Artemis Marshes (30km). It ends at the famous Loutsa Beach in east Athens), the Rafina Estuary and Tritsis Park in west Athens.

Well we didn't really bother as the day didn't look too bright, sunny and perfect for bird migration (there's no reason for birds to stop and stage themselves). So I drank a good FIX beer and we slowly took pictures of the flowers and of each other. We found 29 species of birds.

We will do better next year!

And finally:

The Hellenic Ornithological Society keeps bird-based activities alive in Athens and Greece. And thanks to volunteers and grief for nature and the birds, it's been going for several years. The eleventh year of the Bird Race is a year in which many environmental NGOs in Greece are going through difficult times. So... if you love birds and conservation, support the community: http://www.ornithologiki.gr/

Mount Hymetos. Bird watching in scattered friganas and maquis. I saw a long-tailed eagle. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Chukar Partridge with Athens Valley in the background. Near the Hymettus Range.

Partridge Chukar in an abandoned building on Mount Hymettus. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Aris explores the southern part of Hymettus, an impressive Natura 2000 site near Athens.

Main flowering period in the Hymettus range.

Aromas of euphorbia, asphodeline and Aleppo pine - Mount Hymettus. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Land in the previously flooded Loutros meadow near Athens airport (Spata area). (Photo: Vassilis Hatzirvassanis).

Wassilis on milk thistle. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Bees on milk thistle.

Loutros: Find a herd of 35 Yellowtails with Vassilis.

Marshes of Artemis (Loutsa). Great location for dead ends. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Marshes of Artemis (Loutsa). (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Marshes of Artemis (Loutsa).

Aris photographed the swamps of Artemis (Loutsa).

Artemis Marsh (Loutsa): 50 Wooden Pitcher Birds! (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Artemis Marshes (Loutsa): Small Cauldron. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Artemis Marshes (Loutsa): Small quest. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

Artemis Marshes (Loutsa): Dunlins (Photo: Aris Vidalis).

See the sea in the Marshes of Artemis.

Artemis Swamp (Loutsa): ancient ruins in the form of small islands.

Marshes of Artemis (Loutsa).

Artemis Marshes (Loutsa): Take notes.

Rafina estuary.

Tritsis Park on the west side of Athens.

Tritsis Park in western Athens: Eurasian clique. (Photo: Aris Vidalis).
Tritsis Park on the west side of Athens - the ultimate meeting place for the bird race and "community spirit".
And finally, for the sake of the story, some stats from Nikos Probonas and Labros Katerinopoulos:

-9 teams participated, three teams on Antikythira island.
- 34 observers were involved
- 23 pages were viewed
- 151 species are counted
-Highest score of two teams, 91 spp.
-Third place: 82 sp.
-Last location: 29 spp. (our!!!)
-The most painful bird: The blue-eyed bee-eater (on Pyrgos Vraonas, near Vravrona)

And the original synopsis in our language:

"Last Saturday, April 16, the 11th was celebrated like every spring. 9 groups gave gifts, with a total of 34 observers. The groups covered 23 Attica biotopes and a total of 151 species were recorded." "It's very powerful because it's very powerful. First, it has the same rating and a rarer type.

ice "πτεροδρστερς" ), 91 . with 82 species for "Ξεφτέρια" in third place.

surely observed at "Ξεφτέρια" and "Πετρόκληδες".

also "δουσούτρυγγες" "σαΐνια" 78 29 visited. "Μαχητής" , "Κούκος" "Ναυαγοί" (όπου )".

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