Rhodes, Greece - 28/5/05 to 5/6/05


This was a short family holiday to Lindos, but I managed to escape for one day to tour the south of the island in a car. Rhodes is a rather arid, hilly and barren place in summer (temperatures over 40 degrees C in sun). But there are lots of fruit groves (especially olive and orange) and some rivers that do not dry up, e.g. R. Gadouras, near Kalathos. The total of just 50 species is not many. But there are some cracking species, with Long-legged Buzzard, Black-eared Wheater, Black-headed Bunting, Alpine Swift, Red-Rumped Swallow and Blue Rock Thrush easy to find near Lindos at this time of year.

The place with the best potential (especially at migration time) that I visited was the area just north of Kalathos. From the high road bridge explore along the River Gadouras, visiting the olive groves inland of the main north-south road. Also, around the lane, sign-posted ‘Old National Road’.

Three large farmyard types on the sea in St. Paul’s Bay, Lindos. (Not a great start to the list !)

Cory’s Shearwater
Every evening past Lindos, from 7pm, travelling south. 35 counted in half hour.

Levantine Shearwater
Most evenings past Lindos, from 7pm, travelling south. 3 counted in same half hour as above.

Up to six birds seen off rocks at Lindos and flying across Bay of Lardos.

Montague’s Harrier
A harrier, probably Montague’s, was quartering the low scrub on hills along road from Gennadi to Vati.

Long-legged Buzzard
Widespread over island, but not numerous.

Pair at Acropolis, Lindos.

One (or two ?) seen twice at River Gadouras, north of Kalathos. Seen very well – perched on rocky outcrop, red ‘trousers’ and all.

Very common.

Little Ringed Plover
c5 pairs at River Gadouras, north of Kalathos.

Yellow-legged Gull

Rock Dove

Two seen in olive groves near Kalathos.

Turtle Dove
4+ in olive groves inland from Kalathos, and seen/heard elsewhere.

Collared Dove
Common around towns.

Little Owl
An adult and juvenile seen together in rocks at back of Lindos Horizon hotel. Only seen once, and never heard, despite sitting on balcony every night.

Scops Owl
Heard at 4am from hotel, Lindos.


Pallid Swift
Difficult to pick out from Common Swift, but spent one afternoon on the beach at St. Paul’s Bay, Lindos with the bins (pointing up, mainly !) and managed to spot 5 with the Common and Alpine. They tended to be higher up than the Commons, with the Alpines. Note, that they did not join in with the low-level ‘screeching parties’ that the Commons have.

Alpine Swift
c20 seen together at Acropolis, Lindos. Also regularly quite low over hotel in mornings.

European Bee-Eater
c20 in olive groves inland from Kalathos. Also on wires at various places along roads.

Short-toed lark
Two possibles in cleared area of olive groves inland from Kalathos.

Crested Lark
Common on agricultural land.

Crag Martin
One seen in Lindos, below the walls of the Acropolis. 

House Martin
A few seen over Lindos.

Red-rumped Swallow
Five over olive groves inland from Kalathos, and also along River Gadouras, and occasionally in hills.


Black-eared Wheatear
Widespread. Three pairs around hotel area, including a pair in the stone masons quarry by the main coach park at top of Lindos. My favourite bird of the island.

Blue Rock Thrush
Widespread. A male can be heard singing almost anywhere.

A few seen/heard in the Orange groves near Massari.

Cetti’s Warbler
Heard in reeds at north end of reservoir at Apolakia..

Olivaceous Warbler
Singing in olive groves inland from Kalathos and at north end of reservoir at Apolakia, and elsewhere.

Orphean Warbler
One male singing in olive groves inland from Kalathos.

Subalpine Warbler
Possibles singing in scrub in upland areas.

Sardinian Warbler
Widespread, but not as common as in other Mediterranean locations, e.g. Majorca.

Blue Tit
A few pairs with young in olive groves inland from Kalathos, and in other wooded areas.

Woodchat Shrike
Widespread. Single bird seen to north of Lindos.

Quite common in wooded areas and groves.

Hooded Crow

Three seen together over Lindos. Also in mountains.

Golden Oriole
2+ heard in pine woods along road from Laerma to Lardos.

House Sparrow


Probable heard singing once.


Widespread on agricultural land.

Corn Bunting
Common in agricultural areas, e.g. road from Laerma to Lardos.

Black-headed Bunting
Common in agricultural areas, usually singing from overhead wires, e.g. road from Laerma to Lardos.

Cretzschmar’s Bunting
One male seen in farmland along River Gadouras, Kalathos.

As well as the birds, I saw two types of lizard; one species, over a foot long, has black with blue spots on the head and is regularly seen sunning on top of prominent rocks/walls. Another smaller species has a blue tail. I also saw two hedgehogs, including one which caused a stir when it wandered through a restaurant one evening. A terrapin species was in the reservoir at Apolakia. There are some fantastic butterflies; Scarce Swallowtail are quite common (!),Clouded-Yellow, Brimstone, and Two-tailed Pasha seen on giant thistles in the mountains near Gennadi:

There are many other insects; large green bush-crickets around the lights of the hotel, praying mantis seen in flight, hornets and this two inch long wasp (?) species:

The seas are amazingly clear, and very deep (70m) just off Lindos, where we saw long, thin, black, Trumpet-fish (like Gar-fish) four feet long, octopus, and an amazing sight of 100 Tuna (6ft long and 4ft high) circling off the Agios Emilianos Point, just north of Lindos. I saw them from the point, and can be sure of the size of them, as there were people in the water of Lindos bay, just 100 metres away, completely oblivious !

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Last revised: 16 June 2005.