Just returned from a rare and impromtu family holiday for us to the Greek island of Rhodes. It was relentlessly hot and very, very dry. My main interest is bird-watching, natural history and natural landscapes. However, I had to try to keep my birding and natural history to the minimum for the sake of the rest of my family and remember it's a family holiday! I did manage to get out at dawn most mornings and explored the rural surrounds of the village we stayed near called Theologos (Tholos) and got a few outings in. We stayed in delightful and cheap accommodation at Sunlight Studios, Tholos, which I highly recommend, with lovely home-cooked Greek food, a bar and a free swimming pool and a very friendly host by the name of Kostas.
The scenery around Tholos was pleasantly rural, with many Olive groves and scrubby hillsides on sandstone/pebbly rock, with lots of wildflowers and shrubs. Most spectacular was the dramatic limestone scenery futher down the coast and in the mountain-pass roads, with steep hill-side pine forests. The village of Siana is delightful.
I did not see a vast number of species in 7 days, or any great numbers, in the heat of July, but it was very beautiful and provided several new species for me. I only took binoculars and small digital camera.
Barn Owl 2, near airport and Tholos.
Hooded Crow 28, common.
Yellow-legged Herring Gull 8 & 12.
Collard Dove, common.
Turtle Dove, several, inc. nest in olive grove, 2 eggs.
House Sparrows, common.
Red-rumped Swallow, frequent, inc. amazing tunnel nest.
Bee-eater, regular sightings of 4 colonies, 20+.
Lesser Kestrel, up to 5 seen daily.
Red-footed Falcon 1, near Tholos.
Long-legged Buzzard, 2
Crag Martin, 2 west coast & 2 Rhodes Old Town.
Swift 1 & 5.
Blue Tit 2.
Sardinian Warbler 6, near Tholos.
Marmora's Warbler 1, near Tholos.
Wood Pigeon 1.
Rock Dove 10.
Hoopoe 1, near Mandriko.
Jay 8, Tholos.
Woodchat Shrike 1, near Tholos.
... and other things included:
100's of 1,000's of a Tiger Moth (Panaxia quadripunctaria callimorphonae?) in conservation biotype 'Valley of Butterflies' (spectacular).
Swallowtail, 2 or 3 daily.
Scarce Swallowtail, 1 or 2 daily.
Painted Lady 1, Falikari.
Cicada, perpetual screach from 7:45am 'til after dark.
Locust, grey/brown, several.
A large green-legged Cricket 2.
Praying Mantis, 2.
Various lizards, 3.
Pipestrelle bats + larger bat.
a 2-tone green Sheild-bug.
a green and orange Rove-type beetle.
Passenger Moth 2.
Plain Wave moth.
It was noticable that I did not see anybody else with binoculars or out walking and the Museum of Natural History in Tholos, which held some promise for me, was never open. Perhaps not the best time of year to visit for birds and the springtime flowers must have been spectacular, but I'd visit again anytime, we really enjoyed it. There was so much to see and do for all the family and the locals are very welcoming and friendly.