Vasilikia Farm - Birdwatching
Birdwatching involves the observation and study of birds both visually and aurally (based on their characteristic sounds). It is a recreational activity that does not require any particular skills and can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages anywhere in the world, which is why it has become so popular among a large number of people who love nature and wildlife. In recent years, birding has attracted many devoted followers in Greece too.
Simply watching or listening to birds is a real pleasure, since they have always inspired and enchanted us with their grace and magical gift of flight. But this pleasure increases considerably as we learn to identify them, understand what they are doing and why; not least because fathoming their behavior and harmonious co-existence with Mother Nature helps satisfy man’s natural craving for knowledge.
Rewards of Birdwatching
Much more than a hobby, birdwatching offers excellent physical and mental exercise. It is an activity suitable for young and old which is further enhanced by a number of other hobbies and sports, such as photography and hiking. Though it caters to man’s primal instinct to hunt, the prey escapes unharmed. And it instills an interest in nature that will never fade, with respect for the principles of sustainability.
Apart from being great fun, birdwatching is a deeply relaxing activity. Although the senses are stimulated, the mind becomes calm, for the moment your binoculars “capture” the first birds, it will be filled with serenity and peace as cares and worries just melt away. Birding appears to fulfill something deep inside us. It opens a channel of communication with the indescribable beauty of nature, suddenly making it all very familiar, like an old friend. The fact is, by learning about birds, you secure a lifetime ticket in the front row of the most spectacular theatrical performance on earth: Nature, intimate contact with which will always reward you with a sense of real joy!
Avifauna of Mt. Oiti
In the National Park, forests and plateaus of Mt. Oiti, you can see at least 100 species of birds. The entire mountain is home to majestic birds of prey, which can be observed and admired at any moment. These include the short-toed snake eagle, booted eagle, European honey buzzard, peregrine falcon, common kestrel, northern goshawk, common buzzard, Eurasian hobby, lanner falcon and horned owl. Among the most striking birds are the vultures and golden eagles, which have made the northeast part of Mt. Oiti their permanent home!
In the forest live six species of woodpecker, whose characteristic repeated drumming on trees is a familiar sound, even on the Farm. Mt. Oiti is also home to Europe’s most southern population of the grey-headed woodpecker, which is extremely rare in Greece, as well as nests of the uncommon black stork.
Species preferring the grasslands and forest edges include the woodlark, Alpine accentor, tawny pipit and tree pipit, along with at least two members of the Laniidae family, the red-backed shrike and the lesser grey shrike.
The alternation of forest and grassland on the Katavothra plateau, in the heart of the National Park, makes an ideal habitat for the common quail and the European nightjar, which usually prefer higher altitudes. These share the territory with the rock partridge, Eurasian woodcock, ortolan bunting, horned lark, tawny pipit, Alpine accentor, northern wheatear, common rock thrush and white-winged snowfinch.
The avifaunal diversity of Mt. Oiti is further enriched by species such as cuckoos, dippers, blue rock thrushes, European nightjars, red-rumped swallows, nightingales, dunnocks, redwings and hawfinches.
Birdwatching at Vasilikia Farm
Vasilikia Farm is a wonderful base for an enjoyable introduction to birdwatching.
You will make your first “contacts” with the help of the telescope in the log-built observation tower.
An experienced birder will accompany you on your trips beyond the farm, revealing not only the secrets of birdwatching but also, depending on the season, the best spots for observing.
All you will need is a cap or hat to keep the sun out of your eyes while watching, warm clothes including a waterproof coat and walking boots, again depending on the time of year. We will provide the visual devices (binoculars, telescope) and a special field guide to help you identify the birds you see. But don’t forget to bring a camera to capture some of the most beautiful creatures in nature!
Vasilikia Farm’s “Birdwatching” is a highly personalized activity, carefully planned and organized according to the wishes of participants.
For the purpose of planning and determining the cost of your personal “Birdwatching” experience, certain details must be discussed and agreed at the time of confirmation of your booking at Vasilikia Farm.