In comparison with dry ‘hot rocks’ like Symi, the rich volcanic soils of Nisyros support very varied vegetation which in turn supports many species of fauna. The vegetation is largely crisped up by this time of year and so there is less to see than in spring and early summer but it’s still worth keeping your eyes open.
However, some just defy photography unless you are prepared to set up hides and wait …. and wait. Chukkas, or Rock Partridges, sit motionless and completely camouflaged until they suddenly panic and fly off from almost under your feet, winging rapidly downwards and away with much flapping and panic-stricken squawking. Eleanora’s Falcons, significantly fewer this year, swoop erratically high overhead as they pick off insects on the wing as do the Alpine Swifts. As on Tilos the Bonelli’s Eagles seem to have left Nisyros, maybe because the number of chukkas have reduced to a level which cannot sustain them, a paucity made more poignant by the arrival of hunters at the start of ‘open season’ this weekend set to go out and shoot what few remain.
Though I can’t bring myself to photograph them, as always very much in evidence are flocks of Hooded Crows, raucous creatures. The occasional pair of their larger cousins the ravens croink overhead. Within the town, still plentiful are house sparrows. Sarah of ‘The Sleepy Sparrow’ blog would be in her element: http://thesleepysparrow.blogspot.gr/
However, I have managed a few photos of the wildlife.
Apart from the two snakes I saw on the first day I haven’t seen any more despite careful scrutiny in areas where I have seen and photographed them before.
Lizards too seem fewer in number but that may just be a response to the few numbers of spiders compared with early summer. The up-side of the reduction in spiders is that there are fewer high-tensile webs stretched taut across the paths to wrap round my head and stick in my beard.
Dragonflies are fewer in number than earlier in the summer but still perch on the tops of dry sticks.
Butterflies flit everywhere, near invisible when they settle:
Many of the old houses built under the agricultural terraces have colonies of bats but difficult to photograph without disturbing.
….. and then there is the odd surprise.