Friday, 22 October 2010

The season is over!

Well, I've been back in cold wet England for a week now. I'm just about getting back into the swing of things. I've been lucky enough to get some work that will see me through to next spring.

So a little summary for you. We had 51 nests in Hania this year, the highest count for a few years. Of these, 48 of them hatched successfully (the severe weather towards the end of August claimed the other three). The smallest nest had just 48 eggs, the largest had 175!

We had well over 3000 hatchlings successfully making it into the sea.

Over the course of the season, 52 volunteers worked for ARCHELON in Hania, coming from 13 different countries. Thank you to all of you - I hope you had a great time in Crete!

Cya soon


Thursday, 2 September 2010

Wildlife on Camp - Part 2

Just a very quick update to post a photo I took today of a very unusual bird to have on camp. A Griffon Vulture!

These birds are not especially rare on Crete, but it's the first one I have seen, and to have it land so close to us was amazing. These are huge birds! Unfortunately, I couldn't get a really good photo, but you can at least see what it is!

On a more related note, the nest count is at 48 now, so we may get up to 50!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sponsor a Sea Turtle

The work that we do here in Greece is only possible with the help of people from the general public - whether they are locals, or as is usually the case tourists here on holiday.

One of the best ways to support Archelon's work is through our sponsorship programme. There are several options available - and for more information, you can look at Archelon's sponsorship page. It's a great idea for a present!

That's it for now, proper update coming soon!

P.S -29 nests now!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Nest Update

Just a very quick update about our nests!

So far we have 18 nests in Chania - not bad, but could be much much better!

We've had a few nests this week, the first of which was on Monday, and was found by Sean & Helen, who are part of the ISKA volunteering team.

I went out to give them a hand with the nest, as it was the first time they had seen one - after sorting everything out, I was invited to their place for a coffee.

Wow, what a place!

I've added a links section to my blog, and if you look at the Arete Apartment's link, you will see - they have 2 apartments that they rent out, and they have a stunning location, complete with their own menagerie of animals, including some very cute chicks, geese and dogs.

As well as the nest on Monday, we've had a few more, including another right outside our camp! Also, two of the volunteers saw a turtle whilst snorkelling near camp too - I'm very, very jealous!

Hopefully this week will be just has productive!

Wildlife on Camp

No, I don't meant the volunteers.

For the nature geeks like me, there is a fair bit of wildlife around camp at times. As well as the mosquitoes, flies, spiders etc, there's some really cool stuff.

Eleanora's Falcon

These amazing birds visit the camp in early and late summer, usually just as it is starting to get dark. This photo is terrible, but they are fantastic to watch. they are supreme aerial acrobats, they fly around camp chasing after flying bugs - which they then devour whilst airborne.

Sardinian Warblers & Goldfinches

We have an abundance of small birds around camp, mostly finches and warblers. The above photo shows a Goldfinch on her nest - we were lucky enough to see 3 chicks being fed here - although there has been something of a tragedy, when they took their first flight, they were soon gobbled up by some of the local stray cats! The below photo is a photo of a young Sardinian Warbler, these have been very successful, they have avoided the cats, and I think their are about 4 young ones being constantly fed by busy parents.

Long-eared Owl

This bird has been causing problems on camp since we got here - especially in the early days when it was just a fledgling. It is very, very loud, and can be a little startling when you first hear it! It has got much quieter now though, and we don't hear it every night. The above photo was taken by Alex Boudey.


You have to be a little bit careful whilst on camp, these tiny little scorpions are hiding in all sorts of places, under logs, in the shower, in people's bags! So you have to be careful, whilst they are not dangerous, they can give you a bit of a sting!

Balkan Green Lizard

These guys are cool - the green one's are the males, the females are a drab grey colour. I usually can see one whenever sat in my tent. They have, though, also taken a bit of a bashing from the family of cats too!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Just like buses!

It's been a slow start, we've been stuttering along with the odd nest - 3 nests spread out over the full 14.5km of beach. And then this morning, 2 newly laid nests within 500m of each other.

Unfortunately, they are on the short stretch that we are unable to protect fully, I'm just walking it every few days.

The first one we found was right in amongst some sunbeds, so we will need to add some extra protection.

The 2nd one was right at the end of the beach, in probably the nicest stretch of sandy beach in hania.

So that's us up to 5 now, and a turtle has been trying to nest in Tavronitis, so should be 6 very soon!

Location:Hania, Crete

Monday, 7 June 2010

Frustration....And Relief

So, as mentioned in my previous post, we've had one (we're guessing it's the same turtle as she left what looked like marks from a barnacle in the sand) making tracks at the Kato Stalos end of our beach for around 5 days. She eventually came up and laid her nest!

Here's a few photos of the tracks, these were taken by one of the current volunteers - Alex.
As you can see, in the first track, she walked into the sunbeds, before returning to the sea. This has been happening quite a lot already!

However, the sunbeds didn't stop her this time - she laid the eggs - all 143 of them, right in the middle of a block of sunbeds.

As the nest was too close to the sea, we had to relocate the nest to a safer position. 150m further down the beach is a wider spot, backed by trees. Hopefully this should be a good spot for the nest - I guess we'll see in 50 days!

I'll try to add some photos of the nest later, including some from the relocation - I forgot to bring my memory card, so can't add them now!

See ya soon,