During yesterday's monitoring in the Petrified Forest area, a superb bird was recorded: a Hooded Wheatear (Oenanthe monacha)! The bird was foraging by the small plateau at the NE side of the Ipsilou Monastery hill.
Hooded Wheatears are sedentary and can be found in Eastern Egypt, S Israel, W Jordan, Arabia as east as SW Pakistan. Key features for the identification were the long and slender bill, the black back, the amount of black coming down the chest, and the absence of extensive black at the tail fringe.
If accepted by the Hellenic Rarities Committee, it would be the 2nd ever record of the species for Greece.
Hooded Wheatears seem to be having an influx to our greater area this Spring as there are 3 records from southern Turkey (of the total 6 for the species in this country), 3 in Cyprus, and the 1st one for Lebanon!