spotted cat's picture

Cretan Birdsong ID

All through last spring here in Crete I kept hearing this very distinctive song without ever managing to see which bird was singing. My guess is some kind of warbler, but searches on the net have not come up with any matches.

I managed to record it on this video:

Apologies for the video jumping around - I was guiding a walk at the time, and surreptitiously filming as I walked!

The bird was almost always near a river, usually with plenty of tree cover, as you can see in the video, which was taken in the Mili Gorge, near Rethymno, Crete.

On the same occasions (though also in the late summer/early autumn) I also repeatedly heard an alarm call which I have been unable to record, but which I would describe as "chika chika chika". Could this be the alarm call of this same bird? It seemed to have similar vocal quality.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.



ophrys's picture


Compare it to the song of Blue Rock Thrush, which is a common species of gorges on Crete...

The alarm call would be aboout right for the species, too.


My Flickr photos...

kiteyw's picture


Sounds more like a blackcap style song to me


spotted cat's picture


I tend to agree, at least from the recordings I have listened to on different websites, Blackcap songs give me more of the same feel as my recording than those of the Blue Rock Thrush. Again, though, as with the Blue Rock Thrush, there seems to be a lot of variation.

But one of the things that really struck me about 'my' song was a kind of deliberateness in the production of the notes, almost a plodding rhythm, which I have found in many of the Blackcap recordings I have listened to.

This recording sounded very similar to me:

spotted cat's picture

blue rock thrush

I have listened to quite a number of recordings of the Blue Rock Thrush on different websites, and they seem to vary enormously. Some are totally different to 'my' song, though I have found a couple which were similar to mine. I only found one recording of the alarm call, which was not the same as what I have been hearing.

Is the Blue Rock Thrush vocally very variable? Could there be regional variations, or could the birds I have heard here (in different locations around Rethymno) also be singing in other styles which I am not recognising as the same bird?