Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the large gap between posting Island Life parts one and two. This was due to a trip right off the patch.
September is the time that Mrs DeeBirder and myself like to abandon Britain and head to sunnier shores for a bit of R'n'R. (Committed followers of this blog may recall my post about last years trip to Skiathos.)
Greece is our preferred destination and we plan to visit and explore as many islands as we can. However, this year has been more than a little hectic and stressful and we wanted guaranteed relaxation. No surprises, no unknown quantities. So it was back to the safe and totally chilled beaches and lovely countryside of Skiathos.
We've never been back to the same place twice but arriving back on Agia Eleni beach with books, camera and munchies in hand we knew we'd made the right choice.
The walk through the pine forest had given good views of Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers and Willow Warblers. A real feast for the senses. Heady scent from the resin, twittering from the birds, buzzing from the insects, colours vivid in the burning sun. Magic.
I didn't have to move far to find some of the local wildlife. We were sharing the beach with plenty of Red-veined Darters, some were quite content to pose for the camera, complete with sun loungers and beach bar in the background.
We would stay at the beach all day, I'd chase the shade from the parasol around while looking out over the Aegean to Mount Pelion. Waves broke with a gentle crush then retreated with a sound like the air breaks of a lorry hissing. Then the water would go calm, gaining a silky viscosity. I would stare at it for hours, until the sun set.
The stresses and strains of the previous months dissolved, leaving us totally chilled out. Plenty of sun, great food, masses of wildlife and over 300 pictures taken.
A third trip to Skiathos is definitely on the cards....