Little owl, goats, spotted flycatcher of Tilos


This is a May 2017 time lapse video about Tilos island in Greece.

After 7 May 2019 on Tilos came 8 May.

We walk from Eristos beach in the direction of Agios Petros beach.

Tilos, 8 May 2019

We have to go uphill. A snake-eyed lizard along the footpath.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

Little owl, 8 May 2019

Then, we see this little owl again.

Little owl, on 8 May 2019

Goat, 8 May 2019

Then, this goat.

Flowers, 8 May 2019

And these flowers.

Spotted flycatcher, 8 May 2019

And this bird on its spring migration: a spotted flycatcher.

Goats, 8 May 2019

Some more goats.

Barn swallows, 8 May 2019

Barn swallows on migration, resting on branches.

Stay tuned, as there will be more on 8 May 2019 on Tilos.

Mayor of Tilos island, Greece, interviewed


This is an 18 October 2016 Greek language video of an interview with Ms Maria Kamma. She has been mayor of Tilos island in Greece since 2012, succeeding her predecessor Tasos Aliferis. She had become a local councillor in 2010.

On 9 May 2019, I did an interview with Ms Kamma in the town hall in Megalo Chorio. With a translator translating my questions into Greek, and her answers into English.

Before proceeding to the interview proper, I first will explain some of the context of the environmental and refugee issues, which play a role both in Tilos and worldwide.

Tilos is exceptional, being the only Greek island running on sustainable energy. And also with a much better situation for refugees than in other places elsewhere in Greece, in Europe, in the USA etc.

Both Tilos’ pro-environment, anti-global warming policies, and its pro-refugee policies happen in an international political context where unfortunately, there are moves in opposite directions.

According to the United Nations, Greece is one of eighteen countries in the world where global warming might cause most damage: sea level rise, more flooding, more wildfires … But Donald Trump, the most powerful politician in the world, claims that global warming is supposedly a Chinese communist hoax. Like Trump, far-right politicians in other countries, like in the Netherlands, help Big Oil against anti-global warming and anti-drilling earthquakes activism. In Greece, the extreme right Golden Dawn party wants drilling in the Aegean sea, maybe close to Tilos.

And then, there are ‘center right’ parties in many countries. Often, they are scared of losing votes to Donald Trump-style far rightists. Usually, they don’t say that global warming is a hoax. But they say: don’t pay too much for solving this problem; don’t make corporations like Shell or Exxon pay; make poor people pay; etc. And don’t go any further than the Paris climate agreement (which is not enough according to most scientists). In the USA, left-wing Senator Sanders says that ‘centrist’ Democrat Biden’s ‘middle ground’ approach to the climate crisis would ‘doom future generations’.

And then, there’s ‘center left’ politicians. Who in theory have better climate policies. But who say: we are in a coalition government with the center right. And continuing to be ministers is more important than stopping global warming disasters.

Finally, there is a big movement which says governments are not doing enough. That what happens on energy in Tilos now should happen everywhere as soon as possible.

Similarly, on refugees, Tilos is doing better than many other places. Similarly, there are forces pulling in various different directions in international politics.

This 2 October 2015 video says about itself:

A network of volunteers on the Greek island of Tilos reach a beach that is inaccessible by road, to rescue a group of Syrian refugees who were dropped off by Turkish smugglers. The Pappas Post is raising funds for the volunteer network to create a permanent refugee welcome center.

Many refugees who had arrived in Tilos have left, as there are only jobs for them in the summer tourist season. In winter, also some Tilos natives leave, as there is not much work outside the tourist season.

Ms Kamma said she did not feel that she had the right to express strong political opinions on the Greek and international force field: being not a member of any political party, and with Tilos local councillors being independents, not party representatives.

How about the Tilos paleontological museum, about dwarf elephants living on the island until a few thousand years ago? Ms Kamma said that what I had heard earlier on Tilos about the museum being closed because ´free market´ ideologists wanted to enforce entrance fees was not true. As the museum would open in the end of June 2019. The elephant fossil boxes, studied by Athens palaeontologists, still had to be unpacked. The electricity still had to be installed. After that, the museum will be open.

Ms Kamma said there were not yet real facilities for birdwatchers on the island. But Tilos does want to attract them. We are only just starting. We are starting with repairing footpaths. And having benches along these paths.

There is plastic waste on Tilos beaches. Ms Kamma said it was overwhelmingly not from Tilos, but from Turkey, from elsewhere in Greece, or other countries. We don’t know. Sea currents are unpredictable. Some time ago, someone drowned off Kos island. And the dead body washed up in Tilos. We regularly clean up plastic from beaches. Though it is disheartening to see that two days later, the waves already will have brought much new waste.

According to a new WWF report, most plastic pollution in the Mediterranean is from tourist beaches. About 20% is from fishing and other ships.

Plastic pollution in the Mediterranean

What will happen in the future on Tilos? Ms Kamma: we will start to recycle all waste. Meaning separate dustbins for plastic, paper, etc. It will start in early 2020.

Also, an electric bus and electric trucks will arrive on Tilos at the end of 2019. The present driver of the gasoline bus, Pavlos, will drive the electric bus.

At the moment, there are no refugees on Tilos. We have submitted a plan to the Greek government to have them coming again this year. And then, with better job prospects.

We thank Mayor Kamma and her translator for this interview.

Don’t worry, the regular Tilos blog posts on 8 May 2019 and further chronologically will resume. So, stay tuned!

Squacco herons, bee-eaters, flowers of Tilos


Wave, 7 May 2019

After 6 May 2019 on Tilos in Greece came 7 May. First, we went to Hagios Antonios. Where we saw this wave in the Aegean sea.

Yellow-legged gull, 7 May 2019

And where we saw this yellow-legged gull.

Two squacco herons flying along the coast.

Wave, on 7 May 2019

Then, we went to Eristos beach. Where there were waves as well.

Flowers, 7 May 2019

We walked back to Megalo Chorio. Along beautiful flowers …

Flowers, on 7 May 2019

Flowers and oats, 7 May 2019

… and oats …

Wild carrot, 7 May 2019

… and this wild carrot flower …

Wild carrot, on 7 May 2019

… and this other wild carrot flower.

Bee-eaters sitting on wires.

Just before the village, a clouded yellow butterfly.

In the village, a male red-footed falcon flying.

Little owl, black-eared wheatear, flowers of Tilos


This October 2013 video is about climbing from Megalo Chorio village on Tilos in Greece to the Kastro (castle).

After 5 May 2019 on Tilos came 6 May.

We did not go to the Kastro, but first to Agios Antonios, then to Eristos beach.

At Agios Antonios, two squacco herons.

A bee-eater sitting on a wire.

At Eristos, swifts.

Trees, 6 May 2019

As we walked up the mountain, these trees.

Flower, 6 May 2019

And this flower.

A sling-tailed agama on a wall.

A little owl on a fence.

A snake-eyed lizard runs across the footpath.

On a bush, a Balkan yellow wagtail.

A woodchat shrike sitting on barbed wire.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

A black-eared wheatear on a wall.

White flowers, 6 May 2019

On our way back, these white flowers.

White flowers, on 6 May 2019

And these bigger white flowers.

A raven flies.

Searocket, 6 May 2019

Finally, close to Eristos beach, these searocket flowers.

Bee-eaters, golden oriole, other Tilos birds


This September 2018 video is about Tilos island in Greece.

After 4 May 2019 on Tilos came 5 May.

A rainy day. Once again to the reed beds.

Sound of Sardinian warbler and house sparrow.

And of bee-eaters, still migrating frrom Africa to Europe.

This is a 2015 National Geographic video about bee-eaters.

A male golden oriole sits on a wire.

A blue tit on a tree.

Golden orioles, lizards, orchids of Tilos, Greece


This January 2013 video from Greece is called Tilos the Walk-Part 1.

This January 2013 video is called Tilos the Walk-Part 2.

This January 2013 video is called Tilos the Walk-Part 3.

After 3 May 2019 came 4 May on Tilos.

A scops owl calling early in the morning.

Later, a golden oriole sings.

This video is about a singing golden oriole.

Bee-eater sound.

A walk to the reed beds.

On the grey wall in the village, a juvenile sling-tailed agama.

Along the path, pyramidal orchids.

A hooded crow drinking.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

Holy orchids.

A young snake-eyed lizard.

Walking back. Ten barn swallows flying close to the village.

Graffitti on an old hut. PASOK. Referring to the Greek social democrat political party. Which, like most of its sister parties, lost most of its voters because of its Thatcherite-Blairite policies. The graffitti, similarly, looks faded.

A Sardinian warbler sings just above my head.

A golden oriole crosses the road, flying.

Peacocks, squacco heron, lizard in Tilos, Greece


This February 2014 video is about Tilos island in Greece.

After 2 May 2019 came 3 May on Tilos.

We went to Plaka beach.

As we walk from Agios Antonios, a yellow-legged gull on a rock in the sea. A Sardinian warbler sings.

View near Plaka, 3 May 2019

Holy orchid flowers along the road.

A Sardinian warbler cleans its feathers after bathing. Water drops.

Long-legged buzzard sound.

Eight bee-eaters fly past.

So does a raven.

Agios Nikolaos, on 3 May 2019

Agios Nikolaos, 3 May 2019

We reach the Agios Nikolaos chapel, from 1833.

Agios Nikolaos icon, 3 May 2019

Between the chapel and the beach, there are eucalypt trees and peacocks.

Peacocks, 3 May 2019

Peacocks, on 3 May 2019

Under the peacocks was the beach.

Plaka beach, 3 May 2019

This 11 July 2013 video, featuring peacocks, says about itself:

Plaka is a long, beautiful beach on the northwestern tip of Tilos with a strip of shingle between the sand and the sea. It has lots of trees for shade and does not get too crowded, even during the peak season, in August.

Flowers, 3 May 2019

As we walked back, these flowers.

Snake-eyed lizard, 3 May 2019

And this snake-eyed lizard sunbathing on a rock.

As we approached Agios Antonios, thirty bee-eaters flying overhead.

Even closer to Agios Antonios, a migrating squacco heron on the rocky coast.

Birds, flowers of Tilos in Greece


This March 2017 video is about Tilos island in Greece.

After 1 May on Tilos came 2 May.

Early in the morning, golden oriole and bee-eater sounds.

At Agios Antonios harbour, a yellow-legged gull flies.

Along the path back to Megalo Chorio, a clouded yellow butterfly flies.

Field bindweed, 2 May 2019

These field bindweed flowers grow there.

Hawkweed, 2 May 2019

As do these flowers of one of the many hawkweed species of Tilos.

White flowers, 2 May 2019

And these white flowers.

Golden orioles, flowers, deserted village Tilos


This video series is called TILOS PASSION FOR LIFE.

After 30 April 2019 came 1 May on Tilos.

We went to Mikro Chorio village.

Along the mountain road grew pyramidal orchids and holy orchids.

Mountains near Mikro Chorio, 1 May 2019

Just before Mikro Chorio, two golden orioles.

This September 2016 video says about itself:

Mikro Chorio Village Tilos: Mikro Chorio is a deserted village between Livadia and Megalo Chorio, the capital of Tilos.

After the year 1940, the village was gradually abandoned and most of the inhabitants moved to Livadia. Today, only ruins of impressive buildings and stone built houses can be seen. The only thing that survives is the beautiful whitewashed church that dominates the village overlooking the valley and the sea.

The main attraction of Mikro Chorio is the castle that was built on top of it during the 14th century by the Knights of Saint John. Over the years, Mikro Chorio becomes a relic of an old settlement. As for now, it is arguably one of the best sightseeings of Tilos. A walk in the narrow and tranquil alleys of the village is just a unique experience. Amidst the ruins of the village stands a small bar that works only during the summer. It is definitely a unique experience to enjoy your drink and at the same time wonder about the ruined neighborhoods of Mikro Chorio.

A blue tit on a bush on the border of the village.

Mikro Chorio, 1 May 2019

A sling-tailed agama on the ruin of a building.

Flowers, 1 May 2019

Flowers on ruins.

Near the church, we hear a Bonelli’s eagle call.

Church bell, 1 May 2019

At the churchyard entrance, this bell.

Goats, 1 May 2019

Goats near the church.

Goats, on 1 May 2019

As we walk back, a kestrel flies.

Near Charkadio cave, a raven flies.