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Wildlife in Corfu - Wild plants, flowers, birds, snakes, etc !!

Corfu has over 400 species of wild plant, most of which bloom during spring and early summer, while autumn sees another flowering of certain species. Masses of daisies appear early, followed by pink geraniums, marigolds, irises, poppies and grape hyacinths, among many others.
On the higher ground of the mountains, blue anemones and bell-headed fritillaries light up the land-scape, while the limestone rocks are clothed in purple-pink soapwort. Over 30 species of orchid grow on Corfu, including the bee orchid, Jersey orchid, man orchid, tongue orchid and monkey orchid. Migrant birds pass through Corfu in vast numbers in spring and autumn.

Species include warblers, flycatchers, whitethroats and the jackdaw-sized blue roller. Summer residents include swallows, sand martins and bee-eaters. A cocktail of fragrances from Corfu's flowers and shrubs attracts numerous butterflies, such as the yellow-orange cleopatra, the chocolate-brown Camberwell beauty and the long-tailed blue. Reptiles include the harmless four-lined snake, which can grow to over a metre in length.

Two venomous species are the Lataste's, or horn viper, recognised by its distinctive horned nose, and the Montpellier snake, grey, brown or olive in colour and with prominent ridges over the eyes. Such snakes will instinctively avoid you. The most avid 'biters' on Corfu are midsummer horse-flies. Recommended guides are The Second Book of Corfu Walks: The Road to Old Corfu, In the Footsteps of Lawrence Durrell and Gerald Durrell and The Companion Guide to the Corfu Trail, all by Hilary Whitton Paipeti.

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