K. Kong and his friend came to Greece all the way from Singapore and visited Lesvos for a few days for birdwatching. We arranged a half and a full day birding with them (13 & 14/10) around Western Lesvos, the wetlands of the North Kalloni Gulf and the central pine forest area.
Many passerine species of the late autumn migration were recorded (Red-backed Shrikes, Spotted Flycatchers, Willow Warblers, Redstarts, Spanish Sparrows etc.), a fanastic passing LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE, several DALMATIAN PELICANS and numerous herons and egrets together with winter visitiors such as Chifchafs, Black Redstarts, Sardinian Warblers and Robins. Some of the resident species we were happy to find for them were: Blue Rock Thrush, Western Rock Nuthatch, KRUPER’S NUTHATCH, Rock Sparrow etc, reaching a total of 73 bird species.
More details on the birds found in the Kalloni Salt Pans can be found on e-bird.
S. and A. had a half-day trip (15/9) at the central parts of the island starting with the Tsiknias River and Kalloni Salt Pans and surrounding areas and continuing north of Agia Paraskevi. September is a great month to observe Shrikes with Red-backed, Woodchat and Lesser Grey juveniles being very easy to find in suitable areas, also migrants such as WINCHATS, BEE-EATERS etc. The birds species our clients enjoyed the most were the day-roosting flock of 8 STONE CURLEWS (Burhinus oedicnemus) and a family of PEREGRINE FALCONS (Falco peregrinus) on their cliff.
Find out more about the birds seen specifically at the Kalloni Salt Pans on e-bird.
The highlights of these 2 full-day trips around the wetlands of the Kalloni Gulf and Molivos area (day 1) and Schalochori and Eresos areas (day 2) with Svante and Elizabeth were: DALMATIAN PELICANS, Ruddy Shelducks, Cory’s and Manx Shearwaters, AUDUIN’S GULL, KRUPER’S and Western Rock NUTHATCHES, Sombre Tit, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, ISABELLINE WHEATHEAR, RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN, EASTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER, EASTERN BONELLI’S WARBLERS, OLIVE-TREE WARBLERS, Black-headed Buntings, Woodchat and MASKED SHRIKES, CRETZSCHMAR’S and CINEREOUS BUNTINGS, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard etc and a bonus of a CITRINE WAGTAIL!
A total of 99 different bird species were recorded.
The highlights of this morning trip around the Kalloni Gulf wetlands with Nicola, Hilary and Margaret were: DALMATIAN PELICANS, Black and White Storks, Black-winged Stilts, Spoonbills, Ruddy Shelducks, Bee-eaters, ALPINE SWIFTS, Black-headead Buntings, SCOPS OWL etc.
The highlights of this afternoon trip around Eresos with Hilary, Nicola, Heather and Margaret were: Cretzschmar’s, Cirl and Black-headed Buntings, Oliaceous Warblers, Western Rock Nuthatches, Bee-eaters, Woodchat Shrikes, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzards etc.
A fine half-day trip around Agia Paraskevi, with Rex and Hanneke, walking among pasture land and olive-groves. Here are the high-lights: a pair of ROCK NUTHATCHES providing to their nest, MASKED SHRIKES, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes, Turtle Doves, SOMBRE TITS, Little Owl, Peregrine Falcon, LONG-LEGGED BUZZARDS, a SHORT-TOED EAGLE resting on a small tree (!), Bee-eaters, several HOOPOES, Middle Spotted Woodpecker etc. Oh, and Persian Scuirrels!
Here are the highlights of our trip with Pat and Ros A., around Antissa dn Sigri: CINEREOUS and CRETCSHZMAR’S BUNTINGS, ISABELINE, Black-eared Wheatear, EASTERN ORPHEAN, Sub-alpine and Olivaceous Warblers, Black-headed Buntings, ROCK SPARROWS, Crag Martins, LESSER KESTREL, Blue Rock Thrush, etc.
Hans and I spent the day in the vast garrigue areas of Western Lesvos (Agra and Sigri). Our main target was the Cinereous Bunting and the birds found in this specific habitat. It was a windy and relatively cold day but we managed to get what we wanted. Fantastic photos of the Cinereous Bunting, Chukar, Linnet and a bird Hans had for the first time photographed: the Wood Lark. We also found: BLUE ROCK THRUSH (a male singing and displaying for a long time), Sombre Tit, MASKED and Woodchat SHRIKES, CRETZSCHMAR’S BUNTING, ISABELLINE WHEATEAR, Ruddy Shelducks, Rock Pigeons, Orphean Warbler, Collared Flycatchers, Short-toed Eagle etc.
Together with Wouter and Luise, we visited the East side of the Kalloni Gulf : coastal wetlands, pine forest and olive-groves and agricultural land by Polichnitos. A day full of passing hirundines and swifts with 1st sightings of some bird species for this Spring! We had: KRUPER’S NUTHATCH, Turtle Doves, 2 PALLID HARRIERS, Ruddy Shelducks, Ruffs, Wood Sandpipers, Kentish Plovers, Black Stork, Glossy Ibisses, WHISKERED and BLACK TERNS, MASKED and WOODCHAT SHRIKES, lots of SPANISH SPARROWS etc.
Phillippe and Pascale had already been on Lesvos for a week and had seen nearly all of the island’s specialties. Our day’s targets were the MASKED SHRIKE and EASTERN ORPHEAN WARBLER. Also the Isabelline Wheather and some wild flower species. I chose a route including the birds’s prefered habitats, around Agia Paraskevi and later Agra and we got our targets within the first one hour having the rest of the trip to also enjoy some good birds (and plants!): Turtle Doves, 2 GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOOS, Purple Herons, Little Owl, Woodchat Shrikes, SOMBRE TIT, Woodlark, Subalpine Warblers, WESTERN ROCK NUTHATCH, CINEREOUS, ORTOLAN, CRETZSCHMAR’S and Cirl Buntings, etc.