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June 4th, half-day around Central Lesvos

Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus): Lesvos birds

Our morning with Annick and her friends did not start well as we had to stay in the car for the first half-hour because of sudden rain! As I explain to visiting birders, rain is never a problem on the island as it usually lasts for short and you get to see even more birds afterward! Our birding area was the Kalloni Pans and the Agia Paraskevi village and we found an interesting variety of wetland (Flamingos, Black-winged Stilts, Avocets, White Stork, etc) and pasture land bird species (Masked and Woodchat Shrikes, Sombre Tit, Rock Nuthatch etc).

Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides); Lesvos Birds
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Little Owl (Athene noctua); Lesvos Birds
Little Owl (Athene noctua)

 

May 18th, full-day around Western Lesvos

Chukar (Alectoris chukar); Lesvos Birds

Petra and her friend wanted to get some good photos of several target species during her week on Lesvos and used my help for one day. We had a very pleasant day out spotting and photographing the usual breeders around Sigri (Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s Buntings, Sub-alpine Warbler, Rock Nuthatch, Rufous Bush Robin, Eastern Orphean Warbler etc) and discovering so many more migrants (shrikes, Rose-coloured Starlings etc).

Rufous Bush Robin; Lesvos Birds
Rufous Bush Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes)
Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica); Lesvos birds
Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
Eastern Orphean Warbler (Sylvia crassirostris); Lesvos birds
Eastern Orphean Warbler (Sylvia crassirostris)

May 12th, full-day all over the island!

Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea): Lesvos birds

Gary E. and Austin M. were excellent birders and good friends for years and the day was really enjoyable! We started very early from the central parts of the island for the Kruper’s Nuthatch and then headed West for the other island’s specialties.

Black-eared Wheathear (Oenanthe hispanica): Lesvos birds
Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)

You can find out more (species and photos) at Austin’s blog:

http://austinmorley.blogspot.com/p/lesvos-greese-2019.html

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May 8th, half-day around Central Lesvos

Ruppell's Warbler (Sylvia rueppelli); Lesvos birds

Mark B. has been on the island for a few days already and had a few more species that he needed on his Lesvos list. So we were out early in the morning to find Rock Nuthatch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and the Ruppell’s Warbler and had successfully found them by 11:00.

May 4th, half-day around Eressos

Orphean Warbler

Our meeting point was Eressos village and DonM. and I had only a few morning hours available for our birding. Nevertheless, we had a great birding morning!

Cretzschmar's Bunting; Lesvos birds
Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia)

The great views of nest providing and singing Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Rock Nuthatch would be just enough for us but we got even more: a female Orphean Warbler providing its 3 recently fledged chicks, Black-headed Bunting, Bee-eaters, Eleonora’s Falcon, Crag Martin, Ruddy Shelduck, Long-legged Buzzard!

May 2nd, half-day around Western Lesvos

Cinereous Bunting; Lesvos birds

A lovely day in the West with Yon and Chara H. from Holland. A slow but very productive birding mostly by walking around Sigri and Eressos villages. Interesting birds we had together were: Cinereous, Cretzschmar’s and Black-headed Bunting, Isabelline and Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Sparrow, Bee-eaters at a nesting site, Golden Orioles (more than 25!), Masked and Woodchat Shrikes, Lesser Kestrel, etc.

 

Spotted Flycatcher; Lesvos Birds

Black-headed Bunting; Lesvos Birds

April 6th, a half-day trip around Central Lesvos

It was a rainy day which means a rainy day with sunshine -as  Spring usually is like on Lesvos! Alice K. asked to see some birds around agricultural land but also around wetlands with a specific wish to see Glossy Ibises.

The highlights of our day out together around Agia Paraskevi and the Kalloni Gulf were: Black Stork, Common, and Little Terns, Common Snipe, SPOTTED REDSHANK, MARSH SANDPIPER, Wood Sandpiper, Ruffs, Black-winged Stilts, BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, Little Owl, Marsh Harriers, SHORT-TOED EAGLE, MASKED SHRIKE, Sombre Tit etc.

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Little Owl (Athene noctua) and Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) under the rain!
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Flirting Common Terns (Sterna hirundo)
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Corn Buntings (Emberiza calandra) dominating the bird songs heard.
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Sombre Tit (Poecile lugubris)
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Ruffs, Marsh Sandpipers, Spotted Redshanks, Wood Sandpipers, Dunlins in a large mixed of around 120 birds
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Glossy Ibises (Plegadis falcinellus), only 6 around that day!

April 1st, a half-day trip around Central Lesvos

Dalmatian Pelican;Lesvos;birding

The meeting point with Beatrice C. and her friends was the Messa wetland and we saw different birds there when we started our day and again when we finished it!

We visited the nearby pine forest for the nesting KRUPER’S NUTHATCH where we had really beautiful views of the male visiting the nest to take care of his incubating partner.

Later on, we visited the coastal wetlands of the northern Kalloni Gulf and we had together a very interesting list of migrant and summer visitor species: Black Stork, DALMATIAN PELICANS, GLOSSY IBISES, Flamingos, Black-tailed Godwits and Ruffs, MARSH SANDPIPERS, Black-winged Stilts, OSPREY, Black-headed Yellow Wagtails, many passing Common Swifts etc

Here are some photos of the birds we found:

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Kruper’s Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi)
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Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa)- on the right- and Ruffs (Calidris pugnax)
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Marsh Sandpipers (Tringa stagnatilis)
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Well-covered but really close Glossy Ibises (Plegadis falcinellus)
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Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) with prey avoiding a Yellow-Legged Gull (Larus michahellis) that went after the big fish!
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Common Swifts (Apus apus) were clearly making a passage on that day. We were seeing flocks of 20-100 birds moving through all morning.

Late winter half-day trip

Greek birders, the minute they set foot on Lesvos, are dying to be able to see the Kruper’s Nuthatch. So on February 8th I was out birding with Aris. C. (a very experienced birder) mainly to find the nuthatch and also to birdwatch around the Kalloni Gulf north coast wetlands.

We  found the Nuthatch on the second site we visited in a mixed flock of forest-dwelling birds (as expected this time of year!) : Great and Blue Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit. Later on we visited the Mesa wetland and Kalloni Salt Pans area and finished as far as the Skala Kalloni surrounding wetlands.

We enjoyed 80+ Ruddy Shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea) still in their overwintering gathering, Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), a single Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Mediterranean Gull (Croicocephalus melanocephalus), Sandwich Terns (Sterna sadvicensis) etc. Meadow Pipits (Anthus pratensis) and an unexpected Black Kite (Milvus migrans).

A very dull day gave very bad photos in general… and so is the record shot of the Kruper’s Nuthatch!

Autumn half-day around the Kalloni Gulf

Dalmatian Pelican; Lesvos Birdwatching

All summer visitor birds are gone by now from Lesvos. Spending half a day around the north coast of the Kalloni Gulf gave some very good birds, especially for Lisa H. that came from the USA. We went around the Kalloni Salt Pans and some of the estuaries of the area and also spend sometime in the nearby pine forest.

The highlights of the trip were: Red-footed Falcons (13!), Dalmatian Pelicans, Black Storks, Spoonbills, Slender-billed Gulls, Ruddy Shelducks, Short-toed Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit etc.