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.
Beatrice C. (a novice birder) had a tight program on the island so I had to create this taylor-made afternoon trip to some wetlands of the north coast of the Kalloni Gulf and pasture land near Agia Paraskevi. We had Ruddy Shelducks, GLOSSY IBISSES, Flamingos, PURPLE HERON, Spoonbills, Black Storks, SQUACCO HERONS, Ruffs, Wood and MARSH SANDPIPERS, WOODCHAT SHRIKES, SOMBRE TIT, SPANISH SPARROWSetc.
More migrants have been recorded until the 20th of March: GLOSSY IBISSES first seen on 15/3 by the Kalloni Pans flooded fields (photo by Christ. Samaras) and in Skala Kallonis (by Thekla Koukourouvli) . It was the same day they were also recorded for the first time in Northern Greece coastal wetlands (by Dimitris Kokkinidis, check the Facebook group “About Thrace beyond, birding and more“).
Also, ALPINE and COMMON SWIFTS, together with more Barn Swallows (Kalloni Pans, by Lefteris Kakalis) on 17/3 and, finaly, RUPPELL’S and SUB-ALPINE WARBLERS in Haramida on 20/3 (photo by Petros Tskamakis).
All records posted on Facebook group “Lesvos Bird News“!
Spring has come here on Lesvos!
Besides all the Almond trees in blossom we had the first arrivals of migrant birds: Small numbers of House Martins (Delichon urbicum) and Swifts (Apus apus) in the towns, sightings of single Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica). Also a single White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) back to one of the two Kalloni area active nests.
At the wetlands the first flocks of passing waders: 280+ Dunlins, 27 Ruffs and 59 Avocets (all observed at the Kalloni Salt Pans).
The highlights of 2 half-day (27 and 28/9, 08:00-14:00) guided birding and BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY trips around Kalloni, Molivos and the wetlands of the North coast of the Kalloni Gulf were:
DALMATIAN and WHITE PELICAN, LONG-LEGGED BUZZARDS, Sombre Tits, KRUPER’S NUTHATCHES and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Rock Nuthatches, dozens of RED-BACKED SHRIKES, WHINCHATS and Willow Warblers, and of course Flamingoes, Black Storks, Ruddy Shelducks, Spoonbills etc.
(photo © El. Kakalis)