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!
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.
Konstantine, an experienced birder from Germany, wanted to see the Kruper’s Nuthatch and some waders. The plan was to visit the pine forest around Mikri Limni and then as many wetlands as we could.
We started from the Kalloni Salt Pans south parts, then continued to the pine forest and followed the coastline from Skala Polichnitos to the north back in the wetlands of the west parts of Skala Kallonis. For the end a route within the pasture land and olive groves around Agia Paraskevi.
We managed to see 80 different bird species, having as highlights: KRUPER’S NUTHATCH (in two distinct breeding territories), Western Rock Nuthatch, MASKED and Woodchat Shrike, Purple Heron, Glosy Ibis, LITTLE CRAKES, a single BLACK-WINGED flying among 11 COLLARED PRANTICOLES, Curlew and Marsh Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stints, STONE CURLEWS, Whiskered Tern, PALLID HARRIER, Short-toed Eagles etc.
Hanna and Emil, South African birders, had a full-day trip around the island to enjoy the most of the birds of Europe.
We started from the Agia Paraskevi area and continued to Eressos and Sigri for some of the island west’s specialties. The afternoon found us back in the Kalloni Salt Pans for some wetland birds.
We managed to see 57 different bird species, having as highlights: Masked and Woodchat Shrike, Cinereous, Cirl and Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Orphean and Oriental Warblers, Purple Heron, Glosy Ibis, Curlew and Marsh Sandpiper, Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Little Owl, etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Had this visit to the Kalloni Salt Pans the evening of August 10. With Giorgos H. and his three member family with very little birdwatching experience. We had more than great views of Dalmatian Pelicans, Flamingos, Black Storks, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Common and Little Terns, Ruddy Shelducks etc and lots of fun!