Let’s not forget that the whole island of Lesvos is designated as a Global Geopark by Unesco!
Participants in the International Summer School of Global Geoparks visited the Kalloni salt Pans on the morning of June 24. They were presented about the wetlands of the Aegean and Lesvos and birdwatched at the East parts of the Kalloni Pans. We watched together: Flamingos, 5 DALMATIAN PELICANS, 15+ Slender-billed Gulls, nesting Black-winged Stilts, a magnificent Short-toed Eagle that flew low over us all, Black Storks, Common and Little Terns etc.
The summer school that was entitled “Unesco Global Geoparks”was hosted by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest and the Geography Dept of the University of the Aegean. It had participants from all parts of the world (Iran, Brazil, Indonesia, France, Greece, Cyprus, Portogal, Senegal etc.).
The previous evening Lesvos Birdwatching participated in a panel discussion about the alternative activities on the island of Lesvos.
For more about the summer school see here.
The Primary School of Nees Kydonies (east part of the island, near Mitilini) wanted to have a look at the Kalloni Salt Pans birds as part of their yearly long-distance excursion. There was a great influx of Flamingos in the pans these last period (in contrast with the few hundreds of birds earlier in May) so we were able to observe them really well as a mixed flock of immature and adult Flamingos were feeding/resting at a very close distance. The kids were impressed by the birds themselves, their habits and the journeys they undertake (we even saw a bird with a coloured ring, ringed in Turkey!).
The highlights of this half-day (07:30-13:30) guided birding and BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY trip around Agia Paraskevi, Kalloni and the wetlands of the North coast of the Kalloni Gulf were:
ELEONORA’S FALCONS, Scops Owls, Squacco Heron, BLACK TERN, Bee-eaters, family parties of Hoopoes, Sombre Tits and Middle spotted Woodpeckers, singing males RUFOUS BUSH ROBINS, Black-eared Wheathears, EASTERN ORPHEAN and SUBALPINE WARBLERS, Rock Nuthatches, MASKED SHRIKES, ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS, several Black-headed Buntings and of course Flamingoes, Black Storks, Ruddy Shelducks, Black-winged Stilts etc.
(photo © Vic Duncombe)
The highlights of this half-day (08:30-14:30) guided birding trip around KALLONI GULF:
RED-FOOTED and ELEONORA’S FALCONS, LEVANT SPARROWHAWK, Little Bitterns, Squacco and Purple Herons, Little Owl, Temminck’s and Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers, Mediterranean Gulls, Bee-eaters, Alpine Swifts, Masked, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes, Black-headed Buntings etc.
The highlights of this half-day (08:30-14:30) guided birding trip around the KALLONI GULF with a short stop in the MIKRI LIMNI pine forest:
Squacco and Purple Herons, COLLARED PRATINCOLES, Temminck’s Stints, Curlew Sandpiper, Bee-eaters, Red-rumped Swallows, Sombre Tit, Masked, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes, KRUPER’S NUTHATCH, Black-headed Buntings, etc.
Here is a 2-morning birding report by L. Kakalis and L. Grimbilakou, at the very begining of April (2 & 3/4) with sightings (and photos!) of some of Lesvos most wanted species: KRUPER’S NUTHATCH, CINEREOUS and CRETZSCHMAR’S BUNTINGS, RUPPELL’S WARBLER, ISABELLLINE WHEATHEAR, MASKED SHRIKE and more!
photo ©: Lina Grimbilakou
02 & 03 April, a weekend’s birding
A HALF-DAY TRIP around the north parts of the Kalloni Gulf coast (24/11) gave us good view of 7 RAPTOR species: 4 Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo), 1 Long-legged Buzzard (B. rufinus), 2 Hen Harriers (Circus cyaneus), 2 Sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), 1 Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), 1 Kestrel (F. tinnunculus) and… a late/lost SHORT-TOED EAGLE!
We also had: Rock Nuthatch, Cirl Bunting, SARDINIAN WARBLER (overwintering birds around every second corner!) , Fan-tailed Warbler, DALMATIAN and WHITE PELICANS, Black Stork, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Great White Egret, Slender-billed Gull etc
Eurobirdwatch is held each year on the one weekend (4,5 October), also in many parts of Asia. It is celebrated in several parts of Greece and on Lesvos activities were organized by the Hellenic Ornithological Society and the Network for the Protection of the Wetlands of Lesvos (WWF Greece) and consisted of a birdwatching activity at the Kalloni Salt Pans (for children and adults).
Here are the highlights of this day’s HALF-DAY guided BIRDING trip around the east and north coast of the Kalloni Gulf and Mikri Limni Pine forest:
Glossy Ibis, Black Storks, Great White Egrets, Flamingos, Ruddy Shelducks, Garganeys, Marsh and Wood Sandpipers, Spotted Redshanks, Black-winged Stilts, GULL-BILLED TERNS, Zitting Cisticola’s and GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO. Kruper’sNuthatch (of course!).
Members of the Japanese Geopark together with Ass. Prof. N. Zouros, Director of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest attended a presentation of the Kalloni Pans birds and discussed the Lesvos case of ecotourism based on birdwatching.