Lesvos, Greece. 14-21 April 2011
This trip report is supported by Eden Quality binoculars
As the Easter holiday was late this year, Emma and I would finally get chance to visit the island of Lesvos. We flew out on the first Thomson charter flight from Gatwick. The date of out visit was possibly a bit early for some later migrants, but we still had a fantastic time on this beautiful island.
The weather during the week could be described as varying from OK to totally awful. Some days were so cold we were wearing all the clothes we took with us, and on one day it rained torrentially the whole day. The bad weather, however, certainly produced some stunning falls of birds, the highlight being the massive numbers of Ficedula flycatchers. During the week, Collared Flycatchers were literally everywhere. They were present at every location we visited, sometimes in large numbers.
There's little point describing any sites we visited, all are in Steve Dudleys excellent book, A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos. Many thanks to Steve for his willingness to help with site information. Thanks also to Roger Musgrove for map loan and to David and Kim for some hilarious moments.
Systematic List and Photos
At least 2-3 along the road to Makara on 19th
Two accidentally flushed from the Sigri Old Sanatorium gully on 20th
Small numbers at Kalloni saltpans throughout.
Frequent on most wetland areas. A brood of recently fledged young on the Faneromeni River on 20th.
Two at the Tsiknias River mouth on 17th
Two or three at Metochi Lake throughout
Great Crested Grebe
One on the Gulf of Kalloni on 19th
Well, I like them. Immature Greater Flamingo at Christou River
Common on Kalloni Saltpans, Tsiknias and Christou River mouths and Mesa
Black Stork on the Alykes wetlands
Small numbers, usually singles, at most wetlands throughout.
Only one or two around the Kalloni area throughout.
Glossy Ibis at Alykes wetlands, feeding in the flood water. No problem with water this year!
A huge flock gradually built up at Alykes wetlands and numbered c.250 by 21st. Others noted at Sigri fields on 20th.
One female at Metochi Lake on 17th
Small numbers at several wetland areas
Squacco Heron in the rain. Sigri fields
Up to four at Tsiknias River throughout, three at Sigri Fields on 20th and one or two at several other wetland sites.
Cattle Egret Alykes wetlands
One at Alykes wetlands on 17th.
Widespread but not abundant
Singles at many wetland sites, at least 8 around the Sigri area on 20th.
Great White Egret, Alykes wetland
Great White Egret
Small numbers at many wetlands, particularly Alykes.
Small numbers along the coast
At least two off Sigri throughout
One seen very well along dirt road to Makara on 19th
Small numbers (less than 4) at many localities
One or two around Kalloni throughout
Two ringtails at Meladia Valley on 20th
One at Faneromi on 20th and one at Kalloni saltpans on 21st
Two ringtails circled up high over Kalloni on 20th
Long-legged Buzzard, Makara
Flocks of up to 10-15 along the Petrified Forest Road on 16th, and along road to Makara on 19th
A male with Lesser Kestrel flock along Petrified Forest road on 16th
Singles in two or three places
Singles in several localities
Little Crake, Faneromeni Lower Ford
Abundant at Metochi Lake and the Faneromeni fords throughout. Difficult to estimate numbers, but maybe 10+ observed at each site.
Spotted Crake, Metochi Lake
Single at Metochi Lake on 17-18th at least.
Frequent at many wetlands
Stone Curlew near Skala Kalloni
Heard at night from the Pasiphae Hotel and pair near the Kalloni Saltpans throughout.
Abundant at most wetlands
Abundant at Kalloni Saltpans
Single at Kalloni Saltpans on 15th
Spur-winged Plover, Faneromeni
One along road to beach at Faneromeni early morning on 20th
Little-ringed Plover, Makara
Small numbers along most rivers and wetlands. Several pairs appeared territorial at Makara beach on 19th
Small numbers (less than 5) at many wetland areas
Singles on Kalloni Saltpans and Kalloni Pool
About 10 on Kalloni Saltpans on 20th
Single on beach near Kalloni Saltpans on 20th
Marsh Sandpiper Kalloni Saltpans
About five on small pool just north of Kalloni Saltpans throughout
Small numbers (less than 5) at Kalloni Saltpans and Christou River at least
Singles over many wetlands
Wood Sandpiper. Not exactly a challenge!
Abundant at most wetlands areas
Singles scattered over rivers. One in the road in the Meladia Valley on 20th
I'm sure we had one/some somewhere but I can't remember where it was and we didn't write it down!
Little Stint, Kalloni Saltpans
Only small numbers (less thand 15) around the Kalloni Saltpans
Two on the small pool north side of Kalloni Saltpans throughout
Curlew Sandpiper, Kalloni Saltpans
One Kalloni Saltpans on 15th
Ruff, Kalloni Saltpans. As difficult to photograph as Wood Sands!
Very common mainly Kalloni Saltpans
Up to about 30 Kalloni beach throughout
Slender-billed Gull in the near dark at Skalla Kalloni
Single at Tsiknias River mouth on 17th and Scala Kalloni beach on 19th
Small numbers at many wetlands
Single at Tsiknias River mouth on 17th
Abundant and widespread
Gull-billed Tern, Christou River
Frequent at most wetland areas including a single flock of 45 at Kalloni Saltpans on 15th
One at Tsiknias River mouth on 17th
Definately present somewhere!
Frequent at most wetlands
The first, a single at Tsiknias River on 18th, then small numbers at wetlands
Seven at Scala Kalloni on 19th. Small numbers at Sigri on 20th
Great Spotted Cuckoo
One just north of Apothika on 19th
At least one Faneromeni on 20th
Scops Owl at the Mini Soccer Pitch.
One or two at
Mini Soccer Pitch throughout
One at Petrified Forest Park on 16th and another Napi Valley on 18th
Long-eared Owl at the Pasiphae Hotel
Male at Pasiphae Hotel throughout
Lots (about 50?) at Kalloni Saltpans on 17th and about 50 at Makara on 19th
One at Kalloni Saltpans on 19th
Single over Achladeri on 15th and at least one heard over Kalloni Saltpans on 17th
Small numbers scattered, but highest numbers were along the Plantania track on 18th
One just Northwest of the
Meladia valley chapel on 20th and one in the Faneromeni fields on the same date.
Very brief view of one at Napi on 17th but much better views of a pair along the Platania track on 18th
Singles scattered widely
Ones or twos at Achladeri and some other places (er, sorry, we didn't write them down!)
Two at Faneromeni fields on 20th
Common and widespread
About 20 Makara on 19th
Common and widespread
Sombre Tit, Plataria track.
Several at Napi and Platania track on 17th/18th
About 5-10 at the eastern end of Kalloni Saltpans throughout, smaller numbers widely spread
Crested Lark. Must have been taken during the 10 minutes the sun came out!
Very adundant and widespread
Woodlark. This is how much it rained!
Fairly regular around Ipsilou and Napi valley, especially Platania track
Fairly regular at most wetlands
Regular and fairly abundant
Regular but in small numbers
Very small numbers
Very small numbers
Singles at Ipsilou on 16th and Meladia valley chapel on 20th
Great Reed Warbler, Metochi Lake
Great Reed Warbler
Common at reed fringed rivers and lakes, especially Lake Metochi
Olivaceous Warbler, Dimitrios
One signing at Napi on 17th and one nest building at Dimitrios on 21st
One between the Medadia valley chapel and Sigri Sanatorium on 20th
Single at Metochi Lake throughout and two at Kalloni Pool on 19th
One at Christou River on 19th
Widespread and fairly regular
One female at the Meladia valley chapel on 20th
Eastern Orphean Warbler
Noted at many sites, particularly the Platania track on 18th and Aghios Ioannis on 19th
Loads at Sigri on 20th, smaller numbers scattered elsewhere
Singing males scattered, but notably one at the Meladia valley chapel on 20th. They don't breed on this side of the island apparently.
One male at Faneromeni fields on 16th, at least one other somewhere else where I can't remember!
1-3 at Kavaki on 18th in terrible weather
One at Meladia valley chapel on 20th
One singing near Argenos on 18th
One at Napi on 17th
Pair at usual place in Achladeri were only visiting nest hole very occasionally on 15th and 21st. Another at Dimitrios on 21st
Rock Nuthatch near Metochi Lake
One briefly at Achladeri on 15th
Just a couple, including one or two near Pasiphae hotel on 15th
Widespread in small numbers
Became much more abundant towards the end of the week. Many at Sigri on 20th
One female type near Pasiphae hotel on 15th
Male near Petrified Forest on 16th and a female at Faneromeni on 20th
Whinchat, Faneromi. Another damp bird!
Very common. Loads around Sigri area on 20th
Singles scattered locations
Easily located near Ipsilou on 16th
Fairly widespread in smallish numbers
Black-eared Wheatear at Kavaki
Everywhere. Very common.
Blue Rock Thrush
Single at Kavaki on 18th
Only very small numbers
The first Semi-collared Flycatcher we found at Ipsilou
At Ipsilou on 15th there were certainly three different males, and there were almost certainly more here. There were so many Ficedula flycatchers here that we didn't really bother looking at females. A female was at Aghios Ioannis on 19th. This will be a vast underestimate of the number we really saw as there was so much else to look at once we'd seen a few we stopped looking.
Collared Flycatcher at Petrified Forest. Surely the species of the trip!
Really stupid numbers. Everywhere, even in places you wouldn't expect to find them
Very small numbers mainly in with the big fall at Ipsilou on 15th and Sigri area on 20th
Very common, sometimes flocks of 100+
Just one on a roadside fence on the way up to Ipsilou on 15th
Citrine Wagtail at Faneromeni Upper Ford
Probably two at Faneromeni Upper Ford on 20th. A female and a 1w male.
A scattered group of about 15 near Sigri Sanatorium on 20th and a single near Kalloni Saltpans on 20th
One near Pasiphae on 15th and one with Red-throated Pipits at Christou River on 19th
Widespread in low numbers
Red-throated Pipit at Christou River
Very small numbers but probably 4-5 Christou River on 19th
Can't have a foreign trip without a Corn Bunting photo!
Great to see so many and looking at the fantastic mix of rough farming they have, it's no wonder we've lost all ours back home.
Cinereous Bunting Ipsilou
Only at Ipsilou on 15th and at Aghios Ioannis on 19th.
Small numbers (up to 4-5) at a few locations, such as Platania track on 18th
These crackers deserve two images, female Cretzchmars Bunting top, male below.
Widespread and fairly common in rocky areas
Widespread and regular
James Packer, April 2011