Greece, Lesvos: April 2007

Published by Ed O'Hara (edohara AT

Participants: Ed.O'Hara, Garry Armstrong and Walter Veale


Having talked about a trip away for some time Walter, Ed and I took the plunge and decided to organise a week on the Greek island of Lesbos. Reading through the available literature, trip reports etc, we decided that a week towards the end of April would give the best chance of connecting with the maximum number of bird species, with a reasonable chance of good migration, plus most of the special breeding birds of the island being in. As both Walter and I had birded in the eastern Mediterranean before our potential list of new species was restricted to seven or eight, but as this was new territory for Ed his potential new species list was considerably longer.

Once we had decided where to go the next big problem was how to get there. There are no direct flights from Ireland either to the island or to Athens and direct charter flights from the UK mainland to the island (from Manchester and Gatwick) don’t start until the last few days of April, too late for us. After checking out who flew where, we decided that the most practical route was Belfast - Heathrow - Athens - Lesbos and the reverse to get us home. By booking the flights as early as possible, at the beginning of January, we kept the total cost of all the flights down to £275, the most expensive flight being Belfast to Heathrow at £130. Although having to take three flights each way, on three different airlines (BMI, BA and Aegean Airlines), is not ideal everything went according to plan with no delays or problems.

We arranged car hire from the airport with Hertz, through Holiday Autos, for £180 for the week for a 1.4 Opel Astra. Again the car hire worked out perfectly, the car was ready for us when we arrived and we had no problems during the week. Apart from navigating through the capital, Mytilene, driving on the island is relatively easy, although off the tarmac roads a few of the tracks can be a little rough. I never felt that a four wheel drive type vehicle was necessary, although, I would imagine, in a wet spring, some of the tracks could be very difficult going.

For navigating we had two maps, the Road Editions 1:70,000 and the Freytag and Berndt 1:75,000, along with Richard Brooks book, Birding on the Greek island of Lesvos and his 2003 - 04 update. Although both maps are adequate, both are slightly outdated as are some of the maps and details in Brooks book. With a lot of road building going on there is definitely a need for these maps to be updated.

Again, from the available literature, the best place to be based on the island is the Kalloni area, as it is surrounded by excellent birding spots, and is within reasonably easy travelling distance of the west of the island, were some of the islands special birds are located, and the north coast, another good area. Skala Kalloni has several hotels, all quite close together, and all catering for birders in April and May, as there aren’t many other tourists at this time of year. E-mails to the hotels produced replies from two, the Pela and the Malemi, we chose the Pela for no other reason than the fact that I liked their picture on the internet. A week’s bed and breakfast cost approximately £145 each and we enjoyed our stay there. Up until Thursday 26th there was only ourselves and four Danish birders staying at the hotel, but once the first UK charter arrived on the Thursday morning this swelled to over sixty, so getting to breakfast early was vital. We can recommend the Pela Hotel to any birdwatchers wanting to stay in the Skala Kalloni area, and Thekla Koukourouvli, our host couldn’t have been more helpful, always pleasant and interested, whether she had six or sixty guests staying. We ate out in Skala Kalloni each evening, picking from four or five different restaurants that were open, all serving cheap, very good food.

So to the bird watching:

Sunday 22nd

We arrived at Mytilene airport and had our bags and were on our way 9.00a.m. We got through Mytilene and headed towards Skala Kalloni. Our first stop was at an area described in Brooks book as “Derbyshire”, a few miles outside Skala Kalloni, were we quickly found Crested Larks and Corn Buntings, birds that are very common all over the island. We quickly followed up with Red Rumped Swallow, Great White Egret and Lesser Black Backed Gull, our only non Yellow Legged Gull of the trip. In a very dry year on the island, this area held the only two duck species we were to see, Shelduck and good numbers of the hoped for Ruddy Shelduck. We also saw the only species not to make it onto our list, a very aggressive, displaying male Ostrich.

After dropping our bags at the hotel we visited the nearby saltpans, seeing Black-winged Stilts, Avocets and Wood Sandpipers, birds that we would see every day around Skala Kalloni, as well as Temminick’s Stint and the first of many Yellow Wagtails, including our first birds of the very smart sub-species Feldegg, Black Headed Wagtail.

Leaving the saltpans we headed to an area of pine woods called Achladeri, this is a well known site for one of the islands special birds, Kruper’s Nuthatch, which breeds in the area. Initially our searching produced no sign of the Nuthatch, but we did find a very handsome Masked Shrike, but eventually we heard the Kruper’s calling and a fine male bird fed in the trees above our heads.

Returning to Skala Kalloni we spent the rest of the day working areas known as the upper and lower East River. The upper river and surrounding farmland produced the first of many Black Eared Wheatears and Cretzschmar’s Buntings and also a Redstart and Ed tracked down another island specialty, a Western Rock Nuthatch. The lower East River was one of the few areas that held fresh water, and this probably accounted for the large numbers of Wood sandpipers and Yellow Wagtails, as well as Little Egrets and Glossy Ibis’s that were present. The scrub along the edge of the river held large numbers of Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, Cetti’s Warblers and Nightingales.

Monday 23rd

We were out by 5.30a.m. today to get to the area known as the Inland Lake before first light. Everything that we had heard and read suggested that getting to this site as early as possible was vital, so we were surprised to find ourselves first in the field, indeed we had seen two Little Crakes before anyone else showed up. Over the next hour we saw at least seven different Little Crakes, several Night Herons and good numbers of Reed, Great Reed and Sedge Warblers. By the time we headed back to get breakfast there were more than thirty birders around this small stretch of water.

After breakfast we worked the East River, were Ed found a nice male Citrine Wagtail among a large flock of Yellow Wagtails, and the salt pans were we had a large flock of Collared Pratincoles and several Stone Curlews along with good numbers of common waders such as Common and Green Sandpipers, Dunlin and Curlew Sandpipers.

By mid morning we were heading north towards Petra and Molivos. A quick stop at an area known as the Bandstand lengthened considerably as first several Long Legged Buzzards drifted along the ridge opposite the site, then a Goshawk flew across the valley carrying prey, and finally a handsome Ortolan Bunting sang in a tree just in front of us.

Our main reason for visiting the Petra/Molivos region was to look for Ruppell’s Warbler, which breed on the scrubby hillsides in the area. Once we had found the site described in Brooks book we began to search and quickly found a breeding pair of Eastern Orphean Warblers, then a pair of Sombre Tits, and just as we were heading back to the car, Walter found a superb male Ruppell’s which sat up on a bush giving great views. When we got back to the car a scratchy song coming from the scrub eventually led to very good views of a male Subalpine Warbler.

Travelling beyond Molivos a few kilometers we stopped to try a bit of a sea watching. With very little wind we only managed six Yelkouan Shearwaters before giving up and heading back towards Skala Kalloni.

Another stop at the Bandstand produced more Long Legged Buzzards, a Short Toed Eagle, a Western Rock Nuthatch and our first Blue Rock Thrush.

A final check of the East River revealed a very smart Marsh Sandpiper feeding among a flock of Wood Sandpipers.

Tuesday 24th

Another pre-dawn start at the Inland Lake, which was even better than yesterday, with up to fifteen Little Crakes, lots of singing warblers including Moustached and Savi’s, and a calling Corncrake. A walk along the ditch which runs from the lake to Kalloni produced another star bird, a Great Snipe, along with good views of Golden Oriole and Cetti’s Warbler.

After breakfast we headed to the west of the island. Our first stop, at a site called the Devil’s Bridge, south of Parakila, proved to be very productive, we quickly found our target species, Cinereous Bunting, along with both Cretzschmar’s and Ortolan Buntings, Western Rock Nuthatch and Black Eared Wheatear.

Our next stops at Tavari Ford and Chalandri River produced no new birds, both areas being very dry, with no water in the river at all.

So on to our next stop, an area beyond Eressos known as the Isabelline Triangle, were a quick walk along the road produced excellent views of eight Isabelline Wheatears.

Heading further west our next stop was at Ipsilou Monastery. The monastery sits on a lightly wooded hill and can be seen from miles around. The southern side of the hill, sheltered from the cool northerly wind, held good numbers of birds, including large numbers of Wood Warblers, Pied and Collared Flycatchers, a Chukar, and best of all, a female Red Breasted Flycatcher. The monastery itself has Rock Sparrow breeding in crevices in the building. During our time at the site good numbers of Alpine Swifts and hirundines, including Crag Martins, fed around the hill.

As we left the monastery we heard from a group of Swiss birders that a Baillons Crake was showing well at Skala Eressos so we headed back east towards this site. Close to the river mouth at Skala Eressos, looking down from a bridge towards a small island we easily found the Baillons which was feeding out in the open. Then looking from the bridge in the other direction we found a second Baillons, quickly followed by a Little Crake, this area also held good numbers of Yellow Wagtails and several Squacco Herons. And then it was back to Skala Kalloni for dinner and a few beers.

Wednesday 25th

Another early start at the Inland Lake produced our first Little Bitterns of the trip but no other new birds. After breakfast we worked the East River and salt pans and found five Red Footed Falcons hunting insects from overhead wires, along with a flock of Short Toed Larks in fields opposite the salt pans. We also found a Montagu’s Harrier sitting on a telegraph pole and had several Black Storks soaring overhead. We subsequently saw quite a lot of Black Storks and a few White Storks as they moved through the island during the rest of the week. The salt pans held good numbers of White Winged Black, Whiskered, and Little Terns as they did on every subsequent visit.

Next we headed to Napi Valley were our first good bird was a Goshawk displaying over a ridge quickly followed by a Bonelli’s Eagle which soared along the valley beside the road. We also found a Little Owl sitting on a rock outside the village of Napi and a Chukar on an outcrop beside the road.

After leaving the Napi Valley we headed south east towards Mount Olympus and the town of Agiassos. We parked in the town and walked up into the Sweet Chestnut woods above in search of our target species, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, and after some searching saw two pairs which had a territorial dispute in the trees just above our heads. This area is supposed to be one of the best on the island for orchids but, presumably due to the very dry weather, we only saw two species, Provencale Orchid and White Helleborine.

Heading back westwards we stopped again at Achladeri, seeing Masked and Woodchat Shrikes, before driving south towards Polichnitos salt pans. We initially got lost in the maze of lanes north of the salt pans but had the consolation of seeing over thirty Turtle Doves sitting on overhead wires, as well as a Persian Squirrel and a Fox. When we eventually found the salt pans we quickly came upon several Whinchats and then a stunning Lesser Grey Shrike on a fence by the road, our only Lesser Grey of the trip. Apart from some Yellow Legged Gulls there were no other birds at the pans so we headed back to Skala Kalloni at the end of another good day.

Thursday 26th

Another early start at the Inland Lake and East River produced our first Black Headed Bunting along with more Red Footed Falcons and a Marsh Harrier.

After breakfast we headed straight to Ipsilou Monastery seeing Long Legged Buzzards and Short Toed Eagles along the way. At the monastery the birds were again concentrated on the sheltered south side of the hill, with again, good numbers of Wood Warblers, Pied, Spotted and Collared Flycatchers, Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s Buntings, several Hoopoes’, a Blue Rock Thrush, a Peregrine and three Eleonora’s Falcons.

After leaving Ipsilou we continued west to Sigri, where scanning the harbour produced no new gulls or terns, but much better, three Lesser Kestrels. Scanning along the ridge behind Sigri produced a flock of up to fifteen more Lesser Kestrels.

We headed on to Faneromeni, but here we found the river and fords completely dry with very few birds evident. Sometimes you need a little luck and now as I manoeuvered to turn the car on a narrow track, Ed walked up a path to the top of a slope at the edge of a field and found himself looking down into an Olive grove in a valley that was alive with birds. Pied, Spotted and Collared Flycatchers, Redstart, Masked Shrike and our first Tree Pipit moved through the trees. As we walked along the valley birds moved through the trees around us, large numbers of Lesser Whitethroats, flycatchers and buntings with Masked and Woodchat Shrikes, Hoopoe’s, and then as we approached the point were the valley broadened out, first one, then a second, and finally a third Roller flew through the trees in front of us.

After an excellent couple of hours we returned to Faneromeni beach for a short sea watch which produced good numbers of Yelkouan and three Scopoli’s Shearwaters, a little different from sea watching at home.

Heading back to Skala Kalloni we stopped at Ipsilou again for more Wood Warblers and flycatchers and then to Skala Eressos for another look at the Baillons Crakes which were still showing well.

Friday 27th

Our usual early morning visits to the Inland Lake and East River produced two Spotted Crakes at the river, and a lot more Black Headed Buntings had arrived in, and more Red Footed Falcons were moving through.

After breakfast we headed to the Napi Valley hoping for an early Olive Tree Warbler. We first tried a steep track just beyond the village of Napi were a long walk failed to produce any sign of Olive Tree Warbler, but we did turn up Middle Spotted Woodpecker, European Nuthatch and Subalpine Warbler. We moved on to another track further up the valley were an elusive singer close to were we parked the car turned out to be an Eastern Orphean Warbler. A little further along the track Walter spotted a Great Spotted Cuckoo in a bush, the bird was soon joined by a second and both birds moved across the track in front of us. As we moved along the track our next bird was a Garden Warbler in the scrub by a small stream. A flock of Red Footed Falcons and a couple of Marsh Harriers moved up the valley and Long Legged Buzzards and Short Toed Eagles popped up regularly. Further along the valley we heard an Icterine Warbler singing but despite a long wait the bird refused to show, although we did see a Willow warbler and Red Backed Shrike while we were waiting.

Leaving Napi Valley we headed to the pine woods at Achladeri. We had a quick look at the Kruper’s Nuthatch nest site where both birds were coming to the nest in a dead tree. We were quite disturbed by the fact that a photographer was standing within ten feet of the tree taking pictures, when we came back through the woods some time later he was still there. A long search of the woods eventually produced the two birds we were looking for, Short Toed Treecreeper and the eastern race of Long Tailed Tit.

We ended the day at the East River and salt pans again were the salt pans produced our only Black Tailed Godwits of the trip and the river produced another Citrine Wagtail, a female this time.

Saturday 28th

Our last day and we got off to a good start with a singing River Warbler at the East River, although the bird refused to show, and this was quickly followed by a Hobby.

After checking the salt pans and picking up Bee-Eater we headed to the Napi Valley again. We spent most of the day in the valley looking for Olive Tree Warbler but they just hadn’t arrived. We did find our first Woodlark along with lots of Masked, Red Backed and Woodchat Shrikes, a Hawfinch, Eastern Olivaceous, Eastern Orphean and Subalpine Warblers, Golden Orioles and Cretzschmar’s and Cirl Buntings. Among the Long Legged Buzzards, Short Toed Eagles and Red Footed Falcons that moved through the valley we had another Goshawk.

Returning for the final time to the East River and salt pans we had nothing new but plenty of White Winged Black, Whiskered and Little Terns, Yellow Wagtails and, among the numerous Wood Sandpipers, four more Marsh Sandpipers.

The final total for the trip was 170 species plus four sub-species of Yellow Wagtail. Apart from Olive Tree Warbler the only species that we tried for and missed was Scops Owl which had deserted their roosting site in Kalloni the day before we went to look for them. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Walter we also recorded 26 species of butterfly and four species of orchid, along with numerous other plants, two species of snake, along with 8 other species of reptile and amphibian and 9 species of mammal.

The weather during the whole week was warm and clear with a northerly breeze, the average daytime temperature approximately 22 degrees, nice birding weather but not ideal for falls of migrants. Whilst we didn’t have any big falls of migrants it was obvious from the different species that we were seeing along the East River each day that birds were constantly moving through the island. Obviously each spring is different and some of the island regulars moaned that this year was very poor because of the dry conditions, some places, which were highly recommended in previous reports, such as the pool in front of the Kalloni 2 hotel and the sheep fields by the salt pans were bone dry and just not worth spending time on, but while numbers of some species may have been down we felt there were plenty of birds to go out and find.

In summary we would thoroughly recommend a trip to the island, it may not be the easiest place to get to but once you are there the birds are superb, getting about is easy and the people are friendly, and finally it must be one of the few places that you can go to as a birder and not be part of a very small minority, as I said previously, I don’t think we met another tourist who wasn’t a birder.

Species Lists

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea Seen at "Derbyshire" and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna Seen at "Derbyshire" and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Chukar Alectoris chukar Seen at Ipsilou and Napi valley
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus One seen near the Inland Lake
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Only on the Inland Lake
Scopoli's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea Three seen off Faneromeri beach
Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan Small numbers seen off Eftalou and Faneromeri
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Only seen off Sigri and Mytilene
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis Only seen off Mytilene
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Small numbers at the Inland Lake
Black-crowned Night-Heron Nycticorax nycticorax Small numbers at the Inland Lake
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides A few at the Inland Lake and at Skala Eressos
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Seen at the East River and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Great Egret Casmerodius albus Two only seen at "Derbyshire"
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Was seen at a few places around Skala Kalloni
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Only seen around Skala Kalloni
Black Stork Ciconia nigra Reasonable numbers seen soaring at various sites
White Stork Ciconia ciconia Less common than Black Stork but double figures seen
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Good numbers seen every day at the East River
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia A few seen only at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus Plenty at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Seen soaring at various sites around the island
Western Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Two at Skala Kalloni salt pans, two in the Napi valley
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus One seen at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis One seen at the Bandstand and two in the Napi valley
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus Seen soaring at various sites throughout the island
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes One coming off the sea just outside Molivos
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo A few seen soaring around the island
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus The most common large raptor, seen all over the island
Bonelli's Eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus One seen near the main road through the Napi valley
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni Good numbers around Sigri only
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Small numbers throughout the island
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus Some each day, flock of thirty in Napi valley on Friday
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo Only one, at East River, on Saturday
Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae Three at Ipsilou Monastery and two at Faneromeri
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Two at Ipsilou Monastery
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana Two at the East River on Friday
Little Crake Porzana parva Fifteen seen at the Inland Lake, one at Skala Eressos
Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla Two showing well in the open at Skala Eressos
Corn Crake Crex crex One heard on several mornings at the Inland Lake
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Only seen at the Inland Lake
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra Only seen at the Inland Lake
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Common on the Skala Kalloni salt pans
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta Common at the Skala Kalloni salt pans
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus Seen at the Skala Kalloni salt pans and sheep fields
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola One at Skala Kalloni salt pans, flock of 40 at East River
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Common around Skala Kalloni salt pans and East River
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula Common around Skala Kalloni salt pans and East River
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Only seen at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola Four seen at the mouth of the East River on Saturday
Sanderling Calidris alba Small numbers seen at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Little Stint Calidris minuta Seen at Skala Kalloni salt pans and at East River
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii Seen daily on the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Seen on two days at Skala Kalloni salt pans
Dunlin Calidris alpina Most days at Skala Kalloni saltpans, and at East River
Ruff Philomachus pugnax Flocks on Skala Kalloni salt pans, and at East River
Great Snipe Gallinago media One seen in the ditch from the Inland Lake to Kalloni
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa Four seen at Skala Kalloni salt pans on the last day
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata A few on Skala Kalloni salt pans and the East River
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus Regularly seen on the East River
Common Redshank Tringa totanus Daily on the East River and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Single bird and then a flock of four at the East River
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Seen on several days on the East River
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Seen most days on the East River
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Commonest wader, large numbers on the East River
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Seen most days on the East River
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus Only one bird seen, on the first day at "Derbyshire"
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis Common all around the island
Common Tern Sterna hirundo Daily on the Skala Kalloni salt pans, a few at the coast
Little Tern Sterna albifrons Common on the Skala Kalloni salt pans only
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida Common on Skala Kalloni salt pans and East River
White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus Common on Skala Kalloni salt pans and East River
Rock Dove Columba livia A few "wild" birds seen around the island
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia dacaocto Very common around all the towns and villages
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur Over thirty seen at Skala Polichnitos salt pans
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius Two seen together in the Napi valley
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Seen all over on the island, common in the Napi valley
Common Swift Apus apus Common throughout the island
Alpine Swift Apus melba Small numbers seen everywhere, thirty seen at Ipsilou
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis One seen at the East River
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Heard at Faneromeri, two at Skala Kalloni salt pans
European Roller Coracias garrulus Three birds seen at Faneromeri
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops Several at Ipsilou Monastery and in the Napi valley
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius Only seen in the Napi valley
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla About twenty birds at the sheep fields at Skala Kalloni
Crested Lark Galerida cristata Common throughout the island
Wood Lark Lullula arborea Two birds seen in the Napi valley on the last day
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis Common around Skala Kalloni salt pans and East River
Sand Martin Riparia riparia Seen in small numbers across the island
Eurasian Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris Small numbers at Ipsilou Monastery and Grand Canyon
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Common throughout the island
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica Common throughout the island
Common House Martin Delichon urbicum Seen in small numbers throughout the island
Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris Only seen at the East River
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis One seen at Faneromeri and several in the Napi valley
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus Common on the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Yellow (Blue-Headed) Wagtail Motacilla flava Mostly seen at the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Yellow (Ashy-Headed) Wagtail Motacilla cinereocapilla Mostly seen at the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Yellow (Grey-headed) Wagtail Motacilla thunbergi Mostly seen at the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Yellow (Black-headed) Wagtail Motacilla feldegg Mostly seen at the East River, a few at Skala Eressos
Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola Two birds, one male, one female seen at the East River
White Wagtail Motacilla alba A few around the East River
European Robin Erithacus rubecula Only seen in the Chestnut woods above Agiassos
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos Common in all suitable habitat
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus One seen at the upper East River, one at Faneromeri
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra Common, seen every day
European Stonechat Saxicola torquata Common, seen most days
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina Up to eight seen at the "Isabelline Triangle"
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe Only seen near Petra and in the Napi valley
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe melanoleuca Common in all rocky area's
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius Seen in rocky area's in the west of the island
Common Blackbird Turdus merula Only seen in the Chestnut woods above Agiassos
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos Only seen in the Chestnut woods above Agiassos
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus A few seen in area's of pine woods
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti Common around the Inland lake and East River
Fan-tailed Warbler Cisticola juncidis Only one seen at the Inland lake
River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis One singing at the East River on the last day
Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides One reeling at the Inland Lake on at least three days
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon Only seen on one day at the Inland Lake
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Common around the Inland lake and East River
European Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus Common around the Inland lake only
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus Common around the Inland lake and East River
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Acrocephalus pallidus The commonest warbler on the island
Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina One singing bird in the Napi valley
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans Reasonably common, seen on five days
Rppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli Male at the "Layby Site" between Petra and Molivos
Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris Seen at the East River and in the Napi valley
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca Good numbers at Faneromeri
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis A few at Faneromeri and in the Napi valley
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin Only one bird seen, in the Napi valley
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla A few seen at the East River and in the Napi valley
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis Four birds in the Chestnut woods at Agiassos
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix Common at Ipsilou, a few at East River and Napi valley
Northern Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita Seen at Achladeri, the East River and Napi valley
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus One bird seen in the Napi valley
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Common at Ipsilou Monastery, a few at Faneromeri
Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva One bird at Ipsilou Monastery
Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis Common at Ipsilou Monastery, a few at Faneromeri
European Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca Common at Ipsilou Monastery, a few at Faneromeri
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus Only seen in the pine woods at Achladeri
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris Seen at Devils Bridge, Petra and Achladeri
Coal Tit Parus ater A few seen in the pine woods at Achladeri
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Seen at a few sites around the island
Great Tit Parus major Seen at Achladeri and in the Napi valley
Krper's Nuthatch Sitta krueperi Only seen in the pine woods at Achladeri
Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea One bird seen in the Napi valley
Eastern Rock Nuthatch Sitta tephronota Seen at the East River, and the Bandstand
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla Only seen in the pine woods at Achladeri
Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus First seen at the Inland Lake then in the Napi valley
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Common everywhere on the island
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor Only one bird seen, at Skala Polichnitos salt pans
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator Common around the East River and in the Napi valley
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus Seen at Achladeri, East River, Faneromeri and Napi
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius Common throughout the pine woods on the island
Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula A flock of eight birds seen at Sigri
Hooded Crow Corvus cornix Seen across the island
Common Raven Corvus corax Four birds seen at Skala Eressos
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris Only seen at Mytilene
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Common throughout the island
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis Most common in the west of the island
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia Two birds seen at Ipsilou Monastery where they breed
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs In the pine woods at Achladeri and at the East River
European Serin Serinus serinus Seen on the road between Achladeri and Polichnitos
European Greenfinch Chloris chloris Seen along the East River and in the Napi valley
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis Common around the island
Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina Seen in the west of the island and in Napi valley
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes One bird coming to drink at the river in the Napi valley
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus Common in the west of the island
Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea Seen at Devil's Bridge, and at Ipsilou, and Faneromeri
Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana One at the Bandstand and one at the Devil's Bridge
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia Common around the East River and in the west
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala Common around the East River by the end of the week
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra Common throughout the island

Butterflies & Moths

Southern Swallowtail Papilo Alexanor Widespread throughout the island
Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides Podalirus Widespread, seen daily
Eastern Festoon Zerynthia Cerisy Seen nearly every day
False Apollo Archon Apollinus One at Ipsilou, two in the Chestnut woods at Agiossos
Large White Pieris Brassicae Common in the Napi valley, one Skala Kalloni salt pans
Small White Artogeia Rapae Only seen in the Napi valley
Eastern Dappled White Euchloe Ausonia Seen at Achladeri pine woods and Napi valley
Orange Tip Anthocharis Cardamines Widespread, seen daily
Clouded Yellow Colias Crocea Seen every day at most locations
Small Copper Lycaena Phlaeas Common, seen at Ipsilou, Napi valley and Petra
Small Heath Coenonympha Pamphilus Common in grassy area's at Sigri, Achladeri and Napi
Wall Brown Lasiommata Megera Seen every day
Eastern Meadow Brown Maniola Telmessia One at Sigri
Holly Blue Celastrina Atgiolus Seen in the woods at Agiossos and at Achladeri
Green-Underside Blue Glaucopsyche Alexis Only seen at Achladeri pine woods
Brown Argos Aricia Agestis Common in the Napi valley
Common Blue Polyommatus Icarus Common all over the island
Cleopatra One seen well in the woods above Agiossos
Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis Polychloros Only seen at Petra headland and in Agiossos village
Red Admiral Vanessa Atalanta Seen daily
Southern Comma Polygonum Egea One at Ipsilou, one at Efthalou,one at Petra
Painted Lady Vanessa Cardui Seen daily, common at Ipsilou and Napi valley
Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea Trivia Two seen in the Napi valley
Knapweed Fritillary Melitaea Phoebe One seen in the Napi valley
Mallow Skipper Carcharodus Alceae One near "Derbyshire", one in Napi valley
Mediterranean Skipper Gegenes Nostrodamus One at the upper East River

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum Stellatarum One seen in the Pela Hotel garden
Striped Hawkmoth Hyles Lineata
Silver Y Autographa Gamma Widespread on roadside verges
Riband Wave Idaea Aversata Common in the Achladeri pine woods
Pine Processionary Moth Thaumetopoea Pytiocampa Only caterpillars seen in silken nests on pine trees

Dragonflies & Damselflies

Broad-Bodied Chaser Libellula Depressa Only seen at Skala Erossos
Red-Veined Darter Sympetrum Fonscolombii Lower ford on East River and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura Elegans Napi valley river bridge and at Tavari river ford

Other Invertebrates

Red-winged Grasshopper Oedipoda Germanica Widespread in flower meadows
Egyptian Locust Anacridium Aegyptium Common large grey locust, usually disturbed underfoot
Field/Bush Cricket Gryllus Campestris Several at Ipsilou Monastery and Achladeri pine woods
Violet Carpenter Bee Xylocarpa Violacea Widespread large blue and black bee
Yellow & Black Flat Backed Miilipede One on path ay Devil's Bridge
Roman Snail Helix Pomata Lots of this pink shelled mollosc in Achladeri woods
Water Boatman Notonecta Glauca Seen skating on the surface at Skala Erossos bridge


Red Fox Vulpes Vulpes Seen below Ipsilou Monastery and at Skala Polichnitos
Persian Squirrel Sciurus Anomatus Appears to be widespread, at least five seen
Beech Marten Martes Foina One road kill between Kalloni and Skala Kalloni
Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus Concolor Near Inland Lake on two mornings, several roadkills
Weasel Mustela Nivalis Seen twice crossing road in Napi valley
Brown Hare Lepus Europaeus One flushed near Faneromeni
Bottle-Nosed Dolphin Three offshore on seawatch at Efthalou near Molivos
Bat Species Several, probably Pipistrelles, around Skala Kalloni
Mouse One, probably Wood Mouse, seen at Inland Lake

Reptiles & Amphibians

Common Tree Frog Hyla Arborea One in grounds of Pela Hotel, Skala Kalloni
Marsh Frog Rana Ridibunda Widespread at East River and Skala Erossos
Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta Trilineata One in dry Chalandri river, one dead at Achladeri
Starred Agama Agamma Stellia Commonest Lizard, seen all over the island
Snake-Eyed Lizard Ophisops Elegans Common at Ipsilou Monastery and in Napi valley
Whip Snake Coluber Jugularis Four foot specimen at junction of Erossos/Sigri roads
Nose-Horned Viper Vipera Ammodytes Seen basking at Ipsilou Monastery
Balkan Stripe-Necked Terrapin Mauremys Caspica Widespread in wet areas
Spur-Thighed Tortoise Testudo Graeca Roadkills at Derbyshire, and Skala Kalloni salt pans
Yellow Scorpion Mesobuthus Gibbosus One impaled on thorn by Red Backed Shrike near Napi


Trees & Shrubs

Calabrian Pine Pinus Halepensis Brutia Around the hotels in Skala Kalloni
Stone Pine Pinus Pinea A few in Skala Kalloni, one on the East River
Italian Cypress Cupressus Sempervirens Widespread around the island
Sweet Chestnut Castanea Sativa Plentiful above Agiossos
Kermes Oak Quercus Coccifera Very common around the island
Valonia Oak Quercus Aegilops Seen in Kalloni town
Downy Oak Quercus Pubescens Only seen in Agiossos
Hornbeam Carpinus Orientalis Seen in the woodland above agiossos
Fig Ficus Carica Widespread around habitation
Mastic Tree Pistaciu Lentiscus Widespread around the island
Turpentine Tree Pistacia Terebinthus Common above Kalloni
Oriental Plane Plantanus Orientalis Locally common near streams and rivers
Tamarisk Tamarix Tamarix Plentiful on the banks of the East and Erossos rivers
Strawberry Tree Arbutus Unedo Only one, seen at Agiossos
Olive Tree Olea Eutopaea Common all over the island
Oleander Nerium Oleander In hotel gardens, parks and near houses
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Globulus Seen around Kalloni
Holly Ilex Acquifolium Common in the woods above Agiossos
Bay Laurel Tree Laurus Nobilis A few in the Napi valley
Prickly Juniper Juniperus Oxacedrus Macrocarpa Common across the island


Rustyback Fern Ceterach Officinatum Common on walls above Agiossos and in Napi valley
Maidenhair Fern Asplenium Ttichomanes Common above Agiossos
Southern Polypody Polypodium Cambricum On stone walls at Agiossos
Bracken Pteridium Aquilinum Only in Agiossos woodland

Grasses, Reeds & Rushes

Giant Bamboo Reed Arundo Donax All around Faneromeri ford
Blue Marram Ammophila Arenaria On the beaches at Sigri, Faneromeri and Efthalou
Common Phragmites Phragmites Australis Seen at Kalloni 2, Kalloni salt pans and Inland Lake
Reedmace Typha Domingensis Several clumps in Kalloni 2 pool
Common Clubrush Scirpus Schoenoplectus Lacustris Kalloni 2 pool
Sea Clubrush Scirpus Maritimus Large expanse in Kalloni 2 pool
Spiked Rush Eleocharis Palustis Kalloni 2 pool
Large Quaking Grass Briza Maxima Widespread
Common Quaking Grass Briza Media Under the pines in Achladeri woods
Harestail Lagurus Ovatus In most meadows, especially Napi valley

Fathen Family

Sea Purslane Halimione Portulacoides Skala Polichnitos salt pans

Aizoon Family

Hottentot Fig Carpobrotus Acinaciforms Very common between Sigri and Faneromeni

Silene/Campion Family

Mediterranean Catchfly Silene Colorata Widespread
Small Flowered Catchfly Silene Gallica
White Campion ?

Ranunculus/Buttercup Family

Peacock Anemone Anemone Pavonina Common over west of the island
Crown Anenome Anemone CcronariaWoods above Agiossos
Lesser Celandine Ranunculus Ficaria In Agiossos woodland
Water Crowfoot Ranunculus Large expanse at East River lower ford

Peony Family

Peony Paeonia Mascula Napi valley

Poppy Family

Greek Field Poppy Papaver Rhoeas Widespread in meadows, especially near Achladeri
Yellow-Horned Poppy Glaucium Flavum Seaside plant, at most coastal sites

Fumitory Family

Ramping Fumitory Fumaria Capreolato All over the island

Cress Family

Purple Rock Cress Aubrieta Deltoidea Agiossos woodland only
Three Headed Stock Mattiola Tricuspidata Efthalou beach

Mignonette Family

White Mignonette Reseda Alba Roadside in Napi village

Stonecrop/Sedum Family

Red Stonecrop Sedum Rubens Only at Ipsilou Monastery
Narrow Navelwort Umbilicus Horizontalis All over stone walls at Agiossos

Saxifrage Family

Ivy Leafed Saxifrage Saxifraga Hederifola Agiossos Woodland
Meadow Saxifrage Saxifraga Granulata Agiossos Woodland

Legume/Pea Family

Common Vetch Vicia Sativa Widespread
Fodder Vetch Vicia Villosa Common across the island
Hairy Yellow Vetchling Vicia Hybrida Only seen near Kalloni
Yellow FenugreekTrigonella Balansae
Yellow Vetching Lathyrus Aphaca
Blue Fenugreek Trigonella Coerulescens
Crown Vetch Coronilla Rostrata
One Flowered Clover Trifolium Uniflorum By the road at Ipsilou Monastery
Narrow Leafed Blue Lupin Lupinus Angustifolius Napi Valley
Disc Medick Medicaga Orbicularus
Milk Vetch Astragalus Hamorus
Star Clover Trifolium Stellatum
Reversed Clover Trifolium resupinatum Seen around Skala Kalloni
Thorny Broom Calycotoma Villosa Along the Achladeri road

Cranesbill/Geraniums Family

Round Leaved Geranium Geranium Rotundifolium
Cut Leaved Cranesbill Geranium Dissectum
Mallow Leaved Storksbill Erodium Malacoides

Flax Family

Pale Flax Linum Bienne

Spurge Family/Euphorbias

Sun Spurge Euphorbia Helioscopia Common on roadsides
Large Mediterranean Spurge Euphorbia Wulfenii Along walk to Agiossos woodland
Rigid Spurge Euphorbia Rigida Walk to Agiossos woodland and in Napi valley
Annual Mercury Mercurialis Annua

Carrot/Fennel Family

Common Fennel Foeniculum Vulgare
Giant Fennel Ferula Communis Widespread roadside plant
Round Leaved Alexanders Smyrnium Rotundifolium
Perfoliate Alexanders Smyrnium Perfouatum
Water Dropwort Oenanthe Plentiful in drains at Inland Lake
Shepherds Needle Scandix Pecten-Veneris Common in meadows
Sea Holly Eryngium Maritimum On the beach at Skala Vasilikon

Primrose Family

Scarlet Pimpernel Anagillis Arvensis
Blue Pimpernel Anagillis Arvensis At Ipsilou Monastery
Ivy Leafed Sowbread Cyclamen Hederifolium On walls in Agiossos wood

Rue Family

Fringed Rue Ruta Chalapensis On walls in Agiossos wood

Mallow Family

Tree Mallow Lavetera Cretica Widespread and common
Common Mallow Malva Sylvestris Widespread and common
Least Mallow Malva Parviflora Widespread and common

Broomrape Family

Common Broomrape Otobanche Road up to Ipsilou Monastery
Carnation Scented Broomrape Otobanche Crenata Agiossos woods

Borage Family

Common Borage Borago Officinalis
Blue Houndstongue Cynoglossum Creticum
Undulate Anchusa Anchusa Undulata
Purple Vipers Bugloss Achium Plantagineum
Yellow Cromwell Neastostema Apulum
Dyers Alkanet Alakanna Tinctoria

Thrift Family

Winged Sea Lavender Limonium Simuatum Common near the sea at Faneromeni
French Lavender Lavandula Stoechas

Bedstraw Family

Field Madder Sherardia Arvensis

Cucumber Family

Squirting Cucumber Ecballum Elaterium Faneromeni and Efthalou

Bindweed/Convolvulus Family

Mallow Leafed Bindweed Ipsilou Monastery

Rockrose Family

Sage Leafed Cistus Cistus Salvifolius Very Common
Spotted Rockrose Tuberaria Guttata Only at Ipsilou Monastery
Arabian Fumana Fumana Arabica One plant at Petra

Arum Family

Dragon Arum Dracunculus Vulgatis Agiossos Woodland
Large Cuckoo Pint Arum Concinnatum Agiossos Woodland

Iris Family

Turkish Iris Iris Orientalis
Barbary Nut Moraea Sisyrinchium Plentiful in Achladeri wood

Lily Family

Yellow Asphodel Asphodeline Lutea Very common roadside plant
White Branched Asphodel Asphodeline Ramosus Very common everywhere
Pontic Fritillary Fritillaria Pontica Several on the woodland walk at Agiossos
Field Gladiolus Gladiolus Italicus Only one seen in Achladeri pine woods
Tassel Hyacinth Muscari Comosum Agiossos, Napi valley and Ipsilou Monastery
Common Grape Hyacinth Muscari Neglectum Common
Drooping Star of Bethlehem Ornithogalum Nutans Agiossos woodland

Thistle Family

Golden Thistle Scolymus Hispanicus Napi valley
Cotton Thistle Onopordum Tauricum
Musk Thistle Carduus Nutans Macrocephalus Common at Ipsilou Monastery
Milk Thistle Silybum Marianum

Nettle Family

Roman Nettle Urtica Pilulifepa Seen near Fanermeni

Plantain Family

Ribwort Plantain Plantago Lagopus Kalloni area
Sea Plantain Plantago Maritima Around Kalloni salt pans

Mullein Family

Wavy Leafed Mullein Verbascum Sinuatum Common roadside plant
Common Yellow Mullein Verbascum Macrumrum Seen around Ipsilou Monastery
Jersey Toadflax Linaria Pelisseriana Only in the Napi valley
Wild Veronica Veronica Cymbalaria In Agiossos woodland

Mint/Deadnettle Family

Large Deadnettle Lamium Garganicum Agiossos woodland
Henbit Deadnettle Lamium Amplexicaule Napi valley
Marjoram Originum Vulgare Napi valley

Loosestrife Family

Goose-Necked Purple Loosestrife Lysimachia Atroputputea Widespread

Daisy Family

Crown Daisy Chrysanthemum Coronarium Seen in the Napi valley
Blue Cornflower Centaurea Cyanus Seen in the Napi valley
Corn Marigold Chrysanthemum Segetum Seen in the Napi valley
Field Marigold Calendula Arvensis Only seen in Agiossos woodland
Rayless Mayweed Anthemis Rigida Common across the island
Leopard's Bane Doronicum Orientale
Woolly Chamomile Anthemis Tomentosa A common plant
Pink Hawkbeard Crepis Rubra Seen in the Napi valley
Southern Daisy Bellis Sylvestris Around the Bandstand above Kalloni

Orchid Family

Provence Orchid Orchis Provincialis Only seen in Agiossos woodland
Violet Bird's Nest Orchid Limodorum Abortium Four spikes in Achladeri pinewoods
Narrow Leafed Helleborine Cephalanthera Longiflora A couple in Agiossos woodland
Green-Winged Orchid Orchis Moriopicta Seen in Agiossos woodland

Salvia Family

Silver Sage Salvia Argentea Seen in a few places in Napi valley

Tulip Family

Tulip Tulip Undulafolia Seen in bud in Agiossos woodland

Heather Family

Tree Heather Erica Arborea Common as understory in the east of the island

Campanula/Bellflower Family

Nettle Leafed Bellflower Campanula Trachelium Only seen in Agiossos woodland
Greek Campanula Legousia Pentagonia Seen in Napi valley and Agiossos woodland