Lesvos - 2nd - 15th May 2010

Published by Mick Sveikutis (Micksway123 AT aol.com)

Participants: Mick Sveikutis,Tina Sveikutis


Photos with this report (click to enlarge)

White Winged Black Tern
White Winged Black Tern
Sub alpine Warbler
Sub alpine Warbler
Black Eared Wheatear
Black Eared Wheatear
Creatzchmars Bunting
Creatzchmars Bunting
Short Toed Eagle
Short Toed Eagle
Lesser Kestrel
Lesser Kestrel
Collared Pratincole
Collared Pratincole
Collared Flycatcher
Collared Flycatcher

We flew on the afternoon of 1st May via Manchester through First Choice, at the Anaxos Hotel. The weather was fine and sunny throughout the two weeks, unseasonably so from a birding point of view. Picking up a car from Mitilene Airport we arrived at the resort at about 10.00 pm local time. Unfortunately the cost of Petrol was rather more than the UK at 1.50 Euro p/lt. First a word of thanks to Steve & Di Gibson who came to our rescue when the car broke down a couple of kms from Andissa on a very hot day. A local intimated later, that because of the financial problems, hire cars may not have had the care that they normally have through the winter time. Certainly a neighbour of ours at the Anaxos Hotel, had problems with their four wheel and I would be interested to know if these were isolated incidents. Our hosts at the hotel, were as pleasant and welcoming as ever despite the economic problems. The weather over the two weeks was warm, even hot and sunny 25 - 30 most days. Having holidayed in Lesvos in May, June, July and September, it felt to me like much later in the season with the pervading feeling that some birds had either moved on or overshot.

The stunning low level views of raptors that we have experienced other years(especially Short-toed Eagle and Long-legged buzzard) evaded us. Views were mainly confined to those of high soaring birds, though I dare say others were luckier than us. Never the less we did manage to sight a few raptors over our stay.

We also missed out on the up close views of waders (curlew sands in particular) wading in the salt pans channels that we have obtained other years.

In terms of migrating birds, particularly pleasing were the several views of collared flies, the six orioles at Ipsilou and Roller at Faneromeni.

The Nightjar that was flushed into a fig tree at Feneromeni, by two other birders, was also a highlight.

Whilst Gulls and Shearwaters, unlike other years, proved elusive. In fact we were not able to connect with anything other than y.l.g. The Sardinian warbler popping up at Kavaki was a pleasant surprise but views of the Ruppells were distant. We also managed a couple of crakes this time, which in the past have always proves difficult for us. Another debt of thanks to Steve Gibson here also, since the Little Crake at Tiskanias River Ford was down to his patience.

At the Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields, I was surprised to see the reduction in bird activity numbers over the first week of May.

Even from 02 - 03 May many species disappeared over night. However the area appeared to throw up the odd surprise over the two weeks, apparently even after we left.

We finally managed to see a mole rat, crossing the road north of Anaxos.
However it disappeared before I could get the camera out, this peculiar furry creature was very nice to see all the same. A fox crossed the road in front of us near Anaxos, on the night of Friday 7 May, as we were returning from a enjoyable evening meal at Petra´s Woman´s´ Co-operative (where we managed to catch up with Sandra & Bob - best wishes for a continued recovery Bob!). Large Agama lizards were basking at most rocky terrains, however we also came across a number of other species, Including: Balkan Wall Lizard, Spur-thighed Tortoise,Glass Lizard/Snake, Dice Snake (see http://www.herp.it/indexjs.htm?Speci...NatriTesse.htm), Balkan Green Lizard (Reptile ID credit to Steve Dudley).

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Species Lists

Ruddy Shelduck Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields - Regularly seen at in good numbers
Shelduck Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields - 2 seen on 02/05/10
Mallard Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields - 1 seen on 02/05/10
Garganey Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields - 1 seen on 02/05/10
Little Grebe Metochi Late - 2 pairs seen with young 01/05 to 14/05/10
Cormorant Anaxos - regularly seen
Little Bittern Faneromeni,Tisknias River,Erresos,Metochi - Quite Common several individuals
Night-heron Faneromeni - 1 seen at the upper ford on 06/05/10
Squacco Heron Common at Skala Kalloni 02 -07 May, 2 at Faneromeni& Meledia 06/05
Little Egret Common at Skala Kalloni, 20 @ Messa 07/05/10
Great White Egret 1 @ Kalloni Flooded Field 03/05& 08/05, 2 @ Messa 07/05
Grey Heron Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields
Purple Heron 1 @ Metochi 02/05,1@ Kremasti 07/05, 2 @ Faneromeni flying over beach 06/05/10
Glossy Ibis In good numbers at Kalloni Flooded Fields 02/05 to 08/05 thereafter two birds (inc 1 inj)
Black Stork Regurlarly seen flying over the greater Skala Kalloni/Potamia area + flooded fields
White Stork dito + nesting on chimneys at a number of towns
Greater Flamingo Several hundred at Kalloni Salt Pans + migrating flock of 30 over Anaxos 02/05/10
Long Legged-buzzard 1 @ Potamia 02/05/10, 2 @ Vatousa Gorge 04/05+1on 09/05,1 @ petrifed Forest 12/05,
Short-toed Eagle 1 @ Meledia 04/05, 2@Eresos 09/05, 2 @ Sigri @ 12/05
Sparrowhawk 1 @ Kalloni Raptor Watch Point on 13/05
Buzzard 1 @ near Kalloni Raptor Watch Point on 02/05 carrying vole, others seen near Ipsilou and Petra reservoir
Honey Buzzard 1 @Napi Valley 14/05
Lesser Kestrel 2 @ Sigri 06/05/10
Red-footed Falcon 2 @ Skala Kalloni Meadows 08/05
Eleonora’s Falcon 1 over Metochi Lake surrounds 02/05
Peregrine 1 @ ipsilou 04/05/10
Moorhen Common at Metochi and Tiskanias River
Coot Common at Metochi, Salt Pans Flooded Field and Tiskanis River
Little Crake 1 at Metochi 03/05,1 at Tiskanias Ford 11/05/10
Ballion´s Crake 1 at Metochi 03/05
Chukar 2 on road to Petrified Forest 12/05/10
Black-winged Stilt Common at Salt Pans
Avocet Common at Salt Pans
Collared Pratincole Up to 3 seen at Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields on several days 2 - 7 May 2010
Ringed Plover Several seen along Tiskanias over 6 vistis during 02 - 15 Maty 2010
Spur-winged Plover Faneromeni , one on dung heap west of concrete road 04/05/10 (had stayed for several days)
Little Ringed Plover Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Faneromeni, Alikoudi Pool
Kentish Plover Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Faneromeni, Alikoudi Pool
Grey Plover 6 staying at Tiskanias river mouth 11 May to 15 May
Little Stint Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Tiskanis River, Faneromeni, Alikoudi Pool
Temminck’s Stint 1 staying at Tiskanias Ford 02 - 15 May, 6 at Alikoudi Pool 08/05
Common Sandpiper 1 at Tiskanias River mouth 8th May 2010
Curlew Sandpiper 4 at Skala Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields 02/05
Ruff Common at Skala Kalloni Salt Pans and Flooded Fields
Black-tailed Godwit One Staying at Skala Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields 11 to 15 May
Redshank One at Tiskanis River mouth 8th May 2010
Turnstone 6 staying at Tiskanias river mouth 11 May to 15 May
Greenshank One at Skala Kalloni Salt Pans and Flooded Fields 03/05
Wood Sandpiper Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Tiskanis River, Faneromeni, Alikoudi Pool
Marsh Sandpiper One at Kalloni flooded Fields 03/05 and one at Alikoudi 08/05
Broad-billed Sandpiper One at Kalloni flooded Fields 07/05
Stone Curlew Two (one sitting) at Skala Kalloni 03 May 2010
Yellow-legged Gull Common
Little Tern Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Tiskanias River, Alikoudi Pool
Gull-billed Tern Max four seen at Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields 2 - 7 May 2010
Whiskered Tern fairly common at Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields 2 - 15 May 2010
Black Tern Two at Kalloni flooded Fields 03/05
White-winged Black Tern fairly common at Kalloni Salt Pans Flooded Fields 2 - 7 May 2010
Common Tern Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Tiskanias River, Alikoudi Pool
Feral Pigeon Common in villages
Rock Dove Regular at Faneromeni in flight + one on wires 12 May 10
Collared Dove Common in villages
Turtle Dove Common at most sites particualrly Lardia Valley and Sigri
Scops Owl One on three occasions at mini soccer pitch
Little Owl Common
Nightjar Faneromeni , one flushed into fig tree east of concrete road 12/05/10
Swift Common
Alpine Swift Seen over Anaxos Hotel most mornings 03 - 14 May 2010
Bee-eater Common on Salt Pans/Flooded Fields, Tiskanias River, Lardia Valley,
Roller Faneromeni , one in tree off Track east of concrete road 06/05/10
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Two feeding young at Nest in olives at Petra 10/05, male and female
Hoopoe Flying between wooded area at Skalochori 04/05 and 12/05, Napi 14/05
Short-toed Lark Sheep Fields three 3 May, Flooded Fields 14/05
Crested Lark Common
Woodlark One at ipsilou 04/05
Sand Martin few hawking over Metochi Lake 02/05
Crag Martin Common at Lardia, Kavaki @ Petri
Swallow Common
House Martin Common
Red-rumped Swallow Common at Anaxos and Alikoudi Pool(+other locations)
Red-throated Pipit One at Kalloni Flooded Fields 02/05
Tawny Pipit Two on meadows at Sheep Fields 3 May
Tree Pipit Faneromeni , one in woods on track east of concrete road 11/05/10
Yellow Wagtail Feldegg and flava quite common atTiskanias River , sheep & Flooded area and Faneromeni
Citrine Wagtail One female at Flooded fields from 13 - 15 May 2010
White Wagtail at Petra two birds 14/05
Rufous Bush Chat Reguarly seen at Kalloni Salt pans throughout the fortnight
Nightingale Common - along Tiskanias River ( for best views in open)
Whinchat One on wire at Meledia 04/05
Stonechat Common in hills around Andissa and Ipsilou
Isabelline Wheatear Easily seen at base of Ipsilou Rd
Northern Wheatear Common at base of Ipsilou Rd
Black-eared Wheatear Common
Blue Rock Thrush Common at Ipsilou, Kavaki and Petri Mills
Blackbird Common most easily seen in open at Kavaki
Cetti’s Warbler Common near water
Sedge Warbler Heard several times but seen one only of Efthalou coastal road 14 May
Reed Warbler seen at Tiskanias River and Metochi Lake
Great Reed Warbler Often heard at Metochi and Tiskanias, one individualsinging in open at EresosRiver 09 May 10
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Common
Olive-tree Warbler One near Kremasti Bridge 07/05
Blackcap Anaxos one female on 02/05, Ipsilou male 12/05
Orphean Warbler Seen at Kavaki, Petra reservoir and Napi valley
Whitethroat One at Sigri Sanetorium 04/05
Rüppell’s Warbler Distant views at Kavaki on several occasions
Sardinian Warbler Popped up on bush on west side of pull in at Kavaki 10/05
Subalpine Warbler Common
Wood Warbler Common on visits to Ipsilou
Willow Warbler Only one seen in scrub near power station at Kalloni Salt Pans 02/05
Spotted Flycatcher Common on west of island
Collared Flycatcher Seen on same day at Ipsilou, one at Sigri Sanetorium and one at Meldeia Valley Ford 04/05+Sigri one 06/05
Pied Flycatcher Three birds at Faneromeni (track beyond ford) 04/05 also one on 06/05
Blue Tit Common
Sombre Tit Common in hills around Anaxos, Petra and Napi
Great Tit Common
Penduline Tit One at nest at EresosRiver 09 May 10
Kruper´s Nuthatch Two birds at Achladeri
Rock Nuthatch One feeding young at Patomia 03/05+ common in hills
Golden Oriole 6 in Oaks south west of Ipsilou road, near army listening post (+heard elsewhere)
Red-backed Shrike Common, particularly in west of island
Lesser Grey Shrike One only off Efthalou coastal road and one at Napi 14 May, One on wires at flooded area 15/05
Woodchat Shrike Common
Masked Shrike Easily seen on visits to Achladeri, Faneromeni and Petri
Jay Common
Jackdaw Common at Anaxos and Sigri
Hooded Crow Common
Raven Easily viewed at Petri Mills + one at Meledia Valley Ford 04/05
House Sparrow Common
Spanish Sparrow Common at Tiskanias River
Rock Sparrow Easily viewed at rocky hillside around Ipsilou (one feeding young in an old Rock Nut Nest)
Chaffinch Common in Wooded areas
Greenfinch Common at Tiskanias River
Goldfinch Common at Tiskanias River
Linnet Common at suitable scrubby areas Petrified Forest, Kavaki
Cirl Bunting Common in Wooded areas like Petri,Ipsilou and Faneromeni
Cinereous Bunting Seen on several visits to Ipsilou and Petrified Forest Track
Cretzschmar’s Bunting Common in hills around Ipsilou and other rocky areas
Black-headed Bunting Common
Corn Bunting Common

Butterflies seen at various locations:

Scarce Swallowtail
Eastern Festoon
Large White
Small White
Eastern Dappled White
Clouded Yellow
Southern White Admiral
Red Admiral
Painted Lady
Southern Comma
Marbled White
Meadow Brown
Wall brown
Small Copper
Common Blue
Brown Argus
Small Skipper
+ as yet unidentified fritillary & grayling