A checklist of the birds of Lesvos

These species accounts have been taken from my book, A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos (Dudley, S.P. 2009. Arlequin Press) and updated folllowing the publication of Lesvos Birds 2009 (Dudley, S.P. 2010).

The most up to date list of the birds of Lesvos appears in Lesvos Birds 2011.

I aim to update the full species accounts below during the summer of 2012.


I have worked with both the Hellenic Rarities Committee (HRC) and Greek and Lesvos birdwatchers to produce as near a definitive list of accepted species recorded on the island. References are provided where previously published inc. for accepted records HRC annual reports and The Birds of Greece (Handrinos & Akriotis 1997) (BoG in text), and Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos (Brooks 1998) and various updates by the same author (up to 2004) for many records of commoner species and from where many of the unconfirmed records (e.g. records not submitted to HRC) are taken. Most records from 2005 onwards are from HRC or collated by myself. Observers, were known (e.g. from HRC reports) are included for some of the rarer species (unfortunately not all publications provide details of observers). ‘MO’ in the text refers to Many Observers.

Lesvos is unique in respect of the concentration of western European birders present on the island in spring. It’s inevitable that many of the reported sightings do not get formally submitted to HRC. Nevertheless, this coverage does help to record the truer status of some species on Lesvos which remain nationally rare at the national level, e.g. Citrine Wagtail is an annual passage migrant on Lesvos yet remains rare elsewhere in Greece. The same is true for other species.

For completeness, records published in other publications but not formally submitted to HRC have been included within the species accounts to indicate these records are known and if observers are able to submit further details these will be considered by HRC.

At the end of the list are two appendices detailing 1) species submitted to HRC but rejected and species reported but never formally submitted by HRC (so these species are not on the Lesvos list) and 2) reported escapes.
This online list will be updated at the end of each year detailing any changes in status and records of rarer species.

Recommended birding guides
A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos by Steve Dudley (Arlequin Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-905268-01-1) - the only guide you should need to help you find the birds on Lesvos!

The Collins Bird Guide by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterstrom & Peter Grant (HarperCollins, ISBN 0 00 219728 6) — quite simply the best European bird guide.

The Macmillan Birder’s Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds by Alan Harris, Hadoram Shirihai & Davis Christie (Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 58940 8) — out of print but definitely worth buying if you find a copy second-hand.

Key to status codes
c = common
s = scarce
r = rare
RB = resident breeder
MB = migrant breeder
CB = casual/occasional breeder
IB = introduced breeder
SP = spring passage
AP = autumn passage
PM = passage migrant (spring and autumn)
W = winter visitor
V = vagrant
? = status uncertain
* = LBRC description species / ** = HRC description species - see

Taxonomy and nomenclature
This is based on the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) list of bird names as listed by Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. (2009). IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0), and is available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/. I have deviated from this reference as follows:
1. where subspecies have a different name to the nominate name listed by Gill & Wright, e.g. Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii
2. in respect of hyphenated names, I do not use a capitalized letter for a name following a hyphen, e.g. the Lesvos list will use Stone-curlew and not Stone-Curlew.
3. Night-heron is used in preference to heron to denote that Night-herons are their own family of ‘herons’ and not part of the Ardea group of herons.
4. Honey-buzzard is used in preference to Honey Buzzard to denote that this species is not a Buteo buzzard species
This checklist is still being updated. The records for some rare species in particular still need updating, and the status of even some of the resident species changes as more information is forthcoming (e.g. Audouin's Gull only recently proved as a breeding species).

Last updated October 2010

Place names
I use the local names here, and not the (at times odd) birding names. To help you, here are some are the local names some of the birding sites -

Christou (Kameras) River (Kalloni West River)
Tsiknias River/Valley (Kalloni East River)
Metochi Lake (Inland Lake)
Mesa (Derbyshire)
Aghia Ioannis (Devil’s Bridge)
The Lardia Valley (Grand Canyon)
Vigla (The Junction)
Meladia River Ford (the ford on the track between Sigri and Eressos)

A highlighted species name is linked to either a photo or a report ith a photo. Highlighted text is linked to reports of inidividual species, photos or publications.

Chukar Alectoris chukar sRBOccurs mainly in the rocky areas of the centre, north and west of the island. Its distinctive call will give the bird away — finding it is another matter! A couple of the better localities to search are around Ipsilou, the road to the Petrified Forest and the Meladia Valley. Double figure counts in autumn not uncommon.
Quail Coturnix coturnix rMB, sPMSmall numbers breed given away by calling males. Most usually encountered in spring Apr-May, when non-calling birds are also flushed from grassy areas bordering south-facing beaches. Also recorded Aug-Sept.

Pheasant Phasianus colchicus rRBA small naturalised population persists due to birds being released for hunting.

Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons sWVAround five records, the most recent: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans Mar 03.

Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis V **Only one accepted: 1 found shot Kalloni area Jan and another bird Tsiknias River Jan 06 (HRC 06 report).

Mute Swan Cygnus olor sWMost recent records: 5 Kalloni Salt Pans Jan 97; 6 Skala Kallonis Pool Dec 98, with 2 to May 99; 6 Mesa Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2003); 1 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06, 15 Kalloni Salt Pans Mar 06, Parakila spring 08.
2009: up to 7 lingered around Kalloni Saltpans area to 24 April (Lesvos Birds 2009).
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus V *Four records: one with Mute Swans at Skala Kalloni pool Dec 93–Feb 94; 9 Mesa and Kalloni Saltpans Jan 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003); 1 Kalloni area (at sea of Kalloni Saltpans, together with the 4 Bewick’s swans) Jan 06 (E. Galinou).
2009: 4 Gulf of Kalloni off Mesa 1 Jan (T. Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).
Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii V *One record: 4 Kalloni area Jan 06 (HRC06).

Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna sWV, sPMSmall numbers winter Nov–Apr, with passage noted Mar–May and less so Sept-Oct. Pr bred 2002 (Brooks 2003).
2009: pr bred Polichnitos Saltpans rearing 2 young (T. Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea sRB, sPMBirds present all months with small numbers breeding, e.g. nr Palios. Peak numbers in spring when passage birds also occur Mar–May, with flocks double-figure flocks expected. Smaller numbers on passage Aug–Sept.
2009: pr bred Perasma Reservoir rearing 2 young (S.P. Dudley et al) and young seen at Faneromeni (M Sveikutis) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Gadwall Anas strepera V *Three records: male nr Kalloni Saltpans May 03; fem Metochi Lake Aug 03 (Brooks 2003); 1 Metochi Lake May 06 (T. Robinson).

Wigeon Anas penelope sWVSmall numbers Oct – Apr.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos sWVSmall numbers Nov – Apr.

Shoveler Anas clypeata sWVSmall numbers Sept – May.
2009: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 12–20 Sept (T Robinson et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Pintail Anas acuta sWV, sPMSmall numbers Sep – Apr.
2009: Polichnitos Saltpans (T Robinson et al) 13 Mar (2), 7 Apr (1) and 7–21 Sept (1-2) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Garganey Anas querquedula cSP, sAPCommon offshore and on reservoirs and salt pans Mar – May, with smaller numbers Aug – Sept.

Common Teal Anas crecca sWV, sPM
Small numbers Aug – Apr.

Pochard Aythya ferina V *Seven records, most recent: fem Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 00; Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 03 (Brooks 2000, 2003); 1 Kalloni Salpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou), Potamia Reservoir 1-2 in Mar, May & Sept 06 (E. Galinou, T. Robinson); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug 07 (T. Robinson).
2009: a male Polichnitos Saltpans 28 Jul (T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009). The eighth record for the island.

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca V *Eight records, most recent: separate male and fem Parakila Marsh Apr 00 (Brooks 2000); male off Skala Kallonis Apr 2002 (MO); male Petra Reservervoir May 07 (MO); female Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 08 (MO).

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula V *Three records, most recent: 1 Tsiknias River Apr 01 (Brooks 2001).

Scaup Aythya marila V *One record: 1 on sea off Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Goldeney Bucephala clangula V *Two records: 3 off Achladeri Apr 86 (Brooks 1998).
2010: 1 off Achladeri 1 Jan (T Robinson).

Smew Mergellus albellus V *One record: 4 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator sWVSmall numbers offshore Oct-Apr.
2009: Alikoudi Pool 1 Jan (12) and 10 Jan (2); off Skala Polichnitou on 24 Jan (2) and 19 Feb (1); 3 off Skala Vasilikon 3 Feb; and Vouvaris River Mouth on 3 Feb (2) and 8 Mar (3) (all T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala V *One record: female shot Dec 91 (Brooks 1998).

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica sWVSmall numbers offshore Nov – Apr, sometimes in small groups.
2009: 3 off Skala Vasilikon 3 Feb and 1 off Skala Polichnitou on 8 Dec (both T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea diomedea sSVSmall numbers (but flocks of 100+ no unusual) offshore Mar–Oct. May breed on some of the offshore islands. Best looked for off the south (e.g. Agios Fokas) and west coasts (e.g. Skala Eresou).

Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan cRBPresent offshore all months with flocks of several hundred, even over thousand, not unexpected.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis sRB
Small numbers breed along the wetter rivers (e.g. Potamia) and the larger inland water bodies such as Metochi Lake.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus sWVGulf of Kalloni hold large numbers (1200+) Dec-Feb, otherwise small numbers offshore Oct–May.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena V *Only around six documented records inc. 20+ Gulf of Kalloni Mar 02 (Brooks 2002); off Skala Kallonis Mar 03 and presumed same bird off Skala Polichnitou Apr 03 (Brooks 2003).
2009 - one off Skala Kallonis Sept 09 (R. Lawrence et al). 6th record.

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis sWVSmall numbers offshore, in river mouths and on inland reservoirs from Nov–May.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber sWVPresent Sep – May with some non-breeding birds Jun – Aug. Attempted to breed (33 nests – all abondoned) Kalloni Saltpans 02. Most birds seen at Kalloni and Skala Polihnitou Saltpans, with occasional birds at Mesa pool and at river mouths. Numbers can exceed 1000 birds.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra sMB, sPMOccurs Mar–Oct, mainly on passage, but with 10+ breeding pairs in pine forests. Birds have occasionally over-wintered, e.g. Kalloni Saltpans Jan 05 and Jan 06 (E. Galinou) and Polichnitos Saltpans winter 08/09 (T. Robinson).

White Stork Ciconia ciconia sMB, sPMOccurs Feb–Oct, mainly on passage, but also several breeding pairs on rooftops, church steeples, poles and chimneys. Recent nests in Eresos (pole), Skala Kallonis (rooftop), Mandamados (chimney), Agias Paraskevi (chimney) and Polichnitos (chimney). Has over-wintered, e.g. 3 birds winter 08/09 (E. Galinou).

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus cSP, sAPCan occur in sizable flocks Mar – May, with much smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia sPMSmall numbers Mar–May. Increasing numbers (especially Polichnitos Saltpans) Sept–Oct.

Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris sWV, sPMSingle birds usually encountered Oct–May around obvious wetland and river areas.
2009: a single bird reported at Skala Kallonis Pool on 22 Apr (per Lesvos Birding Pasiphae Log/SPD) and the same or another on 27 Apr (I Kinley & D Thexton) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus cSM, sAPCommon in spring (Apr–Jun) around any wetland and river areas inc. even the smallest of culverts and drains with cover. Scarcer during autumn (Aug–Oct).

Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax cSM, sAPOccurs more commonly in spring (Mar–May) but small numbers Sept–Oct. Flocks of 30+ Apr 08 are exceptional.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides cSM, sAPCommon around wetland and river areas Apr–May and smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis V *Only four recently accepted records: 1 nr Sigri Dec 07 (E. Kakalis, E. Gribylakou: HRC07 report); 1 nr Tsiknias River Mouth Apr 08, photo (S.P. Dudley et al: HRC08); 1 Skala Eresou Apr 08 (R. Ulph: HRC08); 1 Skala Polichnitou Saltpans Dec 08, photo(T. Robinson: HRC08).
2010: 4 Mesa Apr, 1 Kalloni Saltpans flooded fields Apr.
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Sigri May 95; 1 Vassilika May 96; pr Tsiknias River Apr 99; 1 Tsiknias River Apr 00; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 01; 1 nr Sigri Apr 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002).

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea sWV, sPMSmall numbers Aug–May.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea sPMSmall numbers, including flocks into double-figures, (mainly) Mar – May and (smaller numbers) Sept–Oct. Flocsk of 60+ Chalandra River nr Skala Eresou Apr 02 and 53 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 08 are exceptional.

Great White Egret Ardea alba rWV, sPMSmall numbers Oct–May.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta cSP, sAPCommon around wetland sites and along the coast Mar – May and in smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus sPMA near annual passage migrant Mar – May and Sep – Oct. Usually 1-2, but occasionally small flocks (e.g. 18 in Sept 07) and movements, e.g. large movement in Sept 07 inc. largest confirmed flock of 144 (S.P & E.F. Dudley). Some individuals have been caught and tamed by fisherman (e.g. bird at Skala Kallonis harbour from 1998 to present). Single over-wintering record from winter 06/07 (T. Robinson).
2009 - Spring 4 reported at the mouth of the Tsiknias River on 17 Apr (High Peak RSPB Group). Autumn Juveniles at Polichnitos Saltpans on 7 Sept (T Robinson) with another there 21-25 Sept (T Robinson et al) and what is presumed to be a third bird 28 Sept – 16 Oct (T Robinson) and a flock of 9 (4 ads, 5 juvs) (T Robinson). A different juvenile at Kalloni Saltpans on 21-22 Sept (M Snelling et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus rPMMuch rarer than White Pelican but occurs in similar periods, Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Recent records: 27 over Kalloni/Potamia area Apr 00; 15 (of flock of 17) over Kalloni Saltpans and Molivos Mar 02; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 2003 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug-Oct 06; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Sept 07. 2 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 09 the only winter record (E. Galinou).
2009 - 1 Perasma Reservoir for only three hours on the morning of 3 May (video: I Kinley, D Thexton et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009).
Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus rWVSingle birds recorded from coastal sites Nov–Apr. Earliest mid-Sept 08 Vouvaris River mouth.

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis sWVGulf of Kalloni holds large winter population of c.3500 birds, otherwise small numbers around coast Sept–Apr.

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmaresti sRBPresent around the coast in all months.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus sPMRecorded in reasonable numbers Mar–May and Sept–Oct.

Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus rMB, cPMA relatively common passage migrant, occasionally in good numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Small numbers breed in both deciduous woodland and pine forests across the island.

Red Kite Milvus milvus V *Two records: 1 Sigri Apr 84 (Brooks 1998); 1 nr Kalloni Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).
Note, confusion not only with Black Kite, but also with the much commoner Long-legged Buzzard which has very similar colouring to Red Kite.

Black Kite Milvus migrans sPMSurprisingly only a handful of records noted most years Mar–May and Aug–Oct.
2009: One winter record, Polichnitos Saltpans area 31 Jan - 7 Apr (T. Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla V *Five records: an imm and ad off Sigri May 94; 1 Vatousa May 95; 1 off Molivos Apr 98 (Brooks 1998).
2009: 1 north along Tsiknias River 2 May 09 ( I & S Bambrough & S P Dudley) (Lesvos Birds 2009). 6th record for Lesvos.

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus V *Ten records: singles around Skala Eresau May 87 and May 91; one Ipsilou and Agiassos (believed to be the same bird) May 95; 1 Ipsilou Apr 98; 1 Napi Valley May 99; ad Skala Erresau May 00 and an imm nr Vatoussa, both May 00; 1 Makara Apr 04; 1 Molivos May 04 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004); 2 nr Ipsilou May 08.
2009: a sub-adult at the Vouvaris River mouth 2 May (T Robinson). 11th record (Lesvos Birds 2009). 11th record for Lesvos.

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus V *A surprisingly rare bird on the island, and with the rapidly declining European population, an increase in the level of records is unlikely. Only nine recent records: 1 Eresos May 93; 3 over Filia May 96; 3 between Filia and Skoutaros May 97; 1 over Skala Sikaminias then at Vatera (taken in to care) Sept 97 (bearing a Croatian ring; released on Crete); 1 south over Efthalou Apr 02 (S.P. Dudley, M. Newell, V. Stratton); 2 over Molivos May 03; 3 over Potamia Valley May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003); 1 over Ipsilou May 08; 3 over Kallonis May 08.
2009: 1 over Eresos 26 Apr and Madaros 27-28 Apr May 09 (P & V Manning et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009). 11th record for Lesvos.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus sMB, sPMSmall numbers breed across the island. Seen on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Occasional winter records. Most often seen hovering over open hillsides.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus cPMRegularly seen Mar–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct. Occasional winter records.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus sWV, sPMSmall numbers Nov–Apr, with passage birds Mar–May.

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus sPMSmall numbers Mar–Apr. Very rare in autumn.

Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus cPMCommon in spring Mar–May with small numbers Sept–Oct.

Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes rMB, sPMSmall numbers, occasionally double-figure flocks, recorded in Apr–May, with smaller numbers Aug–Sept. Usually seen heading up/down obvious valleys (e.g. Napi) or from/near obvious hilltops (e.g. Ipsilou) or migration headlands/points (e.g. Sigri, Agias Fokas). Birds have been seen during the breeding season (BoG).

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus rRB, cWV, sPMA handful of pairs almost certainly breed. Common Sept – Mar. Passage noted Mar – Apr and Aug – Oct.

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis sRB, sPMSmall numbers breed across the island in both deciduous and coniferous woodland. Passage noted Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Buzzard Buteo Buteo sRB, cWV, sPMSmall numbers breed across the island. Common Nov–Mar. Passage noted Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus sRB, sPMSmall numbers breed across the island. Common Nov – Mar. Passage noted Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct. Commoner in the western half of the island.

Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina rPMRecent records: singles nr Vatoussa and between Agra and Eressos, both May 99; 5 over Agia Paraskevi Apr 00; 4 over Molivos Reservoir May 00 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000); birds seen daily late Aug/early Sept 02 during exceptional movement (P. Manning); 1 Metochi Apr 03 (S.P Dudley, M. Newell); 1 Vatera Bay Sept 07; 1 Ancient Antissa Apr 08; 1 Anaxos Apr 08; 1 Parakila Apr 08.
2009: singles Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint 3 May and between Ipsilou and Sigri 4 May (both per Lesvos Birding Pasiphae Log/SPD) (Lesvos Birds 2009).Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga V *Odd birds recorded Sept–Apr, most recent: 1 over Faneromeni Apr 99 (Brooks 1999).
2010: a number of birds reported in April are being considered by LBRC

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis V **Only one accepted record: 1 Petra Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley et al: HRC08).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 over Liminos monastery and 2 over the Petrified Forest 11 May 97; 1 between Agiassos and Mitilini May 98; 1 nr Sigri May 01; 1 over Skoutaros Sept 02.

Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca V *Eight records: 1, Sept 89 (BoG – no location); 2 over the ‘south’ of the island May 94; 1 Kalloni/Potamia Valley Sept 98; 1 north over Vatera Mar 99; 1 over Skala Sikaminias May 99; pr nr Vatoussa May 99; 1 over Efthalou Apr 04; 1 over Vafios May 04 (Brooks 1998, 2004); 1 30 Apr-14 May 08 various sites (D. Walbridge, S.P. Dudley; photo).
2009: 1 nr Efthalou 3 May 09 (S.P. Dudley et al; photo); 1 Kalloni Raptor Watch Point 7 May (I. Pitts et al); 2 Aghios Ioannis 8 May 09 (P. Solley et al; photo); 1 Achladeri Oct 09 was probably this species (J. & A. Humphreys; photo) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos VOnly c.12 recent records inc: 2 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 86; 2 nr Petra Aug 92; singles Petrified Forest Oct 94 and May 96; 1 nr Mandamados Aug 96; 2 Sigri Apr 97; one Potamia Valley May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000); 1 Napi Valley Apr 03 (P. Manning); 1 nr Sikaminia Sep 07 (S.P. & E.F. Dudley); 1 bewteen Afthalou and Skala Sikaminias Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley; M. Denman); 1 Ancient Antissa Apr 08.
2009: 1 Potamia Valley 25 Apr (per SPD); 1 Ioannou Valley 7 May 09 (S.P. Dudley); 1 nr Petra 11 May (P Edlin) (Lesvos Birds 2009). 16-18th island records.

Bonelli’s Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus ?rRB?, ?rPM?One or two suspected breeding prs around Mt Lepetimnos and Mt Olympus (Brooks 1998, 2003), but if they do, they are very rarely seen! Passage birds Apr–May.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus sPMThe odd single bird recorded most years Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni sMB, sPMSmall numbers breed on offshore islands at Sigri and possibly other offshore islands such as Is. Garbias (at the mouth of the Golf of Kalloni) Apr-Aug. Most common in the west of the island. Also recorded on passage Apr-May and Sept when can be encountered anywhere.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus sRBA surprisingly scarce species with small numbers breed across the island.

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus cPMCommon in spring Apr-May with smaller numbers recorded Aug-Oct. Occurs commonly in small parties of up to 30+ birds.

Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae sMB, sPMOn passage Apr-May and Sept-Oct. Even on passage, most often encountered in the west and north of the island. Can occur in numbers, e.g. 73 in one hour over Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint May 03. Thought to breed on offshore islands e.g. off Sigri.

Merlin Falco columbarius V *Around seven records inc.: 1 Mesa Mar 00 (Brooks 2000); singles Kalloni Saltpans Apr 03 (S. P. Dudley, M. Newell) and Christou River Apr 03; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04 (S. P. Dudley, M. Newell); Mesa and Kalloni Saltpans area Mar 06 (E. Galinou); Ipsilou Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley, D. Nurney).

Hobby Falco subbuteo sPM, ?rMB?Small numbers seen on passage Apr-May and Sept-Oct. May breed (BoG).

Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus ?rRB?If this species is resident on the island, it is only a couple of pairs at most, as this remains a rarely sighted species. The higher western side of the island could provide breeding cliffs, but I suspect a lack of prey is the limiting factor for this and other predatory species. Odd records annually from anywhere on the island.
2009: an immature recorded from Mesa Wetlands, Kalloni Saltpans and Napi Valley 18 Apr – 10 May
(T Robinson et al) and an adult seen at Sigri, Faneromeni and Ipsilou 25 Apr – 13 May (S P Dudley et al) was seen to take a Jackdaw at Sigri Castle and a Little Bittern at Faneromeni
(Lesvos Birds 2009).

Saker Falcon Falco cherrug V **One accepted record: Oct 92 (location unknown) (BoG)
Records not submitted to HRC: Apr 98 at Kalloni Saltpans; 2 Ipsilou Apr 02, 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 02; 2 Ipsilou Jun 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003).

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus sRB, sWVSmall numbers breed across the island with increased numbers in winter Nov-Mar. Greek breeding birds belong to the race F. p. brookie with nominate F. p. peregrinus occurring on passage.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus rRB, rWM, rPMSmall numbers breed at suitable wetlands (e.g. Dipi Larssos) but most usually encountered late winter and spring Mar-May.

Corncrake Crex crex V *Around 15 records, most recent: 1 Loutropoli Thermis Apr 98 (LWH: HRC 07 report); 1 ringed Haramida Sept 98 (HBRC: HRC 06 report); 1 ringed Haramida Oct 02 (HBRC: HRC 06 report); 1 Faneromeni May 05 (D Walbridge: photo; Lesvos Birds 2009) 1 Mytilini Sept 06 (HRC 07 report); 1 Plomari Aug 07 (LWH: HRC 07 report); 32 Ambeliko (illegally hunted) Sept 07 (per E. Kakalis, E. Gribylakou: HRC 07 report); 2 Akrotiri (illegally hunted) Sept 08 (LWH; photos; HRC08).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni River mouth spr 00 (Brooks 2000); 1 Meladia River mouth Apr 08.

Little Crake Porzana parva cSP, rAP, rWVRecorded at most wetlands with cover Mar–May. Occasionally recorded Aug–Oct. Some may winter.

Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla rSPThe rarest of the small crakes with only around 10 records, most recent include: 1 Apr 84; 1 dead 98; River Tsiknias May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2003); 1 Metochi Lake May 06 (T. Robinson et al); Meladia River Ford Apr-May 07 (I. Lewington et al); 2 Metochi Lake 28 Apr - 2 May 08 (P. Manning et al).
2009: 1 Skala Kallonis Pool 28 Apr (S P Dudley et al) and 2 Metochi Lake on at least 6 May (MO) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Spotted Crake Porzana porzana sPMMost commonly seen in spring Apr-May with smaller number Sept-Oct.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus sRB, sWVSmall numbers breed with increased numbers in winter.

Coot Fulica atra rMB, sWVSmall numbers occur in winter with occasional pairs staying on to breed.

Common Crane Grus grus rPMThe only recent records are: heard calling over Gulf of Kalloni in Apr 95; over Kalloni Saltpans in May 96; 1 on flooded fields near Kalloni Saltpans Apr 97; one over Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 1 Sigri Apr 03; c.15 over Molivos May 03 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2003).

Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus sMB, sPMSmall numbers breed, especially around the Kalloni area (inc. saltpans) and on passage Feb–Apr and Aug–Oct. Large flocks (50+) can be encountered in autumn (e.g. 60+ near Kalloni Saltpans in Sep 03).

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus sWV, sSPSmall numbers occur in winter and spring Sept-May.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus sMB, cPMSmall numbers breed (e.g. Saltpans) and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta sMB, sPMSmall numbers breed (e.g. Saltpans) and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Occasionally over-winters on saltpan areas.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus sWVSmall numbers Oct–Mar.

Spur-winged Plover Hoplopterus spinosus sPMUsually single birds seen Mar–May and rarely Aug–Sept. 2 together May 08 is unusual.
2009: one in the Kalloni Saltpans; Tsiknias River and Alykes Wetlands area 22 Apr – 23 Apr (T Robinson et al); another Alykes Wetlands 1 May (S P Dudley et al); and a third bird on the floods opposite the Kalloni Saltworks entrance 13-20 May (MO) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Sociable Plover Vanellus gregaria V *One record: 1 River Christou May 94 (BoG).

Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus V *One accepted record: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 (HRC 05 report) (P. Marshall, T. Golding, D. Cleary, D. Mossman, D. Barker, I. Goshawk: HRC05).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 dead Molivos Apr 84; 1 Skala Polichnitou Apr 87; nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 and Mar-Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003).

Dotterel Charadrius morinellus V *One accepted record: 1 Sept 06 Skala Polichnitou (photo; T. Robinson: HRC 08).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Mesa Sept 97; 1 nr Sigri Apr 99; nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 01; 2 nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 03; 3 River Christou Apr 03 (Brooks 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003).

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria sWV, rPMSmall numbers Oct – Mar. On passage Mar–Apr and Sept–Oct.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola sWV, sPMSmall numbers Oct–Mar. On passage Mar–Apr and Sept–Oct.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula sPMOccurs Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius sMB, sPMSmall numbers breed along rivers and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrius sRB, sPMBreeds in suitable habitats such as Saltpans, drier areas of marshes, etc. Also on passage Apr–May and Sept–Oct.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola cWVAnother species known from hunting reports, Oct–Mar, but rarely seen by birders.

Jack Snipe Limnocryptes minimus cWVReported to be a common winter visitor, Oct–Mar, by hunters, but rarely seen! Only several records from birders: 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 00; 6 Skala Kallonis Pool Mar 02; 1 flushed near Faneromeni River mouth Apr 04 (Brooks 2000, 2002, 2004); 1 Dipi Larisos Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Great Snipe Gallinago media V *A near-annual migrant with most recent records inc: 1 Tsiknias Valley May 99 (Brooks 1999); 1 Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00 (Brooks 2000); singles nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04, Apr 06 & May 06.
2008 - 1 Alikoudi Pool Apr 08; 4 reported at the Meladia River Mouth 28 Apr 08; Faneromeni River 27-29 Apr 08.
2009: 1 Haramida Marsh 7 May 08 (S.P. Dudley) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago cWV, sPMPresent Aug–May.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa sSPOccurs on larger wetlands and rivers Apr – May.

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica V *Around eight records inc: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Apr–May 00; 18 Christou River May 01; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04 (1) & May 04 (1); Kalloni area Apr 02 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2002); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Sept 07; Kalloni Saltpans and Tsiknias River mouth Apr-May 08.

3 Polichnitos Saltpans 14 Jul (T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus sSPSmall numbers occur Mar–May and Jul–Sept.

Curlew Numenius arquata sWV, rPMSmall numbers Aug–Mar.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus sPMSmall numbers Mar–May and Aug–Oct. 1-2 over-winter.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus cWV, sPM, ?rMB?Occurs mainly Aug–Mar, with smaller numbers Apr–May. Mid-summer reports may indicate a few pairs stay to breed.

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis sPMSmall numbers move through the island Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia sPMSmall numbers move through the island Mar–May and Aug–Sept. Small numbers over-winter.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus sWV, sPMOccurs mainly Oct–Mar, with passage Apr–May and Jul–Sept.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola cPMVery common on all water areas Mar – May with smaller numbers Jul – Sept.

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus V *Five records: 1 Kalloni Saltpans May 93(BoG); 1 Mesa May 95 (BoG); 1 Kallonia Saltpans Aug 00 (A. Nicoli, M. Sighele: HRC 05); 1 River Christou mouth May 03 video (S. Pogson: HRC08).
2009 - 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 13 May 09, photo (W. Lopau, T. & S. Robinson, S.P. & E.F. Dudley).
2010: singles Kalloni Saltpans Apr and Jul.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos sPMSmall numbers Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Over-wintering birds recorded 97/98, 06/07 and 08/09 winters.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres sPMSmall numbers Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Knot Calidris canutus V *Two accepted records: 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 05 (S.P. Dudley, D. MacDonald et al: HRC 08); 1 Sept 07, photo (T. Robinson: HRC 08).
2010: 1 Christou (Kamers) River in May.
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Apr 99 (Brooks 1999); Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00 (Brooks 2000), 2 in May 04 (Brooks 2004) & May 07.

Sanderling Calidris alba sPMSmall numbers seen Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Little Stint Calidris minuta cPMCan be found on almost all wetland areas Apr–May, with large concentrations at some (e.g. Kalloni Saltpans) Apr–May with smaller number Jul–Oct.

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii cPMCan be found on almost all wetland areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Sept.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos V *One record: juv Polichnitos Saltpans 24 Sept 08 (T. Robinson, S.P. Dudley, M. Newell: accepted, due in HRC 08).

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea cPMGood numbers move through the island Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Dunlin Calidris alpina sWV, sPMSurprisingly scarce Aug–May.

Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus sPMRecorded Apr–May, but unusually, more often encountered in autumn Aug–Sept. Flock of 20 birds Sept 02 exceptional (P. Manning).
2009: Spring 1-2 reported from Alykes Wetlands 9-11 May (per Lesvos Birding Pasiphae Log/SPD). Autumn Singles at Polichnitos Saltpans on 11, 22 & 25 Aug and 13 Sept (T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Ruff Philomachus pugnax cPMOccurs Feb–May and Aug–Oct.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus V *Around 10 records inc: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 98; a fem Kalloni Saltpans May 99 (Brooks 1999); 3 Kalloni Saltpans area Aug 01 (R. Edwards: HRC 07 report); Kalloni Saltpans May 03 & May 04 (Brooks 2003, 2004); ; 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 06 (E. Galinou); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug-Sept 06 (E. Galinou).
2010: 2 Kalloni Saltpans in May.

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius V *One record: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 31 Oct - 1 Nov 11 (photo: T. Robinson et al).

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola cSPGood numbers seen on passage across the island Apr - May.

Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni rPMOccasionally on passage Apr–May and Sept. Most recent records: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 03 (N. Probonas: HRC 06 report); 1 Kallonis Saltpans May 06 (S. Wytema: HRC 06 report).

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei sWV, sPMOccurs in small numbers Oct–Mar. Passage birds Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Few records Jun–Jul.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus sWVOccurs Jul–May.

Little Gull Larus minutus sWV, sPMOccurs in small numbers Aug–May. Surprisingly few seen on passage Apr–May and Aug–Sept.

Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii rRBA rare resident which is known to breeds offshore near Petra (Brooks 2000). 1-2, inc. immature birds recorded regularly along the north coast, especially between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias (which may also supports the idea of Turkish breeding birds coming over to the island). Rare away from the north, but records occasionally from Skala Kallonis/Kalloni area, Sigri, Vatera and the east coast.
2010: survey of north Aegean islands estimate island population at 20-24 pairs.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocpehalus sWV, sPMOccurs in reasonable numbers Aug–May, with passage birds Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Gull Larus canus V *Only around six records, most recent: 1 Kalloni Salt Pans Aug 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003).
2009 - 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 12 Sept 09 (R. Lawrence et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis cRBCommon resident breeding on offshore islands and seen right across the island.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus sPMPassage birds Apr – May and Sept – Oct. Both intermedius and fuscus occur.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica sSPSmall numbers pass through the island Apr–May.

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia sPMOccasionally recorded Apr–May and Aug–Sept.
2009 - Spring On 24 Apr a single bird at Sigri (D & J Rhodes) and 3 at Kalloni Saltpans (I Kinley & D Thexton) with 2 seen at the Tsiknias River mouth 22 May (M & L Hunt). Autumn 2 Polichnitos Saltpans 11 Sept (photo: J & A Humphreys) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis *One record: 1 Kalloni Saltpans May 01 (Brooks 2001).
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis cWV, sPMOccurs Aug–Apr.

Little Tern Sternula albifrons cMBOccurs Apr – Sept.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo sMB, cPMOccurs Aug–Apr.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida cPMGood numbers pass through wetlands areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus cPMGood numbers pass through wetlands areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Black Tern Chlidonias niger sPMSmall numbers (often singles) occur Apr – May and Aug – Sept.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasticus V *Three records: 1 off Agios Fokas Mar 99; 2 off Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 2 Gulf of Kalloni off Kalloni Saltspans and Tsikinias River mouth Apr 03.

Rock Dove Columba livia sRBSmall numbers occur around the rockier coastal areas. Feral Pigeons also occur in the towns.

Stock Dove Columba oenas V *Four records, most recent: 1 Klio May 98; 2 nr Sigri May 02 (Brooks 1998, 2002).

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus rRB, sWVSmall numbers breed. Numbers increase with the arrival of winter migrants Oct – Mar.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur cMB, cPMWidespread breeder and passage migrant Apr – Sept.

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto cRBWidespread across the island, mainly around towns and villages.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis V *One record: 1 Achladeri May 94 (BoG).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Skala Kallonis Apr 01 (Brooks 2001).

Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandularis sMB, sSPSmall passage Mar–May. Good evidence to support occasional breeding (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2004).

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus sPMSmall numbers pass through Apr – May and Aug – Oct. The rufous female form is not uncommon.

Barn Owl Tyto alba sRBSmall numbers breed across the island.

Scops Owl Otus scops sMBBreeds across the island Apr–Jul. More often heard than seen, and birds rarely call after Jun. Some well known traditional spring roost sites inc. the Kalloni Mini Soccer pitch site (Scops Copse!).

Eagle Owl Bubo bubo ?rRB?, ?rWV? *Status uncertain. Winter records of birds been taken to the Lesvos Wildlife Hospital may suggest dispersing young birds from nearby Turkey. Reports of breeding needs to be confirmed.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco rRBKnown only from a handful of records of birds calling throughout the year which indicate a likely small resident breeding population.

Little Owl Athene noctua cRBOccurs across the island. Breeds in rocky areas and old buildings (especially shepherd buildings). Greek birds are are the race A. n. indigena.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus sRBSmall numbers known to breed across the island.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus rWVOdd birds Oct–Mar.

Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus sMB, sPMOccurs Apr–Sept. Rarely seen but birds heard churring from suitable habitats including Potamia Valley.

Common Swift Apus apus cMB, cPMOccurs Mar–Oct.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus sPMSmall numbers pass through Mar – Apr and Aug – Oct. Sizeable movements are recorded e.g. 110+ Meladia River ford 5 May 08.
Common Swift often misidentified (usually in strong sunlight) as this species.
The Birds of Greece states that ‘Pallid Swifts breeding in Greece are darker than west Mediterranean birds, intermediate between A. p. illyricus and A. p. brehmorum’, couple with the comment re. Common Swift above, likely confusion with Common Swift is increased.

Alpine Swift Apus melba cPMOccurs on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Not known to breed and feeding parties seen in summer months are presumably from nearby Turkey.

Little Swift Apus affinis V *One record: 1 Skala Eressou Apr 04 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due in HRC08 report).

Roller Coracias garrulus sPMOccurs more frequently in spring Apr–May than autumn Aug–Sept. Can occur in numbers, e.g. in May 03, 8 nr Sigri and 17 seen coming in off the sea Vatera.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis sWV, rMBOccurs mainly Aug – Apr with occasional breeding record (e.g. between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias 03 (Brooks 2003).

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus V *Only three accepted records: 1 Petra May 06 (S. Wytema: HRC 06 report); 1 east of the Tsiknias River 14 Apr 08, photo (B. Baston, C. Day: HRC 08); flock of 7 Meladia River Ford 3 May 08 (S.P. Dudley, E.F. Dudley, C. Jones: HRC08). Only two of the ten records (of 17 individuals) from the 2008 influx have been submitted (see below).
Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 98; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Aug 98; 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 99 (Brooks 1998, 1999); 6 nr Gavathas Aug 00 (Brooks 2000); influx in 2008 - 1 west of the Tsiknias River mouth 19 Apr 08; 1 Meladia River Ford 23 Apr 08; 1 Skala kallonis Pool 30 Apr 08; 1 nr Vourkou River mouth 30 Apr 08 (photo); 1 Sigri 1 May 08; 1 Kalloni Bandstand 3 May 08; flock of 7 Meladia River Ford 3 May 08 (accepted, due in HRC 08 report); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 5 May 08.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster cPM, sMBOccurs Apr–Oct, with often large numbers passing over in spring. Breeds along dry river areas.

Hoopoe Upupa epops cMB, cPMOccurs Mar–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla sPMOdd birds seen Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct.
2008 - 1 Ipsilou 23 Sept 08, photo (M. Newell, S.P. Dudley).
2009 - Spring Singles in the garden of the Hotel Pasiphae; Skala Kallonis 24 Apr (S P Dudley, D & J Nurney, S Chalmers et al) and between Skala Kallonis and Metochi Lake 26 Apr (High Peak RSPB Group). Autumn Singles Skala Kallonis 3 Sept (I Smith & P O’Daffy); Meladia Valley 21 Sept (S P Dudley); and a late bird Polichnitos Saltpans 18 Nov (photo: T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus medius cRBCommon throughout wooded areas of the island, including olive groves.

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio cMB, cPMScarce summer breeder (in west) and common passage migrant, often in considerable numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor sMB, sPMA scarce summer breeder and passage migrant Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Great Grey Shrike Lanius exubitor rPMProbably fewer than 10 records Apr–May and Aug–Sept.
The status of this species is unclear as the only recent records/reports of ‘large’ grey shrikes have been Steppe Grey Shrikes.Steppe Shrike Lanius meridionalis V *One accepted record of subspecies L. m. pallidirostris: Sigri May 08; nr Vatera Sept 08 (G. Sellors: HRC08). This is the only Greek record.
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Sigri May 08.
HRC treat as subspecies of L. meridionalis. There are two Greek records of L. meridionalis (but not assigned to pallidirostris).

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator cMB, cPMCommon summer breeder and passage migrant, often in considerable numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus sMBA localised summer breeder Apr–Sept. Favours olive groves and scattered deciduous woodland. Autumn migrants occur to end of Sept in many habitats inc. coniferous woodland (e.g. Sept 07).

Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus cPMCommon migrant Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Jay Garrulus glandularis atricapillus cRBThe black-crowned race atricapillus is common across the island.

Magpie Pica pica V *Four records: nr Kalloni Oct 95; nr Petra Jun-Sept 97; 1 Petrified Forest Oct 98 (Brooks 1998); 1 nr Mandamados May 08.

Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes V *One record: 1 between Vafios and Agrenos May 93 (Brooks 1998).

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax V *Two records: 1 nr Dafia Jun 96; 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003). Recorded breeding on nearby island of Chios in 1971 but not listed as present there in 1993 (BoG).

Jackdaw Corvus mondula sRBFlocks are resident around Sigri, Anaxos, Skala Eresou, Gavathas, Apothika and Skala Polichnitou.

Rook Corvus frugilegus V *Seven records: 2 Faneromeni Apr 86; 2 (ad and imm) wandering birds Faneromeni to Vatera Apr–May 96; 1 Ancient Andissa May 01; 1 Vatera Apr 02; 2 Achladeri Apr 02; 1 Mesa May 02 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2002); 1 autumn 07 (now at Lesvos Wildlife hospital).

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix cRBWidespread and common.

Raven Corvus corax sRBSmall numbers breed in the rockier upland areas in the west and around Mount Olympus.

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus V *One record: unknown number of birds during a major influx of birds into Greece during the 65-66 winter (BoG).

Sombre Tit Parus lugubris sRBWidespread breeder, especially in the centre, north and west of the island. Occurs mainly around stands of deciduous trees and scattered woodland.

Coal Tit Periparus ater rRBBreeds in some of the coniferous woods e.g. near Agiassos.

Great Tit Parus major cRBCommon and widespread.

Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus cRBCommon and widespread.

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus V, CBMost recent records: 1 nr Mitilini Oct 97; 1 Skala Eresou Apr 98; 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 98; 2 Dipi Larisos Mar 99; 1 Haramida Oct 00; pr bred Faneromeni River (nr lower ford) 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002); 1 nr Vatera Apr 04; 4 Faneromeni Apr 08 (D. Walbridge et al).
2010: pr bred River Vergias, Skala Eresou.

Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus V *Two records: 1 trapped and ringed Haramida Nov 00 (Brooks 2001); pr Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).

Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra V *Eleven records: 2 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 96, with singles there May 97 and May 07; 1 Mesa Apr 97; 1 Skala Eresou May 97; 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 98; 1 wandering bird Skala Kallonis, Mesa and River Christou Apr-Jun 99; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00; 1 Faneromeni River mouth Jun 00 (Brooks 1989, 2000).
2010: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Apr (T Robinson).

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla sMB, sPMOccurs Apr – Sep. Breeds in suitable short grassland areas such as Alykes Wetlands nr Kalloni Saltpans.

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens V *One record: 1 nr Kalloni Salt Pans May 04 (S. Bot, J. Poelstra, R. Gordjin, M. Bunskoek, M. Gal, C. Nengerman: HRC 05 report).

Crested Lark Galeria cristata cRBWidespread across the island.

Woodlark Lullula arborea sRBSmall numbers breed in suitable woodland edge and scrubby areas (e.g. Achladeri, Ipsilou).

Skylark Aluada arvensis sWVOccurs Oct–Mar.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia sPMOccurs on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica cMB, cPMCommon and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island. Birds resembling H. r. savignii or H. r. transitive are reported annually in spring but with no confirmed records these races are excluded from both the Lesvos and Greek Lists.

Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris ?sRB?, sMB, SPMOccurs Apr–Sept. Breeds in rocky gorges and cliffs of the west and north. Occasionally winters.

House Martin Delichon urbicum cMB, cPMCommon and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica cMB, cPMCommon and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti sRBFound along river courses and around wetland areas.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus rRBLocalized breeder in some of the coniferous woods, e.g. Achladeri. Lesvos birds belong to the race A. c. tephronotus (lacks pink tones and has a black bib).

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus cPMApr–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita sWV, sPMAug–Apr.

Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis rMB, rSPApr–Sept. Small numbers breed around Agiasos. Pr bred Potamia Valley 02, 03 & 04 (Brooks 2002, 2003, 2004). Passage birds noted occasionally elsewhere on the island (e.g. Aghia Ioannis Sept 07, Ipsilou spr 08). A single bird on territory in Lardia Valley spring 08 (MO) and again in 09 (MO).

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix cPMCommon on passage Apr–May, but less so Aug–Oct.

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus sMB, sPMRelatively common Apr–Sept.

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon rWV / V *Brooks (1998) states this is a localised winter visitor around Dipi Larisos (very likely as good habitat) and Anaxos (very unlikely due to lack of suitable habitat), but there are no recent records to support this. Apr-May records (Brooks 1998) suggest spring migrants. No autumn records.
Confusion with Sedge Warbler likely (and is frequent). This is a real reedbed species, and whilst all birds should be studied carefully, any bird thought to be this species should be treated with caution.
LBRC requires full details of all records.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus cPMCommon Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus sMB, cPMCommon Mar–Oct.

Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris rPMSmall numbers Apr–May and, more commonly, Jul-Sept.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida cMB, cPMCommon in dry scrub areas Apr–Oct.

Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum sMBThis species breeds widely throughout Greece (up to 5000 pairs) (BoG), the Balkans and Turkey. In Greece it occurs as far south as southern Mainland, Naxos and Kos. It is absent from both Rhodes and Crete.
On Lesvos it is relatively but thinly distributed across eastern, southern and northern areas of suitable olive and oak woodland. It occurs in parkland like habitat comprising olive groves with scattered oak (occasionally just a single tree), almonds and bushes or oak parkland-like woodland with scattered olive trees and appears to show some preference for shallow undulating sites with hollows. Although thinly distributed it can occur in relatively high densities (e.g. up to six singing males singing in close proximity in Platania).
A feature of most breeding sites is the presence of Masked Shrike which regularly mimic Olive-tree Warbler. Olive-tree Warbler has a very recognisable, raucous song which is like a very loud Olivaceous Warbler (which is good as it also looks a little like an over-sized Olivaceous Warbler). It is less guttural and rhythmic than Great Reed Warbler (migrants singing from trees occasionally confuse) and very unlike the more musical Nightingale-like Orphean Warbler song (with which it can occur alongside). Masked Shrike mimicry is usually thinner and more scratchy than the warbler’s own song, but it is very passable and a shrike singing from out of sight and facing away from the observer (and so muffling the sing slightly) can cause real confusion.
Better known sites on the island inc. the upper Napi Valley, Platania, between Skala Vasilikon and Skamnioudi (north of Skala Polichnitou) and the Ambeliko Valley. It does however occur in many other areas and there remain many new sites to discover!
Olive-tree Warbler arrives on the island at the very end of April and are at their most active during the first half of May. Birds depart in July with few records later than late August (later birds are probably migrants from further north).
Occasional migrant seen/heard away from known breeding areas in spring and occasionally in autumn.

Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina sPMSmall numbers pass through Apr–Jun and Aug–Sept.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia rPMVery small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis sPMSmall numbers, usually only ever heard, Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Autumn presence confirmed by ringing (Brooks 1998).
2009: 1 Meladia Valley (S P Dudley) and 1 Perasma 9 May (per Lesvos Birding Pasiphae Log/SPD) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides rPMVery small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.
2009: 1 singing Petra 5 May (I Pitts et al) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncidis ?rRB?*Former breeding species last reported 2004. Previously bred at Polichnitos Saltpans and River Christou.
Unconfirmed records still coming from some sites. LBRC requires full details of all records.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla cPMOccurs Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin sPMSmall numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria sPMSmall numbers recorded Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Occasionally found on territory during breeding season, e.g. Meladia Valley May 05 (E. Galinou) but no confirmed breeding records.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca sPM, ?rMB?Occurs on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Suitable habitat for it to breed.

Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis sMB, sPMApr–Sept. Breeds across the island. Lesvos birds are the race crassirostris.

Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis sPM, rMBOccurs on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Several pairs breed.

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans cMBCommon and widespread across much of the island Apr–Sept.

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala sRB, rPMThis is a surprisingly scarce species with breeding confined to only a handful of areas (e.g Agios Fokas, Ambeliko Valley). Migrants can occur anywhere. Quite numerous in winter which suggests wintering birds from nearby Turkey.

Rüppell’s Warbler Sylvia rueppelli rMB, rPMA localized summer breeder. The best-known area is the well-watched site at Kavaki between Petra and Molivos (Tracey Island — so named after the space-age night club structure visible as you approach the site from Petra). Males frequently found holding territory in the Kalloni–Petra corridor inc. in recent years the Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint (the ‘bandstand’), the west side of Mesa (on north side of main road before the turn to Achladeri) and the east side of Mesa (along the track on the east side of the marsh just over the road bridge. Population in clear decline in recent years.

Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla V *Most recent records are: 1 singing near Parakila Apr 99; up to 6 Meladia River valley nr Sigri Apr 02 (Brooks 1999, 2002); 1 Molivos Sept 07 (S.P. Dudley).

Goldcrest Regulus regulus sWVLocalised, usually in the coniferous woods, Oct–Apr.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes rRBSmall numbers breed across the island and records indicate increase in numbers in winter.

White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus V*One accepted record: 1 Sigri 7 Oct (D Brown) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Wood Nuthatch Sitta europaea rRBA few scattered pairs breed across the islands in oak areas inc. Napi Valley, Parivoli monastery, Skalochori, Vatousa, between Agiasos and Plomari, and along the north track between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias.

Krüper’s Nuthatch Sitta krueperi rRBThis is a rare localised breeder and appears to be confined to the coniferous woods of the Mount Olympus section of the island, south of the Mitilini-Kalloni road. The best-known site is Achladeri Woods, where 1-3 pairs breed annually in the public areas of the woodland. It can still be found (Sept 07) near the Old Sanitorium at Agiassos (including coming to a dripping pipe), but since the discovery of the Achladeri site, few people bother to look for it in other areas. Other good sites to look for the species include the Panaghia Chapel (off the main road between Agiasos and Vasilika at the Mt Olympus road junction) and the forest along the Mt Olympus summit track. Breeding time varies according to the spring weather, but fledging usually occurs from the first week of May.
For reporting your records of this species, inc. colour-marked birds, see here.

Rock Nuthatch Sitta naumayer cRBCommon throughout much of the rockier areas of the island, particularly the west and north. They build gourd-like nests out of mud in shaded rock crevices. Lesvos birds don’t look like classic Western Rock Nuthatch S. neumayer, but appear to be somewhere between Western and Eastern Rock Nuthatch S. tephronata. They have extensive buff colouring under the tail and onto the rear flanks (pro-Eastern) as well as a medium-to-thick black eye stripe behind the eye (intermediate feature). Some place the Lesvos birds as part of the Asia Minor race S. n. zarudnyi (BoG). Proving were the Lesvos birds fall in the rock nuthatch complex could prove a fascinating study.

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla sRBOccurs in pine forests across the island. Most birders see this species at Achladeri when looking for Krüper’s Nuthatch and so rarely search elsewhere. Lesvos birds may be of the Asia Minor race C. b. harterti (BoG).

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris cWVOccurs Oct–Apr.

Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus sPMOccurs in varying numbers annually May–Jun.
2009: poor passage 2-27 May; an early 1st summer male 2-5 May (MO) (Lesvos Birds 2009)

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus VOnly three recent records: a male Potamia Valley Apr 99; 1 nr Achladeri Apr 99; a male Ipsilou monastery May 99.

Blackbird Turdus merula cRB, cWVBreeding numbers increasing and very common in winter. Shot in large numbers to reduce numbers feeding on olives.

Fieldfare Turdus pilaris sWVSmall numbers Oct – Feb.

Redwing Turdus iliacus sWVOct – Feb. Usually more numerous than Fieldfare.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelus cWV, rRBCommon and widespread in winter, with many shot (see Blackbird). Several pairs breed.

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus sRBSmall numbers breed across the island.

Robin Erithacus rubecula cWV, rBOccurs commonly across the island Oct – Mar. A few breeding pairs.

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica V *Only one accepted record: 1 Pithariou Reservoir Sept 07 (S.P. Dudley: HRC08).
Record(s) not submitted: Christou River spr 04 (Brooks 04).

Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia sPMOccurs in small numbers Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos cMBApr – Oct. Breeds across the island along dry river beds and other dry, dense scrub.

White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis V, CB *This species is thinly distributed throughout southern and eastern Turkey and the Middle East. It is best classed as a vagrant, sporadic breeder on Lesvos. The Birds of Greece lists only four records up to 1995, inc. two from Lesvos, and there have been around a further ten records up to 2006. Whilst this is a HRC description species, few observers ever submit their records formally so few have been officially accepted.
Four accepted records: 1 nr Molivos May 94 (Brooks 1995, BoG); 1 nr Molivos May 1995 (Brooks 1998, BoG); 1 Faneromeni May 98 (S. Gillings, S.J. Gough, P. Skerry: HRC 05 report); 1 nr Sigri May 06 (E. Opperman, K. Mullarney: HRC 06 report).
2009: male Ipsilou 1 Jun (photo: W Englander) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Unconfirmed records inc: Efthalou 95 and 96 (reportedly breeding both years); a male between Eressos and Sigri and (believed same) at Faneromeni River Ford May 97; pr on territory Ipsilou monastery May 01 were seen taking food to a nest site; 2 prs bred successfully nr Agra spr 01; 1 pr bred nr Agra 02; pr bred the old Sigri Sanatorium 06 (only a record of an adult seen on 4/5/06 submitted and accepted by HRC as above).

Rufous Bush Robin Cercotrichas galactotes sMBOccurs Apr–Aug. Small numbers breed in suitable dry, scrubby areas. Signs of a decline since 2005.
Lesvos holds a small population with scattered pairs across the central and western areas of the island. They seem to have a preference for coastal areas of dry stream and river beds running down to the coast.
Males sing from small trees and bushes but otherwise they spend their time skulking under and around dense low shrub cover. Better known sites inc. the Alykes Wetlands, Meladia River Plain and Madaros.
Birds arrive back in Lesvos in early May (rarely late April) and depart by late August.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros sWVCommon Oct–Mar.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus sPMApr–May and Sept–Oct.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra cPMCan occur in huge numbers across the island Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Stonechat Saxicola torquata sRBSmall numbers occur across the island and records indicate increase in numbers in winter.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina sMB, rPMApr–Sept. Small numbers breed in the rocky west of the island. Best area to search is between the Eresos/Sigri/Kalloni road junction and Ipsilou Monastery. Passage birds seen in other areas.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oennanthe sMB, cPMSmall numbers pass through Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka V *Around 10 records inc: three records in May 95 — a male Skala Sikaminias, a pr near Ambeliko and a male nr Petra; a singing male nr Petra May 96; a fem/imm Mesa Aug 96; in 97, between Sigri and Eresos Aug; Potamia Valley Sept; nr Molivos Sept; a pr held territory on Mt Olympus in May 01; a possible pr on territory nr Molivos May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2003).
The Birds of Greece gives a single breeding record nr Akrasi in 88. Separating this species from the black-throated form of Black-eared Wheatear requires good views.

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica cMBCommon and widespread across the island Mar – Sept. Eastern (melanoleuca) occurs, with pale-throated and black-throated forms of both present. Annually, 'black and white' males (lacking any ginger tones to the mantle) are reported as Finsch's Wheatear.

Finsch’s Wheatear Oenanthe finschii V *Two accepted records by HRC: a male at Megalochori Jun 93 (BoG) and a male Ipsilou Apr 10 (HRC 10 in prep, Lesvos Birds 2010).
Records not submitted to HRC: a male singing at the top of Potamia Valley May 98 & Apr 99; 1 Aghia Ioannis Apr 99; pr Ipsilou monastery Apr 99; nr Molivos Irrigation Reservoir May 00; fem between Sigri and Eresos Jun 00; pr between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 01 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2001).
Many reports prove to be ‘black and white’ black-throated Black-eared Wheatear.

(Rufous-tailed) Rock-thrush Monticola saxatilis V *Around 16 records, most recent: 1 nr Vatousa Apr 00, 1 Metochi Lake and 1 Napi Valley (all Apr 00); 1 between Eresos and Ipsilou and 1 nr Vatousa (both May 00) (Brooks 2000, 2002); 1 Efthalou Sept 05; 1 Sigri Apr 07; 1 nr Napi Apr 08.
2009: a male Ipsilou 29 Apr (D & B Bradnum) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius sRBWidespread, especially in the rocky west of the island.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata cPMWidespread, and often in large numbers, Apr-May and Aug-Oct. Breeds in pine forest areas across the island.

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca cPMWidespread Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis sSP, rAPOccurs Apr – May; at least two autumn records – 2 Skala Eressau Oct 95; 1 Pithariou Reservoir Sept 07. The west of island during good migration periods is the best chance for this species.

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata V *Around 14 records, most recent: singles Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00 & Apr 03; 1 Napi Valley Apr 00; in Apr 04, singles at Molivos, Faneromeni River Ford & Ipsilou monastery (Brooks 2000, 2003, 2004); 1-2 Ipsilou Apr 08; 1 Meladia River Ford Apr 08.

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva rPMSingles occasionally seen Apr – May and Aug – Sept. Four at Ipsilou Apr 08 exceptional.
2009: singles Metochi Lake 25 Apr (I Kinley & D Thexton); Ipsilou 3 May (Lesvos Birding Pasiphae Log); and Sigri Old Sanatorium 5 May (I Kinley & D Thexton) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

House Sparrow Passer domesticus cRBWidespread and common.

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis sRB, sPMBreeding groups found across the island, usually around fertile agricultural land. Distinct passage Apr – May.

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus V, CB *Five records: 1 Skala Eresou Oct 92; between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias Apr 94; nr Anaxos Aug 96; 3 between Gavathas and Ancient Andissa May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000). Pr bred (amongst House Sparrows) near Agios Fokas 03 (Brooks 2003).
2009: 1 with House Sparrows at the Petrified Forest Visitor Centre 3 May (R Harding) (Lesvos Birds 2009). Sixth record for the island.
The 2003 record may suggest that this species is overlooked.

Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia sRBSmall numbers breed in the rockier west of the island, e.g. Ipsilou, between Agra and Mesotopos.

Dunnock Prunella modularis sWVOccurs Oct–Mar.

Yellow Wagtail Moticilla flava
Common and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.
The following races are known to occur:
Blue-headed Wagtail M. f. flava cPMBlack-headed Wagtail M. f. feldegg cPM, cMB
Grey-headed Wagtail
M. f. thunbergi cPM
Yellow-headed Wagtail
M. f. lutea V *
Syke’s Yellow Wagtail
M. f. beema rPM *
The following intergrade/variant races are also seen annually:
‘Romanian’ Yellow Wagtail
M. f. ‘dombrowski’ sPM (flava-feldegg intergrade)
‘Russian’ Yellow Wagtail
M. f. ‘superciliaris’ rPM (thunbergi variant)
By no means all birds can be assigned to race with many variants of each subspecies occurring. British Yellow Wagtail M. f. flavissima (*) is reported annually and with only a couple of Greek records, these are more likely to be variants of other races.

Citrine Wagtail Moticilla citreola rPM *Occurs most years, often in double-figurs (e.g. 15+ Apr – May 04). Most records from spring, Apr – May. One unconfirmed autumn record: 2-5 Tsiknias River Sep 97 (Brooks 98) needs substantiating.
2009: 20-23 individuals recorded in spring.

Grey Wagtail Moticilla cinerea rRB, sWVSmall numbers breed and numbers increase in winter Sept – Mar.

White Wagtail Moticilla alba sWV, sPM, ?rB?Occurs Sept – May. A few pairs possibly breed.

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris sMB, SPMOccurs in small numbers, including believed breeding, Mar - Oct.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis sPMOccurs Mar – May and Aug – Oct.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis cWVOccurs, often in large numbers, Oct – Mar.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus sPMOccurs Apr – May and Sept – Oct.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta sWVOccurs Oct – Mar.
2009: Polichnitos Saltpans 1 on 22-23 Mar and 2 on 8 Apr (T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs cRBWidespread and common.

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla sWVOccurs in varying numbers Oct–Mar.

Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus V *Only one accepted record: a pr nr Andissa May 94 (BoG).
Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Perivoli monastery Apr 97; a juv nr Agiasos Sept 98; 2 Skala Kallonis May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003).

Serin Serinus serinus sRBOccurs in coniferous woodland across the island.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris cRBWidespread and common.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis cRBWidespread and common.

Siskin Carduelis spinus sWVOccurs in varying numbers Oct–Mar.

Linnet Carduelis cannabina sRBScarce but widespread across the island.

Common (Scarlet) Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus V *Only two accepted records: a singing male Molivos May 91 (BoG); a juv (caught and ringed) Haramida Sep 96 (HBRC: HRC 06 report).
Records not submitted to HRC: a pr Faneromeni River Ford May 97; a singing male nr Petra May 97; male Faneromeni River Ford May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000); 1 Ipsilou Apr 08.

Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra V5-6 records inc: pr feeding a juv near Agiasos Apr 97; up to 8 at the Sanatorium nr Agiasos Aug 98; ‘small group’ nr Vasilika Jul 01; 2 nr Achladeri Jun 03; 1 Ipsilou monastery May 04 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004).
2010: 1 reported Achladeri Apr.

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula VThree records: 1 nr Kalloni Apr 84; 1 Potamia Valley Mar 86 (Brooks 1998); 2-3 nr Agiasos May 08 (T. Robinson).

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes sWV, rBScarce in winter Oct–Apr, but large flocks, e.g. 200+ nr Dipi Larisos Mar 00 (Brooks 2000) not unexpected. Several pairs at least thought to breed.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra cRBWidespread and common.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella V *Three records: 1 Mesa Mar 97; 3 Potamia Valley Aug 97; fem Faneromeni Jan 98 (Brooks 1998).

Rock Bunting Emberiza cia sWV, ?rB? *Most records Sept–Mar, but occasional summer records may allude to a possible small breeding population e.g. Mt Lepetimnos 03 (Brooks 2003).

Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea sMBA localised migrant breeder occurring in the rockier areas of the west of the island. Good breeding population around Ipsilou, near the Meladia River Ford, between Aghia Ioannis and Mesotopos. The race that occurs on Lesvos is the yellow-headed cinercea.

Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana sPMSmall numbers Apr–May and Aug–Sept.

Cretzschmar’s Bunting Emberiza caesia cMBWidespread and common in open country with scattered trees.

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus cRBWidespread and common in open country with scattered trees.

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla V *One record: 1 trapped and ringed Haramida Marsh Oct 97 (HBRC: HRC 06 report).

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala cMBWidespread and common. Arrives end Apr-Aug.

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus rWVSeven records, most recent: fem Christou River Mar 00.
2009: Polichnitos Saltpans up to 3 from 1 Jan – 5 Mar and up to 6 from 4 Nov – 30 Dec. Also 2 Almiropotamos River (Lisvorio) 3 Feb and 2 Skala Vasilikon 30 Nov (all T Robinson) (Lesvos Birds 2009).

The species listed here remain unconfirmed (no records submitted or occurrence thought unlikely and without supporting evidence are excluded). Where records have been submitted to HRC and have been rejected, this is indicated.Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca *Records not submitted: 1 Ipsilou Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).
A very unlikely species and surely refers to Chukar.
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus *Records not submitted to HRC: several shot during the winter of 01-02 (Brooks 2002).Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis *Records not submitted: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans Mar 03 (Brooks 2003).Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina *Records not submitted: 1 Skala Kallonis Pool Mar 02 (Brooks 2002).Red-throated Diver Gavia immer *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Skala Kallonis Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus *Several records not submitted to HRC inc. 1 off Vatera Apr 01 (Brooks 1998, 2001).Black Vulture Aegypius monachus *Record not submitted to HRC: 1 reported May 08.Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus *Records rejected by HRC: 2 birds River Christou Sept 98 (HRC05).
Records not submitted to HRC: singles nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 and Apr 03.
The species is not on the Greek list.
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultia *Records not submitted to HRC: singles Kalloni Saltpans Apr and May 99, 2 in May 01 and one Jun 02 (Brooks 1999, 2001, 2002).White-tailed Plover Vanellus leucurus *Records not submitted to HRC: 3 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00 and another single there later in the month (Brooks 2000); 1 Mesa May 01 (Brooks 2001).Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii *Records not submitted to HRC: one Kalloni Saltpans May 01 (Brooks 2001).Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Mitilini Jan 98 (Brooks 1998); 1 Mitilini Apr 01 (Brooks 2001); 3 Kalloni Saltpans Oct 02 (Brooks 2003).Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea *Records not submitted to HRC: Tsiknias River Jun 96 (2), May 98 (1) (all Brooks 1998), Apr 99 (1) and Apr 04 (2); Kalloni Saltpans Apr 98 (1), Apr 99 (3), May 00 (1) & Apr 04 (1); 6 Skala Kallonis Mar 02; 1 Tsiknias River mouth May 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004). Only nine accepted Greek records.Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Mitilini Oct 96 (Brooks 1998). Only three Greek records.Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus *Records not submitted to HRC: an adult off Vatera May 96 (Brooks 1998).Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Sigri Sept 02 (Brooks 2002).White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrensis *Records not submitted to HRC: a very convincing description of a single bird seen at the Christou River road bridge on the evening of 21 Sept 07.Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major *
An unlikely species but reports from Parakila, Potamia Valley, nr Gavathas, nr Petra, Papania and nr Agiasos (Brooks 1998).
This species’ regional distribution is somewhat far removed (northern Greece) from the Aegean Sea area and must therefore be considered as very unlikely to occur.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis *One report: Potamia Valley May 02 (Brooks 2002).
Occurs in nearby Turkey but remains an unlikely species to occur. Golden Orioles are occasionally reported as this species.
Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopus syriacus *Reports inc. nr Arisvi May 91; Sikaminia Jun 93; Skala Eresou Aug 93; Agiasos Sept 94; nr Petra Oct 95; pr between Polichnitos and Skala Polichnitou Apr 99 (Brooks 1998, Brooks 1999).
Of all the potential vagrant woodpeckers this is the most likely species to occur.
White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopus leucotos *Unconfirmed reports: nr Skalochori Apr 87; nr Tsiknias River May 96 (both Brooks 1998); 1 Napi Valley spr 00 (Brooks 2000).
Like Great Spotted Woodpecker, the range of this species is nowhere near the Aegean Sea area.
Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 after extensive snowfall during the 1986-87 winter (Brooks 1998).Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi *Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Skala Kallonis Sept 94; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 98; 1 Aghia Ioannis and near Makara (believed same bird) Apr 98; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 1 Ipsilou Apr 02; 1 Achladeri May 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2002).Blackstart Cercomela melanura *Record not submitted to HRC: One reported along the cattle track between Sigri and Eresos May 00 (Brooks 2000).
Not on the Greek list.
Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti *Several records not submitted to HRC inc. 1 nr Anaxos May 98 and a fem Mesa spr 99 (Brooks 1999).Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni Ford Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Ipsilou monastery May 01 (Brooks 2001).Upcher’s Warbler Hippolais lanuida *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 nr Tavari May 96; 1 Ipsilou monastery May 99; 1 between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 00; 1 nr Efthalou May 01 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001).Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata *Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00; 1 Ipsilou monastery Apr 00; 1 between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 01 (Brooks 2000, 2001).Ménétries’s Warbler Sylvia mystacea *1 Potamia Valley May 04 (Brooks 2004).
The species is not on the Greek list.
Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegula *Record not submitted to HRC: 1 between Tsiknias River and Kalloni Saltpans May 98 (Brooks 1998).
The species is not on the Greek list.
Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus *Records not submitted to HRC inc.1 Faneromeni Apr 95; 1 near Meladia River Ford Apr 98; 1 between Petra and Vafios May 98; fem Upper Tsiknias River Apr 00; 1 Molivos Reservoir May 01; 2 Sigri Fields May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003).Twite Carduelis flavirostris *Two records: 2 birds of the Turkish race brevirostris Kalloni Saltpans May 94 (Brooks 1998); 4 between Sigri and Eresos Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).
Not on the Greek list.
Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica *Records not submitted to HRC: 8 Potamia Valley Mar 02 (Brooks 2002).ESPCAPES
The following species are thought to be of unlikely natural occurrence and therefore deemed likely escapes from captivity.
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
One reported Kalloni Saltpans Aug 02 (Brooks 2003).
Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
One Skala Kallonis Jun 08.
A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos. Dudley, S.P. 2010. Arlequin Press, Shrewsbury.
Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos. Brooks, R. 1998. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2005 (referred to as HRC 05 report in text)
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2006 (referred to as HRC 06 report in text)
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2007 (referred to as HRC 07 report in text)
Lesvos Birds 2009. Dudley, S.P. 2010. Lesvos Birding, Peterborough.
Lesvos update spring 1999. Brooks, R. 1999. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2000. Brooks, R. 2000. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2001. Brooks, R. 2001. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2002. Brooks, R. 2002. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update Summer ’02 – summer '03. Brooks, R. 2003. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update autumn ’03 – summer ’04. Brooks, R. 2004. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
The Birds of Greece. Handrinos, G & Akriotis, T. 1997. A&C Black, London. (BoG in text)Abbreviations used
HBRG - Haramida Bird Ringing Group
HRC - Hellenic Rarities Committee
LWH- Lesvos Wildlife Hospital

Last updated 05 October 2010