Lesvos trip report 21 July - 4 August 2007

by Robin Edwards, Willington, Beds

Robin's pictures here

Accommodation - Villa Vasso, Skala Kallonis

Weather - warm, 31-35 degrees, steady breeze most days, quite windy in highlands.

For species status see here
For stie information see here

Little Grebe, Evidence of breeding with young birds at Kalloni inland lake. 20+ birds at Kalloni res on 2/8 and single bird on roadside pool at turning to Apothika from road to Agra.
Cormorant, Eight birds at Kalloni res on 2/8, probably the same birds flying across Kalloni bay a fe evenings before.
Shag, Single bird seen in the bay between Petra and Molyvos on 25/7.
Little Bittern, Single adult male bird photographed at Kalloni inland lake and first seen on 23/7 early morning.
Night-heron, Two adult birds seen early mornings at Kalloni inland lake and first seen on 23/7
Little Egret, Several birds seen (max 5 together) at Kalloni Salt Pans. Also single bird at Polichnitos.
Grey Heron, Several birds present daily at Kalloni Salt Pans and Inland Res.
Black Stork, Birds frequently seen around Kalloni area. Max of 13 birds including young birds seen in Derbyshire area on 25/7.
White Stork, Breeding pair with four young at Skala Kallonis. Also bird at nest in Polichnitos.
Greater Flamingo, Estimated 200+ at Kalloni & Polichnitos Salt Pans.
Ruddy Shelduck, Max count of 22 seen on several occasions between Kalloni Salt Pans and Derbyshire pools.
Common Shelduck, Single adult bird seen with Ruddy Shelduck on 21/7 and 28/7.
Short-toed Eagle, Common throughout the island and seen daily. Bird frequenting Kalloni bay area on a number of occasions.
Goshawk, Single adult bird on the ground at Kalloni inland res on 2/8, possibly injured ?
Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Single adult bird seen near Petra res. on 27/7.
Common Buzzard, Total of five birds including family party of three seen near Pelopi on 27/7
Long-legged Buzzard, Bird seen close to Kalloni Salt Pans on 23&24/7 but otherwise not seen elsewhere!!
Lesser Kestrel, Two birds seen at Faneromeni on 23/7
Common Kestrel, Single bird seen at Kalloni Salt Pans on 21/7
Lanner ??, Possible birds seen over Petra on 25/7 and another between Parakila and Agra on 28/7. Neither bird seemed bulky enough to be Peregrine although firm ID not made.
Peregrine, Family group seen well from site near Achladeri on 30/7.
Chukar, Birds heard but not seen from Petrified Forest on 26/7
Moorhen, Young birds at Kalloni Inland Lake
Black-winged Stilt, Family including four young birds at Kalloni Inland Lake. Common at salt pans.
Avocet, 50+ birds at Kalloni Salt Pans
Little Ringed Plover, Birds common at Kalloni Salt Pans and Kalloni Inland Lake. Young birds present.
Kentish Plover, Birds at Kalloni Salt Pans including juveniles.
Little Stint, Max of six birds seen at Kalloni Salt Pans. Birds present throughout.
Temminck’s stint, First bird seen at Kalloni Inland Lake on 28/7, then probably same bird at Kalloni Salt Pans from 29/7.
Curlew Sandpiper, Single first-year bird seen at Kalloni Salt Pans on 21/7
Spotted Redshank, Single bird seen in Derbyshire area on 30/7
Greenshank, Birds seen throughout at Kalloni Salt Pans and Kalloni Inland Lake. Max of six birds seen at Derbyshire on 30/7.
Green Sandpiper, Two birds at Kalloni Inland Lake throughout.
Wood Sandpiper, 10+ birds at Kalloni Salt Pans on 21/7. Numbers then dropped with birds seen at Salt Pans and Kalloni Inland Lake.
Common Sandpiper, Single bird seen at Kalloni Salt Pans on 27/7 and on East River on 1/8
Black-headed Gull, Common around Kalloni bay and East River.
Yellow-legged Gull, Common around Kalloni bay and East River.
Gull-billed Tern, Single adult bird seen fishing in Skala Kallonis Harbour on 3/8
Common Tern, Common around Salt pans and East River including family of four young birds at river mouth.
Little Tern, Common around Kalloin Salt Pans
Rock Dove, Single bird seen from Petrified Forest on 26/7
Collared Dove, Common throughout island.
Turtle Dove, Birds including young seen most days around Kalloni area.
Little Owl, Birds seen at Villa Vasso, Petrified Forest, Derbyshire and Napi Valley
Common Swift, Birds over Kalloni Inland Lake on 23/7
Kingfisher, Single bird seen at Kalloni Inland lake on 1/8 & 2/8
Bee-eater, Groups of birds seen daily including 10+ around East River , Petra Res and Perivolis Monastary.
Hoopoe, Birds seen around Kalloni Inland lake, Napi Valley and other locations although not numerous.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Single bird seen from road-side near Achladeri.
Crested Lark, Abundant !
Crag Martin, Birds seen from road beneath Yipsilou Monastery
(Common/Barn) Swallow, Common around Skala Kallonis
Red-rumped Swallow, 10+ birds frequenting Kalloni Salt Pans
House Martin, Common around Skala Kallonis
Yellow Wagtail, Birds absent until 1/8 when first migrants seen at East River – probable thunbergi
White Wagtail, Single birds seen at Kalloni Salt Pans
Rufous Bush Robin, Obliging pair seen daily in field adjacent to Villa Vasso. Frequent along tracks toEast River and Salt Pans
Common Nightingale, Single burst of song heard near Kalloni Inland Lake on 23/7. No birds seen however.
Stonechat, Single bird seen from roadside between Eressos and Sigri
Isabelline Wheatear, 2-3 birds seen from roadside immediately west of junction of Eressos and Sigri road.
Northern Wheatear, Birds seen along roadside between Eressos and Sigri.
Black-eared Wheatear, Birds of both forms seen throughout the island.
Blue Rock Thrush, Single bird seen from Devil’s Bridge, Parakila.
Blackbird, Common around Skala Kallonis Inland Lake
Cetti’s Warbler, Common around Inland Lake
Reed Warbler, Common around Inland Lake
Great Reed Warbler, Single burst of song and seen well on 21/7 at ford of East River
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Birds seen daily being common in Tamarisk bushes.
Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Birds seen throughout around Petra, Molyvos and Kalloni Inland Lake
Eastern Orphean Warbler, Birds seen at Molyvos, Devil’s Bridge and roadside pool near turn to Apothika.
Ruppell’s Warbler, Family party at layby between Petra and Molyvos with Juvenile photographed . 27/7
Common Whitethroat, Single bird seen from roadside beneath Yipsilou Monastery
Long-tailed Tit, Feeding party including juveniles in pine trees near Achladeri
Sombre Tit, Birds seen at Devil’s Bridge, Kallonia Inland lake, near Ypsilou Monastery and near Pelopi.
Blue Tit, Common and seen most days.
Great Tit, Seen most frequently in the North of the Island.
Kruper’s Nuthatch, With patience, seen well at regular site near Achladeri on 29/7 and 30/7 after earlier visits had been thwarted by army presence. Four birds seen in feeding party on 30/7.
Western Rock Nuthatch, Seen daily. Bird common in most upland locations.
Short-toed Treecreeper, Single bird seen at site near Achladeri on 29/7.
Lesser Grey Shrike, No sightings until adult bird seen opposite Villa Vasso apartments on 2/8.
Woodchat Shrike, Common and seen daily at most locations. Most birds seen being first year birds.
Masked Shrike, Birds seen in Olive groves close to Kalloni Inland Lake and at various sites in Napi Valley.
Jay, Birds common both in the north around Petra and Molyvos and in wooded areas elsewhere.
Hooded Crow, Birds common throughout island.
Raven, Birds seen at Devil’s Bridge, Napi valley near refuge tip close to Madamados and in western highlands.
House Sparrow, Abundant.
Rock Sparrow, Birds heard and seen briefly at junction of Eressos and Sigri road.
Chaffinch, Birds seen at various locations during the fortnight
Greenfinch, Birds seen at various locations during the fortnight including East River
Goldfinch, Birds common throughout island
Linnet, Group of birds drinking at East River ford most days.
Serin, Single first-year bird seen near East River on 22/7
Cirl Bunting, Birds seen at Kapi on 27/7, near Achladeri on 30/7 and Kalloni Inland Res on 2/8.
Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Birds most common around East River and pools early morning and evenings throughout.
Species, Birds Recorded
Black-headed Bunting, 20+ First year birds seen at Faneromeni on 23/7 and single birds seen drinking in evenings at East River. No full-plumaged males seen during the fortnight.
Corn Bunting, Flock of 30+ birds frequenting fields adjacent to track to Kalloni Inland Lake.

Total = 94 + 2 heard only + 1 possible (Lanner)

Other species claimed by other birders during same period:Black-necked Grebe x2 at Kalloni Inland res
Slender-billed Gull at Polichnitos Salt pans
Mediterranean Gulls at East River mouth and Polichnitos Salt pans
Whiskered Terns x 4 at East River mouth on 21/7
Ortolan Bunting – I scrutinized birds I saw but all noted as first-year Cretzschmar’s Buntings
Alpine Swift
Stone-curlews at Kalloni Salt Pans on 21/7
Cinereous Bunting at Petrified Forest at 6pm on 20/7 – seen by two Danish Birders.

Birds looked for but not seen:
Bonelli’s Eagle around Mt Leptimnos
Olive Tree Warbler near Skalochori and Napi Valley
Cinereous Bunting at numerous sites around Sigri, Eressos, Mesotopos, Agra and Devil’s Bridge with road-side stops between.
Spanish Sparrow ?? Are they present during the summer months ?