Barmy weather

Greater Flamingos and Black Storks at Kalloni Saltpans, 27 Nov 2010 © Eleni Galinou

Eleni Galinou and her family have recently moved back to Lesvos and I hope to be able to feature more news from her from now on.

Eleni reports that the weather on the island is unseasonably warm with temperatures up to 28C - shorts and t-shirt weather! Maybe this weather has contributed to the high counts for some species including 110 Ruddy Shelducks, 1800 Greater Flamingos and 5 Black Storks at Kalloni Saltpans in recent days. The 8 Dalmatian Pelicans were also still present on the 27 Nov.

Plain Tigers in 2010

Plain Tiger (

Danaus c


, Vatera, 14 Nov 2010
© Terry Robinson

This Plain Tiger was found at Vatera on Sunday by Terry Robinson. Terry managed to do what I didn't with my butterfly at Faneromeni in September - get a photograph!

The only other records this year are all from Faneromeni with singles there on 13 Sept (Steve Dudley et al) an 15 Sept (John Bowers) and four there on 16 Sept (John Bowers).

The only other Lesvos record I am aware of is one at Kalloni Saltpans in July 2007 (David Griffiths).

I'm still trying to find out about Lesvos records prior to this year and also whether they have been recorded elsewhere in the Aegean/North Med area this year. If you have info in either please get in touch.

Lesvos - 2011 flight info

Update 23 February 2011

As ever, for UK birders there are two different routes and several different carriers to choose from for your flight out to Lesvos.

Fly direct from Gatwick or Manchester by charter flight with Thomson/First Choice.

Last year was a bit of a debacle with flight only deals hard to come by at a reasonable price. The first flight of the season (15 April) was cancelled (again), so I would strongly advise anyone wishing to travel to Lesvos before 21 April this year to use the Athens route (below).

As at 09 Feb 11 I've been Thomson have lowered there prices, e.g. c.£229 (+ add ons such as suitcase at £25 each) from Manchester departing 14 April. I've also been told that the 14 April outbound flight only has 9 seats left. I don't know about prices for other departure dates. If you do, then please let me know and we can share with others.

Book Thomsonfly flights online or via your local travel agent.


Aegean Airlines (tel. 0871 200 0040)

23/02/11 - Aegean have just rescheduled many of their routes, including London Heathrow to Athens and Athens to Mytilini. It is no longer possible to fly to Lesvos via Athens on the same day (other than going via Munich).

Check out Aegean flights here.

Olympic Air (tel. 0870 6060 460)

23/02/11 - Olympic have just rescheduled many of their routes, including London Heathrow to Athens and Athens to Mytilini. It is no longer possible to fly to Lesvos via Athens on the same day.

Check out Olympic flights here.

British Airways (tel. 0844 493 0787)

British Airways have a regular schedule of flights to/from Athens that will link up with your Aegean or Olympic flight to/from Mytilini.

Book BA flights here.

EasyJet offer flights to Athens from Gatwick and Manchester to connect with your onward flight to Mytilini with Aegean or Olympic.

Book EasyJet flights here.

European birders will have to contact your local travel operator for flight options.

Car hire
And don't forget to book your car hire! 15% off TSALIS vehicles when you mention Lesvos Birding - see here.

Pygmy Cormorants

Two Pygmy Cormorants found today (09/11/10) by Wulf Kappes in the reeds at the mouth of the Almiropotamos River at Vatera. These are the first birds seen since the one at the Vouvaris River mouth in September 2008. They probably occur each winter on the island in very small numbers but the lack of observers means they certainly go undetected. Several of the island river mouths have similar cover that hold Pygmy Cormorants. They just need checking and there aren't enough eyes out there during the winter to do it!

Pygmy Cormorants, Almiropotamos River, 9 Nov 10 © Terry Robinson

High winds and waves in the Gulf of Kalloni meant the Pygmy Cormorant's were forced to sit it out in the reeds today! Photo © Terry Robinson

Dalmatian Pelicans

Dalmatian Pelican, Kalloni Saltpans, 3 Nov 10 © Terry Robinson

On 23 October Eleni Galinou found a flock of 21 Dalmatian Pelicans at Kalloni Saltpans. This is the largest confirmed flock since 2000. At least eight were still present on 3 Nov when Terry Robinson paid a visit and took these photos. Eight pelicans still present on 14 Nov.

Dalmatian Pelicans, Kalloni Saltpans, 3 Nov 10 © Terry Robinson

Grey Phalarope - new for Lesvos

Grey Phalarope, 1 Nov 2011, Polichnitos Saltpans © Terry Robinson

The first Grey Phalarope for Lesvos was found yesterday, 31 Oct, and was still present today, keeping to the middle of the pans. Terry did great to get these record shots.