Monday 20 June 2016

Lesvos : Day Five : 27th April 2016

Day 5: 27th April... 

We went west this morning and slowly wended our way through the bird song filled countryside towards Sigri via Limonos, Skalachlori and Andissa pausing to listen to Nightingales, purring Turtle Doves, trilling Eastern Bonelli's Warblers and buntings and wheatears galore on the way. Cobalt Blue Rock Thrushes and stripy triangular Rock Sparrows were seen at the pinnacle layby in Lardia and Black-eared wheatears chased off the Stonechats. 
The way out of Lardia

A roadside Spotted Flycatcher

A dapper male Stonechat

It was cold at the Isabelline Wheatear layby and most birds were silent although a pair of Masked Shrikes moved through, a Woodchat sang and down below us in the valley several Golden Orioles were putting in some effort and were responsive to my whistling but did not show. A Fox moved through the meadows and one Issy was eventually found. 

Ipsilou had found some sun...

Some helpful advice sent us back up the road and most of the day was then spent exploring the tracks around Mount Ordimnos. It was magical with three Wheatear and four Bunting species putting on a fine show with the Isabelline Wheatears being especially entertaining in full Star Wars effects mode. 

Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear

Cirl Bunting
male Ladybird Spider

male Philaeus chrysops - jumping spider

Black-eared Wheatear

Hundreds of Black-veined Whites danced low to the ground when the sun broke through while Festoon and Fritillaries were on the camomile lawn around the tiny newly rebuilt monastery at the end of the track where more Bonelli's Warblers sang and Sombre Tits and red bra wearing Linnets came down to bathe. Woodlarks circled above and Crag Martins cruised around the buildings and one almost became Peregrine food after an epic wind splitting dive that made so much noise that we all jumped. 

The Camomile Lawn
Anchusa undulata ssp. hybrida

Henbit Hemp-nettle or thereabouts (cheers paul Manning)

Oriental Plane

Ornitholgalum umbellatum - Star of Bethlehem
This male Whinchat was in fine song

Cinereous Bunting

All the black dots are hirundines!

Red Admiral

Inky Skipper Erynnis marloyi - a new one for the list

Interesting Fritillaries but seems to match Aegean Fritallary Melitaea telona

Eastern Festoon Allancastria cerisy

Eastern Festoon Allancastria cerisy

A clear pool near the hidden incinerator plant held lots of Red-veined Darters, Broad-bodies Chasers and the cleanest looking Stripe-necked Terrapins and Balkan Green Frogs I have ever seen!

Balkan Green Frog

Stripe-necked Terrapin

There was more bunting action to be had at the Petrified Forest along with a surprise male Ruppell’s Warbler on territory and carrying food, a showy Orphean and a male Red Backed Shrike before we headed at long last down into Sigri and Faneromeni for the evening.

Cretzschmar's Bunting

Cretzschmar's Bunting

Cinereous Bunting

Ruppell's Warbler

Spotted Flycatchers and Turtle Doves were the dominant species along with two female Collared Flycatcher and a Wood Warbler. Golden Orioles and Bee-eaters added colour. 

The Oak grove

Turtle Dove

Spotted Flycatcher

Female Golden Oriole on Giant Fennel
A magic ten minutes at the upper ford added Purple Heron, two Little bitterns and a cracking female Citrine Wagtail to the list while Cirl Buntings bathed and the Cattle Egret found earlier decided to fly over. 

Purple Heron

Cirl Bunting

Cattle Egret
Some more wondrous Golden Orioles and thousands of offshore Yelkouan Shearwaters rounded up another memorable day.

Crested Larks are cool...

Faneromeni Beach - there was no pool

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