Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Lesvos Day Three : 25th April 2016

Day 3: 25th April

We had breakfast in the sunshine again, with four Hooded Crows and the ever twittering Swallows and House Martins for company as well as the cheeky male House Sparrow who now comes and sits by the table for his breakfast. Interestingly the local Spanish Sprogs never do this.

Smart Hoodie

We made our way to Soumaria to look for Scops Owls this morning with two of them giving us the evil eye while a Middle Spotted Woodpecker attempted to get back to its nest hole in one of the eucalypts. We soon left to give it a chance to feed its young. 

Middle Spotted Woodpecker - we stayed away!
Scops Owl

Up at the Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint two male Goshawks, Short-toed Eagles and Buzzards were seen but very few passerines and even the Cretzschmar's Buntings were not showy although unusually a Cinereous Bunting was heard singing.  Woodlarks were spiralling up above and Barry nabbed a speeding Woodpigeon for the list.

Big Views

A busy male Eastern Subalpine warbler stole the show for me and gave blinding views.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler with breakfast for the kids

We spent a good couple of hours at Kavaki where three male Ruppell's Warblers were heard and showed exceptionally well. A pair of Black-eared Wheatears was present the whole time with the black throated male shadowing his lady as she brought in pieces of grass for the nest in the retaining wall. Two Audouin's Gulls loafed offshore and two Bottle-nosed Dolphins were seen came in quite close but there were no shearwaters to be seen.    

Always stunning with the blue sky and sea and lemon scented Spanish Broom

Ruppell's Warbler

A second male Ruppell's Warbler
Black-eared Wheatear

Black-eared Wheatear
A male Sardinian scooted across the road and sang briefly and Subalps were equally vocal but the singing Eastern Orphean refused to show. There were plenty of butterflies around including Sloe Hairstreak and Eastern Dappled Whites and constant Raven action kept up sky watching.
Sloe Hairstreak - the blue dot by the tail is the key pointer

We made for Persama reservoir for lunch at our usual spot. It was insect heaven with a fine pair of Black Veined Whites and a monstrous Wolf Spider being the pick. Suddenly two Ravens went berserk and powered across the reservoir towards us... eyes to the skies and a very high adult Golden Eagle drifted over before performing a stupendous power dive over the ridge. A real bonus bird and a new species for the island for us. Three Common Sandpipers teetered around the edges and four Ruddy Shelduck and a single Audouin’s Gull were with the Yellow-legged Gull throng. 


Bloody enormous Wolf Spider - even Barry almost suffered a mild brown trouser moment when he turned the rock over and it ran towards him...

Black-veined White Aporia crataegi

Orbed Red-underwing Skipper Spialia orbifer

Holy Orchid

Orb Weaver
Thermalling Gulls over Perasma

Just how Sam carries round all this gear in his mid eighties never ceases to amaze me.
Red-rumped Swallows adorned the wires

And a Cirl Bunting was feeding young
Back down to the Kalloni Salt Pans where Red-throated Pipits and flava wagtails abounded and Bee-eaters gave incredibly close views. 

The magic of Bee-eaters

Black-headed Wagtail
And cannot forget the occasional scenic Donkey...
Two Harriers were seen - an unequivocal adult male Montagu's with powder grey uppers and a pale gingery immature female Pallid with dark underwing secondries and a hint of boa and collar. 

2nd calander year female Pallid Harrier

The day ended on the Tsiknias with a superb Purple Heron in a tree and a Green Sandpiper trying to hide in the riverbed....

Purple Heron

Hypecoum procumbens

Watering the lucerne fodder fields and the attendant Yellow-legged Gulls

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