Friday 11 November 2016

Lesvos : Day 2: 12th September 2016

Lesvos : Day 2: 12th September...  

Despite the long day yesterday we managed a pre-dawn rise and not only witnessed a superb sunrise but had the Lotzaria fields to ourselves before the heat got going. 

Fewer shrikes to be found but still plenty to see with all three species once again along with a good spread but likewise fewer of the other chats, wagtails, pipits and warblers. One magic field held a little of everything along with three cryptic Hoopoes and a jangly plipping flock of Corn Buntings while another freshly mowed field had flava Wagtails, Whinchats and Wheatears dotted around on every heap like little amber and golden fairy lights on a horizontal Christmas Tree. Two Rollers (including a new adult) were hunting from the wires and flopflopping like some sort of weird Lapwing after prey on the ground while a rusty Long-legged Buzzard was still in the process of waking up on top of a Walnut tree not far from where we usually see one in the spring. Spot Flys were all around and you could hear bill snaps in the still air.

The Horizontal Christmas Tree Field


Hooded Crow gang - over 150 came out of roost

Adult Roller

Lesser Grey Shrike

Long-legged Buzzard

After breakfast we headed out for a long mountainous route that I discovered in May that started of off the Lambou Mili bypass and the River Evergetoulas Kara where they may not have been any dragonflies but I did find my first ever Freshwater Crab and some great insects including Lang's Short-tailed Blues, a species of what I think is a Wool Carder Bee, a Millet Skipper and some huge Violet Carpenter Bees. Bee-eaters dotted the wires and Common Buzzards and Ravens tumbled.

River Evergetoulas Kara

River Evergetoulas Kara

Meadow Brown sp

Lang's Short-tailed Blue

Millet Skipper and LSTB incoming!

American Pokeweed - warblers loved the berries

A ragged Small Copper

Violet Carpenter Bee

Not a great shot but behaved and felt like a type of Wool Carder bee - still researching
Up we went through Agiossos and into the Chestnut forest now weighed down with prickly fruit with hundreds of Bee-eaters passing low overhead. It was fairly bird free but the odd stop did produce Robins, Sardinian Warblers, Wrens, Middle Spot Woodpeckers, Short-toed Treecreeper and various Tits.  The viewpoint above the town had a host of Honey Bees coming down to the spring trough to drink and a superb Eristalinus taeniops hoverfly with the coolest eyes ever was trying to get in on the action while another hover extricated from the windscreen turned out to be a species of Callicera but I am not sure which and having its head on nearly upside down did not really aid id although it did eventually fly off! 


Honey Bee drinking

Honey Bee team at the bar

Eristalinus taeniops

Callicera sp with ever so slightly ... uumm... wonky head

Middle Spotted Woodpecker damage at our lunch spot in the olives near Neochlori. We heard and saw the species almost everywhere we went all week. Much easier than in the spring.

Down again through Megalochori and then up once again to Abiliko and back to the main road before heading through to Polichonitos and its salt pans where Flamingos and a Black Storks gave close views along with a nice flock of agitated Stilts, five Kentish Plovers and a few Stints. Four Slender-billed Gulls were dotted among the Black-heads and 36 Sandwich Terns were on posts. 

Black Stork

Slender-billed Gulls

Black Winged Stilts


juvenile Black Winged Stilt & a Kentish Plover
A Short-toed Eagle watched the world from a low level Turpentine tree and another keened up above before the sound of a potentially findable Cicada on a close olive allowed me the chance to locate this large and alien looking creature as it clung under a low branch. What a sound.... 

Short-toed Eagle

Short-toed Eagle

We followed the coast back via Skaminoudi but the pool at Alkoudi was completely dry and a a Shag, Mediterranean Gull and two Common Terns were the only species added before we hit the main road at Achladeri and so ended another memorable day... 

The beach road with Achladeri coming into view

Shag on the rocks...

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