Lesvos : Day 5 : 15th September:
Another early rise saw us back at the eastern Kalloni Salt Pans and walking down to get a good look at the Dalmatian Pelicans and the other amassed long legged waders before the sun rose and the haze appeared. All six were still present and showed wonderfully. The water was quite shallow now and sideways head plunging is required to get that massive bill into the water and the pouch open. There must have been plenty to eat in that end pan as they were practically leaping into the 'net'. Eight Black Storks and 16 Great White Egrets were stalking alongside them while Spoonbills weaved in and out of the pink pins of the 'mingos and over 80 Cormorants were belly snorkelling, leaving otterish wake lines.
|The daily visit from the shepherd and his flock of smelly, dusty sheep|
|'Mingo, Great Whites and Dalmatian Pelican|
|The same mix but just more!|
Eleven honking Ruddy Shelduck circled round but did not stop and seven Mallard flew through and joined a flock that totalled a whopping 103 birds! A good scan revealed three Teal but no other species. Over 30 Redshank fed with some Dunlin and Little Stints and four silky white Marsh Sandpipers delicately fed around the edges with a single Kentish Plover.
|Ruddy Shelduck in the pre-light|
|Get in there!... Two Mallard... oh hang on ... there seems to be some more|
It was very hot and we decided to go and look for some Roman sites. The first aqueduct eluded us but I eventually found the track to take off through the wooded hills just south of the main road between Kalloni and Mytilini where a fine Roman single tier construction was visible through the trees. We parked up and walked down for a closer look. I just love the lack of H&S at these places, where common sense and personal judgement prevail and there are no fences and barricades to obscure your appreciation of the marvel of an ancient age. You could even venture onto it and stand where water flowed at the direction of Roman artisan hands although a full crossing is not an option with a missing span and a pine tree doing its best to twist the structure apart.
|The track onwards.... very good until you turn off left! Kruper's on the left.|
Sardinian Warblers were rattling away in the gorge bottom and this species is certainly far more widespread at this season. Short-toed Treecreepers called and at least two Kruper's Nuthatches tooted at us from the pines while Tree Pipits and circling Bee-eaters called above us. The pines were full of a large species of Grayling with a big white band through the wing but from our pictures they appear be Eastern Rock Grayling and not Great Banded or Woodland... love the Graylings on Lesvos!
|Eastern Rock Grayling|
From here we bravely stayed on the track before veering off to the left onto a more 'interesting' path that took us out exactly where I hoped alongside the River Evergetoulas near Karini where lunch was taken with Spot Flys all around and Ravens kronking up above. I would certainly not attempt this one again in anything but a 4x4!
|A chunky red-finned fish - my fishy friends say Dace|
|Hop on baby! - Blue Winged Grasshoppers getting jiggy with it...|
|Amber in the making...|
With the temperature still on the up we called it a day and headed back to the Pela for a coffee and swim and consequently International Insect Rescue.
|Similarly - a tiny Wasp|
|A Leatherbug of some sort|
|Lang's Short-tailed Blue|
The evening was spent with Alison Matea and Costas for dinner at their restaurant in Anaxos so just for once some chill time and even the drive back home in the dark was not quite as scary as I thought it might be...