Friday, 18 November 2016

Lesvos: Day 6 : 16th September 2016

Lesvos: Day 6 : 16th September: 

Red- Rumped Swallows greeted me this morning as I came out for breakfast, the first for a few days and after feeding my horse-with-no-name with a couple of carrots we headed north for Eftalou and the thermal springs. It was still pretty birdless with only a chattering Sardinian Warbler at Kavaki and an adult Audouin’s Gull off Eftalou of note as we had our hour in the thermal baths!

The Kavaki view
Tree Pipits were coming in from adjacent Turkey where the minarets were gleaming. Large Wall Brown and one of the Meadow Brown species flitted around and so we made our way back to Perasma where hopefully there would be more insects to see. 

A better view of how low Perasma was

The Violet Dropwings were still utilising the barbed wire fence with half blue eyed Red-veined Darters for company while Lesser Emperor became our first hawker of the trip. More Grayling trauma too with another large but plain winged species that I have now sorted out as Freyer’s Grayling. A Cardinal (not a north American bird or member of the Roman Catholic clergy) rocketed by and both Red and Blue-winged Grasshoppers were disturbed from the road edges and several gleaming Southern Swallowtails were seen. Coot and Little Grebes numbers were the same and the two Ruddy Shelduck and single Flamingo were still present. Only a Greenshank was new.

Violet Dropwing

Violet Dropwings are just superb

Freyer's Grayling

Freyer's Grayling - a master of blending in

Red-winged Grasshopper

Little Grebe

Almond ready for picking - they were very good!

Kermes Oak

Pyrus amygdaliformis - the Almond-leaved Pear

Osyris alba - an odd plant with berriers like a red Blueberry!

Back to base for G'n'T and another dip in the pool followed by an ice cream and some butterflying on the brambles on the verge by the hotel produced Holly, Common, Lang's Short-tailed and Long-tailed Blues along with Millet and Mallow Skipper and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Scarce Swallowtail and Two tailed Pashas cruised the gardens but they never seem to land. 

Mallow Skipper & Long-tailed Blue

Long-tailed Blue

Long-tailed Blue

Holly Blue

Common Blue

Meadow Brown sp... having problems as usual as does not seem to fit either Turkish or Persian that we saw in the spring and seems to be Oriental - Hyponephele lupina with the wavy hind wing and lack of tiny postdiscal spot

Greenbottle - probably a Lucillia

A drive out onto Lotzaria followed but it was still very hot despite the early evening hour. Bird numbers were definitely down but we still had our Shrike fix and the flava Wagtails were as gorgeous as ever and Willow Warblers were along most fence lines and perched up on sprinkler heads. An accipiter flashed through and I was convinced that I saw black underwing tips and my gut was telling me Levant. 

Spotted Flycatcher

Red-backed Shrike
Grey Heron with Mullet for tea!

Stripe-necked Terrapin
Sprinkler world

And so ended another day with a Thekla G’n’T special while watching a full moon with the ghost shadow of an eclipse moving across it with the sound of Cicadas and crickets all around...

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