Day 9: 3rd May:
An early rise on our last day to catch the sunrise saw us down on the beach looking out over a mirror calm gulf. Five Great Crested and three Black-necked Grebes were easily added to the tally and four Grey Plover dropped into the beach and were our first seen after hearing one two days ago. Bee-eaters ‘pruucked’ overhead and Red-rumped Swallows displayed near the little bridge and played catch with a feather while a posse of 17 Little Terns plunged in to catch tiddlers just a few feet from the car window in a circle of co-ordinated activity.
A fine sooty Spotted Redshank was feeding on the rapidly diminishing Alykes Wetlands with the usual array of wadery friends and a Whiskered Tern loafed with two Littles.
|From top right: Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Wood Sand, Spot red, Ruff, Ringed Plover|
|Little and Whiskered Terns|
Seven glowing Squaccos were at the Lower Ford and the Black Stork, three Ibis, a Grey and two Purple Herons lurked on the now very well vegetated Kalloni Pool on the way back and a Great Reed Warbler gurked away merrily.
A last repast with Thekla before heading back out for a walk along the Tsiknias upstream from the Lower ford where a Whiskered Tern dipped down delicately. It was already incredibly hot and but we persevered and the Nightingales suddenly decided to become showy and we had some fabulous encounters.
|A Pela Swallow|
|Nightingale - ACV|
Four Little Bitterns were seen and ten Squacco probably included those seen south of the ford earlier. A Greenshank became our 173rd bird for the trip as it ran amongst the Wood Sands. Black and White Storks drifted over along with a few more Bee-eaters.
|Squacco - ACV|
|The Upper Tsiknias Ford|
The Yellow-legged Gulls would periodically descend en masse to have drink and quick bath and Little Egrets and an immature Night Heron joined the Squaccos and both Black-headed Wagtails and Buntings dotted the river banks as a colourful send off.
|1st summer Night Heron|
|Small Skipper - they are huge!|
|Honey Bee & Thistle - ACV|
We saved the best for last as just a few seconds after I had suggested that a male Citrine Wagtail would be the proverbial icing when a buzzy wagtail called, et voila a yellow headed beauty landed just in front and proceeded to pose for us...
Sums up this magical island doesn't it?
Back to the Pela for lazy lunch and a last dangle of my legs in the pool and then off we went after bidding our fond farewells to Thekla and her Dad and of course Kratos and his two new tiny playmates.
|And here are the two pups that we rescued about ten days later - the little boy|
|and his sister - Both are being rehomed together in the Netherlands -Thanks to Leo Tukker for the pics!|
I safely negotiated Mytilini and within a short time we were boarding our short flight to Athens. A ringtail Montagu’s Harrier almost got diced by the turbo prop as we landed and the next couple of hours were spent upstairs in an air conditioned lounge awaiting our connecting flight, watching a female Marsh and male Monty quartering the runways with House Martins and a single Kestrel zipping around taking my mainland Greece list to ... four.
Every visit to Lesvos is different but the one constant is the superb warmth and hospitality from those we now firmly call friends. Till the next time...
|Little Grebe||Little Ringed Plover||Crag Martin||Short-Toed Treecreeper|
|Great Crested Grebe||Ringed Plover||Swallow||Golden Oriole|
|Black-necked Grebe||Kentish Plover||Red-Rumped Swallow||Masked Shrike|
|Scopoli's Shearwater||Grey Plover||Tawny Pipit||Red-Backed Shrike|
|Yelkouan Shearwater||Spur-Winged Plover||Tree Pipit||Woodchat Shrike|
|Cormorant||Little Stint||Red-Throated Pipit||Lesser Grey Shrike|
|Shag||Temminck's Stint||Black Headed Wagtail||Jay|
|Little Bittern||Curlew Sandpiper||Blue Headed Wagtail||Jackdaw|
|Night Heron||Dunlin||Citrine Wagtail||Hooded Crow|
|Squacco Heron||Ruff||White Wagtail||Raven|
|Little Egret||Common Snipe||Wren||House Sparrow|
|Great White Egret||Curlew||Nightingale||Spanish Sparrow|
|Grey Heron||Spotted Redshank||Redstart||Rock Sparrow|
|Black Stork||Marsh Sandpiper||Stonechat||Serin|
|White Stork||Green Sandpiper||Black-Eared Wheatear||Greenfinch|
|Greater Flamingo||Wood Sandpiper||Isabelline Wheatear||Goldfinch|
|Glossy Ibis||Common Sandpiper||Northern Wheatear||Linnet|
|Spoonbill||Turnstone||Blue Rock Thrush||Cirl Bunting|
|Ruddy Shelduck||Mediterranean Gull||Blackbird||Cretzshcmar's Bunting|
|Shelduck||Slender Billed Gull||Cetti's Warbler||Cinereous Bunting|
|Mallard||Black-Headed Gull||Sedge Warbler||Black-Headed Bunting|
|Wigeon||Yellow-Legged Gull||Reed Warbler||Corn Bunting|
|Garganey||Audouin's Gull||Marsh Warbler||Total: 173|
|Shoveler||Gull-Billed Tern||Great Reed Warbler|
|Osprey||Sandwich Tern||Icterine Warbler|
|Short-Toed Eagle||Common Tern||Eastern Olivaceous Warbler|
|Marsh Harrier||Little Tern||Olive Tree Warbler|
|Hen Harrier||Whiskered Tern||Eastern Subalpine Warbler|
|Montagu's Harrier||White-Winged Black Tern||Sardinian Warbler|
|Pallid Harrier||Rock Dove||Ruppell's Warbler|
|Goshawk||Wood Pigeon||Eastern Orphean Warbler|
|Sparrowhawk||Collared Dove||Lesser Whitethroat|
|Levant Sparrowhawk||Turtle Dove||Common Whitethroat|
|Common Buzzard||Cuckoo||Garden Warbler|
|Long-Legged Buzzard||Great-Spotted Cuckoo||Blackcap|
|Honey Buzzard||Barn Owl||Eastern Bonelli's Warbler|
|Kestrel||Scops Owl||Wood Warbler|
|Lesser Kestrel||Little Owl||Willow Warbler|
|Red-Footed Falcon||Common Swift||Pied Flycatcher|
|Hobby||Pallid Swift||Collared Flycatcher|
|Eleonora's Falcon||Alpine Swift||Spotted Flycatcher|
|Little Crake||Hoopoe||Coal Tit|
|Moorhen||Middle Spotted Woodpecker||Somber Tit|
|Coot||Short-Toed Lark||Blue Tit|
|Black-Winged Stilt||Crested Lark||Great Tit|
|Avocet||Wood Lark||Kruper's Nuthatch|
|Stone Curlew||Sand Martin||Wood Nuthatch|
|Collared Pratincole||House Martin||Rock Nuthatch|