Tuesday 27 September 2022

Lesvos - Day 9: 16th September 2022

An early rise and Dad and I were down at the Eastern Kalloni Saltpan track before dawn once again.

I could hear more waders on the first pan with the three smaller Plovers, Little Stints and Shanks audible including the first Spotted Redshank. Crested Larks were soon up too and Corn Buntings were jangling. We positioned ourselves opposite the Pelican island and after the sun eventually graced them with her first rays they ruffled their feathers and flexed those preposterous bills and headed off to join the mass of nearly 200 Cormorants that were getting the frenzied feeding proceedings off to a start.

Cormorants on the move

Spoonbills joining in


Six stirring Dalmatian Pelicans

I am always amazed at how Dalmatian Pelicans somehow mysteriously multiply before your eyes and the flock slowly crept up to 18 (Gina and Steve had 20 a while later). Fourteen Black Storks, 22 Spoonbills, 12 Great White Egrets and some of the 42 Little Egrets and 24 Grey Herons joined in the melee. As ever it was a magical bird bun fight!

Dalmatian Pelicans 

Black Stork

Waiting for the Cormorants to come back...

The Frenzy - Full screen, HD and volume up!

A flock of 11 Mallard was the biggest group so far and two Teal disappeared quickly while the Sandwich Tern flock noisily departed once again for the Bay and the adjacent Polichnitos saltpans. We avoided the huge sheep stampede once again as they headed off for the day and when the dust settled heard three Zitting Cisticolas on the way back.

Stand back and make sure the dust cloud goes the other way!

The bump back through the middle only offered a few Red-backed Shrikes and Whinchats and a lone juvenile Turtle Dove.

 Red-backed Shrike coughing up a pellet

 Red-backed Shrike - the male in his usual spot

Breakfast was interrupted by Steve doing show and tell with a fine Levant Hawkmoth which I then took on a tour of the Pela before hanging it out of the way in a Fig tree.

Levant Hawkmoth

Levant Hawkmoth - about Elephant HM size

From here the day became something of a history tour with the mighty Moria Roman Aqueduct (cracking Scarce Swallowtail there!) being followed by the 3-4000 year old Bronze Age settlement at Thermi. Once again we were the only visitors and the man on site was very pleased to see us! Unlike last September there were no migrants in the grounds but a fine adult Ant-lion made up for it.

Moria Roman Aqueduct - there were House Sparrows up on top but I always think that Rock Sparrows should be here too

Scarce Swallowtail 

Scarce Swallowtail 


Possibly a different Merodon sp - furrier and dark femurs

Adut Ant-lion

Slender Green-winged Grasshopper (Aiolopus thalassinus) -thanks Fraser S

We continued up the spectacular coast past turquoise and ultramarine bays with Sardinian Warblers easily heard from the car before a wasp infested lunch at Skala Sykaminia and an almost bird free drive along the North Track with just a few Eastern Black-eared Wheatears and a male Goshawk low through the Oaks. It was hot and dusty.

The wind got up during the evening and a quiet night in was had by all.

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