Sunday 26 June 2016

Lesvos : Day Six : 28th April 2016

Day 6: 28th April : 
It was a beautiful still calm morning and so we headed down to the northeast Kalloni Saltpan hide for a little after 0630. The mirror reflections from the hills behind were simply stunning and created some odd illusions with the flying Stilts. Ten Curlew Sandpipers were with 38 Ruff but there was no sign of the four Caspian Terns seen yesterday evening. Breakfast was taken with singing Hoopoe and Fan-tailed Warbler in the background before we packed up and headed west once more, this time on the coast road.  

Perfect reflextions

Mirror Stilts

Two male Red-footed Falcons snoozing in the early sun
We did not linger about and we were soon in Eresos and on the start of the dirt track through to Sigri. The track was lined with so many butterflies with clouds of them coming up from the abundant Black Mustard flowering alongside the path. I had ever seen anything like it. Mostly one of the Meadows Browns along with skippers, Marbled Whites, Small Coppers and fritillaries. There were plenty of Cretzschmar’s and Crested Larks singing and Rock Nuthatches, Stonechats, Whinchats and Red-backed Shrikes started to appear. 

The view back towards Eresos

Male Red-backed Shrike

A cracking singing male Rock Sparrow with his yellow spot on show

Balkan Marbled White

Balkan Marbled White

Mostly Persian Meadow Brown Maniola telmessia

Down in Meladia we spent some time checking the Fig Grove and Chapel area and took the Red-backed Shrike tally to 22 along with three smart pink flushed Lesser Grey Shrikes all together on one fence, both Pied and cracking Collared Flycatchers, lime green, white and lemon Wood Warblers, four luminous Orioles, acrobatic Spot Flys and even a Little Bittern and two Squaccos. 

The Fig Grove

Looking towards Ipsilou

The Ford

Wood Warbler

Wood Warbler

Best I could get of the male Collared Flycatcher!

1st summer male Pied Flycatcher

1st summer male Pied Flycatcher

Golden Oriole

A mixed hirundine flock shared the Chapel pines with us at lunchtime and dreaded when three Short-toed Eagles drifted over. Lesser kestrels and two Eleonora’s Falcons were seen before the Sanatorium and the views along the coast with green rolling fields and cobalt seas was simply stunning. 

Chapel Hirundines

Woodchat Shrike

Short-tailed Eagle

Lesser Grey Shrike

Starred Agama

Happy Chafer

Tachinid fly....

Great Banded Grayling - Brintesia circe at the Sanitorium

Great Banded Grayling - Brintesia circe at the Sanitorium

Common Blue

The view back toward Meladia

...and the blue seas of the Aegeon
The approach to Sigri

Ice-cream in Sigri and then and hot walk in the late afternoon down through Faneromeni down to the Upper Ford where the Purple Heron was still in residence. We notched up another 12 Red-backed Shrikes, four more Orioles and our first Willow Warbler and Blackcap of the week before spending some quality time with over 120 Bee-eaters. White watching these beauties I turned round to see a wader coming over the hedge... 'Great Snipe!!!' I shouted as it whizzed into the olive groves... not sure the Steve will get much of description out of me on this one but still a wow moment... 

Male Red-backed Shrike

Male Red-backed Shrike



Black-headed Bunting in Fig

We soon headed off and made a brief stop at Ipsilou where Cinereous Buntings and Isabelline Wheatear obliged and a tiny Ottoman viper that was sunning on the path almost ended up in my sandal causing me to perform the first comical snake dance of the holiday.

Reverse shot looking down to Meladia from Ipsilou

Cinereous Bunting

Cinereous Bunting
Another 11 Red-backed Shrikes enlivened the smooth journey home taking us to at least 51 for the day... I wonder how many are on the island today?


  1. What a joy to read this blog. I feel like I'm back there. Lovely story and nice photo's too. This is my favourite track when I'm on Lesvos and this year we drove it 3 times but still missed the collared and pied flycatchers. Luckely you saw them and even a great snipe!

    Kind regards,

  2. Evocative images,back story and cover photo , all summing up the beauty and marvel of a Lesvos spring.
    Thanks for sharing.