Monday 18 July 2016

Lesvos : Day Eight : 30th April 2016

Day 8 : 30th April : 

An early start saw us at the end of the salt pan road at 0630 to be greeted by the amazing sight of 44 glowing Red-footed Falcons sitting up on roadside wires... truly awesome views in the early morning light. They were just waking up and starting to hunt and the light shining through the powder grey wings of the males was magical. 

There are about 22 Red-foots in this shot...

Red-footed Falcon - male

Red-footed Falcon - female

There was nothing different wader wise from the north east hide but a single Whiskered Tern was feeding energetically with 35 Little and five Common Terns.
Bee-eaters were already out hawking for breakfast and seven more Red-foots around pumping station corner took the tally to 51 for the morning. A Lesser Grey and several Red-backed Shrikes were seen and Red-throated Pipits and various flava wagtails were buzzing around. 

There was still time for another attempt at the Rufous Bushchats at the Tsiknias river mouth and a careful walk down to the beach and along the tide line to avoid disturbing the Stone Curlews proved worthwhile and we found an obliging male singing from a tamarisk before chasing a second bird and displaying with fully fanned tail. This along with a fine male Little Crake made for a fine way to end week one for my friends.

Rufous Bushchat

Rufous Bushchat

Little Crake - male

Little Crake - male

It was then back to the Pela for a late breakfast before following the coach back to the airport to pick up Andrea. Gatwick was experiencing various technical problems this morning and a two hour delay ensued. With time to kill I continued south past the airport and followed the coast around where spectacular views were afforded over most of the island and Turkey beyond. I headed up into the hills towards Panaghia Amali chapel through fairly silent pine forest although I did hear a Scops Owl and find two singing male Sardinian Warblers and some Violet Limodore, var. rubra. 

Coast roaad south of the airport

Coast roaad south of the airport

Starting the climb up...

Huge views to the west across the Gulf of Geras

Strawberry Tree - amazing bark

Panaghia Amali chapel

Violet Limodore, var. rubra

Violet Limodore, var. rubra

The start of the descent

ooo... there's the airport!

Wild Gladioli
The track back down to the airport was a little on the rough side and thank all the Greek Gods that no one was trying to come up it the other way otherwise there would have been some issues.  On reaching the bottom a couple of male Sardinian Warblers sang from some waste ground but I did not fancy getting my bins out behind the airport!

The plane eventually landed but Andrea's luggage seems to have gone to Lanzerote and it took some time before we were able to get on our way....but I still managed some salt pan time in the late evening and two glorious Honey Buzzards added themselves to the trip list while a snake-necked Purple Heron and orange glowing Squacco chased tiddlers in the main channel of the Tsikinias to round up the day....

Huddle of egrets

Purple Heron


1 comment:

  1. Another poetic and evocative report,
    beautifully punctuated with lovely images.