Sunday 13 November 2016

Lesvos : Day 3: 13th September 2016

Lesvos: Day 3: 13th September:

After an interesting night where the local tiny mosquitos had a party in the bedroom it was with bleary eyes that we headed out West along the coast at a fairly sedate pace. The normally arid vista had been reduced to a lunar landscape of oranges, browns, and greys but was as captivating as ever. Birds, however were sparsely spread and a few well chosen stops resulted in Rock Nuthatches, Cirl Buntings, Crested Larks and Stonechats. Dad had three Chukar that were spooked by some sheep and Ravens tumbled in the blue.

Looking down toward Apothika

It was a little dry...
 The Eresos to Sigri track was a little rougher than usual and birds were often concentrated around the small Shepherd huts and their livestock. Northern and a few Black Eared Wheatears were dotted about but obviously there were none of the usual trio of summer Buntings. A couple of parties of Rock Sparrow were seen and Red- backed Shrikes very quickly headed into double figures. 

The view down into Meladia once we crested the top of the rise... wow...

Rock Sparrow

An adult Woodchat

Rock Nuthatch

Black-eared Wheatears are a bit different in the autumn!

Black-eared Wheatears

Black-eared Wheatears- A proper black-eared one!

Crested Lark

The Fig Grove held more Red-backs and Whinchats and Spot Flys were dotted around but the ford pool was absolutely bone dry and nothing was added. Rock Doves headed up valley and a single Short Toed Eagle glided over. 

April Fig grove

September Fig grove
April Ford Pool

September Ford Pool... quite remarkable

female Black-eared Wheatear - a subtle little bird

Spotted Flycatcher - I love this pose

Red-veined Darter - just where the females were going to lay is anyones guess

We bumped down into Sigri (where the one way system had been reversed!) and pottered down to Faneromeni for lunch out of the freshening breeze. Local figs and nectarines added to the meal and Spot Flys and more Red-backed Shrikes were to be found but other than some Bee-eaters it was rather quiet but it did not really matter.


Sigri Windmill

A fine lunch

Sam, Dad & Mum

Dad & Mum tucking in in the shade of the big Oriental Plane by the Lower Ford

The Lower Ford was a little dry

and the beach was very crowded

but a dip in the sea was much appreciated

but we turned our backs on the car and this happened...

Lesser Grey Shrike
Icecream in Sigri Harbour

The route back took us to the top of Ipsilou where Somber Tit and three Willow Warblers were the only small birds but a mewing caused me to look up and three Short-toed Eagles and an adult female Hen Harrier spiralling south. 

From the top of Ipsilou

A stop at Perivolis Monastery for the first time was magical and I wished we had stopped there in the spring. The nearly dry riverbed was attracting everything down to drink including Cirl Buntings, Tree Pipits, Redstarts, Spot Flys,, Great Tits, Rock Nuthatches and Middle Spotted Woodpecker. A Persian Squirrel bounded through the parched olive Grove spooking flocks of House Sparrows and Chaffinches and a Two Tailed Pasha hurtled through the parking area. 

Perivolis Monastery

Everything was coming down to drink in the remaining stream

The rest of the drive back did not add anything different and a cup of coffee was calling back at the hotel. Caffeine absorbed and then back out for a couple of hours on Lotzaria and the Kallonis Salt Pans. The light was magical and the views of our now regular favourites were superb with the lovely addition of a first year Ortolan Bunting.

juvenile Woodchat

Red-backed Shrike

Blue-ish Headed Wagtail

Blue-ish Headed Wagtail

Blue-ish Headed Wagtail

Red-backed Shrike

There were no visible Pelicans or Spoonbills on the pans but Great White Egrets were now at 12 and Black Storks at five. Water levels had gone up on the corner pan and waders were scattered about but it was the low late light on the Flamingos and smaller gulls (now 11 Slender-billeds) that made a fitting finale for the day.

Another magic end to the day...

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