Wednesday 10 May 2017

Lesvos: Day 4 : 28th April 2017

Day 4 : 28th April ... 

An early start to get us to Metochi for dawn was worth the chilly feet and between us we managed eight Little Crakes tip toeing along the edges of the misty lake. 

female Little Crake

female Little Crake

Spot the male Little Crake

male Little Crake and Moorhen

No other Crakes species were seen but three pairs of Coots was actually noteworthy as we did not get one last year. Great Reed Warblers were the commonest species in the fringes and four Little Bitterns were seen and glowed in the new sun. A Golden Oriole sang from the Oaks and a Long-legged Buzzard was greeting the day from a telegraph pole.


male Little Bittern

Long-legged Buzzard

Breakfast was interrupted by Paul Aubrey shouting ‘Great Spotted Cuckoo!!’ and pointing to the Poplar in the garden. It even had the decency to stay put for a few shots before escaping to the Kalloni Bay Eucalypts.

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Once we were fed and watered we headed down to the Tsiknias where Citrine Wagtails did not materialise but a nice walk up from the Lower Ford produced several Little Bitterns and Squaccos along with the usual heaps of Wood Sands and a nice Common Snipe. 

Black-winged Stilt

male Little Bittern

male Little Bittern

The angles for the Little Bittern were interesting...
Common Swallowtail
Hayfields looking east towards the hills above Potamia and Metochi

From here we made our way around to Achladeri (passing a Great White Egret and 24 Ibis in flight en route) where after a short walk the Kruper’s Nuthatches obliged as they attended their nest. Such engaging little birds and nice to be able to watch an active nest without being to close and have the birds feeding unconcerned around us.  

female Kruper's Nuthatch

male Kruper's Nuthatch

male Kruper's Nuthatch

Short-toed Treecreepers called and it took a while to find a singing Serin although we did then find a nest in a pine just above the bonnet of the van! Otherwise it was actually a little quiet with no Woodlarks and only Woodchats.   

male Serin
male Chaffinch - ACV

Dung Beetles did what they do best but did not appreciate an audience.

Dung Beetles

Mantis egg cases

The afternoon was spent driving the coastal track between Achladeri and Alkoudi Pool with little ornithological reward but with some truly beautiful meadows stuffed with Wild Gladioli, Corn Marigold, Corn Cockle, vibrant Poppies and Alliums.  A Middle Spot played hide and seek and the expected warblers, shrikes and Turtle Doves sang.

A huge Gladioli patch

Allium sp

Wild Gladioli


A water seep from a field gave a good opportunity to watch Black-headed Buntings, House Sparrows and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler coming down to drink and bathe.
House Sparrow

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

Black-headed Bunting



The beach was equally flora rich...

Matthiola tricuspidata - Three Horned Stock

Glaucium flavum - Yellow-horned Poppy

An attempt was made on the way back to capture the two abandoned puppies that we found but we failed miserably – perhaps another day.


A quick coffee intake respite at the Pela and then back down to the Tsiknias via the Kalloni Pool which had a superb heron selection with five Squacco, Purple Heron, six Little Egret, two Ibis and Black Stork and once at the river the female Citrine Wagtail was seen immediately tripping along the muddy edge and a Squaccos glowed mid channel against the green algal mat. 

Black Stork


Common Tern

We ventured up river and walked almost to the road with more Squaccos and Little Bitterns to show along with two Little Stints amongst the Wood Sands before heading down to the Alykes Wetlands for a look before sundown.

Little Bittern

Stripe Necked Terrapins

Painted Lady

Despite the poor light we were treated to another wader spectacle with a sooty Spotted Redshank and dapper Turnstone with the other species. Three Marsh Sandpipers were seen and five Squaccos and 20 Ibis fed close to the road. 

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibies - ACV

Squacco - ACV

A Little Owl was jammed up under a telegraph pole and White Wagtail joined a Temminck’s Stint on the ever growing trip tally. 

Temminck’s Stint

The Flamingos looked nice and pink in the low light and an adult Slender-billed Gull and 1st winter Black-headed Gull loitered on Avocet Island with 18 Gulls billed Terns while a Great White Egret was only the second one we had seen.

From left to right: BH Gull, SB Gull, GB Terns & an Avocet

Greater Flamingo

The Salt Pans
Unsual to see Shelduck this well here

A very plain Common Snipe

Great White Egret

Another long day but worth the effort... Tomorrow we go north...

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