Friday 19 May 2017

Lesvos: Day 8: 2nd May 2017

Day 8: 2nd May: 

A decidedly civilised day that started along the coast at Skala Vasilikon in the hope that at long last we might catch up with Olive Tree Warbler on one of these trips. Staying longer than the party usually means that I do, but this is Sam’s 5th visit so we put in the effort and got our reward and although the views were not great we did have three birds singing at close quarters and with a bit of patience were able to work out which trees he favoured and eventually get a view down that bright orange gullet!

These particular groves were full of birds with at least four pair of Masked Shrikes, Woodchat, Cirl and Black-headed Buntings, Middle Spot Woody, Subalpine, Olivaceous and Orphean Warblers, Blackbirds, Tits and Turtle Doves.  It was magical and the chorus was only occasionally broken by a passing car and the sounds of the family pruning the olives in the adjacent grove.

This male Black-headed Bunting was sitting too close to my head for a better shot!
The Alikoudi beach pool was still a little high with no small waders but a fine Glossy Ibis preened in the sun and a Curlew called. the flowers around the edges were superb...

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

We searched all the wires for a Roller but found nothing but more Buntings and a smart male Red-backed Shrike. The Poly Pans were almost devoid of birds so we retraced our steps and only stopped to rescue two abandoned small puppies that we first saw three days ago but failed to catch. This time a concerted effort saw both safely ensconced in a crate in the back of the van for the journey back to the Pela where Thekla is helping to re-home them in the Netherlands. I think this takes her total to 20 since October. Anyway they are in good hands now. 

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike
This wonderfully marked Cormorant eluded my every attempt at a photo!
Grumpy and a bit car sick but safe

After depositing the puppies and having lunch we headed back out again and north to Skala Sykamenias so that my party could see this pretty little seaside village and of course evade the Parrot in Kavos cafe and have an ice cream before trundling along the scenic if a little rougher north coast track

Skala Sykamenias

Icecream at Kavos Cafe

Kate lounging - un-lizard like

There was no molesting of guests this year...

It may have been quiet but the views across to Turkey are superb. The only signs of that the great influx of people took place here now is the boat wreck still on the point and the empty UN welcome camp. Three Yelkouan Shearwaters flapped east but it was otherwise nothing but a pleasant drive.

Euphorbia scrub, the shipwreck and Turkey beyond
There was even time at 5pm for the first and last swim of the holiday and whilst rescuing Grasshoppers I heard the Yellow-legged Gulls kicking off and immediately thought big raptor and sure enough an Osprey drifted into view with said Gulls on its tail. Not too bad a bird from the pool!

Off for a last dinner at the Dionysos but there will still be time for a few hours birding tomorrow before heading off to the airport.

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