My idea of staying local resulted
in 11 hours in the field on a rewarding day that started by driving up the
Tsiknias beginning with the customary look at the river mouth where a Great
Crested Grebe loafed. The first Black Headed Bunting of the trip threw his head
back and brightened the day in shades of yellow, chestnut and black. Olivaceous
& Great Reed gave themselves up and a Redstart, Nightingale and Red-backed
Shrike flashed red tails. A Turtle Dove watched us from the wires and the first
Middle Spotted Woodpecker bounded across the river.
|Upper Tsiknias River|
|The 1st, all important Black-headed Bunting|
|Eastern Olivaceous Warbler|
|Great Reed Warbler|
|Little Ringed Plover|
|Waxy Pomegranate flowers|
|Mesa Wetlands looking across the Kalloni Gulf towards the isthmus|
On to Achladeri where the Kruper's Nuthatches were
a doddle as they stuffed grubs into eager nesthole mouths in the same tree as
last year which was handy. I ventured
here so soon in the trip as I felt that it would not be too long till they fledged.
Short-toed Treecreepers were obliging and nesting close by and I heard
Long-tailed tits and Spotted Flycatcher but there were no Wooodlarks to be
heard. Hoopoes sang and a lone Woodpigeon was to become the only one of the
entire trip. Alpine Swifts and Buzzard
were added and some grubbing produced some cool Termites and a wonderful male Odalisque.
Masked Shrikes were in the roadside Turpentine bushes and two
Cardinal, Scarce Swallowtail and a couple of Ilex Hairstreaks amongst other
species were seen on the swathes of flowers where we were bathed in the lemon
scent of Spanish Broom.
|Persian Meadow Brown - Maniola telmessia|
|Field Gladiolus - Gladiolus italicus|
|Philaeus chrysops - a jumping spider with a cranefly|
|Eristalis hoverfly sp|
|Violet Carpenter Bee on Spanish Broom|
|Canopid - Myopa sp|
The drive down to Skala Vasilka
was delightful but ornithologically quiet although the Serins obliged in the Cyprus
stand as we turned off and two path scuttling Tawny Pipits were added. The
olive groves were oddly silent apart from flouncing Masked Shrikes and purring
Turtle Doves while the Kentish Plovers were the star of Alikoudi Pool along with nesting Avocets and Stilts, inevitable
Wood Sandpipers and a stalking Squacco before our return back along the coast
adding four Shags, several Black-headed Buntings and a male Red-backed Shrike
on the way.
|Roman Nettle - do not mess with these bad boys...|
|You've got to love a Masked Shrike|
|Corn Bunting |
No rest for the very wicked and up to the Kalloni
Raptor Watchpoint where Eastern Orphean and Subalpine Warblers were heard along
with Cuckoo and Raven while an obliging Hoopoe ‘poopooed’ from the tree by the
car. Short-toed Eagle, Buzzard, Lesser kestrel and Black storks soared and the
first Cretzschmar's Bunting sang Beethoven. A stunning male Stonechat stole the
show. I know the Lesvos birds are often striking but this male was remarkable,
looking more like a cross between a Pied Fly and a Woodchat....
|Hoopoe all puffed up mid poop|
|That striking Stonechat...|
Back on the saltpans for the
evening where all three marsh Terns (five Whiskered and singles of Black and White-winged Black) were seen very poorly from the north-east
corner hide along with two more Gull-billed. Black Tern is still a tricky bird
here so was a pleasing find.
A bonus Ferruginous
Duck in flight headed to the main road channel and a Stone Curlew bogged us
with those big yellow eyes. Black Storks were always on view and one strode
along the main channel and 230 Flamingos, 24 Shelduck and nine Ruddy Shelduck
were counted on the pans.
Down at the Alykes Pool four Pratincoles headed
over - three Collareds and the Black-winged! We gave chase around to the
sheepfields but to no avail although a superb Osprey was a welcome bonus. Eighty Ibis glowed in the evening light and 16
Marsh Sandpipers and a Curlew Sandpiper dropped into the pool.
The bump back through Lotzaria in the golden light
saw Red-throated Pipits and flava Wagtails flitting ahead and an adult Night
Heron and full view Nightingale rounded things up at the Tsiknias Ford...
Nice comprehensive group of pictures Howard. LawrenceReplyDelete
Brilliant Howard, hope the rest of your trip is as good.ReplyDelete
Regards Big pete