I pottered out before sunrise and ambled down to the sea after Sol had just surfaced. It was calm, warm and quiet other than the phut phut sound of the little fishing boat offshore laying his nets and the Eastern Olies cycling in the tamerisks.
|Kalloni Bay looking towards the mouth of the Christou, Parakilia and Apothika|
|A very thin seven inch long centipede with 155 pairs of legs... yes, I did count them|
A full day out west was called for and we set off on the anticlockwise circuit
with a first proper stop at the three laybys in Lardia which gave my party the
desired cobalt Blue Rock Thrush, triangular Rock Sparrows, chittering Crag
Martins and trilling Eastern Bonelli's Warblers with the added bonus of Red-rumped
Swallows, a male Goshawk and Sombre Tit. Nightingales, Blackbirds and Levant Green Frogs provided a
constant aural backdrop.
|Eastern Subalpine Warbler|
Another short stop for Woodlarks just after Vatoussa gave us the first 17 Bee-eaters
of the trip and the Isabelline Wheatears were buzzing nicely at the layby with
the usual suspects for company while ten Alpine and
three Pallid Swifts headed north and a Golden Oriole sang from the oaks below.
Cinereous Buntings were singing but proved very difficult to find until I
stopped searching the rocks and checked the telegraph wires!
|Looking towards Ipsilou|
|Dave & Margaret watching...|
With calm conditions we circled
Ipsilou but a Chiffchaff was the only migrant. However, it was by no means
birdless with eight Cinereous Buntings singing from the fresh green turkey oaks
along with displaying Black-eared and Northern Wheatears, tail flashing Eastern
Orphean Warblers. Masked and Woodchat Shrikes chattering from treetops and Blue
Rock Thrush, Cirl Bunting and Woodlark were encountered.
|The view towards Meladia|
|Northern Wheatear - the birds here seem so pale, long legged and with more white in the tail|
Butterflies were everywhere and Violet Carpenter Bees thrummed between blooms.
The local Ravens kronked at the Buzzards and an
Eleonora's Falcon cruised by. We finished the circuit with another obliging
Woodlark and a smart Cretzschmar's Bunting before an entertaining ten minutes
spent in conversation with a couple of invisible Golden Orioles.
|Jerusalem Sage Phlomis fruticosa|
|Campanula sp possibly C. lyrata|
|Milk Thistle Silybum marianum|
From here we headed down to a
very quiet Sigri and Faneromeni which provided us with another singing Oriole,
two Collared Flycatchers and singles of Pied and Spotted. Flavas zipped around
and we picked up a couple of Black-headed Buntings and a fine male Red-backed
amongst numerous Woodchats while two Tree Pipits added themselves to the list.
A party of 24 Bee-eaters over the upper ford
would turn out to be the last we saw all week.
Shearwaters were offshore albeit hazy and Marsh Harrier, Short-toed Eagle and
Lesser Kestrel were all seen before we hit the track to Eresos.
Whinchats were the predominant migrant along with
another two Red-backed Shrikes, Pied Flys and a single Blackcap. A Purple Heron
was seen at Meladia as well as another immature Pallid Harrier and a superb
pair of Short-toed Eagles. Cretzschmar's eventually showed well, Rock
Nuthatches flicked across the track and two Black-headed Buntings sang from the
| female Marsh Harrier |
|Persian Meadow Brown - Maniola telmessia|
|Western Lesvos Bush-Cricket Poecilimon mytelenensis mytelenensis|
|The usual view of a Glass Lizard as it slithers off the road...|
|Meladia fig grove with Ipsilou in the distance|
The rest of the drive back was swiftly undertaken
before our first lovely dinner at the Dionysis... Dave and Margaret were over
the moon with about 130 species and at least 50 new ones in the first three
|Mediterranean Field Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus|
|and a new Buprestid - both on the hotel wall after dark|
|And so pleased to see this home made recycling facility along the seafront in town|
Nice review Howard. That was a centipede and a half. LawrenceReplyDelete