Day 7: 27th April:
A quick look at the trio of
Gull-billed Terns at Stilt Corner on the salt pans and then we were off towards
Dipi Larsou for a change of scenery. Two Squacco stalked along the river where Mullet
leapt and a Black Stork left, having obviously had his fill.
|Dipi Larsou and the Gulf of Geras|
It was already too
warm to be in the open so I headed for the River Evergetoulas Kara where, like many island rivers
it had obviously taken a pounding during the winter
and then been mechanically worked to get it flowing again. As such it was
dragonfly poor with just a couple of Beautiful Demoiselle and some Small
Pincertail were noted and a Blackcap sunbathed after having had a good bath.
|River Evergetoulas Kara|
|River Evergetoulas Kara|
From here we parked in the lower part of Agiosos
and walked up through the town to get access to the chestnut woodland. Eastern
Bonelli's Warblers chip trilled and Robin, Wren, Hawfinch and Song Thrush were
all new for the trip. It was otherwise quiet with none of the funny singing
local Chiffchaffs once again and even the flowers alongside the now concrete
path were very poor with just the Dragon Lilies showing flower.
|Oriental Hornet |
plenty of insects though and I was in hoverfly heaven. Some species were
familiar like Myathropa florea,
Episyrphus balteatus and Volucella
zonaria but there were at least two small Eristalis species as well as a weird looking dark winged beast that
I have now identified as Merodon velox.
There were numerous small bees
and Potter Wasps and a huge fly that seems to more closely fit a Tabanid. It was bigger than a V.zonaria! A couple of Cardinal glided
around along with Green Underside Blues and many Red Admirals. Balkan Green Lizards and Snake Eyed Lizards
scurried up the bank sides and Marsh Frogs belched from an irrigation water
|A tabanid - Phil has done some digging and found that |
Therioplectes sp is most likely
|Speckled type Bush Cricket |
|Green Underside Blue|
Below the small homestead about
half a mile up the track was a curious black mass in the channel at the side of
the path. It was comprised of the corpses of thousands of flies – mostly Green
and Bluebottles. I had to have a closer look and amongst them were not only
other flies scavenging on the deceased but several ribbed carrion beetles that
I think are Thanatophilus sinuatus.
However there was another wondrous beast amongst them which I have yet to pin
down although I think it is related to the Rove or Carrion beetles.
|Unknown rove-type beetle|
|Thanatophilus sinuatus or similar|
From here we wended our way
through the sultry scented pine woods down to my usual lunch stop at Mikri
Limni where a short wander towards the overgrown pool to look for dragonflies
was interrupted by an unfamiliar croaking...
I looked around and there it was... the glowing
turquoise of a Roller sat up on the roadside wires but I had left the crew at
the car and so legged it like some deranged black vested lobster back through
the pines to the car, quietly shouting at them to drop everything and follow
Thankfully it stayed put and then went for a fly
about, alighting on various high vantage points from which to sallie forth
after large insects.
Roller Despair turned to Roller
Happiness in the flash of a wing. Mistle Thrush, two Red-backed Shrikes and
three Whinchats were around the clearing and a trio of Black Storks circled
|Robust Spreadwing - Lestes dryas|
As we were ambling back to the car I discovered a circular golf ball sized hole in the ground with a silken wall around the edge. I knew from past visits what lurked down the hole and a delicate investigation with a small stick saw it dragged quickly out of my hand. Orange jaws and stripy legs retreated back into the depths and although I never managed to encourage her to come out and say hello, I did get my best idea of what she looked like.
We have always suspected that lurking down there is the original Tarantula (but not related to the current family) and so I was delighted to discover images of what appears to be this species out of her hole in Spain a few weeks ago. I am hoping that Stephen Knapp does not mind me using his images of the imposing Lycosa tarantula.
siesta was required till the heat of the afternoon had passed which included
the first dip in the Pela pool followed by rescuing a Snake-eyed Skink from my
A final circuit of the pans gave Dave and Margaret superb views of a male Red-footed Falcon catching insects above our heads showing off those red trousers to great effect.
There was a good
spread of waders, low flying Black Storks, singing Crested Larks, Black-headed and Corn Buntings and even some Flamingos had a fly round.
|Black Headed Bunting|
The Long-legged Buzzard was on his favourite telegraph pole and 14 elegant White-winged Black Terns and 30 croaking Gull-billeds spiralling above us
was a fitting way to sign off their first ever week on this wondrous island.
|Southern Eggar moth cat - I think|
|Long-legged Buzzard |
Nice Fly, nice Dragonflies , nice Hornet. Nice. LawrenceReplyDelete