A pre-breakfast Hoopoe on my amble got
the golden day off to a fine start and the little boat was once again out on
the calm bay with Crested Larks singing softly outside the Aegeon Hotel where
the usual Nightingale had taken up residence.
|Early essesnce of Hoopoe|
|Crested Lark all aglow|
|And a morning Hoodie too|
We collected our bread and headed
for the pans. Two female Little Bitterns were perched up as we crossed the
Lower Tsiknias Ford and were shortly followed by seven male and four female
Red-footed Falcons lined up like orange and lavender telephone wire decorations
with glowing red appendages.
A short stop at Alykes Wetlands gave excellent views of the hoped for male
Citrine Wagtail as he bobbed across the floating
weed. I am always blown away by this species... magnificent. Two Ibis, Squacco
and several Red-throated Pipits were seen before we headed towards the main
road passing three elegant White Winged Black Terns en route although the light
could be described as atmospheric at best.
|White-winged Black Tern|
Up north to Kavaki where four moustached male
Ruppell's Warblers were seen along between the two laybys and as usual they
seem to love showing off from the top of bushes regardless of the distance away
and this providing some superb photographic opportunities. A male Great Tit perched up on the angled
telegraph wire that so many of us have taken shots of both Ruppell’s and
Subalpine on and it seemed rude to exclude him from the club.
|The view from Kavaki is always capitvating - you could hear the gulls on the offshore island|
|The star of the show - Ruppell's Warbler|
|The Great Tits on lesvos are a shade paler all over than back home|
Three male Blue Rock Thrushes patrolled
the cliff edge utilising their favourite outcrop perches and occasionally
breaking into melodic song flights and Steve and Gina’s group found a Chukar
rock hopping at about half a mile range but I will always take any view I can get
of this enigmatic and sometimes difficult species.
|Blue Rock Thrush|
Purring Turtle Doves
surrounded us and even perched above our heads and Black-eared Wheatears,
Subalpine Warblers, the regular pair of Ravens and a couple of water hugging
Shags were noted . Rafts of Yelkouan Shearwaters fished offshore and provided
much better views than at Faneromeni but there were no Scopoli's of Audouin’s
Gulls amongst them and the Yellow-legged Gulls.
|Troublesome Fritillaries but I suspsct Knapweed|
From here we moved to Perasma
but could not find any Audouin's amongst the throng of YLG's on the relatively
The insects were superb though with countless butterflies
feeding on the Field Scabious - Knautia
arvensis along with various hover, beeflies,
other interesting diptera and a multitude of chafers. Red-veined Darters, Emperor and Lesser
Emperor, Southern and Black-tailed Skimmers were all patrolling the road side
and enormous Egyptian Grasshoppers were freely flying around like I have never
seen them before.
|Fallenia fasciata - a member of |
|I think these are unopened Milk Thistle but I'm not sure|
|Giant Verbascum sp|
|Crab Spider Thomisus onustus|
The skies were quiet bar the amazing whooshing of the gulls
as they whiffled in at breakneck speed with the air thrumming as they twisted
and turned to aid a speedy decent. It was quite surreal as you could barely see
them in the brightness of the blue but the sound made you jump and look up every
time until they tumbled almost uncontrollably into view.
Such sky watching added three
White Storks, Short-toed Eagle and several Buzzards and Ravens to the lunch
The north coast track from
Eftalou to Skala Sykaminias was a delight and as quiet as expected although the
Yelkouan Shearwaters were giving the best views I have ever had and a second
bonus Chukar sang at us from a hillside rock.
|Wave at Turkey|
|A chukaring Chukar|
Revitalizing ice cream was acquired before coming
home along the coastal road the other way before veering inland past the Storks
of Mantamados and then Napi where a host
of active Antlion pits were the highlight of a short walk in the overly warm
|White Stork nest|
|View from Napi to distant Turkey|
|Chafers sucking the life out of a thistle|
|A little caterpillar meeting his end - and I know I did not feed the antlion!|
|Un-known plant within an oak...|
|It seems to be a climber?|
|Sedum confertiflorum I believe...|
|A large Robber Fly|
Another diversion before Agia Paraskevi
to Kremasti Bridge to take in a bit of culture. It looked magnificent following
restoration and removal of the scaffolding. I love the fact that you can just
walk up to and over this ancient Roman byway – there are no barriers, ropes,
railings or anything vaguely to suggest that you should not be treading where
firstly Romans and Greeks and then countless local shepherds and their flocks
crossed before the newer road bridge was put in. Masked Shrikes sang in the groves and
Nightingales belted out their music from the river bank Planes.
With time to spare we finished
off at the saltpans where a dread of silvery terns greeted us. Three White
Winged Blacks, 55 Whiskered and 30 Gull-billed swooped around us as they
commuted from the pans to a ready pool across the road. The sound of their
calls was as mesmerising as their graceful careening.
|Whiskereds and a White-winged Black Tern|
Three Grey Plovers were seen
heading across the bay and the Long-legged Buzzard was sat on his telegraph
pole leaving us with more fine memories to end our third day in the field.
The Barn Owl was screaming
around the Pela after nine and seemed determined to disturb my GnT and joined
the Peacock in his nightly repertoire of screeches with the pooping of the
Scops Owl and the tremolo blipping of Tree Frogs as backing chorus and the
single drawn out hoot of a Long-eared Owl off in the direction of the Kalloni.
The flower you thought might be a milk thistle is a species of globe thistle, Echinops sp.ReplyDelete