Saturday 2 June 2018

Lesvos Day 8: 28th April 2018

Day 8: 28th April: 

Changeover day with an very early morning airport run to drop off the still smiling but a little tired, Margaret and Dave and to pick up Andrea.

It all went smoothly (this time) and a post breakfast trundle through the pans gave views of the usual assortment of waders including four Stone Curlew, four Temminck's Stints and two Collared Pratincole. A female Red-footed Falcon hunted low and Red-throated Pipits dotted the short grass areas while a hazy Whimbrel out on the sheep fields was a much welcomed Lesvos tick having eluded me on previous days. 

Channel to the sea by the sheepfield bridge

Certainly making her eyes pop out...

Nice to see the 'mingos flying around

Red-throated Pipit
A perfectly circular motte and bailey ant nest by the beach

A quick zip around to Parakilia ostensibly to search for Priscilla's Thread Lacewings, resulted in finding several grinding Olive Tree Warblers in one of the last groves. I have always thought they should be here as it is identical to and opposite Vasilika and it was great to have three males gurking around me with brief views as usual as they moved between trees. Masked Shrikes also scratchily sang and Turtle Doves purred and Holy Orchids and Balkan Green Lizards were seen amongst the trees.

Holy Orchid
  Down on the flower strewn beach the Lacewings were dancing. I have only seen two before so having dozens flitting between Mayweed and Poppy blooms was mesmerising.

Thread Lacewing - Nemoptera sinuata

Not sure on this one but I think it may be in the oil beetle family

It was already far too hot so it was time for lunch and a kip before a late afternoon saltpans circuit. 

Baked Swallows on the Pela Hotel sign

There seemed to be a few more waders with parties of Ruff feeding en masse in the channel and groups of Marsh Sandpiper totalling an amazing 31 birds. Two Pratincoles were still around as were the Temminck's while there were now seven Curlew Sandpipers and the first three Turnstones of the trip. 


Ruff - and breath!

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper - ACV
Temminck's Stint

Two White-winged Black Terns and three Gull-bills fished the channel with Commons and Little Egrets and a Black Stork dropped in but was a bit skittish.

WWBT, Common Tern. Ruff, Curlew Sand, Wood Sand, Marsh Sand, Greenshank...

Common Tern

Little Egret

Little Egret

Greater Flamingo
Mrs Shelduck checking out a barn

... and another male of a pair investigating a little ruin

The drive back through Lotzaria saw freshly mown hay fields dotted with Hooded Crows and Yellow-legged Gulls but disappointingly no Wagtails but a superb male Black-headed Bunting posed for a few snaps and a Little Bittern was in the ford.

Black-headed Bunting

Black-headed Bunting - ACV
Black-headed Bunting

Spanish & House Sparrows

Dinner at the Pela was interrupted by two Purple Herons drifting over and the usual evening chorus of mad owls, peacock and frogs soon kicked off.

A power cut occurred at about 930pm so we drove down to the Tsiknias in the darkness.  There was barely a twinkling light to be seen across the bay or in town and the Pela seemed to be the only hotel in town with a backup generator!

There was a good deal of frog noise but only a few Wood Sandpipers calling accounted for birds. The moon was huge and bright and illuminating the ground with pearlescent light and a lovely way to end a sun up – moon up day.

Moon rise over the gulf
Full Moon - ACV

1 comment:

  1. Great set of pictures Howard and loved the Lacewing. What a treat. Lawrence