Day 14: 4th May
You would not have thought it
could get any hotter but today the temperature was at 30c by 10am and rose to
35c during today and was still at about 30c at 6.30pm... Would this put a dent
in the birding? Well, slightly... A post breakfast bounce through the pans gave
superb views of yesterday's Rose Coloured Starling as he serenaded his audience
of two from the Mulberry tree by the Tsiknias lower ford. Much better views of
this shaggy crested rosy beast and I suspect he will hold court until the fruit
ripen and some of his friends with better time keeping arrive from the south.
|Rose Coloured Starling|
The regular Long-legged Buzzard cruised slowly across Lotzaria and the
Spur-winged Plover and a flock of 14 Squacco dotted the mouth of the river. Four Bee-eaters fed from the wires just outside the car windows..
Broad-billed Sandpipers had been discovered on the north east pan but were
proving mobile but a quick look from the hide soon produced these stripy kink
billed calidrids probing around like
little sewing machines with a scattered host of Little Stints and Curlew
With the temperature soaring I drove past Kalami Marsh and turned up the road
to Mesa Sanctuary and stopped a short way down where a bridge crossed a clear
stream which was teaming with small fish and wriggling adult Eels that were
prevented from getting any further up river by a wooden dam but I suspect they
will attempt to go overland to get by. Dragons zoomed around and included my
first Violet Dropwings and Scarce Chaser.
|A very funky Jumping Spider - ACV|
The Sanctuary was unexpectedly
fabulous and at two Euros a head is well worth a visit for little bit of
seriously ancient culture. Some of the pieces on show are 1600 years old...
Serins jangled and a Hoopoe sang...it was a pleasant experience with the scent
of Juniper following you around.
A quick stop on the way back out at Kalami Marsh added a female Citrine Wagtail
but no Great Snipe but I was just as pleased with three Dice Snakes and the
first Green-eyed Hawker of the trip.
Air was needed and driving was the only way to find it so a coastal run to
Vasilka and the sultry olive groves gave views of a beach Stone Curlew, Common
Sandpiper and six Olive Tree Warblers singing lustily from the groves.
|Stone Curlew with its feet wet!|
A stop at the bridge
before Achladeri saw the local Stripe-necked Terrapins begging for titbits and
among them were two released pet terrapin species in the shape of American
Red-necked and Yellow-necked Sliders ...
Scarce Chasers darted around and I found my first ever Winter Damselfies - all my previous sightings have been in error!
Back at Kalami a shockingly short stop
added good views of the Great Snipe at the back of the pool before hastily
retreating to the car again to avoid the heat and Deerflies!
|Great Snipe - Michael Sveikutis|
Pool time and eventually a run out late afternoon to Aghia Ioannis provided
nothing but a lovely view before heading back down to the pans for a circuit.
The Rosy Starling was still drawing a crowd so we did not join the throng and
picked up a male Red Foot just beyond the ford and Black Stork feeding in it.
The four Bee-eaters were still floating around and had muddy bills from feeding
in the irrigated fields while the Little Owl watched from the wires.
And a short video of this lovely pair...
The Spur Winged Plover was showing exceptionally well on the ever dwindling
Alykes wetlands and a couple of White Winged Black Terns dipped in and 34
Whiskered Terns appeared in a noisy chattering mass but soon moved on. Fifteen
hawking Collared Pratincoles over the Tsiknias on the return journey were a
fitting end to a hot and trying final full day...
|Spur Winged Plover|
|Spur Winged Plover|
|female Black-headed Wagtail|
|Sunset towards Potamia|
|Ruff, Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers - Leo Tucker|
|Kentish Plover - ACV|
That evening, an Eastern Tree Frog at last gave itself up and posed, stuck to the white wall of the hotel while a random glance up into a light fitting revealed the first little pink Turkish Gecko and despite me worrying about it being trapped, it soon left its captive fluttering dinner table and retuned to a crevis to digest.
|Turkish Gecko |
|Eastern Tree Frog|
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