Lesvos called me back once again and after the usual Athens
Red Eye I found myself amongst a familiar landscape; verdant and lush after the
recent epic rain storms.
|The field at the top of the salt pans by the main road was a riot purple Narrow-leaved Bugloss - Echium angustifolium|
After breakfast with Thekla at the Pela, the day was spent around the Kalloni Salt Pans (KSP from now on) and
weaving in and out of Lotzaria albeit without crossing the Tsiknias Ford which was
still dangerously high and covered in silt.
|I could probably have given the Lower Ford a go in the X-trail but I sank almost to my knee in silt when I checked it out on foot|
The rains have swept clear the river, denuded banks and removed many willows and
tamarisks but there were still a few tringas to be found with Green, Wood and
Common Sand and Greenshank but no herons at all. However, things got off to a
great start with a striking male Barred Warbler that flicked across the river
and into the dead tree that was, as usual occupied by a showy Nightingale. Only
my second for the island and my first super scary looking male complete with
glaring yellow eyes. Two Kingfishers fished from the reeds.
The Lotzaria track gave wonderful views of a
buoyant male Montagu's Harrier and a very low hovering Short-toed Eagle along
with a male Red-footed Falcon and a cloud of House and Sand Martins that
swarmed in off the sea with a steady movement of Painted Lady butterflies
heading purposefully in the same direction. Black and Blue Headed Wagtails,
Crested Larks, Eastern Olivaceous Warblers, Corn Buntings and dapper Whinchats moved ahead of the car as we
sloshed our way through. Eight Bee-eaters were a pleasant surprise as they
hawked in the late evening light from a Mulberry tree and a female Collared Flycatcher
was on the pumping station fence.
|Whinchat - ACV|
Down by the sea a trio of Grebe species were
thankfully found with a Great Crested, two glossy Black-necks and the first
Slavonian Grebe for the island that was found by Killian two days earlier. It
is always nice to see a news island species. Tawny Pipits and Short-toed Larks
scurried around the Racetrack and the usual Spanish Sparrows were scrapping on
the fenceline which they shared with more Whinchats.
|Narrow-leaved Bugloss - Echium angustifolium|
The KSP were quiet and I missed the pelicans
but did see both Storks, three Marsh Sandpipers, six Med and two 1st winter
Black-headed Gulls. Kingfishers zipped up and down the channel and Common and Wood
|White STork & Tellow-legged Gulls - ACV|
|Wood Sandpiper - ACV|
|Common Sandpiper - ACV|
|Black-headed Wagtail - ACV|
|Greater Flamingos - ACV|
I searched for the Scops Owls at
Papiana but to no avail until Andrea found one from inside the car which then
became two and both showed very well in the huge Eucalyptus. At some point after this I had a major memory card failure and lost all of my bird pictures for the day but thankfully Andrea had taken some very nice ones that I could use to augment my phone shots.
at the Pela a female Sparrowhawk was an unexpected fly through and my end of
evening walk around the Kallonis Pool was just magic with three Purple Herons,
five Squacco, two Great Bitterns, two Little Bitterns, Glossy Ibis, Great White
Egret and two squealing Water Rails while Little Egrets drifted over to roost
and a blizzard of Sand Martins careened to and fro looking for a safe roost
The first bats were out, the Eastern Tree Frogs, Green Toads and Nightingales
sang, Greenshanks and Stilts could be heard from out on the Christou, Scops Owls 'pooped' and the
Barn Owl even flew through the hotel garden.
|Great White Egret|
A little piece of me came home that day...
I enjoyed the first original read Howard but I did miss the pictures. Looking forward to the next one. LawrenceReplyDelete