Monday 5 October 2020

Lesvos Day 9 - 18th September 2020

Out east after breakfast with the River Evergetoulas being the first stop to look for dragonflies and such like. Obviously this was reliant on there actually being some water present which thankfully there was and in fact it was gurgling very nicely in a mountain stream type of way. 

I ambled up and down the river bed but dragons were actually very poor with just one female Beautiful Demoiselle and a couple of Small Skimmers present. However, there was still plenty to see with Levant Water Froglets pinging away in front of me and two Grey Wagtails bobbed merrily while a Kingfisher zipped by. Cirl Buntings and Chaffinches came down to drink and Willow Warblers flicked through the scrappy riverbed shrubs. 


Pink Water Speedwell Veronica catenata

Levant Water Froglet

Levant Water Froglet

Small Skimmer

Beautiful Demoiselle

I was pleased to find a Freshwater Crab sifting the mud in the stream amongst the many snails and Hummingbird Hawkmoths and a fine Cardinal were nectaring on a thistle. High up above Bee-eaters called and Spotted Flycatchers were doing what they do best although thankfully they did not get the fine Merodon species of hoverfly I was trying to photograph.

Merodon hoverfly sp



Clouded Yellow

Balkan Field Grasshopper- Chorthippus bornhalmi - thanks Fraser!

Freshwater Crab - probably Potamon ibericum

There seems to only be four freshwater fish on Lesvos and I think this is Squalius cii

Onwards and quite literally upwards to Asomotas and an attempt to find a river and some dragonflies but despite finding the right track and decending and wondrous ancient cobbled pathway through the olives, I failed to find a good spot to actually get to the river bubbling just below me. It was not a fruitless walk with thousands of Honey Bees around the flowering ivy and Robin was added to the bird list. I think that this may be a walk for another time. Back at the car the Jays were doing some great Buzzard impressions from the huge Oak by the chapel. 

Common Horestails -Equisetum arvense

And so it was back to the main road and then up towards Agiosos where as usual there was an interesting diversion to get you back out onto the Megalachori road. 


A coffee stop gave me several Coal Tits and calling Wren and Kruper's Nuthatches but as usual it was ears and not eyes doing the work. Chaffinches were in the road for the whole journey and I heard Wren, Robin and Hawfinch as we poodled though the chestnut forest.

The decent down to Plomari was wondrously winding and took us into the tiny cobbled streets of the town before thankfully ejecting the Jimny onto the seafront road. 


The 160 year old Barbayanni (Vs not Bs by the way) Ouzo distillery and museum was the goal and as the only tourists there, a full guided tour of all the works was offered with free hearty measure tasters.  The signs said not photos but I was encouraged to take some so I did! 

Ouzo urns

The smell was amazing!

Lunch overlooking the sea at a very hot Agios Isidoras gave me three in off female Sparrowhawks together and three or four species of interesting crabs and some fish in the rock pools which I am still working on.

Agios Isidoras - very smart residences behind me!

Rock Samphire

Pretty sure this is Marbled Rock Crab - Pachygrapsus marmoratus

Marbled Rock Crab - Pachygrapsus marmoratus

Marbled Rock Crab - Pachygrapsus marmoratus

A Gardener Spider Crab species (I think) covered in weed and sand

Hermit Crab – possibly Clibanarius erythropus

Hermit Crab – possibly the same

Rusty Blenny

Saddled Sea Bream - Oblada melanura - thanks Matt Smith from Cyprus

Not sure at all but possibly a Sponge?

Peacock's tail - Padina pavonica

From here I followed the main road in a big loop back to the main Mytillini road on a scenic route I had not used before. This gave me the chance to stop at Dipi Larsou to check out the rivermouth where 12 Med Gulls were loafing with over 100 Yellow-legged Gulls. Two Kingfishers flashed by and at least 30 Willow Warblers worked their way from the coast and inland, flitting between old Giant Fennel stems. It is always good to see migration in action. Two Common Swifts briefly came down but I could not work out how to get into the area with the huge reedbeds so perhaps another visit will be in order. 

Dipi Larsou where the River Evergetoulas meets the sea

Meds and Yellowlegs

Willow Warblers- all squinting in the glaring sun


Back to base and the a shortish sojourn out onto Loutzaria in the evening where the fields once again heaved with flava Wagtails but I also picked up a White Wagtail, Ortolan and new Lesser Grey Shrike


Red-backed Shrike



Flava Wagtail - I suspect M. f. beema with that nice white crescent under the eye

Same bird as above

And with a White Wagtail

Probably a Black or Grey Headed flava on the left

Willow Warbler

Turtle Dove

Unlike yesterday there were practically no waders on the pans at all but a female Red-footed Falcon in exactly the same spot as the juvenile from last week was ample reward. There was not one bird on the Channel and the adult Lesser Grey Shrike was still on the wires that he so obviously likes! 

female Red-footed Falcon

female Red-footed Falcon

Lesser Grey Shrike

And so the new salt pile begins to grow

Northern Wheatear

A Kingfisher became my fourth of the day where the Channel met the sea and a Curlew and Grey Plover were the only birds in the Bay so I bumped back the other way through the middle, finding a bathing Tree Pipit on the track and then a cracking full adult male Red-footed Falcon surveying a flava filled field.


Red-footed Falcon



Dinner was taken at the new Το μπαλκονακι της Σκαλας (which I think means The Balcony of Skala) run by one of the old staff from the Dionysos and very nice it was too.


Mamos is very nice! As was the mixed grill

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