Tuesday 21 September 2021

Lesvos - Day 5 - 6th September 2021

It started windy and only increased during the course of the day making birding difficult at times but it was coming off mainland Turkey so I had hope that there may be a few birds on the move although some rain to bring them down would have been handy.

Post breakfast saw a bump through Lotzaria where the now usual suspects were all seen including another obliging Hoopoe and the juvenile Montagu's Harrier once again. I think it might be a male as it is very dinky and every now and then I think I catch a glint of yellow in eye. Two Short-toed Eagles drifted over and were to become a theme for the day.

Tskinias River

Lower Ford

Great White Egret at the Ford

Great White Egret - ACV

Montagu's Harrier against the Giant Reed

Montagu's Harrier 

Montagu's Harrier 

Tawny Pipit



The Marsh Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper were on the Pumphouse Corner and the flock of Tawny Pipits at the top end was at least 20 now. From here I checked Soumaria for Scops Owls but I think the Hooded Crows are using it as a roost and I found nothing and then up to the very blowy Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint. A Sardinian Warbler rattled and a lone Woodpigeon was seen over the canopy while up above there were four more Short-toed Eagles, 11 Ravens and a powering group of 31 Alpine Swifts which are always fun to watch.

 Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint.

On to Kavaki where I got sandblasted as soon as I got out the car and 70 windswept Bee-eaters were the only passerines. The sea was a mess of mini white horses and if there were any Shearwaters they avoided my wobbling optics and watering eyes. 



Perasma Reservoir was looking very sorry for itself with great flaps of liner piled high and a puddle in the middle with 16 Little Grebes, six Mallard and a few Cormorants and Yellow-legged Gulls on it. A lone Green Sandpiper tettered around the edge and two Short-toed Eagles and a male Marsh Harrier drifted through. Frank and Sheila Wood were both life ticks though, to go with the Hardys I was to encounter later on.

Perasma Reservoir

Continuing along the coast, I intended to stop at the bandstand I did my raptor watch from last year but it was being renovated with no access and the next one had the Police scanning the waves towards Turkey. Oh well...

Lunch on the front at Skala Sykaminias was accompanied by the crashing of waves onto the cobble beach which I have seen very infrequently on the island! There were no birds.

Waves at Skala Sykaminias

A brief stop at the Napi Valley to look for incoming raptors gave me a final Short-toed Eagle before dropping back down via Kramasti Bridge and the Salt Pans route home. There was nothing new but it felt like there were a few more Red-backed Shrikes and Woodchats and one of the Hoopoes again showed well.

 Kramasti Bridge

 Kramasti Bridge

 Woodchat Shrike

Red-backed Shrike


A mini siesta at the Pela was broken only by 45 Bee-eaters with two Alpine Swifts drifting over and then a return to the Lotzaria Triangle for a walk round. 

Spotted Flycatcher

Alpine Swift and three Bee-eaters

Alpine Swift and two Bee-eaters

Alpine Swift 

A small Sarcophaga - a Flesh Fly

Still trying to work out this rather robust and beautifully patterned spider that I encountered

Willow Warblers and flava Wagtails had definitely arrived since the morning and I had 35 of the former in one hedge that kept flitting down into the alfalfa to feed just in front of me. Two Masked Shrikes were in the same field and the one the Monty was hunting earlier now had well in excess of 500 Wagtails including many gleaming adult male Black and Blue Headed, a few Grey Headed and interestingly at least two almost entirely yellow birds that made me think of the form lutea. The field felt more like a spring one than an autumn one at that point.

Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler


Black-headed Wagtail

Black-headed Wagtail

Flava field

Black-headed Wagtail

Romanian Blue-headed Wagtail - ACV

flava Wagtail - ACV

pale Common Buzzard

Arty sprinkler fun

Millet Skipper on Chaste Tree

Two new Short-toed Eagles headed through (both being almost white headed birds) taking me to at least 11 for the day. Dinner in town and then a quick half hour to look for the Nightjars, two of which once again came in close to the car while Stone Curlews wailed in the dark.

Some more Nightjar action

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