Breakfast down by the Tsiknias Lower Ford added Swallow to
the trip list with a few House Martins. Two Ruff, Snipe and the Green Sandpiper
were in the shallows and the Reed Buntings were still around with flicky white
tail sides. Back through town, passing two Spoonbills, both Egrets and an adult
Slender Billed Gull along the beach while offshore I could see thousands of
Shearwaters which made my mind up as to which direction to go. The Christou just held Flamingos and a few
Meadow Pipits but it was great to hear a Zitting Cisticola ping away in the
Hooded Crows looking for breakfast
Little and Large
I continued around towards Parakilia where great rafts of
Yelkouans were plunge feeding with many Gulls in attendance, swirling in circles before settling into a
frenzy of spray as they attacked a shoal.
Watch in HD
The marsh just up the road was wet for once and held a few
Flamingos and Egrets and closer scrutiny revealed two Kingfishers and at least
four more calling Siberian Chiffchaffs with 11 normal ones. I got a very good look at a couple of these
Siberians and although there were features that pointed to the form such as the
green sheen on the secondaries, pale underparts and even a hint of warm on the
ear coverts, none were what would traditionally be called acceptable back home
as a classic frosty coffee and white. They were warmer and more olive above and
the supercilium was not as bold as I am used to. In fact if I had not watched
them calling I would have just said ‘Common Chiffchaff’ and moved on. Strangely,
back in the UK they rarely seem to call and even ‘classic’ bird may be passed
up for lack of a ‘peep’These were all
All above - A Siberian Chiffchaff
The road out west was very quiet but the landscape alone is
always worth the drive and was far greener than we usually see it.
The honey scent of this particular Almond was intoxicating
A couple of regular roadside stops produced yet another
peeping Sibe Chiff along with many singing Robins, Song Thrushes and Blackcaps
and some hardy little Snake Eyed Lacertids.
Snake Eyed Lacertid - ACV
Pithariou Reservoir was fully topped up and the slipway was
in use but there were only Yellow-legged Gulls to be seen on the water but up
above there were 14 Crag Martins cruising with 12 House Martins. Grey and White
Wagtails were on the babbling river.
Pithariou Reservoir - it was cold!
Pale Figwort - Scrophularia lucida
I followed it down to Skala Eresou to look for Moustached
Warblers but the breeze was a bit stiff. The area was alive with Chiffchaffs
again and now, unsurprisingly, a single Siberian. Six normal Buzzards and 14 Ravens
tumbled overhead and there were several Coots and Moorhens.Huge Mullet cruised below the bridge.
The Eresos Golden Frog
From here it was up to Ipsilou as I did not fancy the track
to Sigri after the deluge on Sunday. I did not stop but followed the still
unfinished road down to Faneromeni for lunch at the sheltered upper ford. To be
honest it was barely wetter than in April and was almost birdless but I did
find a two White Wagtails, Small Whites, a Large White, Episyrphus
balteatus and two mining Bees in the sunshine.
The Sigri Oak Grove looks a little different at this time of year
Skeletal Fig Trees
An Andrena mining bee
An Andrena mining bee (I think)
A small Large White
The beach pool
Back up again to Ipsilou (via two roadside Chukars at the
Petrified Forest) as I have always harboured thoughts of a winter Wallcreeper
or Alpine Accentor. The views were as spectacular as ever but from a leafless
viewpoint and my circuit using the old path produced just one Buzzard and not a
single passerine but there were Small Coppers flicking around and an immaculate
False Apollo cruising like a mini Swallowtail. Snake-eyed Lacertids scampered
around but it was cold enough to see your breath.
Long-horn Beetle sp
I just liked the composition of the Field Marigold, rock and Lichen
Acorn cups - will have to dig out the species again
I suspect a Verbascum sp
Time to head back with a brief stop at Perivolis where the
Firecrest and Siskins were had again before a late afternoon visit to the
Kalloni Saltpans and beyond. Mesa was quiet with a Black Stork and a few
Flamingos so I came back to the Eastern Pan track until dusk and dinner.
A similar collection to yesterday's but a few extra waders
with 43 Dunlin eight Grey Plover, nine Golden Plover, two Kentish Plovers and
21 Curlew. Two hunting Marsh Harriers spooked some Shoveler and there were
three pair of Garganey with them while the female Pintail had been joined by a
Great White Egret
I am not sure of the race but all Lesvos Curlews have astonishing bills
Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck
The immature Pallid Harrier appeared right next to the car
and even perched up for me before trying to upset a Great White Egret. My best
views ever of any age. A little further back a full adult male Hen Harrier
ghosted over the back of the Sheepfields where he was actively hunting Larks
and Pipits. This was my first Grey Ghost for many years and a joy to watch.
male Hen Harrier
Pallid Harrier - watch in HD
Reed Buntings fed with Meadow Pipits in the margins and I
tried not to be distracted by another male Stonechat.
Stonechat and Corn Bunting
An adult Spoonbill showed at close range in the saltpan channel on the bump back through. Possibly the closest I have even been to one.
Dinner at the Dionysis once again and then some quality
Owling between Papiana and Kerami with two each of counter singing Long-eared
and Scops Owls to finish off the day.
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