I have to admit that I was flagging a bit with the continued heat this time so there was no early start again. We poodled out post breakfast and headed around the Bay towards Mesa with the intent of looking for the Northern Lapwing at Kalami Pool.
As I came off onto the old road I spied the Steppe Buzzard on
one of the lampposts looking all warm and chestnutty in the morning light. It
would have been a great shot but he soon moved up to the telegraph poles and I
had to play catch up. I must check when I first saw this distinctive text book
The Lapwing was absent with only a few Little Stints and
Little Ringed Plovers so we moved onto the Mesa Sanctuary- the Temple of
Aphrodite and the geographical centre of Lesvos if memory serves. I had
forgotten that it is closed on Tuesdays but we peered through the fence anyway.
A Turtle Dove was on the wires and there was a mixed flock of House and Spanish
Sparrows along with Chaffinches and Cirl Buntings. Spotted Flycatchers and
Whinchats hunted from the fences.
On up to Agia Paraskevi and the track through the dusty
olive groves east to the remarkable Basilica of Halinados - a very early
Christian temple dedicated to St George that we visited for the first time last
year. It is a tranquil, calming spot with just the susurration of the breeze in
the huge pine just beyond the walls but as with the majority of the island's historical
sites there is not one piece of interpretation either there or even on line to
give you some clue as to its clearly ancient origins. It oozes great age. The
groves themselves were quiet with just a few Chaffinches, House Sparrows, Great
Tits and the odd Woodpecker and Spotted Flycatcher. Starred Agamas head bobbed
from rocks and only Ravens broke the monotony of the blue heavens.
|Basilica of Halinados
Kremasti Bridge was next on the cultural tour and we walked
over the top of this impressive medieval structure while Ravens once again
ruled the skies in tumbling effortless gangs. A Sparrowhawk dashed south and
there were a couple more Spotted Flycatchers but nothing else.
|Mum - always the adventurous one
Onwards through Mantamados and then back west through the cobbles of Kapi and Pelopi to find the geological wonder of the lava columns by the roadside where Crag Martins circled above followed by lunch in Anaxos and the wiggle homewards.
|Pelopi lava columnar pillars
|Back down to the salt pans
A brief stop at the Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint gave me a
group of five distant Honey Buzzards south and the now ever present Ravens and
a delightful single spire of Autumn Squill poking defiantly through the
recently fire blackened ground.
|Autumn Squill - Scilla autumnalis
An Ice-cream and a chilled evening followed with a paddle at
knee depth along the edge of the Bay were I was able to find two Sea Hares
grazing in the Eelgrass in the now crystal clear waters. There were some cool
Blennies, Hermit Crabs and mobile Molluscs and silver fish of various sizes
were leaping clear in all directions. I had the whole stretch to myself...
|Crab with Sponge
|Blue Spotted Shaggy Sea Hare - Bursatella leachii grazing
|Blennie sp - any help appreciated