A very lazy start meant a slow trundle north west up through
Dafia and the construction maze that is the Lardia Gorge to a first stop in the
welcome shade of Perivolis Monastery. The new kittens came to say hello before
a stroll through the Oriental Planes to the river.
There were small birds everywhere with a good selection of
Warblers with both Whitethroats, Eastern Subalpine, Garden and Blackcap along
with flicking Spotted Flycatchers, mix and match Eastern Black-eared Wheatears
and tail shivering Common Redstarts.
|Ephedra fragilis - cascades of little red fruits|
No Hawfinches this time but Serins were calling and Middle
Spotted Woodpeckers were playing chase noisily through the Olives. There were a
few pools left in the river but no birds were coming down although there were a
few Dragonflies including Vagrant Emperor and three Darters. Painted Ladies,
Great Banded Graylings and Freyer's Graylings whizzed by.
A male Golden Oriole flew across the valley and posed nicely
in a Vallonia Oak where is glowed like an illuminated Minion. A young bird
followed it across before a convenient looping circuit and up above in the blue
three Eleonora's Falcons and a Long-legged Buzzard circled. Both Rock and Wood
Nuthatch were seen and the former were particularly vocal but Cirl Buntings
were more circumspect with their subtle calls and had to be tracked down.
|Golden Oriole - about 500m away!|
The river bed had swathes of False Hamp (Datisca cannabina)
and American Pokeberry flowering and fruiting in it. I had not seen the former before. Two Persian Squirrels chased around the large
fruited Cypresses that grow there.
|False Hemp (Datisca cannabina)|
|American Pokeberry - the Sylvias love it|
Onwards to the Ancient Antissa coastal circuit which
included lunch at the small shaded chapel overlooking the bay to Gavathas with
Pied and Spotted Flycatchers for company and some funky Oriental Hornets. A
dark-headed Short-toed Eagle circled low over the slope.
There were Red-backed Shrikes, Willow Warblers, both Wheatears, Stonechats, Spotted Flys
and Whinchats all the way along with our first juvenile Masked Shrike and
Sombre Tits at several points and a party of fluting Woodlarks and a calling
Ortolan. Three juvenile Marsh Harriers moved south and four Common Buzzards and
some Ravens were locals. One Buzzard was watched swallowing a flava Wagtail...
|Northern Wheatear - an Isabellinish one|
|juvenile Masked Shrike - one of only two seen all trip|
|Common Buzzard - ACV|
Down at the beach the mobile beach home on a lorry chassis had not moved since last season and I found some Blue Winged Grasshoppers on the beach along with Yellow-horned Poppies, Squirting Cucumbers and Sea Lilies with the same plant as 2021 still in flower where all the others were fully seedpodded up!
|Common Buzzard |
|Blue-winged grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens) |
|Blue-winged grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens)|
|Yellow-horned Poppies |
A relaxing frappe at Kalo Limani and then back over the top passing roadside Rock Nuthatches and Sombre Tits on the way to the
|Crispy Spiny Burnet countryside looking across to Turkey|
A short pop out onto Loutzaria gave us two Hoopoe encounters along with a few Chats. Dinner at the Dionysos and then a 10pm circular night
drive of the tracks which may not have produced a Nightjar but we did see and
hear Little Owl, a Barn Owl, mournful Stone Curlews and saw loads of Bats and a
fat Green Toad but the best beastie was my first live Beech Marten after over
ten years of visiting the island as it lolloped away down the track. Magic.
|I had been asked by Michael McDevitt to take pics of Lesvos shacks for an Architectural Uni course. This is still a favourite.|
|Hoopoe - in the only shaded field! It posed with the crest up when we first found it|
|Atmospheric Willow Warbler|
|Red-backed Shrike despatching a large ground beetle|
|juvenile Little Ringed Plover - ACV|
|Green Toad |
The Blues band playing at the Pela could be clearly heard two miles away
out at the pumping station and were going strong when we got back and finally called
it a night at midnight but they are actually rather good if you liked a bit of
John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Cream and Gary Moore...
|There were also some very classy Vespas parked up - after an Island wide event|
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