A relatively early post breakfast start saw us at Achladeri at 9.30 and for a short while we had the woods to ourselves. A flock of birds near where we stopped held Blue, Great, Long-tailed Tits and at least one Coal Tit as well as Short-toed Treecreepers and a multitude of Chaffinches and a calling Common Chiffchaff which is not always an easy autumn bird.
|I always love taking a picture looking up through the pines
A chance glance up just after hearing the first Kruper's
Nuthatches saw a stunning pale phase Booted Eagle spiralling in low lazy
circles. Certainly the best views I have ever had of one on the island.
The Kruper's were eventually pinned down with four in two
pines. They were very vocal with an odd buzz call that we do not hear in the
spring and by following the tapping we soon had good views.
Woodlarks called behind us and Sardinian Warblers rattled
and made short whirring flights between the Kermes Oak understorey. Middle
Spotted Woodpeckers were also vocal but invisible and most species chose this modus operandi when Steve and Gina arrived which was frustrating.
I did however find a doe Fallow Deer slowly walking through
the trees which was something of a surprise. A bit of Googling suggests they
are not a native species here being illegally released for hunting but it is going
on my Lesvos list!
|Fallow Deer - well the spotty rear end of one
A calling Short-toed Eagle had us all thinking of Osprey
until it circled into view. The distinctive chipping of an Eastern Bonelli's
Warbler was heard in the Pine canopy but I could not find it. This was my first
autumn record. Eastern Rock Graylings flicked between trunks, completely disappearing upon landing on a trunk.
Onto the coast road with its usual Shags and scurrying
Common Sandpipers and then we came upon a hovering female Lesser Kestrel over
an irrigated field and then a short cropped green field with Wheatears,
Whinchats, Wagtails and Willow Warblers. A Hoopoe became one of three we found
there and Gina and Steve arrived just in time for a juvenile Roller to still be
|Roller - ACV
Technically it may have been quite a dull bird with muted
chestnut and pale dirty blue underparts but the wings were vibrant in flight.
Only my second here in the autumn and always a joy to see.
Zitting Cisticolas did their bouncy thing and Sardinian
Warblers were heard on the route while a raft of 65 Med Gulls were just
|The House Sparrows are always on this wrecked pontoon
|Cicada on a telegraph pole making finding it from the car easier!
Down at the Polichnitos saltpans I thought I had failed
with the single Black Winged Stilt as I found a dead one with a flock of
Redshank and Greenshank apparently mourning its passing which was all rather
odd with much panic calling and hovering over the corpse. Thankfully I found a fully alive one (with one and a half legs) at the
other end of the pans. There were a few other waders including Little Stints
and a Curlew Sandpiper and some Kentish Plovers and a family of Shelduck were
the first of the trip. The Sandwich Tern flock only held two juvenile Common Terns
and no hoped for Marsh species. A single Black Stork stood in the shallows.
|Black Winged Stilt - seldom have I been so pleased to find just the one!
Lunch was taken on the beach in the shade of the Tamarisks and then we wiggled down to Vatara for a bit of culture with the Well of
Achilles and ruined Temple of Dionysos. Sardinian Warblers were heard and a small flock of Serins were by the still flowing river. The huge fire that
somehow spared Vatara had devastated a huge swathe of pine hillside of coastal
|Well of Achilles
|Well of Achilles
|The burnt hillsides above Vatara
|Temple of Dionysos
|Red Backed Shrike
Back up to Polichnitos and the old thermal springs. No
birds but great views of Lesser Emperor, Keeled Skimmer, Broad Scarlet and Red Veined Darter before
following the road home to the Pela. I looked for the Kalami Pool Lapwing but could
not find it but there were four Little Stint, four LRP, Wood Sandpiper and a
bonus Temminck's Stint.
|A conglomerate mushroom sitting on top of an old lava flow (I think)
|Red Veined Darter
|Red Veined Darter
Ice-cream in town at Bagatelli’s and off soon for dinner at
Alison's in Anaxos. The night drive back
added a young Fox to the mammal list and I recorded some of my Bat Detector action when we got back. I seem to have hits at 45, 55 and 90khz. I think Common Pipistrelle and Soprano Pip for the first two but not sure about the last one.