Monday 29 April 2024

Lesvos – Day 3 – 19th April 2024

 A adventure:

Go West! Breakfast at the Pela was enlivened by the never ending Nightingale, noisy Spanish Sparrows and a fly through Hoopoe before we started to wend our way along the coast. Our first proper stop was on the outskirts of Agra where the low cloud swirled around the craggy slopes but did not prevent the birds from putting on a superb show. Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s were easily picked up on the boulders along with Blue Rock Thrushes in full display, Rock Sparrows, Western Rock Nuthatches, and fizzy Eastern Black-eared Wheatears and the cool flat light made viewing excellent.

Spanish Sparrow - Andrew Litchfield

We were just below the cloud

Blue Rock Thrush & Cinereous Bunting - Jim Willett

Blue Rock Thrush - Jim Willett

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear - Jim Willett

Several Tree Pipits had been brought down by the cloud and our first Stonechats were also found. Eastern Subalpine Warblers and Cirl Buntings were on the slope below us and beyond that we could hear Golden Oriole and Hoopoe in the Oaks further down while Ravens kronked overhead. Not a bad start at all.

On again and onto the Eresos to Sigri track. The usual Buntings and Wheatears were seen on the way up to the Oak Tree of Happiness where female Pied Flycatcher was noted and then over the cattle grid to the saddle above the two valleys where skinny local race Northern Wheatears jostled with feisty Isabelline and scatty Eastern Black-eareds.

Isabelline Wheatear - Jim Willett

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear - Jim Willett

Woodlark - Andrew Litchfield

A Common Kestrel was hunting close by and Common Buzzards and a fine pale Long-legged Buzzard were found along with Peregrine and three Alpine Swifts. We bumped down towards the bottom passing Rock Sparrows on the way and found more around the little farm stead where they were utilising a Rock Nuthatch nest. A male Collared Flycatcher was up on the telegraph wires with several Whinchats and Buntings and a male Eastern Subalpine Warbler put on a magnificent show for us.

Rock Sparrow - Antony Wren

Whinchat - Andrew Litchfield

Whinchat - Andrew Litchfield

Eastern Subalpine Warbler - Jim Willett

Amongst the other Buntings singing I thought I could hear a Black-headed and was very pleased to find the first of several as we headed further down the valley. This was a species I was slightly worried about us not connecting with due to the early dates of this week. More Whinchats, Stonechats and a couple of showy Eastern Orphean Warblers were seen.

Black-headed Bunting - Andrew Litchfield

Down at the Pear Trees of Happiness we found two Wood Warblers on show while another male Black-headed Bunting watched on and Bee-eaters circled above.

Eastern Black-eared Wheatear - ACV

Lunch at the fig grove added Sombre Tit and several more Pied and Collared Flycatchers and some showy Orbed-underwing Skippers, Black-veined Whites and Bath Whites. Snake Eyed Lacertids scurried around our feet.

Collared Flycatcher - Jim Willett

Small Skipper - Jim Willett

Western Lesvos Bush-cricket - Jim Willett

Chequered Scorpion - minus sting - Jim Willett

Orbed Underwing Skipper - Antony Wren

Orbed Underwing Skipper 

Small Copper

Holy Orchid - Antony Wren

Labyrinth Spider - Antony Wren

Stone Huntsman - Eusparassus walckenaer - Antony Wren

Synema globosum - Antony Wren

Meladia was bird free but from here we could see Yelkouan Shearwaters passing offshore and a little further along I found two Pallid Swifts and the hoped for Little Owl on one of the usual farmstead posts. A female Citrine Wagtail flew by at eye level and briefly alighted on a wall.

 Little Owl - Antony Wren

We dropped down to the Sigri Cheese Sanatorium where Pied, Collared and Spotted Flycatchers were in the Almond orchard and along the ridge line there were 17 Lesser Kestrel, both Common and Long-legged Buzzards and several Short-toed Eagles. Onwards with the expected scenery photo stops.

 Blue Featherleg I think - Antony Wren

Small Skipper - Antony Wren

 Snake Fly - Antony Wren

Spilostethus pandurus - Antony Wren

Synaphe moldavica were abundant over the stony ground - Antony Wren

Phyllobius weevil sp - Antony Wren

Eastern Subalpine Warbler - Andrew Litchfield

Faneromeni was quiet in general but 35 Bee-eaters put on a stunning show and three parties of Turtle Dove moved through at pace. Common Redstart was a trip tick and another Peregrine was seen up over the ridge before we headed back over the top with a stop to check for Chukars at the Petrified Forest but only one was heard and drove out past the varied Wheatears and Buntings.

Woodchat - Antony Wren

Bee-eater - Andrew Litchfield


Crested Lark

The new road over Ipsilou was at last completed and the bypass open past Antissa and in fact un beknown to us it the whole road from Sigri to Kalloni had been opened at lunchtime by the Greek President!

Perivoli Monastery was quiet and peaceful with just Nightingales disturbing the air and was our final stop of the journey home after a long and fruitful day. Needless to say the cats were made a fuss off.  Annoyingly House Sparrows were in my Wood Nuthatch nest hole!

House Sparrow - Andrew Litchfield

It started to rain at 10.30pm and was heavy enough to have even dampened the spirits of the otherwise indefatigable Nightingale.

No comments:

Post a Comment