Friday 3 May 2024

Lesvos – Day 7 – 23rd April 2024

A adventure:

After breakfast we headed for the eastern KSP and had a pleasant short walk down towards the end although we had not long missed the two Pelicans departing. The light, as ever in the mornings, was making the Flamingos glow and there was no real haze so we were able to add five Grey Plover and three Turnstones to the trip list and get fine views of two Stone-Curlews creeping along their bank. Five Curlew Sandpipers were found amongst some Little Stints and both the Stilts and the Avocets were very noisy and busily chasing Hooded Crows.

Greater Flamingos - Andrew Litchfield

Greater Flamingos - Jim Willett

Black-winged Stilt - Jim Willett

Spanish Sparrow - Jim Willett

The adjacent marsh was pinging to the zits of Zitting Cisticolas and buzzy phrases of displaying Black-headed Wagtails while ubiquitous Corn Buntings and Crested Larks were all around. A pair of Woodchats were taking exception to a fine male Red-backed Shrike on the olive grove fence and it was the first to give the crew a good view.

Black-headed Wagtail

Back on the pans there were Little and Common Terns patrolling and six dusky Whiskered Terns were on the final pan but were being lazy and did not fly but at least everyone saw them this time. Two Little Gulls were found and the sub-adult hawked just in front of us at times. The walk back gave views of many Dark Spreadwings and tiny Green Toadlets on the path.

Common Tern  - Jim Willett

Yellow-legged Gull  - Jim Willett

Common Tern  - Jim Willett

Little Tern  - Jim Willett

Little Gull  - Jim Willett

Green Toadlet - Antony Wren

 House Martin - Antony Wren

Neoscona adianta - Antony Wren

Dark Spreadwing - Lestes macrostigma - Antony Wren

Common Swallowtail cat - Antony Wren

After drawing a blank at Soumaria for the Scops Owls we spent some time at the Raptor Watchpoint adding distant Goshawk but it was very slow with just a few Buzzards, Raven and Short-toed Eagles while Cretzschmar’s Buntings and Subalpines sang.

Coffee and a catch up with Alison and Costas in Anaxos and then on to Kavaki which was quiet but I wanted the new visitors to see the view. We did find three Bottle-nosed Dolphins loafing offshore and a fine male Turtle Dove on its usual telegraph pole before we moved on once again to our lunch stop at Persama. 



The reservoir is still a complete mess but at least had some water and Yellow-legged Gulls to sift through but there were no Audouin’s amongst them. Wood and Common Sandpipers worked the edges and Ruddy Shelduck honked.


Lunch at the bottom of the ‘normal’ road was taken with Short-toed Eagles overhead before an insect filled walk further down the track where Black-veined Whites and some great Crickets and Jumping Spiders were the highlights. 

Possibly a worn Common Blue?

Pesky Skippers - black over the tip - Essex?

Small Copper

Meadow Brown sp

Black-veined White

Eastern Dappled White

Holy Orchid - Jim Willett

Robber Fly - Jim Willett

 Egyptian Grasshopper - Jim Willett This one landed with a thwack on my back!

Lackey Moth cat - Antony Wren

Chequered Scorpion - Jim Willett

Green Oak Tortrix

Firebug sp

Big Chafer sp on Hollyhocks

Spotted Chafer sp on Hollyhocks

Graphosoma semipunctatum

Neoscona adianta

Philaeus chrysops

Philaeus chrysops

red and blue Scarlet Pimpernel

Eupholidoptera smyrnensis

Poecilimon mytelenensis

Straube's Plump Bush-cricket - Isophya straubei

Araneus circe

Levant Water Frog - Antony Wren

Late instar Shieldbug  - not sure of species yet - Antony Wren

Almost Ant-lion-ish - Antony Wren

A bingly bong from the Lesvos WhatsApp group had us heading back to the van as three Great Spotted Cuckoos had been found by the reservoir in their now semi-regular spot and after a few minutes one raucously told us where it was and subsequently gave some excellent views before a Corn Bunting chased it down the valley. There was always a chance of connecting with one of these beasts so I was very pleased to do just that with thanks to Mark and Paul. A medium sized Spur-thighed Tortoise was a pleasing find and of course posed for pictures.

Great Spotted Cuckoo - Jim Willett

Great Spotted Cuckoo - Jim Willett

Cirl Bunting - Jim Willett

Spur-thighed Tortoise

Spur-thighed Tortoise - Antony Wren

We continued along the coast to Skala Sykaminias for ice-cream and touristy photos adding roadside singing Robins and Wrens on the way, before coming back through Napi to the Kalloni Saltpans ostensibly to look for Slender-billed Gulls. 

Antony was snapping Hermit Crabs in what I think are Netted Whelk shells

I always check the hillside behind and was surprised to find an Eleanora’s Falcon up on a telegraph pole – a most instructive bird. Two female – adult and immature – Red-footed Falcons lured us a little further on to where they sat on the wires. There were more smiles all round and these were increased by an adult Slender-billed Gull paddling around with two Little Gulls. A Black Terns and brief views of the Montagu’s Harrier rounded up the day before a final meal at the Dionysos.

Corn Bunting - Jim Willett

Red-footed Falcon - Jim Willett

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