Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Day 4 - Friday 3 May
We were on our own now, find the birds! Of course extensive reading Steve D's book had us well prepared so it was decided a trip to the North of the island was the plan.

First stop was the well known Scop's Copse! Except we could not find a Scops Owl in spite of there being plenty of people looking, or, maybe they had found it and were just not letting on!

Our next stop was to be the Raptor Watchpoint. This proved to be quiet for raptors. Although there were cretzschmar bunting's and a woodchat shrike around. 

Onwards to Kavaki, targets being ruppell's and subalpine warble, blue rock thrush and anything else we could find. First stop was the small layby near the 'Enterprise'. A car was already parked near THE perch so we sat and waited, they moved on and we moved forward. Up popped the ruppell's to give us stunningly good views at very close range. Photograph's in the camera, happy.

We moved upto the higher layby where there was a singing ruppell's on the telephone wires, nowhere near as photographable as the other one. Could also hear subalpine warbler around and eventually it landed on top of a bush at the very top of the pay by, not ready! Then a wait for it to do its circuit before it conveniently sat up, shame about the foliage but....

a pair of black-eyed wheatears were busy around the rocks in the bottom end of the layby.

Next stop was the quarry above Petra, except we were at the wrong one. Nevertheless 3 shrikes here with lesser grey, woodchat and red-backed all around the area plus the usual black-eared wheatears. Only the woodchat photographed.

Next was Perasma reservoir, nothing photographed here but blue tits busy in the trees and numerous yellow-legged gulls on the water and edges. We were very disappointed as on our last visit 2 years ago the area was absolutely full of wild flowers and excellent insect life. Decision made we would drive down the track to Stipsi, error made really bad so quick turnaround and back to main road and to Molivos for a leisurely lunch at a harbour side taverna. Another of the many greek salads.

We decided to move onto the Kalloni saltpans after lunch. First stop just after turning off the road was to look at the black winged stilts nesting on the small island and the many wood sands. Moved along a little to enjoy the countless avocets and the differing colours of the flamingo's. Then enjoyed watching the whiskered and white-winged black terns busily feeding, not many images of these though and nowhere near the standard of some I have seen from this spring, really didn't put the time or effort into them. 

We then noticed a black stork coming in, enjoyed the spectacle.

Next it was the Salt works entrance to look for stone curlew, nothing doing there. So it was onto the Alykes Drylands, sorry wetlands! Here we had a relatively short view of a white stork and I managed 1 quick image.

Then noticed a barn swallow on a nearby wire.

That was the end of a superb day, it had been very warm but we'd seen some superb birds and more importantly was the views we'd had were excellent.

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