Thursday, 30 May 2013

Day 5 - Saturday - 4 May
Today was to be a big day in term so of sites covered. Firstly we headed for the Lardia Valley hoping for blue rock thrush and crag martin and we had been told of a site for eastern bonelli's warbler on the way upto the Lardia, just outside Vatousa. We duly spread out over a hundred metres or so on the roadside where we had been directed, but, didn't hear any eastern bonelli's calls. I was quite a distance from the other 2 when I saw a middle-spotted woodpecker, much gesticulating brought them rushing up to see a pair - result. Nowhere near the views others had at different sites around the island but a self found tick for us.
We moved on up the spectacular valley, it really is a wonderful place. There was the usual black-eared wheatears on the rocks above us. However no sign of the hoped for blue rock thrush but caught up with crag martin and there clearly observed nests on the cliff face. 
Next stop was the usual isabelline wheatear site below Ipsilou, we hadn't reached the pull off when one was spotted on the road in front of us. There were at least 4 different individuals around, plus red-backed shrikes. The views of the isabelline wheatears were probably the best I've ever had.

Onwards to Ipsilou Monastery which proved to be very quiet at first, the usual black-eared wheatears, cretzschmar's and cinereous buntings were seen and a fly over hobby. Time was getting on so it was down to Sigri and a return visit to the Australia Taverna for lunch. 
Onto Sigri fields for a return visit for the roosting nightjar, it was still there but no easier to photograph so record shot only.

Lower Faneromeni ford gave use wood sand, as usual and a lovely black-headed bunting. Plus the bonus of a fly over short-toed eagle.

On to the upper Faneromeni ford, no use as someone was parked in it!!! We reversed and decided to visit Faneromeni beach, the pool there had 2 ruff and 3 little stints feeding.

Now back to our regular evening visit to the Kalloni saltpans. First stop was on the old road and a really nice Kentish Plover. 

The road around the saltpans gave great views of the feeding terns. 

Another of my favourites the squacco heron was feeding in the channel.

Last location of the day was the beach and a search for a lifer for me, rufous bush robin. This proved to be a non event as a search as the bird was seen immediately we reached the site we had been told about. Stunning views of both male and female birds, photographs are a little distant as didn't want to get too close. A great end to a superb day.


  1. I really enjoyed your account of the week's birding in Lesvos. It gave a great feel of what to expect with some wonderful pics. Thanks.

  2. Tom, many thanks. Not good at keeping this up to date, apart from Lesvos last year. I take it that you are going to visit. I'm there from late April until 9 May.