Lesvos | 29 April – 6 May 2008 | Leo Tukker From April 29 until May 6 2008 I went with my son to Lesvos

. I wanted to visit the island, because I read a lot about it on the internet and saw a lot of pictures of the birds. At 05:35 we left Schiphol-Airport (Amsterdam) and we landed at 09:35 (Greek time) at Mytilini. A taxi drove us to our hotel at Skala Kallonis (hotel Pela). Above the balcony of our room were House Sparrows nesting. Other balconies had House Martins. We also saw Spanish Sparrows. After putting our luggage in our room we went straight away for a walk to Kalloni Pool. We saw two Squacco Herons and a male Little Bittern. We also saw a Stripe-necked Terrapin. After lunch we walked along the beach to Tsiknias River. I saw three lifers i.e. Blackheaded Wagtail, Cetti’s Warbler, Black-headed Bunting. We also saw plenty of Wood Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plovers, Whiskered Terns and White-winged Black Terns. We went to bed early, but at 23:30 I was awake again, because of a singing Nightingale. The next morning our rented car was delivered. After breakfast we visited Tsiknias River and the Kalloni Saltpans. There were a lot of Greater Flamingo’s in the pans and in the moat were Black-winged Stilts en Ruff. There were a lot of birders around, because in the fields opposite the Saltworks Entrance was a Spur-winged Lapwing.

Greater Flamingo’s at Kalloni Saltpans

Then we drove to Achladeri to search for the Krüpers Nuthatch. We saw them very well. They had a nest in the trunk of a dead tree. The birds flew of and on with food for their kids. We also saw Masked Shrike. After lunch at the Achladeri Taverna we drove to the other side of Kalloni Bay to Agios Ioannis near Parakila. There I saw five new birds. In the chapel were Turkish Ghekko’s. We heard a Hoopoe, but didn’t see it. Before going back to the hotel, we went to Metochi, besides a Little Bittern and a Little Crake we saw hundreds of terrapins in the ditches around the lake. At breakfast we decided to visite the Petrified Forest near Sigri. This was very impressive. We saw Lesser Kestrel and Chukar. On the way to Sigri a Spur-thighed Tortoise was crossing the road. We stopped and helped him a little. Then we visited Ipsilou Monastery. I parked the car at the bottom and we walked all the way up. We saw Blue Rock Thrush, Long-legged Buzzard and Cinereous Bunting. Near the car we saw Isabelline Wheatear. Early next morning, while my son was still asleep, I walked to Christou River and saw very well a Stone-curlew and a Black Stork. After breakfast we drove to Molivos. We stopped at Kavaki and saw Rüppell’s Warbler, Orphean Warbler and Subalpine Warbler. There were also a few Starred Agamas. After visiting Molivos and Skala Sikimineas, we went to the Kalloni Saltpans where we saw a Grass Snake, Collared Pratincole, Red-throated Pipit, Short-toed Lark, Redfooted Falcon and Ruddy Shelduck. Near Tsiknias River a few European Bee-eaters showed very well. On Saturday I went tot Metochi and saw Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, Little Crake and Baillon’s Crake. My son wanted to visit Mytilini, so the rest of the day little birdwatching.


On Sunday morning we drove to Madaros. We saw Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike and Black-eared Wheatear. We moved all the way up to the dead-goat pit. There were a lot of Yellow-legged Gulls feeding on the remains of a dead goat. When driving back to the main road there was a Balkan Green Lizard.

Balkan Green Lizard We moved on to Polichnitou Saltpans, but they were totally dry. We only saw a Black Stork. When driving on a small road between the olive groves we saw a Persian Squirrel. We also visited Agios Fokas near Vatera. On our last full day on the island I went early to Tsiknias Rover, Kalloni Saltpans and Madaros.

After breakfast we visited Limonos Monastery where somebody told us he had seen the Scops Owl that morning near the mini-soccer pitch, just outside Kalloni. We went there and tried to find it, but we didn’t succeed. We did hear the bird earlier this week near our hotel. Then we went to the Potamia Valley and walked there for a few hours. At the end we went to Agios Ioannis near Parakila. We had a great holiday. I saw plenty of birds and 38 lifers (written in italics). I also saw some new other species. We saw: Great Cormorant, Long-legged Buzzard, Chukar, Subalpine Warbler, Black-headed Wagtail, Common Shelduck, European Bee-eater, Grey Heron, Blue Rock-thrush, Barn Swallow, Hooded Crow, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Whitethroat, Marsh Harrier, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Ruddy Shelduck, Cetti’s Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Little Grebe, Little Tern, Greater Flamingo, Great Crested Grebe, Eurasian Jay, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Swift, Corn Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Stone Curlew, European Greenfinch, Common Greenshank, Great Reed-warbler, Great White Egret, Black-tailed Godwit, House Sparrow, House Martin, Isabelline Wheatear, Ruff, Little Crake, Lesser Grey Shrike, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Lesser Kestrel, Little Egret, Baillon's Crake, Avocet, Mute Swan, Great Tit, Short-toed Lark, Shag, Crested Lark, Masked Shrike, Common Coot, Blackbird, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Nightingale, White Stork, Blackeared Wheatear, Orphean Warbler, Ortolan Bunting, Whinchat, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Common Raven, Squacco Heron, Tree Sparrow, Common Stonechat, Red-throated Pipit, Woodchat Shrike, Red-footed Falcon, Red-rumped Swallow, Western Rock Nuthatch, Crag Martin, Rüppell's Warbler, Peregrine Falcon, Cinereous Bunting, Spanish Sparrow, Spur-winged Lapwing, Common Starling, Turnstone, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Northern Wheatear, Temminck´s Stint, Krüper's Nuthatch, Collared Dove, Olivaceous Warbler, Common Tern, Collared Pratincole, Chaffinch, Moorhen, Mallard, Green Sandpiper, Ferruginous Duck, White-winged Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Bittern, Eurasian Curlew, Turtle-dove, Black Stork, Spotted Redshank, Black-headed Bunting. European Pond Terrapin, Starred Agama, Stripe-necked Terrapin, Spur-thighed Tortoise, Persian Squirrel, Balkan Green Lizard, Grass Snake.

Black-headed Bunting

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