Trip List For Lesvos May 2003


May 1: Arrival plus Salty River and Fokas Headland

May 2: Agiasos Flower Walk and Salty River

May 3: Salty River, Polichnitos Salt Pans, Derbyshire, Krupers Site and Nifida Headland

May 4 Kalloni Salt Pans, Kalloni Pool and East River

May 5 Southern uplands from Kato Stavros to Agiasos and Mikri Limni

May 6 Kalloni Pool, Inland Lake and Salt Pans

May 7 Faneromeni Ford and Ipsilou Monastery

May 8 Salty River, Fokas Headland and Polichnitos Salt Pans

May 9 Kalloni area and Napi Valley

May 10 Salty River, Polichnitos Salt Pans, Mikri Limni, Alikoudi Pool and Agiasos Flower Walk

May 11 Salty River, Kalloni area and Potamia Valley

May 12 Faneromeni, Ipsilou, West River and Kalloni Salt Pans

May 13 Salty River

May 14 Kalloni Inland Lake, Salt Pans and East River

May 15 Salty River and return home

Bird List:

Little Grebe: Noted on freshwater bodies such as Kalloni Pool and Mikri Limni
Great Crested Grebe:* Several seen on Kalloni Bay
Red-necked Grebe:* A single bird reported on Kalloni Bay
Yelkouan Shearwater: 68 birds passed Fokas Headland in 1 hour
Corys Shearwater: 4 birds close inshore within 1 hour at Fokas Headland
Dalmatian Pelican: A juvenle bird frequented Kalloni Salt Pans throughout the duration of our visit. It was also seen on the sea at Sigri
Shag: Often observed on the sea in Kalloni Bay or Vatera Bay
Grey Heron: Fairly common at various wetland sites including both salt pans
Purple Heron: Most commonly observed roosting in tree tops at Salty River and feeding at Mikri Limni
Little Egret: Common in wetland habitats
Squacco Heron: Another common bird of rivers and lakes on the island
Night Heron: Other than the two or three birds known to roost in the Tamarisks at Kalloni Inland Lake the only other sighting was of a bird in the reedy section of the Salty River
Little Bittern: First viewed at the first bridge on the Salty River but also frequent at Kalloni Pool, Kalloni Inland Lake and Faneromeni Ford
Glossy Ibis: A flock of 11 birds was seen on several occasions with the best views of the birds feeding in the dyke that runs into the Inland Lake
White Stork: Several seen on wetlands but fewer than the next species
Black Stork: Commoner than White Stork in similar habitats, with one bird giving excellent views in Kalloni Salt Pan channel
Greater Flamingo: Observed on both sets of salt pans
Mute Swan: A flock of six birds were seen initially on Alikoudi Pool
Shelduck: A pair of birds frequented Polichnitos and Kalloni Salt Pans
Ruddy Shelduck: Two birds were seen at Derbyshire and two on Kalloni Pans
Mallard: A single bird was noted hanging around Kalloni Pool
Garganey: Several birds were evident on Kalloni Pool and on two occasions a single male was found on East River
Shoveler:* A single bird was reported from Kalloni Pans
Short-toed Eagle: One bird only seen circling above the Salty River
Sparrowhawk: A single bird noted flying along the hillside above the Salty River and another high over the Potamia Valley
Goshawk: One seen flying above the Sweet Chestnut Woods at Agiasos
Buzzard: Seen in the mountains between Vatera and Agiasos and over the hills to the east of the Salty River
Long-legged Buzzard: One bird was noted on several occasions around the Vatera area
Honey Buzzard: A single bird observed in the hills near the Salty River
Bonellis Eagle: The only bird of the trip was viewed well from the road just above Kato Stavros
Booted Eagle:* Reported from the North of the island
Golden Eagle:* One report of a bird over the Grand Canyon on the road to Sigri
Egyptian Vulture:* Reported from the north of the island
Griffon Vulture:* Reported from the north
Marsh Harrier: Occasional birds in the Salty River and East River areas
Hen Harrier: One bird observed over farmland close to East River
Montagus Harrier: A couple of birds observed over the farmland near Faneromeni Ford
Lanner Falcon:* Reported from Napi Valley and Kalloni Inland Lake
Peregrine:* Seen by several observers around the Rupells Warbler site between Petra and Molyvos
Eleonoras Falcon: I was lucky enough to catch up with a single bird soaring with the Short-toed Eagle above the Salty River
Hobby:* Reported from several locations
Red-footed Falcon: The main passage having passed through the week before our arrival single birds were seen coming off Kalloni Bay, along Salty River and the best views were obtained on wires over farmland between Polichnitos Salt Pans and Alikoudi Pool
Lesser Kestrel: Again having missed the main passage a few birds were seen in the hills around Sigri and Faneromeni Ford
Kestrel: One bird seen over Kalloni Salt Pans
Chukar: Good views of a calling male at the upper East River. However, the area between Kato Stavros and Ambeliko looks to be a productive area for this species
Water Rail:* Reported from Kalloni Pool
Spotted Crake: The only bird was a single observed early morning around Salty River ford
Little Crake: A male was viewed well on several occasions from the lower bridge of Salty River and a female was seen briefly on East River
Baillons Crake: A male was watched by many observers along East River close to the ford and two other birds were reported from the Inland Lake
Moorhen: Found on various inland water bodies
Coot: Observed only on the Inland Lake
Oystercatcher: A single bird observed feeding in West River
Black-winged Stilt: Common on Salt Pans and other water bodies
Avocet: Seen on both Polichnitos and Kalloni Salt Pans
Little Ringed Plover: Common on many water bodies and found breeding on Vatera Beach
Kentish Plover: Found at Polichnitos and Kalloni Salt Pans
Grey Plover: A single bird observed on Polichnitos Salt Pans
Turnstone: A lone bird seen at Polichnitos Salt Pans on the beach at the back of the pans
Curlew Sandpiper: Observed at both sets of salt pans
Dunlin Another bird viewed only on the salt pans
Temmincks Stint: Birds were seen at Polichnitos Salt Pans, Salty River and on East River
Little Stint: Found chiefly on the salt pans
Sanderling: Seen only at Polichnitos Salt Pans
Terek Sandpiper: One bird was observed well by many at the mouth of West River. Presumable the same bird was earlier observed on Polichnitos Salt Pans
Redshank: Only a single bird seen on Kalloni Salt pans
Greenshank: Several birds on both sets of salt pans
Marsh Sandpiper:* Reports of a single bird from Kalloni Salt Pans
Common Sandpiper: Initially found at the ford on Salty River but later in other similar habitats
Wood Sandpiper: Common in many wetland habitats
Ruff: Another commom wader seen in many wetland areas
Black-tailed Godwit: A flock of 24 birds was noted on Kalloni Salt Pans
Bar-tailed Godwit: A single bird was observed in the flock of Black-tailed Godwits on Kalloni Pans
Great Snipe:* A single bird was flushed along Faneromeni Beach early one morning
Stone Curlew: Birds were seen at both Salt pans and along West River
Collared Pratincole: Seen in flight feeding over both sets of salt pans
Audouins Gull: A single bird seen along Vatera Beach early in the morning
Mediterranean Gull: A juvenile observed feeding with a flock of White-winged Black Terns over Kalloni Salt Pans
Yellow-legged Gull: Common throughout the island
Caspian Gull: An occasional bird noted when scanning through the many Yellow-legged Gulls
Gull-billed Tern: Single birds ween on two separate occasions at Kalloni pans and East River
Common Tern: Evident on both sets of salt pans
Little Tern: Another species evident on the salt pans
Black Tern: One bird flying along East river
White-winged Black Tern: Common on the salt pans and Kalloni Pool with numbers building towards the end of our stay with as many as 50 birds feeding together over kalloni Salt Pans
Whiskered Tern: Found in similar locations to the above in slightly lesser numbers
Woodpigeon: A rarity on Lesvos found only in the Sweet Chestnut woods above Agiasos
Collared Dove: Common throughout the island with a bird even found nesting over a speaker system in one taverna
Turtle Dove: Again fairly common throughout with good views of birds around the Salty River area
Cuckoo: Found in woodland above Agiasos and Kato Stavros and in the Olive Groves along the Salty River
Great-spotted Cuckoo:* An unconfirmed report from an unknown location
Long-eared Owl:* A family party seen by many in some pines near a football pitch just off the Petra road out of Kalloni
Scops Owl: The roosting bird at the back of the school yard at Papiana was in residence
Little Owl: One bird seen well on an old water tower at the back of Nifida Beach and a second bird seen close to Ipsilou Monastery
Swift: Seen most days
Pallid Swift: Single birds observed with Swift flocks feeding and drinking over the Inland Lake
Alpine Swift: A couple of birds noted over the Sheep Fields at Kalloni Pans
Bee-eater: These gorgeous birds were common throughout in the correct habitat
Roller: Three were seen at Faneromeni and one viewed well from the car in an Olive Grove near Polichnitos salt pans
Hoopoe: Observed well in the Sweet Chestnut woods and also seen in olive groves close to Salty River
Middle-spotted Woodpecker: The only woodpecker seen, common mainly in olive groves
Short-toed Lark: Birds observed on the Sheep fields of Kalloni pans and on the track from Vatera Beach to the Salty River
Woodlark: Close views obtained whilst driving round Megali Limni were the only birds to be found
Crested Lark: Numerous and found in all locations
Barn Swallow: Common and widespread
Red-rumped swallow: Fairly common and widespread, often seen collecting mud for nest building from roadside puddles
Crag Martin: Several birds observed above the town of Agiasos
Sand Martin: A couple of birds noted passing through Polichnitos Salt Pans
House Martin: Common and widespread
Tree Pipit: A single bird identified at Ipsilou Monastery
Red-throated Pipit: Numerous on the Sheep Fields of Kalloni Salt Pans until they dried out, with as many as 100 birds on one occasion. Birds were also seen well on the headland at Nifida
Tawny Pipit: Two or three amongst the flocks on the Sheep Fields
White Wagtail: Occasional birds seen at various locations
Grey Wagtail: One bird seen at the roadside on the return journey to the airport in pines near Agiasos
Yellow Wagtail: Various races were noted mainly at the salt pans and Faneromeni Ford with Black-headed being the easiest to pick out
Citrine Wagtail: Two juvenile birds and a female were found early in the holiday on one of the remaining pools on the Sheep Fields
Lesser Grey Shrike: Observed on three occasions at Salty River, Fokas Headland and on the road from Sigri to Faneromeni
Masked Shrike: Reasonable numbers seen mainly in Olive groves where I found a nesting pair close to the Salty River
Woodchat Shrike: Seen well at several locations with the best views along the track by the Salty River early in the mornings, where pair bonding was observed
Red-backed Shrike: The commonest Shrike with breeding birds and passage birds in evidence in many locations. A large fall was noted at Faneromeni on our first visit
Savis Warbler: One bird seen well in the reeds at the ford on Salty River
River Warbler:* One bird was reported singing in Tamerisks by Kalloni Pool
Reed Warbler: Common in reedbeds in many locations
Marsh Warbler: A bird was seen singing from bushes close to the Salty River
Great Reed Warbler: Viewed most often along the reedy section of Salty River and occasionally at the Inland Lake
Sedge Warbler: Seen only at the Inland Lake
Cettis Warbler: A common bird found close to most rivers and lakes
Fan-tailed Warbler: Noted on two occasions, once in the lowland river area to the east of Vatera and on the trip back to the airport at Dipi Larsos Reedbed
Icterine Warbler: One bird found at Faneromeni Ford
Olivaceous Warbler: Extremely common throughout the island
Olive Tree Warbler: A distant bird was seen singing from a treetop in the Napi Valley but the best area by far was in the Olive Groves by the Salty River where at least five or six pairs were observed with spectacular views of two pairs nest building
Whitethroat: Noted amongst the tail end of a fall of birds at Faneromeni Ford
Lesser Whitethroat: Again seen at Faneromeni Ford
Barred Warbler: A single bird observed amongst the hillside trees at Ipsilou Monastery
Blackcap: A couple of birds were noted at Ipsilou and above Agiasos
Orphean Warbler: Fairly common and widespread with nesting birds found in Olive groves near Salty River
Rupells Warbler:* Reported from the usual site near Petra
Subalpine Warbler: A common warbler found in most scrubby habitats
Willow Warbler: Found at Ipsilou and alongside the Salty River, singing on the latter occasion
Chiffchaff: Heard singing in the woods above Agiasos
Wood Warbler: Seen only once in olives close to Salty River
Spotted Flycatcher: Two birds seen at Megali Limni were notable
Pied Flycatcher: The remnants of the fall held one at Faneromeni and another two at Ipsilou
Collared Flycatcher: A single female was observed feeding by Faneromeni Ford
Red-breasted Flycatcher: A female bird was observed along the track above Faneromeni Ford
Stonechat: Several birds were noted in the uplands around Ipsilou
Whinchat: Fairly common with good views from the car at Salty River ford
Blue Rock Thrush: Seen only at Ipsilou Monatery where a pair were nesting
Northern Wheatear: Fairly widespread, noted in several upland locations
Isabelline Wheatear: Observed around the base of the rocks on which Ipsilou Monastery stands
Black-eared Wheatear: Common on the island in upland and pinewood habitats
Finschs Wheatear:* Reported by independent observers from the upper East River
Black Redstart: Spotted by a keen observer along the beach whilst waiting for the plane to arrive
Robin: Only found in the woods above Agiasos at it is a bit of a scarcity on Lesvos
Thrush Nightingale: One bird in trees at Faneromeni Ford although I suspect there were several birds in the area
Nightingale: Very common throughout the island where it can be heard singing all day long
Rufous Bush Robin: One bird observed singing from a bush top on the Sheep Fields whilst several pairs were holding territory along the track above Faneromeni Ford
Blackbird: Common and widespread
Song Thrush: A single bird seen and heard in the Potamia Valley
Mistle Thrush: Several observed in the pine forests towards Agiasos
Long-tailed Tit: Birds were seen in the pine forests towards Agiasos
Coal Tit: Another bird of the pines found in areas such as Megali Limni and Mikri Limni
Great Tit: Abundant throughout
Blue Tit: Abundant throughout
Sombre Tit: Found in upland areas including the hills above Kato Stavros and upper East River
Krupers Nuthatch: Viewed well coming to the nest at the well known Krupers site but also reported from around Megali Limni
Rock Nuthatch: Observed in upland areas such as upper East River and at Ipsilou but in much lower numbers than on my previous visit in Autumn when family parties can be seen
Short-toed Treecreeper: Seen and heard in the pines particularly at Mikri Limni
Wren: Seen and heard only above and below Agiasos in the Sweet Chestnuts and Pines respectively
Corn Bunting: A common bird throughout
Cirl Bunting: Found in the hills above Kato Stavros and along the upper East River
Black-headed Bunting: Extremely common Throughout
Ortolan Bunting: One bird observed en route to Ipsilou
Cretzschmars Bunting: Common in most upland and barren locations
Cinereous Bunting: Found singing around Ipsilou Monastery plus a female with what appeared to be nesting material was observed on the headland close to Nifida
Chaffinch: Common throughout
Goldfinch: Another common bird throughout the island
Greenfinch: Common throughout
Linnet: Two birds feeding on thistles along East River
Serin: Common in the pine woods around areas such as Megali Limni
Spanish Sparrow: Common around habitation such as Vatera beach and Skala Kalloni beach
House Sparrow: A common species throughout
Rock Sparrow: Found only at Ipsilou where birds are known to nest
Starling: A single bird was found feeding in fields close to Faneromeni Ford
Golden Oriole: Seen on two occasions, once in olives at Faneromeni and once close to Salty River
Jay: Fairly common in more wooded areas
Raven: Observed in several high altitude habitats
Hooded Crow: Common Throughout
Jackdaw: A flock of around 12 birds was seen at Faneromeni

Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians:

Persian Squirrels were common in the Olive Groves around the Salty River and at Faneromeni
Beach Martins were uncommon with a single sighting along the road close to Kato Stavros
Hedgehog seen as a roadside casualty
Foxes were regularly seen whilst travelling at night crossing the roads
Large Whip Snake were the commonest snakes around with several sightings one a little close for comfort although the snake soon turned tail on noticing us
Grass Snake was found swimming in the East River
Green Lizards were common especially above Agiasos
Snake-eyed Lizards were identified amongst the commoner striped young of Green Lizards
Agama Lizards were found on many rocky outcrops
Both Striped-necked Terrapin and the less common European Pond Terrapin were found around Salty River and at Kalloni Inland Lake
Spur-thighed Tortoise were found in the woods above Agiasos, sheltering from the heat under vegetation at both the Sheep Fields and at a small lake towards the goat pit of upper East River
A couple of Common Tree Frogs were found in the small bushes alongside Kalloni Inland lake
Edible Frogs were seen and heard in chorus mainly at Salty River and Kalloni Inland Lake

Spur-thighed Tortoise    Common Tree Frog

Butterflies and other Insects

I didn't spend enough time looking at the insects which were in abundance due to the massive floral display but the few that I looked at are listed below:

Other than butterflies the most notable insects were the excellent hornets, large Violet Carpenter Bees and some interesting looking millipedes. However, an interesting site was a couple of dung beetles in the Napi valley rolling a sphere of dung between them.

Butterflies identified were:
Swallowtail, Scarce Swallowtail, Eastern Festoon, Large White, Eastern Dappled White, Orange Tip, Clouded Yellow, Holly Blue, Nettle-tree Butterfly, Red Admiral, Peacock, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Large Wall Brown, Small Heath and Small Copper.

Dragonflies and Damselflies began to appear in good numbers during our second week and included:
Hairy Dragonfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Lesser Emperor Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Red-veined Darter, Scarlet Darter, Scarce Emerald Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly and Sympecma fusca a small brown damselfly.

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