Polichnitos Salt Pans

Polichnitos Salt Pans are only around 20 minutes drive from Vatera. Head north to Polichnitos, once there take the road directly opposite you at the second sharp right hand turn off the main road through the town. Follow this road signposted to Skala Polichnitou to the harbour and beach of this little village. Continue through the village and you will eventually reach the salt pans at the other side.
It is possible to drive all the way round the inland side of the salt pans and then down to the sea once you reach the far end. From here it is possible to drive along the seaward side of the pans a small distance then walk the remainder of the way. Thus, good viewing access to all the pans can be obtained.
Further along the coast past the salt pans towards Skamioudi are some agricultural fields and at Skamioudi there is freshwater lake called Alikoudi Pool. These areas are worth checking out as well as the salt pans as there are many drivable tracks around the fields and down to the pool.

Polichnitos Salt Pans

Our visits to the area were unfortunately during hot periods of the day whilst heading from one site to another but the following birds were seen at the salt pans; Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Greater Flamingo, Black and White Storks, Shelduck, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Ruff, Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common, Little, Whiskered and White-winged Black Terns, Sand Martin and Yellow Wagtail. Collared Pratincole and Terek Sandpiper were also seen on the salt pans.

Bee Eater              Greater Flamingos
The fields between the salt pans and the pool produced Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Shrikes, Warblers, Bee-eaters and excellent views of a Roller right by the side of the road in an olive tree.
From Skamioudi there is a track right along the coast and it was from here that we had our best views of a Red-footed Falcon. The bird was a second calender male feeding in the fields from the telegraph wires overhead.

Wood Sandpiper              Avocet
A good variety of birds were seen at the salt pans and in the agricultural area nearby including six Mute Swans on Alikoudi Pool which is a rare record for Lesvos. However, the water levels in the pans were high presenting less mud than on my previous visit and the times of day I visited were not the best, Therefore I feel that the pans did not reach there full potential and even better birding would be possible in this area.

This area was also covered in my report on Lesvos in September 2000 accessed from my home page.

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