Saturday, 27 July 2019

Potter Heigham Marsh's

Cant say ive seen or done much birding of late. Med Gulls and a few Terns on the patch.
Today however i saw there was a fall of Waders so headed for Potter Heigham.
10 Spoonbills are always nice to see and common here,

The waders started to show up with a Wood Sandpiper and 2 Dunlin. Then Common Sandpiper and a Ruff. Further around the marsh 9 Green Sandpipers and 5 Common Sandpipers.

24 Little Egret was a high count.

Finally 3 Greenshank, 14 Ruff and 3 Wood Sandpipers dropped in.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Lesbos 2019 4th-12th May

So its taken a while to start but here it is, Trip report on my 2nd year in Lesbos.

Saturday 4th
Arrived at the Airport at 1230 jumped on the bus to travel 12 yards to the terminal, yes that's how they do it here until the new terminal is built.
Our Car from Lesvos car hire was onsite immediately when we arrived and was brand new, hardly a mile on the clock. Drove through Mitilini to our first stop the bridge at Mesa Wetland. It was extremely quite on the wader front with just a Little Ringed Plover.

Olivaceous Warblers were all over, Turtle Dove cooing in the distance.
We noticed our first Orchids Holy Orchid and Serapias parviflora small flowered tongue orchid.

Then onto the fabulous Kalloni Saltpans, Flamingos everywhere Lots of Terns, Black headed Bunting and a Crested Lark.

Further on Temmnicks Stints were numerous as were our first Bee Eaters, Black Tern and a cracking Collared Pratincole.

Finally on the racecourse it didnt take long to locate some Red Throated Pipits and a cracking Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin as its now called.

Sunday 5th
It was back to the Saltpans where we spotted a Lesser Grey Shrike, never close but good views through the scope.

A nice Citrine Wagtail flew over but didn't land in sight, lots of Yellow Wagtails and more Red Throated Pipits. White winged Black Terns were hunting the dyke and the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin were about still. A 1st Summer Male Montagu's Harrier showed incredibly well. Lots of Dark Spreadwing Damselflys too.

Moved onto Achladeri Forest where we could hear 2 Krupers Nuthatch but couldn't see them. We had a good walk around the forest enjoying the sites and sounds. Ravens seemed everywhere, Short toed treecreeper with young. Another Orchid Limodorum abortivum (Violet Limadore)

On the way back to the hotel a few bits along the road With Red Backed and Woodchat Shrikes. A very showy Elenoras falcon sat on a wire and our first Great White Egret.

It was a bit early for the hotel so nipped to Metochi lake. Great Reed Warbler, Little Bittern and Squacco Heron were the highlights.

Monday 6th
Today it was a trip to the fabulous Ipsolu Monastary. It was very windy making birding difficult. Still a long list of  Wood Warbler, Hoopoe, Sub Alp, Isabeline Wheatear, Woodlark, Golden Oriol, Persian Red Squirrel, Rock Sparrow Blue Rock Thrush.Black Eared Wheatear, Cretzschmar's Bunting, Cinereous Bunting and a Ravens nest.

A baby Spur thighed tortoise was a lovely find by Rach,

Moving onto Sigri for a drive around some lunch and 2 cracking Spur Winged Lapwings. Also Masked Shrikes and a few Nordic Jackdaws.

On the Way back more Cretzmars Buntings, 8 Golden Oriols with a couple showing well and first Icterine Warbler of the trip.

Over towards the Petrified Forest 2 Chucker calling, an Orphean Warbler, Pied Fly and a Long Legged Buzzard.

Stopped off at the old soccer pitch for Scops Owl, were weren't to be disappointed. 

That Evening the Barn Owl popped out the chimney of Dianes Shop in Skalla Kallonis and a tree frog in the beam of the phone in the dark.

Tuesday 7th
We headed for Kalloni pools, it was holding a nice Great White Egret, Several Squaccos and a Purple Heron. A Water Rail kept shooting in and out the reeds.
I spotted a nice Tree Frog too.

Onwards up the hill to the Kalloni Raptor point. Black Stork, Long Legged Buzzards 2 Peregrine, 2 Elenoras a Goshawk and 2 Short Toed eagles were the best in the air. Rock Nuthatch were hard to find and distant. Black eared Wheatear were nest close by and lastly a Whinchat.

Got to the point just before Molivos for the Ruppels Warbler, it was showing really well (just before we got there) but by the time we arrived it had moved distantly away. Nice scope views though.
Had Lunch at Molivos and walked up to the fabulous Castle. Plenty to keep us occupied with the views Agama Lizards, BE Wheatear, Bee Eaters and an Ice cream.
Stopped off at the Ruppels again in the afternoon but views were still distant. A male Red Footed Falcon flew over. Off the sea plenty of Scopoli's and Yelkouan Shearwaters following the distant boats.

Great Spotted Cuckoo had been seen at Molivos Res so we headed there for a little walk and we weren't to be disappointed with great views of 2 Great Spotted Cuckoos and 2 normal ones too. Also double figure Turtle doves, never seen so many in one place.

What a great day but time to head back to the hotel for some food.

Wednesday 8th
I had a long slog along the Tsiknias River, the wind was up and there were literally no birds. It was Very disappointing. At the River mouth it got better when i found a 1st Winter/Summer Caspian Gull. a very rare species on Lesvos one requiring a description. Luckily i managed some pictures to confirm its ID.

Also in the river mouth were Little Ringed Plover Common and Sandwich Terns.
Walking back our first Little Owl and plenty of Black headed Buntings and a couple of Masked Shrikes.

Got back to the car and headed for out first Waterfall, the Pesa Waterfall, not shut off as the paths were dangerous, still didn't stop us walking down and taking plenty of pictures. Lots of Orchids such as the Limodorum abortivum (Violet Limadore) again.

Onto Alkedera to look for Kruppers nuthatch and the usual woodland species including Short toed Treecreeper and Spotted Flycatcher.

A  Nice Tongue Orchid too.

The Poppy Fields around this area were stunning.

Back to the Saltpans to finish off the day. .Black and White Storks and the usual cast of birds .

Thursday early start with a nice Red Fox from the hotel. Then up to Molivos again for much better views of the Ruppels Warbler. Managed some shots this time.

A Trip up the Potamia Valley and a walk to watch 3 Olive Tree Warblers, a Honey Buzzard, Yellow Wagtails, Cirl Buntings Hoopoes and some very showey Middle Spotted Woodpeckers.
Sombre Tit and Masked Shrikes were great too. Found an Icterine Warbler singing from a bush too.
Butterflies were plenty-ful including a nice Festoon.

Back to the Hotel, A Fallow Deer was roaming the fields as were a Barn Owl and Night Heron.

Friday Was our last Full day on the island so we headed once again for Ipsilo Monastary. The usual stuff from before but this time 3 Lesser Kestrels, a Glass Lizard and our 1st Humming Bird Hawkmoth. Not much else bird wise just nice to be in this fabulous environment again.

Afternoon back at the Saltpans. All the terns spotted, a distant Cattle Egret, Curlew, plent of waders including Curlew Sandpipers and 100+ Little Stints. Ruddy Shelduck, Avocets, Black Winged Stilts, Ruff and Flamingos.

Another Fabulous trip to this fabulous Island of Lesbos. May try a new hotel next time.
Trip list was surprisingly bigger than last year but it didn't quite feel as good. List here.............

Ill add a few landscape shots from various points on the island too.