LESVOS BIRDING is the essential resource for birders visiting the island. Use the links left and right to search the site inc. info on Lesvos Birding Holidays & Tours and A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Species lists (birds, dragonflies, etc)


Orchids on Lesvos

Right: Limodorum abortivum, Achladeri Apr 04

Here is a list of orchids found on Lesvos -

Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine)
Epipactis microphylla (Small-leaved Helleborine)
Cephalanthera damasonium (Large White Helleborine)
Cephalanthera rubra (Red Helleborine)
Cephalanthera longifolia (Sword-leaved Helleborine)
Cephalanthera epipactoides (Spurred Helleborine)
Limodorum abortivum (Violet Limodore)
Limodorum abortivum var. rubrum
Limodorum abortivum var. albiflorum
Listera ovata (Twayblade)
Spiranthes spiralis (Autumn Lady's Tresses)
Platanthera holmboei (Holmboë's Butterfly)
Dactylorhiza romana (Roman Orchid)
Dactylorhiza romana var. albifora
Comperia comperiana (Komper's Orchid)
Neotinea maculata (Dense-flowered Orchid)
Aceras anthropophorum (Man Orchid)
Orchis coriophora (Bug Orchid)
Orchis sancta (Holy Orchid)
Orchis sancta var. alba
Orchis laxiflora (Loose-flowered Orchid)
Orchis palustris (Bog Orchid)
Orchis pinetorum (Pinewood Orchid)
Orchis provincialis (Provence Orchid)
Orchis anatolica (Anatolian Orchid)
Orchis collina (Fan-lipped Orchid)
Orchis collina var. albiflora
Orchis papilionacea ssp. heroica (Pink Butterfly Orchid)
Orchis papilionacea ssp. heroica var. alba
Orchis papilionacea ssp. heroica var. rubra
Orchis quadripunctata (Four-spotted Orchid)
Orchis morio ssp. morio (Green-winged Orchid)
Orchis morio ssp. morio var. albiflora
Orchis morio ssp. picta
Orchis tridentata (Toothed Orchid)
Orchis lactea (Milky Orchid)
Orchis purpurea (Lady Orchid)
Orchis italica (Naked Man Orchid)
Orchis italica var. albiflora
Orchis simia (Monkey Orchid)
Anacamptis pyramidalis (Pyramidal Orchid)
Anacamptis pyramidalis var. albiflora
Barlia robertiana (Giant Orchid)
Himantoglossum caprinum (Balkan Lizard Orchid)
Himantoglossum affine (Eastern Lizard Orchid)
Himantoglossum montis-tauri
Serapias cordigera (Heart-flowered Orchid)
Serapias vomeracea (Plough-share Orchid)
Serapias orientalis ssp. carica (Eastern Orchid)
Serapias parviflora (Small-flowered Orchid)
Ophrys fusca (Dull Orchid)
Ophrys attaviria
Ophrys iricolor (Rainbow Orchid)
Ophrys sitiaca (Omega Orchid)
Ophrys sicula (Yellow Orchid)
Ophrys phryganae (Yellow Orchid)
Ophrys tenthredinifera (Sawfly Orchid)
Ophrys apifera (Bee Orchid)
Ophrys speculum or vernixia ssp. orientalis (Mirror Orchid)
Ophrys bombyliflora (Bumble Bee Orchid)
Ophrys reinholdii (Reinhold's Orchid)
Ophrys umbilicata (Carmel Orchid)
Ophrys attica (Carmel Orchid)
Ophrys bucephala (Carmel Orchid)
Ophrys cornutula (Woodcock Orchid)
Ophrys minutula (Woodcock Orchid)
Ophrys oestrifera (Woodcock Orchid)
Ophrys lesbis (Lesbos Orchid)
Ophrys ferrum-equinum (Horse-shoe Orchid)
Ophrys labiosa (Horse-shoe Orchid)
Ophrys holoserica (Late Spider Orchid)
Ophrys homeri (Homer's Orchid)
Ophrys candica (Kandia's Orchid)
Ophrys spruneri (Spruner's Orchid)
Ophrys aesculapii (Aesculapius Orchid)
Ophrys mammosa (Mammosa Orchid)

Many species can be found around Agiasos. For further information see here.

Orchids of Lesvos by Brian and Eileen Anderson (left) is available and although in Greek is useful.

Other Lesvos orchid information:
Paulmps' flickr album (78 photos)

My thanks to Paul Manning for his help in compiling this list.

A list of the selected mammals of Lesvos

Fallow Deer Dama dama scarce introduction
Persian Squirrel Sciunus anomalus common and widespread
Beech Marten Martes foine common but rarely seen
Weasel Mustela nivalis common and widespread
Lesser Mole Rat Spalax microphthalmus rarely subterranian species
Brown Hare Lepus capensis scarce
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus scarce introduction
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes scarce but widespread
Otter Lutra lutra rare
Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus common and widespread
Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus common and widespread
Black Rat Rattus rattus scarce but widespread
House Mouse Mus musculus common and widespread
Common Shrew Sorex areneus common and widespread
Pipistrelle bat sp. Pipistrellus sp. common and widespread
Bat sp many bats spp. seen across the island
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis common
Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus scarce
Mediterranean Monk Seal Monachus monachus rare

A list of other insects of Lesvos

Thread-winged Lacewing Nemoptera sinuata, Lesvos, May 2007

Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa
‘Ephippiger’ Bush-cricket Ephippiger ephippiger
Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptiacum
‘Red-winged’ Grasshopper Oedipoda germanica
‘Blue-winged’ Grasshopper Oedipoda caerulans
‘Stick’ grasshopper sp. Acrida ungarica
Praying Mantis Iris oratoria
Mantid sp. Ameles spallanziana
Mantid sp. Empusa fasciata
Lesvos Cicada Cicada orni lesbosiensis (Lesvos endemic)
Giant Peacock Moth Saturnia pyri
Oleander Hawkmoth Daphnis nerii
Hummingbird Hawkmoth Macroglossum stellatarum
Cream-spotted Tiger Arctia villica
Violet Carpenter Bee Xylocarpus violacea
Great Potter Wasp Delta unguiculata
Antlion sp. Palpares libelluloides
Thread-winged Lacewing Nemoptera sinuata

A list of the butterflies of Lesvos

Southern Comma Polygomum egea, Lesvos May 2007
I've tried to find photos on the web of insects photographed on Lesvos. Mike Maunder's (Lesvos Walks) has a good selection but he has mis-identified several (which I've told him about!) so please ignore some of his labels!

Swallowtail Papilio machaon
Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius
Eastern Festoon Zerny cerisyi
False Apollo Archon appollinus
Large White Pieris brassicae
Small White Pieris rapae
Southern Small White Artogeia mannii
Bath White Pontia daplidice
Eastern Bath White Pontia edusa
Small Bath White Pontia chloridice
Eastern Dappled White Euchloe ausonia
Eastern Wood White Leptidea duponcheli
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines
Clouded Yellow Colias croceus
Cleopatra Gonepteryx cleopatra
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
Nettle-tree Butterfly Libythea celtis
Plain Tiger Danaus chrysippus
Southern White Admiral Limenitis reducta
Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros
Peacock Inachis io
Red Admiral Venessa atalanta
Painted Lady Cynthia cardui
Southern Comma Polygomum egea
Silver-washed Fritillary Argynnis paphia
Cardinal Argynnis pandora
Knapweed Fritillary Melitaea phoebe
Spotted Fritillary Melitaea didyma
Lesser Spotted Fritillary Melitaea trivia
Marbled White Melanargia galathea
Balkan Marbled White Melanargia larissa
Southern Grayling Hipparchia aristaeus
Eastern Rock Grayling Hipparchia alcyone
White-banded Grayling Pseudochazara anthelea
Common Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
Lesvos Meadow Brown Maniola megala (Lesvos endemic)
Turkish Meadow Brown Maniola telmessia
Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
Large Wall Brown Lasiommata maera
Lattice Brown Kirinia roxelana
Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus
Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi
Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
Scarce Copper Lycaena virgauraea
Grecian Copper Lycaena ottomana
Lesser Fiery Copper Lycaena thersamon
Green-underside Blue Glaucopsyche alexis
Amanda's Blue Agrodiaetus amanda
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus
Brown Argus Aricia agestis
Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris
Mediterranean Skipper Gegenes nostrodamus
Orbed Red-underwing Skipper Spialia orbifer
Oriental Marbled Skipper Carcharodus orientalis

A checklist of the dragonflies of Lesvos

Odalisque, Achladeri, Lesvos, April 2002
© Steve Dudley (Athene/Todsnatcher.com)

As a dragonfly enthusiast (see Watching British Dragonflies) I have often found dragonfly-watching on Lesvos a little frustrating. But over the years I have realised this is largely down to the times I visit - mid- to late April, before many species have taken to the wing, and mid- to late September, when due to lack of surface water, insects are less evident. My stays in to May have yielded more species and others I know staying into late May report even more species and greater numbers on the wing.

Die libellenfauna der Insel Lesbos (the dragonfly fauna of the island of Lesbos). Naturkundliche Reiseberichte 3. Lopau, W. Gnarrenburg 1995.
The Dragonflies of Lesbos. Bowers. J. Freinds of Lesbos. 2008.
Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. Dijkstra, K-D B & Lewington, R. 2006. British Wildlife Publishing, Gillingham, Dorset.

English names are those used in Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. The first English name is the new international English name as used in the above title. The second English name is the existing vernacular name.
Flight times are those given in the above guide for ‘Europe’, so flight periods on Lesvos will vary and most species will be affected by the water levels (and lack of water during some months). The flight periods for some species have been refined (thanks to Vincent Kalkman).


Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens mingrelica
May - Sep.

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo festiva
May - Sep.

Odalisque Epallage fatime
Apr - Aug.

Robust Spreadwing Lestes dryas
Scarce Emerald Damselfly
Apr – Oct.

Migrant Spreadwing Lestes barbarus
Southern Emerald Damselfly
Mar – Oct.

Small Spreadwing Lestes virens
Small Emerald Damselfly
Apr - Nov.

Dark Spreadwing Lestes macrostigma
Mar – Oct.

Eastern Willow Spreadwing Lestes parvidens
May – Nov.

Common Winter Damselfly Sympecma fusca
Winter Damselfly
All year.

Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Mar - Nov.

Small Bluetail Ischnura pumilio
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
Mar - Oct.

Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Blue Damselfly
May - Oct.

Dainty Bluet Coenagrion scitulum
Dainty Damselfly
Apr - Sep.

Small Red Damsel Ceriagrion tenellum
Small Red Damselfly
June - Sep.

Small Redeye Erythromma viridulum
Small Red-eyed Damselfly
May - Sep.

Blue Redeye Erythromma lindenii
Goblet-marked Damselfly
Mar - Oct.

Blue Featherlegs Platycnemis pennipes
White-legged Damselfly
May - Sep.

Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta
May - Dec.

Blue-eyed Hawker Aeshna affinis
Southern Migrant Hawker
May - Oct.

Green-eyed Hawker Aeshna isosceles antehumeralis
Norfolk Hawker
May - Aug.

Blue Emperor Anax imperator
Emperor Dragonfly
Mar - Dec.

Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope
Mar - Nov.

Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger
Mar - Nov.

Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense
Hairy Dragonfly
Mar - Aug.

Eastern Spectre Caliaeschna microstigma
May - Oct.

Turkish Clubtail Gomphus schneiderii
Apr - Jul.

Small Pincertail Onychogomphus forcipatus albistibalis
Green-eyed Hooktail
May - Sep.

Turkish Goldenring Cordulegaster picta
May - Aug.

Blue-eyed Goldenring Cordulegaster insignis
May - Aug.

Yellow-spotted Emerald Somotochlora flavomaculata
May - Aug.

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa
Apr - Aug.

Blue Chaser Libellula fulva
Scarce Chaser
May - Aug.

Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum
Apr - Sep.

Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum
Apr - Sep.

Epaulet Skimmer Orthetrum chrysostigma
Apr - Aug.

Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens anceps (O. ramburii)
Apr - Nov.

Small Skimmer Orthetrum taeniolatum
May - Sep.



Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii
Mar - Nov.

Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum
May - Nov.

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
Apr - Nov.

Southern Darter Sympetrum meridionale
May - Nov.

Broad Scarlet Crocothemis erythraea
Scarlet Darter
Apr - Sep.

Violet Dropwing Trithemis annulata
Violet-marked Darter
Apr - Oct.

Black Pennant Selysiothemis nigra
May - Sep.

My thanks to Vincent Kalkman and Wolfgang Lopau.

A checklist of the birds of Lesvos

The latest draft of the species accounts from my forthcoming book A Birdwatchers Guide to Lesvos (Arlequin Press, due August 2009) is available as a PDF. This is an extended version (for some species) of what appears below.

Cheques only for £2.50 payable to SP Dudley to -
SP Dudley, Lesvos Birding, PO Box 417, Peterborough PE7 3FX.
NOTE - I cannot process orders received AFTER 20 April.

I have worked with both the Hellenic Rarities Committee (HRC) and Greek and Lesvos birdwatchers to produce as near a definitive list of accepted species recorded on the island. References are provided where previously published inc. for accepted records HRC annual reports and The Birds of Greece (Handrinos & Akriotis 1997) (BoG in text), and Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos (Brooks 1998) and various updates by the same author (up to 2004) for many records of commoner species and from where many of the unconfirmed records (e.g. records not submitted to HRC) are taken. Most records from 2005 onwards are from HRC or collated by myself. Observers, were known (e.g. from HRC reports) are included for some of the rarer species (unfortunately not all publications provide details of observers). ‘MO’ in the text refers to Many Observers.

Lesvos is unique in respect of the concentration of western European birders present on the island in spring. It’s inevitable that many of the reported sightings do not get formally submitted to HRC. Nevertheless, this coverage does help to record the truer status of some species on Lesvos which remain nationally rare at the national level, e.g. Citrine Wagtail is an annual passage migrant on Lesvos yet remains rare elsewhere in Greece. The same is true for other species.

For completeness, records published in other publications but not formally submitted to HRC have been included within the species accounts to indicate these records are known and if observers are able to submit further details these will be considered by HRC.
At the end of the list are two appendices detailing 1) species submitted to HRC but rejected and species reported but never formally submitted by HRC (so these species are not on the Lesvos list) and 2) reported escapes.

Recommended birding guides
The Collins Bird Guide by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterstrom & Peter Grant (HarperCollins, ISBN 0 00 219728 6) — quite simply the best European bird guide.

The Macmillan Birder’s Guide to European and Middle Eastern Birds by Alan Harris, Hadoram Shirihai & Davis Christie (Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 58940 8) — out of print but definitely worth buying if you find a copy second-hand.

Key to status codes
c = common
s = scarce
r = rare
RB = resident breeder
MB = migrant breeder
CB = casual/occasional breeder
IB = introduced breeder
SP = spring passage
AP = autumn passage
PM = passage migrant (spring and autumn)
W = winter visitor
V = vagrant
? = status uncertain
* = description species - see here

Taxonomy and nomenclature
This is based on the International Ornithological Congress (IOC) list of bird names as listed by Gill, F., Wright, M. & Donsker, D. (2009). IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0), and is available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/. I have deviated from this reference as follows:

1. where subspecies have a different name to the nominate name listed by Gill & Wright, e.g. Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii

2. in respect of hyphenated names, I do not use a capitalized letter for a name following a hyphen, e.g. the Lesvos list will use Stone-curlew and not Stone-Curlew.

3. Night-heron is used in preference to heron to denote that Night-herons are their own family of ‘herons’ and not part of the Ardea group of herons.

4. Honey-buzzard is used in preference to Honey Buzzard to denote that this species is not a Buteo buzzard species

This checklist is still being updated. The records for some rare species in particular still need updating, and the status of even some of the resident species changes as more information is forthcoming (e.g. Audouin's Gull only recently proved as a breeding species).

Last updated 28 March 2009

Place names
I use the local names here, and not the (at times odd) birding names. To help you, here are some are the local names some of the birding sites -

Christou River (Kalloni West River)
Tsiknias River/Valley (Kalloni East River)
Metochi Lake (Inland Lake)
Mesa (Derbyshire)
Aghia Ioannis (Devil’s Bridge)
The Lardia Valley (Grand Canyon)
Vigla (The Junction)
Meladia River Ford (the ford on the track between Sigri and Eressos)

A highlighted species name is linked to either a photo or a report ith a photo. Highlighted text is linked to reports of inidividual species, photos or publications.

Chukar Alectoris chukar sRB
Occurs mainly in the rocky areas of the centre, north and west of the island. Its distinctive call will give the bird away — finding it is another matter! A couple of the better localities to search are around Ipsilou, the road to the Petrified Forest and the Meladia Valley.

Quail Coturnix coturnix rMB, sPM
Small numbers breed given away by calling males. Most usually encountered in spring Apr-May, when non-calling birds are also flushed from grassy areas bordering south-facing beaches. Also recorded Aug-Sept.

Pheasant Phasianus colchicus rRB
A small naturalised population persists due to birds being released for hunting.

Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons sWV
Around five records, the most recent: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans Mar 03.

Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis V *
Only one accepted: 1 found shot Kalloni area Jan and another bird Tsiknias River Jan 06 (HRC 06 report).

Mute Swan Cygnus olor sW
Most recent records: 5 Kalloni Salt Pans Jan 97; 6 Skala Kallonis Pool Dec 98, with 2 to May 99; 6 Mesa Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2003); 1 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06, 15 Kalloni Salt Pans Mar 06, Parakila spring 08, 2 Mesa Jan 09.

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus V *
Four records: one with Mute Swans at Skala Kalloni pool Dec 93–Feb 94; 9 Mesa and Kalloni Saltpans Jan 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003); 1 Kalloni area (at sea of Kalloni Saltpans, together with the 4 Bewick’s swans) Jan 06 (E. Galinou), 4 on sea off Mesa Jan 09 (T. Robinson).

Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii V *
One record: 4 Kalloni area Jan 06 (HRC06).

Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna sWV, sPM
Small numbers winter Nov–Apr, with passage noted Mar–May and less so Sept-Oct. Pr bred 2002 (Brooks 2003).

Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea sRB, sPM
Birds present all months with small numbers breeding, e.g. nr Palios. Peak numbers in spring when passage birds also occur Mar–May, with flocks double-figure flocks expected. Smaller numbers on passage Aug–Sept.

Gadwall Anas strepera V *
Three records: male nr Kalloni Saltpans May 03; fem Metochi Lake Aug 03 (Brooks 2003); 1 Metochi Lake May 06 (T. Robinson).

Wigeon Anas penelope sWV
Small numbers Oct – Apr.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos sWV
Small numbers Nov – Apr.

Shoveler Anas clypeata sWV
Small numbers Sept – May.

Pintail Anas acuta sWV, sPM
Small numbers Sep – Apr.

Garganey Anas querquedula cSP, sAP
Common offshore and on reservoirs and salt pans Mar – May, with smaller numbers Aug – Sept.
Common Teal Anas crecca sWV, sPM
Small numbers Aug – Apr.

Pochard Aythya ferina V *
Seven records, most recent: fem Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 00; Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 03 (Brooks 2000, 2003); 1 Kalloni Salpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou), Potamia Reservoir 1-2 in Mar, May & Sept 06 (E. Galinou, T. Robinson); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug 07 (T. Robinson).

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca V *
Eight records, most recent: separate male and fem Parakila Marsh Apr 00 (Brooks 2000); male off Skala Kallonis Apr 2002 (MO); male Petra Reservervoir May 07 (MO); female Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 08 (MO).

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula V *
Three records, most recent: 1 Tsiknias River Apr 01 (Brooks 2001).

Scaup Aythya marila V *
One record: 1 on sea off Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Goldeney Bucephala clangula V *
One record: 3 off Achladeri Apr 86 (Brooks 1998).

Smew Mergellus albellus V *
One record: 4 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator sWV
Small numbers offshore Oct-Apr.

White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala V *
One record: female shot Dec 91 (Brooks 1998).

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica sWV
Small numbers offshore Nov – Apr, sometimes in small groups.

Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea diomedea sSV
Small numbers (but flocks of 100+ no unusual) offshore Mar–Oct. May breed on some of the offshore islands. Best looked for off the south (e.g. Agios Fokas) and west coasts (e.g. Skala Eresou).

Yelkouan Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan cRB
Present offshore all months with flocks of several hundred, even over thousand, not unexpected.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis sRB
Small numbers breed along the wetter rivers (e.g. Potamia) and the larger inland water bodies such as Metochi Lake.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus sWV
Gulf of Kalloni hold large numbers (1200+) Dec-Feb, otherwise small numbers offshore Oct–May.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena V *
Relatively few records. Most recent: 20+ Gulf of Kalloni Mar 02 (Brooks 2002); off Skala Kallonis Mar 03 and presumed same bird off Skala Polichnitou Apr 03 (Brooks 2003).

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis sWV
Small numbers offshore, in river mouths and on inland reservoirs from Nov–May.

Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber sWV
Present Sep – May with some non-breeding birds Jun – Aug. Attempted to breed (33 nests – all abondoned) Kalloni Saltpans 02. Most birds seen at Kalloni and Skala Polihnitou Saltpans, with occasional birds at Mesa pool and at river mouths. Numbers can exceed 1000 birds.

Black Stork Ciconia nigra sMB, sPM
Occurs Mar–Oct, mainly on passage, but with 10+ breeding pairs in pine forests. Birds have occasionally over-wintered, e.g. Kalloni Saltpans Jan 05 and Jan 06 (E. Galinou) and Polichnitos Saltpans winter 08/09 (T. Robinson).

White Stork Ciconia ciconia sMB, sPM
Occurs Feb–Oct, mainly on passage, but also several breeding pairs on rooftops, church steeples, poles and chimneys. Recent nests in Eresos (pole), Skala Kallonis (rooftop), Mandamados (chimney), Agias Paraskevi (chimney) and Polichnitos (chimney). Has over-wintered, e.g. 3 birds winter 08/09 (E. Galinou).

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus cSP, sAP
Can occur in sizable flocks Mar – May, with much smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia sPM
Small numbers Mar–May. Increasing numbers (especially Polichnitos Saltpans) Sept–Oct.

Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris sWV, sPM
Single birds usually encountered Oct–May around obvious wetland and river areas.

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus cSM, sAP
Common in spring (Apr–Jun) around any wetland and river areas inc. even the smallest of culverts and drains with cover. Scarcer during autumn (Aug–Oct).

Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax cSM, sAP
Occurs more commonly in spring (Mar–May) but small numbers Sept–Oct. Flocks of 30+ Apr 08 are exceptional.

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides cSM, sAP
Common around wetland and river areas Apr–May and smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis V *
Only three recently accepted records: 1 nr Sigri Dec 07 (E. Kakalis, E. Gribylakou: HRC 07 report); 1 nr Tsiknias River Mouth Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley et al: accepted, due HRC 08 report); 1 Skala Polichnitou Saltpans Dec 08 (T. Robinson: accepted, due HRC 08 report).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Sigri May 95; 1 Vassilika May 96; pr Tsiknias River Apr 99; 1 Tsiknias River Apr 00; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 01; 1 nr Sigri Apr 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002).

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea sWV, sPM
Small numbers Aug–May.

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea sPM
Small numbers, including flocks into double-figures, (mainly) Mar – May and (smaller numbers) Sept–Oct. Flocsk of 60+ Chalandra River nr Skala Eresou Apr 02 and 53 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 08 are exceptional.

Great White Egret Ardea alba rWV, sPM
Small numbers Oct–May.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta cSP, sAP
Common around wetland sites and along the coast Mar – May and in smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus sPM
A near annual passage migrant Mar – May and Sep – Oct. Usually 1-2, but occasionally small flocks (e.g. 18 in Sept 07) and movements, e.g. large movement in Sept 07 inc. largest confirmed flock of 144 (S.P & E.F. Dudley). Some individuals have been caught and tamed by fisherman (e.g. bird at Skala Kallonis harbour from 1998 to present). Single over-wintering record from winter 06/07 (T. Robinson).

Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus rPM
Much rarer than White Pelican but occurs in similar periods, Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Recent records: 27 over Kalloni/Potamia area Apr 00; 15 (of flock of 17) over Kalloni Saltpans and Molivos Mar 02; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 2003 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug-Oct 06; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Sept 07. 2 Kalloni Saltpans Jan 09 the only winter record (E. Galinou).

Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus rWV
Single birds recorded from coastal sites Nov–Apr. Earliest mid-Sept 08 Vouvaris River mouth.

Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis sWV
Gulf of Kalloni holds large winter population of c.3500 birds, otherwise small numbers around coast Sept–Apr.

Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmaresti sRB
Present around the coast in all months.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus sPM
Recorded in reasonable numbers Mar–May and Sept–Oct.

Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus rMB, cPM
A relatively common passage migrant, occasionally in good numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Small numbers breed in both deciduous woodland and pine forests across the island.

Red Kite Milvus milvus V *
Two records: 1 Sigri Apr 84 (Brooks 1998); 1 nr Kalloni Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).
Note, confusion not only with Black Kite, but also with the much commoner Long-legged Buzzard which has very similar colouring to Red Kite.

Black Kite Milvus migrans sPM
Surprisingly only a handful of records noted most years Mar–May and Aug–Oct. One winter record, Feb 09 (T. Robinson).

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla V *
Four records: an imm and ad off Sigri May 94; 1 Vatousa May 95; 1 off Molivos Apr 98 (Brooks 1998).

Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus V *
Ten records: singles around Skala Eresau May 87 and May 91; one Ipsilou and Agiassos (believed to be the same bird) May 95; 1 Ipsilou Apr 98; 1 Napi Valley May 99; ad Skala Erresau May 00 and an imm nr Vatoussa, both May 00; 1 Makara Apr 04; 1 Molivos May 04 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004); 2 nr Ipsilou May 08.

Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus V *
A surprisingly rare bird on the island, and with the rapidly declining European population, an increase in the level of records is unlikely. Only nine recent records: 1 Eresos May 93; 3 over Filia May 96; 3 between Filia and Skoutaros May 97; 1 over Skala Sikaminias then at Vatera (taken in to care) Sept 97 (bearing a Croatian ring; released on Crete); 1 south over Efthalou Apr 02 (S.P. Dudley, M. Newell, V. Stratton); 2 over Molivos May 03; 3 over Potamia Valley May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003); 1 over Ipsilou May 08; 3 over Kallonis May 08.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus sMB, sPM
Small numbers breed across the island. Seen on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Occasional winter records. Most often seen hovering over open hillsides.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus cPM
Regularly seen Mar–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct. Occasional winter records.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus sWV, sPM
Small numbers Nov–Apr, with passage birds Mar–May.

Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus sPM
Small numbers Mar–Apr. Very rare in autumn.

Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus cPM
Common in spring Mar–May with small numbers Sept–Oct.

Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes rMB, sPM
Small numbers, occasionally double-figure flocks, recorded in Apr–May, with smaller numbers Aug–Sept. Usually seen heading up/down obvious valleys (e.g. Napi) or from/near obvious hilltops (e.g. Ipsilou) or migration headlands/points (e.g. Sigri, Agias Fokas). Birds have been seen during the breeding season (BoG).

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus rRB, cWV, sPM
A handful of pairs almost certainly breed. Common Sept – Mar. Passage noted Mar – Apr and Aug – Oct.

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis sRB, sPM
Small numbers breed across the island in both deciduous and coniferous woodland. Passage noted Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Buzzard Buteo Buteo sRB, cWV, sPM
Small numbers breed across the island. Common Nov–Mar. Passage noted Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct.

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus sRB, sPM
Small numbers breed across the island. Common Nov – Mar. Passage noted Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct. Commoner in the western half of the island.

Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina rPM
Recent records: singles nr Vatoussa and between Agra and Eressos, both May 99; 5 over Agia Paraskevi Apr 00; 4 over Molivos Reservoir May 00 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000); birds seen daily late Aug/early Sept 02 during exceptional movement (P. Manning); 1 Metochi Apr 03 (S.P Dudley, M. Newell); 1 Vatera Bay Sept 07; 1 Ancient Antissa Apr 08; 1 Anaxos Apr 08; 1 Parakila Apr 08.

Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga V *
Odd birds recorded Sept–Apr, most recent: 1 over Faneromeni Apr 99 (Brooks 1999).

Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis V *
Only one accepted record: 1 Petra Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due HRC08).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 over Liminos monastery and 2 over the Petrified Forest 11 May 97; 1 between Agiassos and Mitilini May 98; 1 nr Sigri May 01; 1 over Skoutaros Sept 02.

Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca V *
Eight records: 1, Sept 89 (BoG – no location); 2 over the ‘south’ of the island May 94; 1 Kalloni/Potamia Valley Sept 98; 1 north over Vatera Mar 99; 1 over Skala Sikaminias May 99; pr nr Vatoussa May 99; 1 over Efthalou Apr 04; 1 over Vafios May 04 (Brooks 1998, 2004); 1 30 Apr-14 May 08 various sites ((D. Walbridge, S.P. Dudley; photo).

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos V
Only c.12 recent records inc: 2 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 86; 2 nr Petra Aug 92; singles Petrified Forest Oct 94 and May 96; 1 nr Mandamados Aug 96; 2 Sigri Apr 97; one Potamia Valley May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000); 1 Napi Valley Apr 03 (P. Manning); 1 nr Sikaminia Sep 07 (S.P. & E.F. Dudley); 1 bewteen Afthalou and Skala Sikaminias Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley; M. Denman); 1 Ancient Antissa Apr 08; 1 Ioannou Valley May 09 (S.P. Dudley).

Bonelli’s Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus ?rRB?, ?rPM?
One or two suspected breeding prs around Mt Lepetimnos and Mt Olympus (Brooks 1998, 2003), but if they do, they are very rarely seen! Passage birds Apr–May.

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus sPM
The odd single bird recorded most years Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni sMB, sPM
Small numbers breed on offshore islands at Sigri and possibly other offshore islands such as Is. Garbias (at the mouth of the Golf of Kalloni) Apr-Aug. Most common in the west of the island. Also recorded on passage Apr-May and Sept when can be encountered anywhere.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus sRB
A surprisingly scarce species with small numbers breed across the island.

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus cPM
Common in spring Apr-May with smaller numbers recorded Aug-Oct. Occurs commonly in small parties of up to 30+ birds.

Eleanora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae sMB, sPM
On passage Apr-May and Sept-Oct. Even on passage, most often encountered in the west and north of the island. Can occur in numbers, e.g. 73 in one hour over Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint May 03. Thought to breed on offshore islands e.g. off Sigri.

Merlin Falco columbarius V *
Around seven records inc.: 1 Mesa Mar 00 (Brooks 2000); singles Kalloni Saltpans Apr 03 (S. P. Dudley, M. Newell) and Christou River Apr 03; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04 (S. P. Dudley, M. Newell); Mesa and Kalloni Saltpans area Mar 06 (E. Galinou); Ipsilou Apr 08 (S.P. Dudley, D. Nurney).

Hobby Falco subbuteo sPM, ?rMB?
Small numbers seen on passage Apr-May and Sept-Oct. May breed (BoG).

Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus ?rRB?
If this species is resident on the island, it is only a couple of pairs at most, as this remains a rarely sighted species. The higher western side of the island could provide breeding cliffs, but I suspect a lack of prey is the limiting factor for this and other predatory species. Odd records annually from anywhere on the island..

Saker Falcon Falco cherrug V *
One accepted record: Oct 92 (location unknown) (BoG)
Records not submitted to HRC: Apr 98 at Kalloni Saltpans; 2 Ipsilou Apr 02, 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 02; 2 Ipsilou Jun 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003).

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus sRB, sWV
Small numbers breed across the island with increased numbers in winter Nov-Mar.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus rRB, rWM, rPM
Small numbers breed at suitable wetlands (e.g. Dipi Larssos) but most usually encountered late winter and spring Mar-May.

Corncrake Crex crex V *
Around 15 records, most recent: 1 Loutropoli Thermis Apr 98 (LWH: HRC 07 report); 1 ringed Haramida Sept 98 (HBRC: HRC 06 report); 1 ringed Haramida Oct 02 (HBRC: HRC 06 report); 1 Mytilini Sept 06 (HRC 07 report); 1 Plomari Aug 07 (LWH: HRC 07 report); 32 Ambeliko (illegally hunted) Sept 07 (per E. Kakalis, E. Gribylakou: HRC 07 report).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni Rover mouth spr 00 (Brooks 2000); 1 Meladia River mouth Apr 08.

Little Crake Porzana parva cSP, rAP, rWV
Recorded at most wetlands with cover Mar–May. Occasionally recorded Aug–Oct. Some may winter.

Baillon’s Crake Porzana pusilla rSP
The rarest of the small crakes with only around 10 records, most recent include: 1 Apr 84; 1 dead 98; River Tsiknias May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2003); 1 Metochi Lake May 06 (T. Robinson et al); Meladia River Ford Apr-May 07 (I. Lewington et al); 2 Metochi Lake 28 Apr - 2 May 08 (P. Manning et al).

Spotted Crake Porzana porzana sPM
Most commonly seen in spring Apr-May with smaller number Sept-Oct.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus sRB, sWV
Small numbers breed with increased numbers in winter.

Coot Fulica atra rMB, sWV
Small numbers occur in winter with occasional pairs staying on to breed.

Common Crane Grus grus rPM
The only recent records are: heard calling over Gulf of Kalloni in Apr 95; over Kalloni Saltpans in May 96; 1 on flooded fields near Kalloni Saltpans Apr 97; one over Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 1 Sigri Apr 03; c.15 over Molivos May 03 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2003).

Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus sMB, sPM
Small numbers breed, especially around the Kalloni area (inc. saltpans) and on passage Feb–Apr and Aug–Oct. Large flocks (50+) can be encountered in autumn (e.g. 60+ near Kalloni Saltpans in Sep 03).

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus sWV, sSP
Small numbers occur in winter and spring Sept-May.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus sMB, cPM
Small numbers breed (e.g. Saltpans) and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta sMB, sPM
Small numbers breed (e.g. Saltpans) and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Occasionally over-winters on saltpan areas.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus sWV
Small numbers Oct–Mar.

Spur-winged Plover Hoplopterus spinosus sPM
Usually single birds seen Mar–May and rarely Aug–Sept. 2 together May 08 is unusual.

Sociable Plover Vanellus gregaria V *
One record: 1 River Christou May 94 (BoG).

Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus V *
One accepted record: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 (HRC 05 report) (P. Marshall, T. Golding, D. Cleary, D. Mossman, D. Barker, I. Goshawk: HRC05).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 dead Molivos Apr 84; 1 Skala Polichnitou Apr 87; nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 and Mar-Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 2002, 2003).

Dotterel Charadrius morinellus V *
One accepted record: 1 Sept 06 Skala Polichnitou (T. Robinson: due in HRC 08 report).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Mesa Sept 97; 1 nr Sigri Apr 99; nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 01; 2 nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 03; 3 River Christou Apr 03 (Brooks 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003).

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria sWV, rPM
Small numbers Oct – Mar. On passage Mar–Apr and Sept–Oct.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola sWV, sPM
Small numbers Oct–Mar. On passage Mar–Apr and Sept–Oct.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula sPM
Occurs Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius sMB, sPM
Small numbers breed along rivers and also on passage Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrius sRB, sPM
Breeds in suitable habitats such as Saltpans, drier areas of marshes, etc. Also on passage Apr–May and Sept–Oct.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola cWV
Another species known from hunting reports, Oct–Mar, but rarely seen by birders.

Jack Snipe Limnocryptes minimus cWV
Reported to be a common winter visitor, Oct–Mar, by hunters, but rarely seen! Only several records from birders: 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 00; 6 Skala Kallonis Pool Mar 02; 1 flushed near Faneromeni River mouth Apr 04 (Brooks 2000, 2002, 2004); 1 Dipi Larisos Jan 06 (E. Galinou).

Great Snipe Gallinago media V *
A near-annual migrant with most recent records inc: 1 Tsiknias Valley May 99 (Brooks 1999); 1 Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00 (Brooks 2000); singles nr Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04, Apr 06 & May 06; 1 Alikoudi Pool Apr 08; 4 reported at the Meladia River Mouth 28 Apr 08; Faneromeni River 27-29 Apr 08.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago cWV, sPM
Present Aug–May.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa sSP
Occurs on larger wetlands and rivers Apr – May.

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica V *
Around eight records inc: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Apr–May 00; 18 Christou River May 01; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 04 (1) & May 04 (1); Kalloni area Apr 02 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2002); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Sept 07; Kalloni Saltpans and Tsiknias River mouth Apr-May 08.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus sSP
Small numbers occur Mar–May and Jul–Sept.

Curlew Numenius arquata sWV, rPM
Small numbers Aug–Mar.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus sPM
Small numbers Mar–May and Aug–Oct. 1-2 over-winter.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus cWV, sPM, ?rMB?
Occurs mainly Aug–Mar, with smaller numbers Apr–May. Mid-summer reports may indicate a few pairs stay to breed.

Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis sPM
Small numbers move through the island Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia sPM
Small numbers move through the island Mar–May and Aug–Sept. Small numbers over-winter.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus sWV, sPM
Occurs mainly Oct–Mar, with passage Apr–May and Jul–Sept.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola cPM
Very common on all water areas Mar – May with smaller numbers Jul – Sept.

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus V *
Three records: 1 Kalloni Saltpans May 93(BoG); 1 Mesa May 95 (BoG); 1 Kallonia Saltpans Aug 00 (A. Nicoli, M. Sighele: HRC 05 report) River Christou mouth May 03.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos sPM
Small numbers Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Over-wintering birds recorded 97/98, 06/07 and 08/09 winters.

Turnstone Arenaria interpres sPM
Small numbers Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Knot Calidris canutus V *
One accepted record: 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 05 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due HRC 08 report).
Record not submitted to HRC: 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Apr 99 (Brooks 1999); Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00 (Brooks 2000), 2 in May 04 (Brooks 2004) & May 07; 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Sept-Oct 07.

Sanderling Calidris alba sPM
Small numbers seen Mar–May and Aug–Sept.

Little Stint Calidris minuta cPM
Can be found on almost all wetland areas Apr–May, with large concentrations at some (e.g. Kalloni Saltpans) Apr–May with smaller number Jul–Oct.

Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii cPM
Can be found on almost all wetland areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Sept.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos V *
One record: juv Polichnitos Saltpans 24 Sept 08 (T. Robinson, S.P. Dudley, M. Newell: accepted, due in HRC 08).

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea cPM
Good numbers move through the island Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Dunlin Calidris alpina sWV, sPM
Surprisingly scarce Aug–May.

Broad-billed Sandpiper Calidris falcinellus sPM
Recorded Apr–May, but unusually, more often encountered in autumn Aug–Sept. Flock of 20 birds Sept 02 exceptional (P. Manning).

Ruff Philomachus pugnax cPM
Occurs Feb–May and Aug–Oct.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus V *
Around 10 records inc: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 98; a fem Kalloni Saltpans May 99 (Brooks 1999); 3 Kalloni Saltpans area Aug 01 (R. Edwards: HRC 07 report); Kalloni Saltpans May 03 & May 04 (Brooks 2003, 2004); ; 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 06 (E. Galinou); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans Aug-Sept 06 (E. Galinou).

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola cSP
Good numbers seen on passage across the island Apr - May.

Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni rPM
Occasionally on passage Apr–May and Sept. Most recent records: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 03 (N. Probonas: HRC 06 report); 1 Kallonis Saltpans May 06 (S. Wytema: HRC 06 report).

Slender-billed Gull Larus genei sWV, sPM
Occurs in small numbers Oct–Mar. Passage birds Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Few records Jun–Jul.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus sWV
Occurs Jul–May.

Little Gull Larus minutus sWV, sPM
Occurs in small numbers Aug–May. Surprisingly few seen on passage Apr–May and Aug–Sept.

Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii rRB
A rare resident which is known to breeds offshore near Petra (Brooks 2000). 1-2, inc. immature birds recorded regularly along the north coast, especially between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias (which may also supports the idea of Turkish breeding birds coming over to the island). Rare away from the north, but records occasionally from Skala Kallonis/Kalloni area, Sigri, Vatera and the east coast.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocpehalus sWV, sPM
Occurs in reasonable numbers Aug–May, with passage birds Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Gull Larus canus V *
Only around five records, most recent: 1 Kalloni Salt Pans Aug 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003).

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis cRB
Common resident breeding on offshore islands and seen right across the island.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus sPM
Passage birds Apr – May and Sept – Oct. Both intermedius and fuscus occur.

Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica sSP
Small numbers pass through the island Apr–May.

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia sPM
Occasionally recorded Apr–May and Aug–Sept.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis cWV, sPM
Occurs Aug–Apr.

Little Tern Sternula albifrons cMB
Occurs Apr – Sept.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo sMB, cPM
Occurs Aug–Apr.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida cPM
Good numbers pass through wetlands areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus cPM
Good numbers pass through wetlands areas Apr–May with smaller numbers Aug–Oct.

Black Tern Chlidonias niger sPM
Small numbers (often singles) occur Apr – May and Aug – Sept.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasticus V *
Three records: 1 off Agios Fokas Mar 99; 2 off Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 2 Gulf of Kalloni off Kalloni Saltspans and Tsikinias River mouth Apr 03.

Rock Dove Columba livia sRB
Small numbers occur around the rockier coastal areas. Feral Pigeons also occur in the towns.

Stock Dove Columba oenas V *
Four records, most recent: 1 Klio May 98; 2 nr Sigri May 02 (Brooks 1998, 2002).

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus rRB, sWV
Small numbers breed. Numbers increase with the arrival of winter migrants Oct – Mar.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur cMB, cPM
Widespread breeder and passage migrant Apr – Sept.

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto cRB
Widespread across the island, mainly around towns and villages.

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis V *
One record: 1 Achladeri May 94 (BoG).
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Skala Kallonis Apr 01 (Brooks 2001).

Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandularis sMB, sSP
Small passage Mar–May. Good evidence to support occasional breeding (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2004).

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus sPM
Small numbers pass through Apr – May and Aug – Oct. The rufous female form is not uncommon.

Barn Owl Tyto alba sRB
Small numbers breed across the island.

Scops Owl Otus scops sMB
Breeds across the island Apr–Jul. More often heard than seen, and birds rarely call after Jun. Some well known traditional spring roost sites inc. the Kalloni Mini Soccer pitch site (Scops Copse!).

Eagle Owl Bubo bubo ?rRB?, ?rWV? *
Status uncertain. Winter records of birds been taken to the Lesvos Wildlife Hospital may suggest dispersing young birds from nearby Turkey. Reports of breeding needs to be confirmed.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco rRB
Known only from a handful of records of birds calling throughout the year which indicate a likely small resident breeding population.

Little Owl Athene noctua cRB
Occurs across the island. Breeds in rocky areas and old buildings (especially shepherd buildings).
Long-eared Owl Asio otus sRB
Small numbers known to breed across the island.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus rWV
Odd birds Oct–Mar.

Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus sMB, sPM
Occurs Apr–Sept. Rarely seen but birds heard churring from suitable habitats including Potamia Valley.

Common Swift Apus apus cMB, cPM
Occurs Mar–Oct.

Pallid Swift Apus pallidus sPM
Small numbers pass through Mar – Apr and Aug – Oct. Sizeable movements are recorded e.g. 110+ Meladia River ford 5 May 08.
Common Swift often misidentified (usually in strong sunlight) as this species.
The Birds of Greece states that ‘pallid Swifts breeding in Greece are darker than west Mediterranean birds, intermediate between A. p. illyricus and A. p. brehmorum’, couple with the comment re. Common Swift above, likely confusion with Common Swift is increased.

Alpine Swift Apus melba cPM
Occurs on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Not known to breed and feeding parties seen in summer months are presumably from nearby Turkey.

Little Swift Apus affinis V *
One record: 1 Skala Eressou Apr 04 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due in HRC 08 report).

Roller Coracias garrulus sPM
Occurs more frequently in spring Apr–May than autumn Aug–Sept. Can occur in numbers, e.g. in May 03, 8 nr Sigri and 17 seen coming in off the sea Vatera.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis sWV, rMB
Occurs mainly Aug – Apr with occasional breeding record (e.g. between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias 03 (Brooks 2003).

Blue-cheeked Bee-eater Merops persicus V *
Only two accepted records: 1 Petra May 06 (S. Wytema: HRC 06 report); flock of 7 Meladia River Ford 3 May 08 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due HRC08). The latter record was the only record submitted from an unprecedented influx of 17 birds (10 different records).
Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Kalloni Saltpans May 98; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Aug 98; 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 99 (Brooks 1998, 1999); 6 nr Gavathas Aug 00 (Brooks 2000); influx in 2008 - 1 east of the Tsiknias River 14 Apr 08 (photo); 1 west of the Tsiknias River mouth 19 Apr 08; 1 Meladia River Ford 23 Apr 08; 1 Skala kallonis Pool 30 Apr 08; 1 nr Vourkou River mouth 30 Apr 08 (photo); 1 Sigri 1 May 08; 1 Kalloni Bandstand 3 May 08; flock of 7 Meladia River Ford 3 May 08 (accepted, due in HRC 08 report); 1 Polichnitos Saltpans 5 May 08.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster cPM, sMB
Occurs Apr–Oct, with often large numbers passing over in spring. Breeds along dry river areas.

Hoopoe Upupa epops cMB, cPM
Occurs Mar–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Wryneck Jynx torquilla sPM
Small numbers pass through Mar–Apr and Aug–Oct.

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus medius cRB
Common throughout wooded areas of the island, including olive groves.

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio cMB, cPM
Scarce summer breeder (in west) and common passage migrant, often in considerable numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor sMB, sPM
A scarce summer breeder and passage migrant Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Great Grey Shrike Lanius exubitor rPM
Probably fewer than 10 records Apr–May and Aug–Sept.
The status of this species is unclear as the only recent records/reports of ‘large’ grey shrikes have been Steppe Grey Shrikes.

Steppe Shrike Lanius meridionalis V *
One accepted record of subspecies L. m. pallidirostris: Sigri May 08; nr Vatera Sept 08 (G. Sellors: accepted, due in HRC08). This is the only Greek record.
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Sigri May 08.
HRC treat as subspecies of L. meridionalis. There are two Greek records of L. meridionalis (but not assigned to pallidirostris).

Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator cMB, cPM
Common summer breeder and passage migrant, often in considerable numbers, Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus sMB
A localised summer breeder Apr–Sept. Favours olive groves and scattered deciduous woodland. Autumn migrants occur to end of Sept in many habitats inc. coniferous woodland (e.g. Sept 07).

Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus cPM
Common migrant Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Jay Garrulus glandularis atricapillus cRB
The black-crowned race atricapillus is common across the island.

Magpie Pica pica V *
Four records: nr Kalloni Oct 95; nr Petra Jun-Sept 97; 1 Petrified Forest Oct 98 (Brooks 1998); 1 nr Mandamados May 08.

Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes V *
One record: 1 between Vafios and Agrenos May 93 (Brooks 1998).

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax V *
Two records: 1 nr Dafia Jun 96; 1 Upper Tsiknias River Apr 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003). Recorded breeding on nearby island of Chios in 1971 but not listed as present there in 1993 (BoG).

Jackdaw Corvus mondula sRB
Flocks are resident around Sigri, Anaxos, Skala Eresou, Gavathas, Apothika and Skala Polichnitou.

Rook Corvus frugilegus V *
Seven records: 2 Faneromeni Apr 86; 2 (ad and imm) wandering birds Faneromeni to Vatera Apr–May 96; 1 Ancient Andissa May 01; 1 Vatera Apr 02; 2 Achladeri Apr 02; 1 Mesa May 02 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2002); 1 autumn 07 (now at Lesvos Wildlife hospital).

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix cRB
Widespread and common.

Raven Corvus corax sRB
Small numbers breed in the rockier upland areas in the west and around Mount Olympus.

Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus V *
One record: unknown number of birds during a major influx of birds into Greece during the 65-66 winter (BoG).

Sombre Tit Parus lugubris sRB
Widespread breeder, especially in the centre, north and west of the island. Occurs mainly around stands of deciduous trees and scattered woodland.

Coal Tit Periparus ater rRB
Breeds in some of the coniferous woods e.g. near Agiassos.

Great Tit Parus major cRB
Common and widespread.

Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus cRB
Common and widespread.

Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus V, CB
Most recent records: 1 nr Mitilini Oct 97; 1 Skala Eresou Apr 98; 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 98; 2 Dipi Larisos Mar 99; 1 Haramida Oct 00; pr bred Faneromeni River (nr lower ford) 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002); 1 nr Vatera Apr 04; 4 Faneromeni Apr 08 (D. Walbridge et al).

Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus V *
Two records: 1 trapped and ringed Haramida Nov 00 (Brooks 2001); pr Skala Kallonis Pool Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).

Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra V *
Eleven records: 2 nr Kalloni Saltpans May 96, with singles there May 97 and May 07; 1 Mesa Apr 97; 1 Skala Eresou May 97; 1 Dipi Larisos Apr 98; 1 wandering bird Skala Kallonis, Mesa and River Christou Apr-Jun 99; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00; 1 Faneromeni River mouth Jun 00 (Brooks 1989, 2000).

Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla sMB, sPM
Occurs Apr – Sep. Breeds in suitable short grassland areas such as Alykes Wetlands nr Kalloni Saltpans.

Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens V *
One record: 1 nr Kalloni Salt Pans May 04 (S. Bot, J. Poelstra, R. Gordjin, M. Bunskoek, M. Gal, C. Nengerman: HRC 05 report).

Crested Lark Galeria cristata cRB
Widespread across the island.

Woodlark Lullula arborea sRB
Small numbers breed in suitable woodland edge and scrubby areas (e.g. Achladeri, Ipsilou).

Skylark Aluada arvensis sWV
Occurs Oct–Mar.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia sPM
Occurs on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica cMB, cPM
Common and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island. Birds resembling H. r. savignii or H. r. transitive are reported annually in spring but with no confirmed records these races are excluded from both the Lesvos and Greek Lists.

Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris sMB, SPM
Occurs Apr–Sept. Breeds in rocky gorges and cliffs of the west and north. Occasionally winters.

House Martin Delichon urbicum cMB, cPM
Common and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica cMB, cPM
Common and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct. Breeds across the island.

Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti sRB
Found along river courses and around wetland areas.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus rRB
Localized breeder in some of the coniferous woods, e.g. Achladeri.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus cPM
Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita sWV, sPM

Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler Phylloscopus orientalis rMB, rSP
Apr–Sept. Small numbers breed around Agiasos. Pr bred Potamia Valley 02, 03 & 04 (Brooks 2002, 2003, 2004). Passage birds noted occasionally elsewhere on the island (e.g. Aghia Ioannis Sept 07, Ipsilou spr 08). A single bird on territory in Lardia Valley spring 08 (MO).

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix cPM
Common on passage Apr–May, but less so Aug–Oct.

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus sMB, sPM
Relatively common Apr–Sept.

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon rWV / V *
Brooks (1998) states this is a localised winter visitor around Dipi Larisos (very likely as good habitat) and Anaxos (very unlikely due to lack of suitable habitat), but there are no recent records to support this. Apr-May records (Brooks 1998) suggest spring migrants. No autumn records.
Confusion with Sedge Warbler likely (and is frequent). This is a real reedbed species, and whilst all birds should be studied carefully, any bird thought to be this species should be treated with caution.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus cPM
Common Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Eurasian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus sMB, cPM
Common Mar–Oct.

Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris rPM
Small numbers Apr–May and, more commonly, Jul-Sept.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida cMB, cPM
Common in dry scrub areas Apr–Oct.

Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum sMB
This species breeds widely throughout Greece (up to 5000 pairs) (BoG), the Balkans and Turkey. In Greece it occurs as far south as southern Mainland, Naxos and Kos. It is absent from both Rhodes and Crete.
On Lesvos it is relatively but thinly distributed across eastern, southern and northern areas of suitable olive and oak woodland. It occurs in parkland like habitat comprising olive groves with scattered oak (occasionally just a single tree), almonds and bushes or oak parkland-like woodland with scattered olive trees and appears to show some preference for shallow undulating sites with hollows. Although thinly distributed it can occur in relatively high densities (e.g. up to six singing males singing in close proximity in Platania).
A feature of most breeding sites is the presence of Masked Shrike which regularly mimic Olive-tree Warbler. Olive-tree Warbler has a very recognisable, raucous song which is like a very loud Olivaceous Warbler (which is good as it also looks a little like an over-sized Olivaceous Warbler). It is less guttural and rhythmic than Great Reed Warbler (migrants singing from trees occasionally confuse) and very unlike the more musical Nightingale-like Orphean Warbler song (with which it can occur alongside). Masked Shrike mimicry is usually thinner and more scratchy than the warbler’s own song, but it is very passable and a shrike singing from out of sight and facing away from the observer (and so muffling the sing slightly) can cause real confusion.
Better known sites on the island inc. the upper Napi Valley, Platania, between Skala Vasilikon and Skamnioudi (north of Skala Polichnitou) and the Ambeliko Valley. It does however occur in many other areas and there remain many new sites to discover!
Olive-tree Warbler arrives on the island at the very end of April and are at their most active during the first half of May. Birds depart in July with few records later than late August (later birds are probably migrants from further north).
Occasional migrant seen/heard away from known breeding areas in spring and occasionally in autumn.

Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina sPM
Small numbers pass through Apr–Jun and Aug–Sept.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia rPM
Very small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis sPM
Small numbers, usually only ever heard, Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Autumn presence confirmed by ringing (Brooks 1998).

Savi’s Warbler Locustella luscinioides rPM
Very small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncidis ?rRB?*
Former breeding species last reported 2004. Previously bred at Polichnitos Saltpans and River Christou.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla cPM
Occurs Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Garden Warbler Sylvia borin sPM
Small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria sPM
Small numbers recorded Apr–May and Aug–Sept. Occasionally found on territory during breeding season, e.g. Meladia Valley May 05 (E. Galinou) but no confirmed breeding records.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca sPM, ?rMB?
Occurs on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Suitable habitat for it to breed.

Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis sMB, sPM
Apr–Sept. Breeds across the island. Lesvos birds are the race crassirostris.

Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis sPM, rMB
Occurs on passage Apr–May and Aug–Oct. Several pairs breed.

Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans cMB
Common and widespread across much of the island Apr–Sept.

Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala sRB, rPM
This is a surprisingly scarce species with breeding confined to only a handful of areas (e.g Agios Fokas, Ambeliko Valley). Migrants can occur anywhere. Quite numerous in winter which suggests wintering birds from nearby Turkey.

Rüppell’s Warbler Sylvia rueppelli rMB, rPM
A localized summer breeder. The best-known area is the well-watched site at Kavaki between Petra and Molivos (Tracey Island — so named after the space-age night club structure visible as you approach the site from Petra). Males frequently found holding territory in the Kalloni–Petra corridor inc. in recent years the Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint (the ‘bandstand’), the west side of Mesa (on north side of main road before the turn to Achladeri) and the east side of Mesa (along the track on the east side of the marsh just over the road bridge.

Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla V *
Most recent records are: 1 singing near Parakila Apr 99; up to 6 Meladia River valley nr Sigri Apr 02 (Brooks 1999, 2002); 1 Molivos Sept 07 (S.P. Dudley).

Goldcrest Regulus regulus sWV
Localised, usually in the coniferous woods, Oct–Apr.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes rRB
Small numbers breed across the island and records indicate increase in numbers in winter.

Wood Nuthatch Sitta europaea rRB
A few scattered pairs breed across the islands in oak areas inc. Napi Valley, Parivoli monastery, Skalochori, Vatousa, between Agiasos and Plomari, and along the north track between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias.

Krüper’s Nuthatch Sitta krueperi rRB
This is a rare localised breeder and appears to be confined to the coniferous woods of the Mount Olympus section of the island, south of the Mitilini-Kalloni road. The best-known site is Achladeri Woods, where 1-3 pairs breed annually in the public areas of the woodland. It can still be found (Sept 07) near the Old Sanitorium at Agiassos (including coming to a dripping pipe), but since the discovery of the Achladeri site, few people bother to look for it in other areas. Other good sites to look for the species include the Panaghia Chapel (off the main road between Agiasos and Vasilika at the Mt Olympus road junction) and the forest along the Mt Olympus summit track. Breeding time varies according to the spring weather, but fledging usually occurs from the first week of May.

For reporting your records of this species, inc. colour-marked birds, see here.

Rock Nuthatch Sitta naumayer cRB
Common throughout much of the rockier areas of the island, particularly the west and north. They build gourd-like nests out of mud in shaded rock crevices. Lesvos birds don’t look like classic Western Rock Nuthatch S. neumayer, but appear to be somewhere between Western and Eastern Rock Nuthatch S. tephronata. They have extensive buff colouring under the tail and onto the rear flanks (pro-Eastern) as well as a medium-to-thick black eye stripe behind the eye (intermediate feature). Some place the Lesvos birds as part of the Asia Minor race S. n. zarudnyi (BoG). Proving were the Lesvos birds fall in the rock nuthatch complex could prove a fascinating study.

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla sRB
Occurs in pine forests across the island. Most birders see this species at Achladeri when looking for Krüper’s Nuthatch and so rarely search elsewhere. Lesvos birds may be of the Asia Minor race C. b. harterti (BoG).

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris cWV
Occurs Oct–Apr.

Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus sPM
Occurs in varying numbers annually May–Jun.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus V
Only three recent records: a male Potamia Valley Apr 99; 1 nr Achladeri Apr 99; a male Ipsilou monastery May 99.

Blackbird Turdus merula cRB, cWV
Breeding numbers increasing and very common in winter. Shot in large numbers to reduce numbers feeding on olives.

Fieldfare Turdus pilaris sWV
Small numbers Oct – Feb.

Redwing Turdus iliacus sWV
Oct – Feb. Usually more numerous than Fieldfare.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelus cWV, rRB
Common and widespread in winter, with many shot (see Blackbird). Several pairs breed.

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus sRB
Small numbers breed across the island.

Robin Erithacus rubecula cWV, rB
Occurs commonly across the island Oct – Mar. A few breeding pairs.

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica V *
Only one accepted record: most recent; Christou River spr 04; Pithariou Reservoir Sept 07 (S.P. Dudley: accepted, due in HRC 08 report).

Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia sPM
Occurs in small numbers Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos cMB
Apr – Oct. Breeds across the island along dry river beds and other dry, dense scrub.

White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis V, CB *
This species is thinly distributed throughout southern and eastern Turkey and the Middle East. It is best classed as a vagrant, sporadic breeder on Lesvos. The Birds of Greece lists only four records up to 1995, inc. two from Lesvos, and there have been around a further ten records up to 2006. Whilst this is a HRC description species, few observers ever submit their records formally so few have been officially accepted.
Three accepted records: 1 nr Molivos May 94 (Brooks 1995, BoG); 1 nr Molivos May 1995 (Brooks 1998, BoG); 1 Faneromeni May 98 (S. Gillings, S.J. Gough, P. Skerry: HRC 05 report); 1 nr Sigri May 06 (E. Opperman, K. Mullarney: HRC 06 report).
Unconfirmed records inc: Efthalou 95 and 96 (reportedly breeding both years); a male between Eressos and Sigri and (believed same) at Faneromeni River Ford May 97; pr on territory Ipsilou monastery May 01 were seen taking food to a nest site; 2 prs bred successfully nr Agra spr 01; 1 pr bred nr Agra 02; pr bred the old Sigri Sanatorium 06 (only a record of an adult seen on 4/5/06 submitted and accepted by HRC as above).

Rufous Bush Robin Cercotrichas galactotes sMB
Occurs Apr–Aug. Small numbers breed in suitable dry, scrubby areas. Signs of a decline since 2005.
Lesvos holds a small population with scattered pairs across the central and western areas of the island. They seem to have a preference for coastal areas of dry stream and river beds running down to the coast.
Males sing from small trees and bushes but otherwise they spend their time skulking under and around dense low shrub cover. Better known sites inc. the Alykes Wetlands, Meladia River Plain and Madaros.
Birds arrive back in Lesvos in early May (rarely late April) and depart by late August.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros sWV
Common Oct–Mar.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus sPM
Apr–May and Sept–Oct.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra cPM
Can occur in huge numbers across the island Apr–May and Aug–Oct.

Stonechat Saxicola torquata sRB
Small numbers occur across the island and records indicate increase in numbers in winter.

Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina sMB, rPM
Apr–Sept. Small numbers breed in the rocky west of the island. Best area to search is between the Eresos/Sigri/Kalloni road junction and Ipsilou Monastery. Passage birds seen in other areas.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oennanthe sPM
Small numbers pass through Mar–May and Aug–Oct.

Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka V *
Around 10 records inc: three records in May 95 — a male Skala Sikaminias, a pr near Ambeliko and a male nr Petra; a singing male nr Petra May 96; a fem/imm Mesa Aug 96; in 97, between Sigri and Eresos Aug; Potamia Valley Sept; nr Molivos Sept; a pr held territory on Mt Olympus in May 01; a possible pr on territory nr Molivos May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2003).
The Birds of Greece gives a single breeding record nr Akrasi in 88. Separating this species from the black-throated form of Black-eared Wheatear requires good views.

Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica cMB
Common and widespread across the island Mar – Sept. Both western (hispanica) and eastern (melanoleuca) races occur, with pale-throated and black-throated forms of both races present.

Finsch’s Wheatear Oenanthe finschii V *
Only one accepted record: a male at Megalochori Jun 93 (BoG).
Records not submitted to HRC: a male singing at the top of Potamia Valley May 98 & Apr 99; 1 Aghia Ioannis Apr 99; pr Ipsilou monastery Apr 99; nr Molivos Irrigation Reservoir May 00; fem between Sigri and Eresos Jun 00; pr between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 01 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2001).
Many reports prove to be ‘black and white’ black-throated melanoleuca Black-eared Wheatear.

(Rufous-tailed) Rock Thrush Monticola saxatilis V *
Around 16 records, most recent: 1 nr Vatousa Apr 00, 1 Metochi Lake and 1 Napi Valley (all Apr 00); 1 between Eresos and Ipsilou and 1 nr Vatousa (both May 00) (Brooks 2000, 2002); 1 Efthalou Sept 05; 1 Sigri Apr 07; 1 nr Napi Apr 08.

Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius sRB
Widespread, especially in the rocky west of the island.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata cPM
Widespread, and often in large numbers, Apr-May and Aug-Oct. Breeds in pine forest areas across the island.

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca cPM
Widespread Apr – May and Aug – Oct.

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis sSP, rAP
Occurs Apr – May; at least two autumn records – 2 Skala Eressau Oct 95; 1 Pithariou Reservoir Sept 07. The west of island during good migration periods is the best chance for this species.

Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata V *
Around 14 records, most recent: singles Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00 & Apr 03; 1 Napi Valley Apr 00; in Apr 04, singles at Molivos, Faneromeni River Ford & Ipsilou monastery (Brooks 2000, 2003, 2004); 1-2 Ipsilou Apr 08; 1 Meladia River Ford Apr 08.

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva rPM
Singles occasionally seen Apr – May and Aug – Sept. Four at Ipsilou Apr 08 exceptional.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus cRB
Widespread and common.

Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis sRB, sPM
Breeding groups found across the island, usually around fertile agricultural land. Distinct passage Apr – May.

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus V, CB *
Five records: 1 Skala Eresou Oct 92; between Molivos and Skala Sikaminias Apr 94; nr Anaxos Aug 96; 3 between Gavathas and Ancient Andissa May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000). Pr bred (amongst House Sparrows) near Agios Fokas 03 (Brooks 2003). The latter record may suggest that this species is overlooked.

Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia sRB
Small numbers breed in the rockier west of the island, e.g. Ipsilou, between Agra and Mesotopos.
Dunnock Prunella modularis sWV
Occurs Oct–Mar.

Yellow Wagtail Moticilla flava
Common and widespread on passage Mar–May and Aug–Oct.
The following races are known to occur:
Blue-headed Wagtail M. f. flava cPM
Black-headed Wagtail M. f. feldegg cPM, cMB
Grey-headed Wagtail M. f. thunbergi cPM
Yellow-headed Wagtail M. f. lutea V *
Syke’s Yellow Wagtail M. f. beema rPM *
The following intergrade/variant races are also seen annually:
‘Romanian’ Yellow Wagtail M. f. ‘dombrowski’ sPM (flava-feldegg intergrade)
‘Russian’ Yellow Wagtail M. f. ‘superciliaris’ rPM (thunbergi variant)
By no means all birds can be assigned to race with many variants of each subspecies occurring. British Yellow Wagtail M. f. flavissima (*) is reported annually and with only a couple of Greek records, these are more likely to be variants of other races.

Citrine Wagtail Moticilla citreola rPM *
Occurs most years, often in double-figurs (e.g. 15+ Apr – May 04). Most records from spring, Apr – May. Only one autumn record: 2-5 Tsiknias River Sep 97.

Grey Wagtail Moticilla cinerea rRB, sWV
Small numbers breed and numbers increase in winter Sept – Mar.

White Wagtail Moticilla alba sWV, sPM, ?rB?
Occurs Sept – May. A few pairs possibly breed.

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris sMB, SPM
Occurs in small numbers, including believed breeding, Mar - Oct.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis sPM
Occurs Mar – May and Aug – Oct.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis cWV
Occurs, often in large numbers, Oct – Mar.

Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus sPM
Occurs Apr – May and Sept – Oct.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta sWV
Occurs Oct – Mar.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs cRB
Widespread and common.

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla sWV
Occurs in varying numbers Oct–Mar.

Red-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus V *
Only one accepted record: a pr nr Andissa May 94 (BoG).
Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Perivoli monastery Apr 97; a juv nr Agiasos Sept 98; 2 Skala Kallonis May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2003).

Serin Serinus serinus sRB
Occurs in coniferous woodland across the island.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris cRB
Widespread and common.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis cRB
Widespread and common.

Siskin Carduelis spinus sWV
Occurs in varying numbers Oct–Mar.

Linnet Carduelis cannabina sRB
Scarce but widespread across the island.

Common (Scarlet) Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus V *
Only two accepted records: a singing male Molivos May 91 (BoG); a juv (caught and ringed) Haramida Sep 96 (HBRC: HRC 06 report).
Records not submitted to HRC: a pr Faneromeni River Ford May 97; a singing male nr Petra May 97; male Faneromeni River Ford May 00 (Brooks 1998, 2000); 1 Ipsilou Apr 08. Those records without ref not submitted to HRC.

Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra V
5-6 records inc: pr feeding a juv near Agiasos Apr 97; up to 8 at the Sanatorium nr Agiasos Aug 98; ‘small group’ nr Vasilika Jul 01; 2 nr Achladeri Jun 03; 1 Ipsilou monastery May 04 (Brooks 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004).

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula V
Three records: 1 nr Kalloni Apr 84; 1 Potamia Valley Mar 86 (Brooks 1998); 2-3 nr Agiasos May 08 (T. Robinson).

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes sWV, rB
Scarce in winter Oct–Apr, but large flocks, e.g. 200+ nr Dipi Larisos Mar 00 (Brooks 2000) not unexpected. Several pairs at least thought to breed.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra cRB
Widespread and common.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella V *
Three records: 1 Mesa Mar 97; 3 Potamia Valley Aug 97; fem Faneromeni Jan 98 (Brooks 1998).
Rock Bunting Emberiza cia sWV, ?rB? *
Most records Sept–Mar, but occasional summer records may allude to a possible small breeding population e.g. Mt Lepetimnos 03 (Brooks 2003).

Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea sMB
A localised migrant breeder occurring in the rockier areas of the west of the island. Good breeding population around Ipsilou, near the Meladia River Ford, between Aghia Ioannis and Mesotopos. The race that occurs on Lesvos is the yellow-headed cinercea.

Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana sPM
Small numbers Apr–May and Aug–Sept.

Cretzschmar’s Bunting Emberiza caesia cMB
Widespread and common in open country with scattered trees.

Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus cRB
Widespread and common in open country with scattered trees.

Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla V *
One record: 1 trapped and ringed Haramida Marsh Oct 97 (HBRC: HRC 06 report).

Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala cMB
Widespread and common. Arrives end Apr-Aug.

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus rWV
Seven records, most recent: fem Christou River Mar 00.

The species listed here remain unconfirmed (no records submitted or occurrence thought unlikely and without supporting evidence are excluded). Where records have been submitted to HRC and have been rejected, this is indicated.

Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca *
Records not submitted: 1 Ipsilou Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).
A very unlikely species and surely refers to Chukar.

Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus *
Records not submitted to HRC: several shot during the winter of 01-02 (Brooks 2002).

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis *
Records not submitted: 1 nr Kalloni Saltpans Mar 03 (Brooks 2003).

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina *
Records not submitted: 1 Skala Kallonis Pool Mar 02 (Brooks 2002).

Red-throated Diver Gavia immer *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Skala Kallonis Apr 04 (Brooks 2004).

Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus *
Several records not submitted to HRC inc. 1 off Vatera Apr 01 (Brooks 1998, 2001).

Black Vulture Aegypius monachus *
Record not submitted to HRC: 1 reported May 08.

Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus *
Records rejected by HRC: 2 birds River Christou Sept 98 (HRC05).
Records not submitted to HRC: singles nr Kalloni Saltpans May 02 and Apr 03.
The species is not on the Greek list.

Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultia *
Records not submitted to HRC: singles Kalloni Saltpans Apr and May 99, 2 in May 01 and one Jun 02 (Brooks 1999, 2001, 2002).

White-tailed Plover Vanellus leucurus *
Records not submitted to HRC: 3 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 00 and another single there later in the month (Brooks 2000); 1 Mesa May 01 (Brooks 2001).

Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii *
Records not submitted to HRC: one Kalloni Saltpans May 01 (Brooks 2001).

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Mitilini Jan 98 (Brooks 1998); 1 Mitilini Apr 01 (Brooks 2001); 3 Kalloni Saltpans Oct 02 (Brooks 2003).

Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Kalloni Saltpans May 01 (Brooks 2001).

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea *
Records not submitted to HRC: Tsiknias River Jun 96 (2), May 98 (1) (all Brooks 1998), Apr 99 (1) and Apr 04 (2); Kalloni Saltpans Apr 98 (1), Apr 99 (3), May 00 (1) & Apr 04 (1); 6 Skala Kallonis Mar 02; 1 Tsiknias River mouth May 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004). Only nine accepted Greek records.

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Mitilini Oct 96 (Brooks 1998). Only three Greek records.

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus *
Records not submitted to HRC: an adult off Vatera May 96 (Brooks 1998).

Pied Kingfisher Ceryle rudis *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 off Sigri Sept 02 (Brooks 2002).

White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrensis *
Records not submitted to HRC: a very convincing description of a single bird seen at the Christou River road bridge on the evening of 21 Sept 07.

Black-bellied Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus *
Unconfirmed report of one at Sigri Sept 07.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major *
An unlikely species but reports from Parakila, Potamia Valley, nr Gavathas, nr Petra, Papania and nr Agiasos (Brooks 1998).
This species’ regional distribution is somewhat far removed (northern Greece) from the Aegean Sea area and must therefore be considered as very unlikely to occur.

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis *
One report: Potamia Valley May 02 (Brooks 2002).
Occurs in nearby Turkey but remains an unlikely species to occur. Golden Orioles are occasionally reported as this species.

Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopus syriacus *
Reports inc. nr Arisvi May 91; Sikaminia Jun 93; Skala Eresou Aug 93; Agiasos Sept 94; nr Petra Oct 95; pr between Polichnitos and Skala Polichnitou Apr 99 (Brooks 1998, Brooks 1999).
Of all the potential vagrant woodpeckers this is the most likely species to occur.

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopus leucotos *
Unconfirmed reports: nr Skalochori Apr 87; nr Tsiknias River May 96 (both Brooks 1998); 1 Napi Valley spr 00 (Brooks 2000).
Like Great Spotted Woodpecker, the range of this species is nowhere near the Aegean Sea area.

Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 after extensive snowfall during the 1986-87 winter (Brooks 1998).

Richard’s Pipit Anthus richardi *
Records not submitted to HRC: 2 Skala Kallonis Sept 94; 1 Kalloni Saltpans Apr 98; 1 Aghia Ioannis and near Makara (believed same bird) Apr 98; Kalloni Saltpans Apr 99; 1 Ipsilou Apr 02; 1 Achladeri May 02 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2002).

Blackstart Cercomela melanura *
Record not submitted to HRC: One reported along the cattle track between Sigri and Eresos May 00 (Brooks 2000).
Not on the Greek list.

Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti *
Several records not submitted to HRC inc. 1 nr Anaxos May 98 and a fem Mesa spr 99 (Brooks 1999).

Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni Ford Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).

Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Ipsilou monastery May 01 (Brooks 2001).

Upcher’s Warbler Hippolais lanuida *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 nr Tavari May 96; 1 Ipsilou monastery May 99; 1 between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 00; 1 nr Efthalou May 01 (Brooks 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001).

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata *
Records not submitted to HRC: 1 Faneromeni River Ford Apr 00; 1 Ipsilou monastery Apr 00; 1 between Efthalou and Skala Sikaminias May 01 (Brooks 2000, 2001).

Ménétries’s Warbler Sylvia mystacea *
1 Potamia Valley May 04 (Brooks 2004).
The species is not on the Greek list.

Black-crowned Tchagra Tchagra senegula *
Record not submitted to HRC: 1 between Tsiknias River and Kalloni Saltpans May 98 (Brooks 1998).
The species is not on the Greek list.

Isabelline Shrike Lanius isabellinus *
Records not submitted to HRC inc.1 Faneromeni Apr 95; 1 near Meladia River Ford Apr 98; 1 between Petra and Vafios May 98; fem Upper Tsiknias River Apr 00; 1 Molivos Reservoir May 01; 2 Sigri Fields May 03 (Brooks 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003).

Twite Carduelis flavirostris *
Two records: 2 birds of the Turkish race brevirostris Kalloni Saltpans May 94 (Brooks 1998); 4 between Sigri and Eresos Apr 02 (Brooks 2002).
Not on Greek list.

Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica *
Records not submitted to HRC: 8 Potamia Valley Mar 02 (Brooks 2002).

The following species are thought to be of unlikely natural occurrence and therefore deemed likely escapes from captivity.

Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
One reported Kalloni Saltpans Aug 02 (Brooks 2003).

Namaqua Dove Oena capensis
One Skala Kallonis Jun 08.

Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos. Brooks, R. 1998. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2005 (referred to as HRC 05 report in text)
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2006 (referred to as HRC 06 report in text)
Hellenic Rarities Committee Annual Report 2007 (referred to as HRC 07 report in text)
Lesvos update spring 1999. Brooks, R. 1999. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2000. Brooks, R. 2000. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2001. Brooks, R. 2001. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update spring-summer 2002. Brooks, R. 2002. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update Summer ’02 – summer '03. Brooks, R. 2003. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
Lesvos update autumn ’03 – summer ’04. Brooks, R. 2004. Brookside Publishing, Fakenham.
The Birds of Greece. Handrinos, G & Akriotis, T. 1997. A&C Black, London. (BoG in text)

Abbreviations used
HBRG - Haramida Bird Ringing Group
HRC - Hellenic Rarities Committee
LWH- Lesvos Wildlife Hospital

Last updated 28 March 2009