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.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

It's Here!

by Steve Dudley

Due August 2009. See it a the Birdfair 21-23 August!

Announcing a completely new site guide to the hugely popular Aegean island of Lesvos.

Lesvos offers some of the best birding in the Mediterranean basin. For four weeks each spring birders from across Europe converge on this outpost of Europe which lies just 5 miles off Turkey and Asia Minor. The birds are a blend of Mediterranean breeding species, migrants moving through to breed in eastern Europe and Asia Minor species such as Krüper’s Nuthatch (and probably the easiest place to see this species in the Western Palearctic).

The guide has been written by Steve Dudley, one of the island's most experienced bird and wildlife guides who has probably taken more groups around, and spent more time on the island than any other bird guide. Steve is also the man behind LESVOSBIRDING.COM - the only dedicated birding website to the island - which continues to provide visiting birders with up to date information including 'what's been seen today' daily summaries during the main spring birding weeks. Steve is also a founding member of the Lesvos Bird Records Committee.

Steve now shares his vast knowledge of the island with this new birding guide to Lesvos which includes -
  • a 47 page introduction includes details of when to go, where to stay, recommended places to eat, etc

  • a detailed guide to over 60 of the best birding areas/sites across the island including over 45 specially commissioned maps by renowned magazine illustrator Steven Hall.

  • 32 pages (over 90 images) of colour photos of sites, habitats and species

  • a 39 page checklist to the birds of Lesvos - completely up to date (up to and inc. spring 2009) detailing the status of every species officially recorded on the island

  • separate tick lists for birds, butterflies, dragonflies and orchids

  • plus appendices detailing island place names and pronunciations, bird lists in Greek and Dutch

  • cover and numerous black-and-white line illustrations by renowned bird illustrator Dave Nurney (artist for A Pocket guide to the birds of Britain and NW Europe, Nightjars of the World and Woodpeckers of the World)

A Birdwatching Guide to Lesvos is to be published by Arlequin Press and is the first of the revamped 'birdwatching guide' series to be published since CJ Wildbird Foods acquired Arlequin Press.

Order enquiries to Subbuteo Natural History Books.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

15 May - goodbye and thanks

Well, those of us unable to leave yesterday will do so later today as I wing my way home with Aegean Airlines.

I'd just like to thank those birders who have provided info during my three week stay, in particular Bob Buckler (Wingspan Bird Tours), Terry & Sue Robinson, Ian Pitts, Dave Bradnum, Paul Manning, Precill & Neil Preston, Donald & Jennifer Rhodes, Pete & Jan Deans (and their holiday-mates Fiona & Geoff) and Ian Lewington, and all those who passed on info to me in the field or wrote things up in the Lesvos Birding log at the Hotel Pasiphae. Thanks alot everyone - news only spreads if people are willing to share.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the staff at the Hotel Pasiphae for their usual care and attention not only of me over the last three weeks, but of all the birders staying with them this season. The Pasiphae again proved to be the premier of the Skala Kallonis hotels and has an increasing birding buzz in the evenings as birders staying elsewhere come in to use the Lesvos Birding hotel and share news at the bar.

Kalloni Saltpans - Slender-billed Gull 3 in NW corner early morning.

14 May - Spur-winged Plover and stranded holiday makers!

Squacco Heron, Kalloni Saltpans Flood © Steve Dudley

Well, the Greek civil servants are at it again and a nationwide 24hr lightning strike meant that airports were closed and all those many holiday makers due off the island today couldn’t leave and get an extra days holiday and all those coming out lose a day.
Scops Copse - work continues on pollarding the trees - do not visit!

SPUR-WINGED PLOVER – an adult found this morning on the flood opposite the saltworks entrance and present until mid-afternoon at least.

Also on the flood, Whiskered Tern 22, Black Stork 10, Squacco Heron 9, White Stork 1, Ruddy Shelduck 4, Garganey 2.

Also a RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN around the water pumping station in the south-west corner of the saltpan complex.

Tsiknias River Ford – CITRINE WAGTAIL female.
Potamia Valley - up to 5 Olive-tree Warblers and 2 Icterine Warblers between the main road and the river bridge.
Petra Reservoir - Ruddy Shelduck pr with 2 young.
Kavaki - Ruppell's Warbler showing well this evening plus usual Blue Rock Thrush.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

13 May - Terek Sandpiper

TEREK SANDPIPER - a winter plumage bird was found first thing this morning at Polichnitos Saltpans and was present until 1145h at least. This is only the fourth record for the island. The bird is keeping to the central pans area around the village end of end of chainlink fence wich runs along the main track.

A big increase in waders at this site as more water is being pumped on to the pans over the last few days and birds include up to 8 Curlew Sandpiper, 30+ Ringed Plover, 30+ Ruff, 1 Turnstone.

Kalloni Mini Soccer Pitch - there is lots of tree pollarding going on at present. They are not remving the eucalyptus trrees, simply reducing the height of many of them. The place is however dangerous during the day and it is pointless looking for the Scops Owls at this site whilst the work is in progress - they will have certainly moved!

Finsch's Wheatear update - I have now seen the photos of the bird claimed to be Finsch's Wheatear on 10 May, and as somewhat expected it was a black-and-white male melanoleuca Black-eared Wheatear. There remains only one accepted record of Finsch's Wheatear for the island: a male at Megalochori Jun 93.

Faneromeni - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1, Tawny Pipit 1.

Meladia Valley - Rose-coloured Starling 1 adult, Ortolan Bunting 1.

Ipsilou - LANNER FALCON 1 adult, Eleonora's Falcon 2.

Kalloni Saltpans area - flood opposite saltworks entrance: Black Stork 10, Squacco Heron 9, Glossy Ibis 1, Great White Egret 3, Ruddy Shelduck 30, Collared Pratincole 1, Garganey 1, Mallard 1, Grey Plover 1. Fewer waders around today.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

12 May - Olive-trees arrive at last!

Cretzschmar's Bunting, Ipsilou © Steve Dudley

Potamia Valley - Olive-tree Warbler 2 singing and showing well c.1.4km from the main road turn. Also Icterine Warbler 1.

Ipsilou - Olive-tree Warbler 1 singing from oaks by top of first section of old monastery path from road. Wood Warbler 2, Lesser Whitethroat, Red-backed Shrike 2, Spotted Flyactcher sev.

Aghias Taxiarchis (nr Skalachori) - Olive-tree Warbler 2 singing east of chapel. Eleonora's Falcon 1 dark phase feeding over road west of chapel for 10-15 mins c.0915h.

Platania - Olive-tree Warbler, at least 2 in at the cattlegrid site.

Nr Parakila - ROLLER 1 c.3 km south.

Skala Eresou - Little Bittern 2, Alpine Swift 2.

Tsiknias River - at ford - CITRINE WAGTAIL male & female (male also on flood area), Little Bittern 1, Great Reed Warbler 1. River mouth - Sandwich Tern 1.

Kalloni Saltpans area - Alykes Wetlands - no sign of yesterday's Broad-billed Sandpiper. Temminck's Stint 2, Ringed Plover 12, Red-throated Pipit 4. Flood opp. saltworks entrance - Whiskered Terns 2, White-winged Black Tern 2, Collared Pratincole 2, Black Stork 6, Great White Egret 3, Squacco Heron 8+, Curlew Sandpiper 6, Ruff 110+, Ruddy Shelduck, Mallard 3. Saltpans Little Stint 30+.

Agiasos - Chiffchaff 1.

RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN - birds reported from Madaros, Chrousos beach and Polichnitos Saltpans in recent days.

Monday, 11 May 2009

11 May - Broad-billed Sandpiper

No news on yesterday's reported Finsch's Wheatear.

Nr Petra - GOLDEN EAGLE 1.

Kalloni Saltpans area - Alykes Wetlands: BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER 1, Little Stint 40+, Kentish Plover 16+, Little Ringed Plover 4, Ringed Plover 8, Marsh Harrier 2, Red-throated Pipit 10+, Short-toed Lark 2, Lesser Grey Shrike 1. Flood opp. saltworks entrance: Red-footed Falcon male, Whiskered Tern 2, Black Stork 13, White Stork 1, Great White Egret 3, Squacco Heron 11, Glossy Ibis 3, Ruff 70+, Ruddy Shelduck 4, Garganey 1, Mallard 5. Saltpans: Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper 2, Little Stint 110+. On Sea: Great Crested Grebe 1, Cormorant.

Petra - ROLLER 1.

Christou River - Slender-billed Gull 1, Lesser Grey Shrike 4.

Metochi Lake - Little Bittern 5+, Little Grebe 2 on nests and pr with 3 young.

Tsiknias River - Little Bittern 3, Little Egret 37.

Faneromeni - Little Bittern 5.

Lardia Valley - Eleonora's Falcon 3, Rock Sparrow.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

10 May - Broad-billed Sandpiper day

Fine weather, blue skies and light winds and more photographers than birders!

Napi Valley - FINSCH'S WHEATEAR 1 reported at the north end of the valley. No further details. Note - only one accepted record and ALL those followed up in recent years have turned out to be black and white melanoleuca Black-eared Wheatears. LANNER FALCON 1.

Kalloni Saltpans area - reports of a 'large' pratincole movement this morning c.0730h inc. reported Black-winged Pratincole. Flood opposite saltworks entrance - BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER 1 reported, Black Stork 5, Great White Egret 3, Squacco Heron 9, Glossy Ibis 3, Garganey 2, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Mallard 3, Red-backed Shrike 2. Alykes Wetlands - BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER 2 reported with Little Stints late evening, Collared Pratincole 5, Black Stork 3, White Stork 1, Ruddy Shelduck 6, Grey Plover 1, Ringed Plover 1. Pans - Stone-curlew 5, Little Stint 60+, Ruff 20+. Beach - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN still in tamerisks west of beach cafe. SW Corner - CITRINE WAGTAIL female.

Mesa - Black Stork 10, Ruddy Shelduck 26.

Skala Vasilikon - Little Bittern 1.

Tsiknias River - Little Bittern 1, Squacco Heron 2, Green Sandpiper 1.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

9 May - slowing down under the sun

We've got high pressure with light winds and increasing temperatures. Birds are shipping out rather than shipping in, and many birders are flagging in the heat. The number of birders is also down and news is beginning to slow.

Late news from recent days first -

7-8 May - Great Spotted Cuckoo along the Petra Reservoir Road with two singing River Warblers there on the 7th.

Todays news -

Madaros (north of Kalloni) - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1, Honey-buzzard 2, Black Stork 3, Chukar, Orphean Warbler.

Tsiknias River (Upper) - Ortolan Bunting 1 (only record this spring?).

Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint 1100-1215h - Short-toed Eagle 5+, Goshawk 4, Long-legged Buzzard 1, Hobby 1, Black Stork 1.

Faneromeni fords - Little Bittern 7, Bee-eater 40+.

Kalloni Saltpans - Glossy Ibis 2, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Squacco Heron 9 on floods opposite sltworks entrance. Ruff 110+, Little Stont 70+ on pans and moat. RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1 still in tamerisks west of beach cafe.

Ipsilou/Sigri area - migrant numbers greatly reduced. Expected breeding birds present.

Tsiknias River - Little Bittern 1, Sandwich Tern 9.

Scops Owl - not seen at the Kalloni Mini Soccer Pitch since being flushed by a photographer who got his wife to use a stick to move branches out of his field of view!

Friday, 8 May 2009

8 May - slow as migrant numbers decline

Ipsilou – Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler 1, reduced numbers of migrants.

Skoutaros – Eleonora’s Falcon 10.

Meladia Valley – far fewer migrants than in recent days, Spotted Flycatcher numbers now heavily reduced but lots of female Red-backed Shrikes and female Black-headed Buntings arriving. RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN male in scrub north-east of ford, Collared Flycatcher fem by wet flash c.300m west of ford, Thrush Nightingale singing from small building north of fig grove, Sardinian Warbler fem, Icterine Warbler 5+, Orphean Warbler 4, Lesser Grey Shrike 2, Great Reed Warbler 3+, Pied Flycatcher 4+, Little Bittern 3, Lesser Kestrel 2, Alpine Swift 2, Bee-eater 5. Family party of Sombre Tits at the chapel, 15+ Woodlarks dust-bathing on track east of ford late evening. Several parties of Rock Nuthatch.

Sigri Old Sanatorium - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Kestrels.

Faneromeni area – ROLLER 2, Night-heron 2 (imm at lower ford, adult at upper ford), Little Bittern 6+ (both fords), Squacco Heron 1 (lower ford), Little Egret 11 (north of upper ford), Lesser Grey Shrike, Golden Oriole, Orphean Warbler 2, Lesser Kestrel 20+, Pied Flycatcher 2+.

Liminos Monastery – Short-toed Eagle 4, Red-backed Shrike.

Kalloni Saltpans – Collared Pratincole 1 over flood opposite saltworks entrance, Whiskered Tern 1+. Usual herons, storks etc on flood.

Tsiknias River – Great Bittern 1, Sandwich Tern.

Metochi Lake - Great Bittern 1 (likely same as Tsiknias).

Thursday, 7 May 2009

7 May - big eagles and a big snipe

Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint (bandstand) – IMPERIAL EAGLE sub adult in from north at 1420h and again over at 1510h. Possibly same as last weeks bird seen coming in off the sea from the north on the north coast east of Efthalou. Last year we had a sub adult bird hang around the island for two weeks (see here). Eleonora’s Falcon 6.

Ioannou Valley (south of Mandamados) – GOLDEN EAGLE sub adult north at 1505h. Ruppell’s Warbler male, Pallid Swift 8, Alpine Swift 2, Golden Oriole 2.

Haramida Marsh – GREAT SNIPE 1, Pallid Swift 30+, Alpine Swift 8, Sardinian Warbler, Green Sandpiper 1.

Meladia Valley - Collared Flycatcher female, Icterine Warbler 7, Orphean Warbler 3, Pied Flycatcher 5, Sardinian Warbler 1, Bee-eater 40+, loads of Spotted Flycatchers.

Polichnitos Saltpans - Collared Pratincole 1, Temminck's Stint 1.

Kalloni Saltpans - Marsh Sandpiper 1, Gull-billed Tern 1, Collared Pratincole 3, Little Crake 1, Mallard 2.

Kalloni Mini Soccer Pitch (Scops Copse) - no sign of any Scops Owl today.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

6 May - Booted Eagle and migrants galore part II

Barred Warbler, Meladia Valley © Steve Dudley

Olive-tree Warbler update
Birds still showing at the barrier site in upper Napi valley (west side of the Napi valley road below the mast at top of valley) and above here from the main road about half way up to the track to the masts. Birds are however very difficult. At least one bird reported from 'near' the Platania cattle grid site (c.5km east of the Napi valley road at top end of valley).

Kalloni Saltpans – CITRINE WAGTAIL male along east pans track. Marsh Sandpiper 1, Black Tern 18, Grey Plover 10+, Turnstone 2. RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN male still in tamarisks west of beach café (please do not harass the bird!). Quail 2 birds calling in fields c.1 km east of Kalloni pans. Usual herons etc.

Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint – BOOTED EAGLE 1 over at c.1430h. Eleonora’s Falcon 3+, Hobby 2, Peregrine, Goshawk male, Short-toed Eagle 5+, Long-legged Buzzard, Black Stork 4.

Mesa - BOOTED EAGLE 1 (see above). Ruddy Shelduck 26, Black Stork 4.

Metochi Lake - BAILLON'S CRAKE 2 birds reported. Moustached Warbler reported again in bushes alongside the main eastern track along the lake. BEWARE! Sedge Warblers can be very dark crowned and care needed to ID 'eastern' Moustached Warbler here.

Achladeri – Kruper’s Nuthatch 2 (along track between Vouvaris River and main Kruper’s site. Eleonora's Falcon 1 over the main Kruper's site.

Vouvaris river track – Tree Pipit.

Potamia – Lesser Grey Shrike 1, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Crag Martin, Red-backed Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Coal Tit.

Meladia Valley – ROLLER 2, COLLARED FLYCATCHER fem, RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN male singing, Honey-buzzard 1, River Warbler 1, Barred Warbler 1, Icterine Warbler 15, Red-backed Shrike 20+, Lesser Grey Shrike 10+, Great Reed Warbler 15+, Spotted Flycatcher 200+, Golden Oriole 6, plus other common migrants. No sign of the Rose-coloured Starling.

Sigri – Red-footed Falcon 12.

Sigri Old Sanatorium - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN male singing and showing well late evening, Chukar.

Skala Eresou – Purple Heron 3, Little Bittern 1, Great Reed Warbler 2.

Tsiknias River – Temminck’s Stint 1, Marsh Harrier.

Nr Eresos (along Sigri track) - Collared Flycatcher female, Golden Oriole.

Polichnitos Saltpans - CITRINE WAGTAIL female in field (was flooded) with Red-throated Pipits. Lesser Grey Shrike, Curlew Sandpipers (lots), Sanderling 5, Ruff, Ringed Plover 3.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

5 May - migrants galore part I

Rufous Bush Robin, Sigri Old Sanitorium © Steve Dudley

The birds reported as Cyprus Warbler have been identified as Barred Warblers. For photos see the BirdForum thread at

Meladia Valley - BLACK KITE 2, one early morning and one arrived at 1955h headed inland at 2005), Gull-billed Tern 2 (feeding along valley track moving west, Rose-coloured Starling (in hedge immediately west of chapel), Icterine Warbler 11, Lesser Grey Shrike 12, Red-backed Shrike 50++, Orphean Warbler 8, Common Redstart, Little Bittern 3, Montagu's Harrier fem, Rufous Bush Robin 1 singing west of ford at dusk. Lots of common migrants.

Ipsilou - LEVANT SPARROWHAWK 1 male, Icterine Warbler 4, Masked Shrike 2, Hobby 1. Lots of common migrants.

Faneromeni - LEVANT SPARROWHAWK 5+, ROLLER 8+, CITRINE WAGTAIL male, COLLARED FLYCATCHER fem, Red-footed Falcon 6, usual herons, etc.

Sigri Old Sanotorium - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1, Red-breasted Flycatcher male, European Nightjar roosting on rock in field, Barred Warbler 1, Black-headed Bunting 30 (single flock), Golden Oriole 10, Red-backed Shrike 20+.

Polichnitos Saltpans - CITRINE WAGTAIL fem.

Lardia Valley - EASTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER 1 still by second lay-by from Vatousa end.

Petra Reservoir (Perasma) - Thrush Nightingale, Lesser Grey Shrike 6.

Petra - Savi's Warbler, Thrush Nightingale.

Napi Valley - Olive-tree Warbler 2 (barrier site in upper valley), Icterine Warbler 1.

Kalloni Saltpans - LANNER 1 imm. RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN still in tamarisks west of beach cafe. Marsh Sandpiper 1, Little Gull 1st sum, Grey Plover. Usual herons, ibis, storks and waders on flood opposite saltworks entrance.

Molivos - Eleonora's Falcon 2. Yelkouan and Scopoli's Shearwaters offshore.

Aghias Fokas - Gull-billed Tern 2, Eleonora's Falcon 1.

Monday, 4 May 2009

4 May - more eagles and Levant Sparrowhawks

Roller, Faneromeni © Steve Dudley

Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint (bandstand) – BONELLI’S EAGLE 1 to north c.1400h.

Between Ipsilou and Sigri – LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE 1.

South of Petra – LEVANT SPARROWHAWK 1 high north at c.1000h.

Faneromeni – CITRINE WAGTAIL 2 (m&f) on both lower and upper fords. COLLARED FLYCATCHER 2 (m&f) and Icterine Warbler 2 at upper ford, ROLLER and COLLARED FLYCATCHER north-east of upper ford.

Lardia Valley – EASTERN BONELLI’S WARBLER 1 singing by second lay-by from Vatousa end.

Ipsilou – LEVANT SPARROWHAWK 1 (m), Icterine Warbler 5, loads of Spotted Flycatchers and Wood Warblers, Golden Oriole and other common migrants. Barred Warbler c.1km east of monastery.

Sigri Old Sanatorium – ROLLER 4 (together) at c.1830h. Red-backed Shrike.

Meladia Valley – ROLLER 1, CITRINE WAGTAIL 1 (fem), Rose-coloured Starling 1, Icterine Warbler 3, Common Starling 1, Common Redstart, Wood Warbler. Rufous Bush Robin 1 nr chapel.

Kalloni Saltpans area – PALLID HARRIER 1 1st sum male, Glossy Ibis 8, Black Stork 3, White Stork 1, Squacco Heron 7, Purple Heron 1, Grey Heron 11, Ruddy Shelduck 2, Mallard 2, Curlew Sandpiper 2 plus good numbers of Wood Sandpipers and Ruff (all on flood opposite the saltworks entrance). Temminck’s Stint 1, Ringed Plover 11, Short-toed Lark 4, Red-throated Pipit 3 plus good numbers of Wood Sandpipers and Kentish Plovers (Alykes Wetlands sheepfields). RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN male still west of beach cafe. NOTE - please do not harrass this bird!

Tsiknias River – Temminck’s Stint 4.

Between Tsiknias River and Saltpans – Red-footed Falcon 1st sum fem, Lesser Grey Shrike 3, Red-backed Shrike 1, Long-legged Buzzard 1.

Agias Fokas – plenty of Yelkouan Shearwaters west between 1500-1600, Black-headed Bunting 20 in flock on headland.

Dimitrios – Middle Spotted Woodpecker nesting in one of poplars by the chapel, Grey Wagtail, Serin, Long-eared Owl.

Kavaki (nr Petra) - Ruppell's Warbler 3prs active. Please refrain from walking through the scrub to the north of the road as birds are now feeding young and should be easily seen from the laybys, pavement and track up the southern hillside. Also Orphean Warbler.

Nr Agra – Eleonora’s Falcon 1.

Olive-tree Warbler - two birds still at the barrier site in the upper Napi valley. Also two birds on west of road between here and the track to the masts. Still no birds in the Platania cattle grid site.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

3 May - Imperial and Lesser Spotted Eagles

Nr Efthalou - IMPERIAL EAGLE sub adult low in from north and headed east along coast at 1020h.

Petra Reservoir (Perasma) - DALMATIAN PELICAN imm until c.1045h. BLACK KITE 1 (also seen over Kavaki later).

Kalloni Raptor Watchpoint (bandstand) - LESSER SPOTTED EAGLE 1 north at c.1800h.

Faneromeni Upper Ford - LEVANT SPARROWHAWK 2 in evening, CITRINE WAGTAIL fem, Purple Heron, Night-heron, Little Bittern.

Kavaki (nr Petra) - Ruppell's Warbler 3prs active. Please refrain from walking through the scrub to the north of the road as birds are now feeding young and should be easily seen from the laybys, pavement and track up the southern hillside. Also here Hobby, Orphean Warbler, Sardinian Warbler fem, Mediterranean Gull 8.

Ipsilou - Eastern Bonelli's Warber 1, Icterine Warbler 4, Red-breasted Flycatcher fem, plus lots of Wood Warblers and Spotted Flycatchers and usual breeding birds.

Meladia Valley - Rose-coloured Starling and Eastern Common Redstart just west of the chapel. Thrush Nightingale at the ford. Icterine Warbler 4 in the ford fig grove.

Kalloni Saltpans (and surrounding fields) - RUFOUS BUSH CHAT 1 in tamarisks west of beach cafe - please be aware of breeding Stone-curlews along beach! Little Gull 1st sum, White-winged Black Tern 7 on pans. Barred Warbler 1 in Alykes Wetlands (sheepfields). Black Stork 4, Glossy Ibis 8+, Purple Heron 2, Squacco heron 8, Great White Egret 1, Ruddy Shelduck 4 on flooded fields opp saltworks entrance. If the birds on the floods are close to the track please stay in your vehicle to avoid flushing them!

Petrified Forest Road - TREE SPARROW 1 by toilet block (only the sixth record for the island!). 2 euros entry fee for toilet!

Metochi Lake - Little Bittern 12+, Little Crake m&f.

Tsiknias River - CITRINE WAGTAIL male, Little Bittern 1 by ford.

Between Ipsilou and Sigri - Lesser Kestrel 42+, Red-footed Falcon 7.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

2 May - reigning raptors

Rose-coloured Starling, Meladia Valley © Steve Dudley

Heavy showers in the morning in the Kalloni area eventually cleared and gave way to blue skies and followed by a string of raptors moving across the island. I wonder what we missed?!

General - arrival of Black-headed Buntings continues and they are all over the place. Bee-eaters everywhere. Large arrival of Sedge Warblers and Great Reed continues and large movement of swifts today inc. several Pallid.

Tsiknias River - WHITE-TAILED EAGLE subadult north at 1020h (fifth record for the island). Pallid Swift 1, Red-backed Shrike 2.

Vouvaris River Mouth - EGYPTIAN VULTURE subadult seen perched then flew north at 1800h (11th island record).

Agiasos - Large eagle sp. north at c. 1300h.

Makara - BLACK KITE 2 on off sea to north, Barred Warbler 1.

Meladia Valley - Rose-coloured Starling 1 (first report of the spring, and early), Pallid Swift sev, Alpine Swift 200+, Common Swift 400+.

Metochi Lake - Moustached Warbler reported for third day, Little Bittern 3.

Kalloni Saltpans area - RUFOUS BUSH ROBIN 1 in seaside tamerisks west of the beach cafe. Barred and Sardinian Warblers along the south road near hide. LANNER FALCON juv down the east pans track. White-winged Black Tern 1, Green Sandpiper 1 on pans. Gull-billed Tern 1, Black Stork 1, Glossy Ibis 10+, Squacco Heron 6+, Purple Heron 2, Great White Egret, Ruddy Shelduck and Garganey on flooded fields opposite the saltworks entrance. Collared Pratincole 2 in Alykes Wetlands (sheepfields).

Achladeri - ELEONORA'S FALCON 3 hawking insects over the car park for c.1/2 hour. Kruper's Nuthatch the male near the white building has managed to attract a mate at long last and both birds showed brilliantly today as they continued to excavate the nest hole. Night-heron 2 roosting in pine trees.

Farmakies Pool (Skala Vasilikon Harbour) - Citrine Wagtail female, Serin 2.

Kalloni Mini Soccer Pitch - Scops Owl 2. IMPORTANT NOTICE - please do not view either bird from the road. The Police have said they will book anyone doing so for obstructing the road.

Polichnitos Saltpans - Green Sandpiper 1, Red-throated Pipit 2, Bee-eater 100+ in area.

Friday, 1 May 2009

1 May - Lanner 1 Little Bittern 0

Night-heron and Little Bittern, Faneromeni Lower Ford © Steve Dudley

May Day holiday here with the locals out in force filling the tavernas. Fewer picnickers due to the heavy showers so perhaps the Kruper's Nuthatch won't have been scared too much!

Sigri & Faneromeni area - LANNER FALCON seen to take a Little Bittern at the the upper ford. Also there the Spotted Crake and another Little Bittern. At the lower ford, Night-heron 2, Little Bittern 4, Squacco Heron 3, Great White Egret (4 over). Around the fields and groves in this area hundreds of Bee-eaters and Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Flycatcher 3, lots of Great Reed and Sedge Warblers, Lesser Kestrel 20+, Red-footed Falcon 3+, Woodchat and Red-backed Shrikes, Collared Pratincole 1, Ruddy Shelduck 2. No sign of the Rufous Bush Robin at the Old Sanitorium gorge today.

Lardia Valley - Eastern Bonelli's Warbler - heard not seen. Eleonora's Falcon 3, Long-legged Buzzard, Blue Rock Thrush.

Turn to Monastery Alexander nr Petra - two Eastern Bonelli's Warblers singing.

Ipsilou - Eleonora's Falcon 1, Wood Warbler 50+, two pairs of active Rock Sparrows (on north side of monastery), Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Pied Flyactcher, Spotted Flycatcher (loads), Cinerous Bunting and Isabelline Wheatear.

Kalloni Saltpans - SPUR-WINGED PLOVER one in channel at entrance of Alykes Wetlands (sheepfields) - look inland. CITRINE WAGTAIL male in fields at SW corner.

Skala Kallonis Pool - Spotted Crake 1, Little Crake 1, Little Bittern 1.

Metochi Lake - Spotted Crake 1, Little Crake 4, Little Bittern 3, Squacco Heron 1.

Between Agra & Mesotopos - Eleonora's Falcon 1, Cinererous Bunting.

Thank you to all those providing info especially those entering their records in the Hotel Pasiphae log book.