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Lesvos Bird News 2021 (1 Viewer)

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Coronavirus 4 January 2021

As I write this , the UK government's latest announcement on proposed restrictions for citizen interaction during the pandemic
have gone to (NHS) alert Level 5 and a new countrywide lock down.
Despite the prospect of vaccination , UK diagnosed positive cases are surging above the daily rate of 50k and a devastating death total of over 75k.
In our preferred bird watching destination of Greece, it appears somewhat more under control , with much lower infection and thankfully, death rates.
However Greece operates much more severe rules , including :
A nationwide nightly curfew from 2100-0500. During curfew hours, individuals may only leave their homes for essential reasons, including work, health emergencies, or short walks with pets. A general lockdown remains in effect outside of curfew hours. Prior to leaving their homes, residents must receive approval from authorities by sending a text message to 13033 or obtain a certificate from their employer. Officials may grant text-based requests for essential reasons, including grocery shopping, medical appointments, or exercise.Travel between regions is prohibited with some exceptions, including travel for essential work. Individuals traveling for these purposes must carry a certificate provided by their employer. Face masks are mandatory in all public spaces.

In light of the above and from what I've heard today , especially regarding the UK's vaccine role out , it seems , very sadly unlikely that Lesvos will see
any UK visitors , at least for Spring 2021.

All this means of course, that locally on Lesvos and tourist wise, there will be very few bird reports feeding through.

However I will continue to post anything that I spot on social media.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
I thought that I'd kick off , 2021 with old news revived, on Social Media last week.
Richard's pipit (Anthus richardi) 23.04.2014 Faneromeni.
A species as far as I can tell , with no previously accepted records for Lesvos .
Lesvos Birders Facebook group interested was piqued , with the submission of an image dated as above.
The photo below has been reproduced with permission of Jerome Fischer
Admin for the group , advised the submission of the record to the Hellenic Records Committee.
Further Googling by yours truly revealed that the bird had been seen by another party at the time, who had submitted
a record form back then, which was later rejected by the HRC, on grounds that the accompanying image was not conclusive.
It should be born in mind that tawny pipit's are reasonably common during both Spring and return migration.
 

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Mick Sway

Well-known member
Hellenic Records Committee.
Anyone wishing to submit a rare bird record for Lesvos or for that matter , anywhere else in Greece
should click on the link here for an Unusual Record Report Form.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
2 January 2020
A UK birder still present on the island , based in Skala Kalloni, since before the original lock down 2020
reports the following:
Kalloni Pool Reedbed
White Wagtails (Motacilla alba alba) 50+ roosting in Kallonis Pool reedbed
Lower Potamia Valley
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 2000+ roosting in reedbed
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
7 January 2021
Apologies for the incorrect date above , which should of course read 2 January 2021
Christou River
- report from the UK Skala Kalloni resident
Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) 80
Starlings roost - 5k
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
13 January 2021
As reported by our local UK correspondent through Facebook.
Tsiknias River Mouth
Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 230 - in the Gulf off Tsiknias River Mouth.


Apparently the general area was pretty quite following a big storm last night but
the Salt Pans held 2 black storks and 64 flamingoes.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Weather wise it turned very wintry last weekend, with a few centimetres of snow falling
on the hills of Lesvos.
18th January 2021
Our stranded UK birded reports.
Kerami Reservoir, Potamia Valley

50 crag martins (Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Jet2 Lesvos, Package Holidays 2021 , news.
Some reports already today of emails from Jet2 cancelling flights from Manchester on 2 May 2021.
Others saying that the first flight has been put back to 16th May.
A birding friend on an Aegean flight from Manchester this Spring, tells me that his connecting flight has been moved back
from 4 hours to a 9 hour wait at Athens Airport, not a great experience in the best of times, having done it
a few times myself. For the record we've no plans ourselves this year, though we were hoping that the virus
would be under control in time for Spring 2021.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
04 February 2021 - Skala Kalloni Pool
Still only our Kalloni UK resident reporting.
Little Gulls (Hydrocoloeus minutus) 2
Teal (Anas crecca) 30
Gulf Of Kalloni
Black-necked (Podiceps nigricollis)
Great Crested Grebes (Godiceps cristatus)
Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator) 7
Christou River
Sanderling (Calidris alba) 3
Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) 5
Hen Harriers (Circus cyaneus) 2 male & female
 
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Mick Sway

Well-known member
14 February 2021
Alykes Wetland
Northern lapwing

A local wildlife enthusiast reports a small flock of a dozen or so .
A scarce winter visitor.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Our Skala Kalloni resident Brit reports on :
20 February 2021
Skala Kalloni

Singing Cirl Buntings, Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Wren and Chukar around town

Kalloni Pool
Northern shoveler ( House martin 2 on 17 Feb)

Christou River
Golden Plover 37
Lapwing 40

Another resident on the North of the island reports that Petra/ Perasma Reservoir is full
and hosts dozens of gulls (no species specified) and 16 Ruddy shelduck. Also reporting conditions
as being sunny but with a strong , cold Northerly blowing.

Locals have photographed snipe, flocks of cornbunting, black stork, great white egret and great crested grebe
in the general area of Kalloni Salt Pans over the past week.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
20 February 2021
Local naturalist Eleni Galinou reports on Lesvos Bird News :
Gulf of Kalloni
Black-throated diver 2
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Kalloni Salt Pans
Common starling - large roost
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Images by kind permission of Eleni Galinou's Lesvos Bird News Face Book Group
20/02/2021
Gulf of Kalloni
Black throated divers
Red-breasted meganser
Northern Lapwing
Common starling
Meadow Pipis ( (Messa: 29 , Alykoudi: 3, Skala Polichnitos Pans: 21)

All the above seldom seen by Spring Birders on the island .
Myself have only seen 1 lapwing and common starling over 20 years of May visits.
 

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Mick Sway

Well-known member
7 March 2021
Kalloni Salt Pans.

First flock of migrating waders , ruff and black-tailed godwit, reported by Eleni Galinou today ( photo below)
Eleni also reports that the original hide, south of the salt pans was severely damaged this winter and rendered unsafe.
In actual fact back in 2019 when I was last there, you took your life in your hands if you went up the steps.
Other news.
House martins are said to have returned to several locations on the island.
 

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Mick Sway

Well-known member
New Scorpion species identified on Lesvos - EUSCORPIUS LESBIACUS
For those interested in insects, see HERE for the description and full text of the paper dated 31/12/20
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Thanks for looking. Maybe but of more interest insect enthusiasts than birders.
13 March 2021
Barn swallows reported at Kalloni Salt Pans by Eleni.
 

Mick Sway

Well-known member
Early March 2021
The Brit "trapped" on Lesvos this last 12 months, since Marsh 2020, is about to leave the island
and has submitted one final report which reads as follows :
Skala Kalloni general area :
"Oystercatcher and Ruff arrive along with Barn Swallows, 50 Med Gulls and up to 13 Shoveler . Great White Pelican on the 9th (March) and flocks of over a thousand Yelkouan Shearwaters actually in the Bay after recent thunderstorms."
I have thanked Howard Vaughn , who has kindly been the Lesvos Birders Facebook Group go between, for his sharing on his bird "intel" .

16 March 2021
On a separate note, a seperate local resident reports :
Parakila village : scops owl heard
Not sure that this is the indicative of migration as I have been told in the past that some overwinter.
In addition athere has been the odd report of hoopoe at Skala Kalloni Salt Pans and chiffchaff at Petra, by other local people
 
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Mick Sway

Well-known member
Agios Nikolaos chapel in Papiana
In the absence of other news, worth a mention this week,that white storks are back at their nests , in particular as above.
 

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