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LESVOS BIRD NEWS 2024 (1 Viewer)

Latest incoming news :
4 April 2024

Masked shrike
Kalloni Salt Pans
Ruff est 550
Common whitethroat
Skala Kalloni pool
Great reed warbler

5 April 2024
Messa wetland

Ferruginous duck
Little crake (female)

7 April 2024
Haramida Marsh

Ruppell's warbler 4

Loutra square
Laughing dove 6

Kalloni Saltpans
groups of the following waders, no numbers stated
Marsh sandpipers
Wood sandpipers
Black tailed godwit
Spur winged plover
Yellow wagtails

The above, as reported on local bird guide and environmentalist, Eleni Galinou's Lesvos Bird News Facebook Group
From eBird Aegean
7th April 2024
Haramida Marsh

Savi's Warbler

A couple from Observation.org Lesvos, bird news :
8th April 2024
Mesa Wetland

Squacco heron 1
Kalloni Pool area
Common reed warbler
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Latest incoming news from various sources inc Lesvos Bird News Facebook group :
8 & 9th April 2024
Mesa wetland

Pigmy cormorant
Kalloni Salt Pans
Gull-billed Tern 55-60
Meladia Valley (Sigri - Eressos track)
Citrine wagtail - male
Tawny pipit
Isabeline wheatear 3
Cinereous Bunting
Cretzschmar’s Bunting 10
Rock Sparrow 3
Short-toed Eagle 2
Long legged buzzard
Willow warbler
Woodlark 3
Faneromeni ( Beach pool dry this Spring)
Sedge warbler

Still plenty of species to arrive
Have arrived here for the week for my first ever visit. Haven't done any birding yet, but did see a pair of Laughing Doves outside the shops in Skala Eresou! Will be based in the west of the island, so will generally be looking around there. I'll post what I see on this thread.
Had a pleasant, fairly easy going first full day in Lesvos.

Skala Eresou: Had a wander round early in the morning. Not many migrants in evidence, although plenty of birds were singing. This included a few Nightingales, Great Reed Warblers and a distant Savi's Warbler. A Masked Shrike was also excellent to see. A few waders were around the river mouth, including a Wood Sandpiper. Offshore, regular groups of Yelkouan Shearwaters passed by. Otherwise, I had some nice views of some Red-rumped Swallows and a Laughing Dove was again pottering about outside the shops.

Rocky Road: I headed along the bumpy track towards Sigri mid-morning. There was a good selection of breeding birds, including some showy Cretzschmar's Buntings, a pair of Sombre Tits, a couple of squabbling Masked Shrikes, an Isabelline Wheatear and lots of Eastern Black-eared Wheatears. Short-toed Eagle and Long-legged Buzzard both flew over. A few Yellow Wagtails (mainly flava) were the only obvious migrants. The main bird I was looking for was Cinereous Bunting, a species I've only seen once before and that was 28 years ago and a different subspecies. I found one fairly quickly but it was way up on the distant crags, only just about IDable with 50x on the scope. Later, I had much better views of one close to the road.

Meladia River Valley: I continued on to the river valley, which still held water around the ford. At the ford, I was surprised to flush a Bittern, which flew off a short distance. Other birds around included a couple of Eastern Orphean Warblers, two Ruddy Shelducks, and an Eastern Subalpine Warbler.


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Had a pleasant, fairly easy going first full day in Lesvos.
Great write up Andrew, thanks for contributing.
Info from * Whatsapp and other sources:

15 April 2024 from Observation.org :
Tsiknias River
Red footed falcon - fem
Gull billed terns 16 fly over
Alykes Wetland
Collared pratincole 3 flyovers
Greater short-toed lark 3
Black-tailed godwit 3
Kalloni Salt Pans
*Marsh Sandpiper 45
*Spotted redshank 3
Makara Beach
Dunlin 5
Kalloni Salt Pans
*Spur winged plover
14 April 2024 Kalloni Salt Pans
Spur winged plover x 2
From eBird
15 April 2024

Red footed falcon
Kalloni gulf
Black necked grebe
14 April
Meladia Valley
Great bittern - Tsichliontas River
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Another warm day in Lesvos, with not too much happening in terms of migration. There were plenty of good birds to be found though.

Skala Eresou: I had a fairly good look around early in the morning. Highlights included a Night Heron and a Black Stork along the river and four Short-toed Larks in the above the beach. Other birds included a Wood Sandpiper, two Common Sandpipers, a Masked Shrike, two Crag Martins, a Black-headed Wagtail and a few Cirl Buntings. A group of eight Purple Herons flew around just as I was heading off.

Ipsilou Monastery: This very pleasant spot is good for a lot of the local breeding species. I soon had good views of a Cinereous Bunting and briefer views of Rock Sparrow. Cretzschmar's Bunting, Western Rock Nuthatch and Isabelline Wheatear were also about. A Short-toed Eagle drifted over the valley to the north. This was soon the setting for the 'bird of the day': an adult male Red-footed Falcon that flew through at a bit of a distance, its silvery primaries still very obvious. Soon after a 2nd calendar year Hobby flew past and gave fine views as it passed overhead. Butterflies included an Eastern Festoon.

Petrified Forest: I headed along the road up to the Petrified Forest Park late in the morning. I had terrific views of a Cinereous Bunting singing from a road sign near the junction. There was a good selection of other birds in the dry boulder lands along the road, including a couple of Tree Pipits and a Ruddy Shelduck. At the park itself, there weren't too many birds but I had very good views of an Eastern Subalpine Warbler. Other wildlife included a lovely Black-veined White and lots of hulking Starred Agamas. Along the road going back, a few raptors appeared, including Short-toed Eagle, Peregrine and Long-legged Buzzard.

Sigri Fields: After lunch, I had a look around the fields north of Sigri. Not many migrants were around but there were two Red-backed Shrikes and three Woodchat Shrikes. An Eastern Orphean Warbler was rather boldly singing from a telegraph wire.

Skala Eresou: I had a look around later in the day, seeing two Greenshanks and again seeing the eight Purple Herons and four Short-toed Larks. A Laughing Dove was hanging about by the shops, as usual.


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The weather turned a bit today, with a strong southeasterly wind most of the time and increasing cloud cover. By the end of the day, it felt quite cool. It was also a bit of a frustrating day (compounded by me locking myself out of my accommodation!) but I did see some good birds.

Skala Eresou: A look round early morning was very quiet. The Yelkouan Shearwaters were passing much closer to the shore, which gave some reasonable views. The Laughing Dove was still around.

Achladeri Forest: I then headed to the centre of the island and Achladeri Forest. I had not long arrived when I fortuitously found the bird I was looking for: Kruper's Nuthatch. It gave some good views in good light - my first for 28 years. Unfortunately, despite this being a well-known birding spot, I was soon politely told to leave by an army guy who appeared just as I was hoping to get photos of the nuthatch. It seems they're doing some sort of operations in the forest (and will be for a few days by the sounds of it).

Mikri Limni: I wanted to get longer views of Kruper's Nuthatch, hopefully without military interruption, so headed a few kilometres into the mountains to Mikri Limni. After seeing a few Short-toed Treecreepers, I heard and then saw a nuthatch. I followed it around the forest for a while, although it was generally hard to get clear views of so I didn't manage any decent photos.

Messa Wetlands: I stopped off along the road by these wetlands. There weren't too many birds in evidence, although a group of Sandwich Terns offshore seem to be unusual for the time of year and a couple of Black Storks were floating about.

Kalloni Saltpans: I spent the rest of the afternoon at Lesvos's most famous wetland. There were plenty of waders, including good numbers of Marsh Sandpipers and some nice breeding plumage Spotted Redshanks. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler was singing unseen from the tamarisks. A few Gull-billed Terns passed by. At the southern end, a ringtail harrier got me interested. From photos, it's pretty clear a rather late Hen Harrier. The best spot was the flooded pool just south of the saltpans, where a group of 45 Glossy Ibis gathered, alongside 15 Black Storks and a couple of squabbling, bill clattering White Storks.


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I'm surprised that nobody does this for Cyprus, I wonder how the number of visiting birders, compares to Lesbos?
There are a couple of Facebook groups for Cyprus, as you probably know.
In fact many moons ago I was responsible for getting Cyprus separated from Greece in the Birdforum European grouping.
My own view is that there is still a lot of interest outside of Facebook and I wanted to maintain a profile
for Lesvos Birdnews on Birdforum. I am therefore always grateful for
From Observation.org, eBird & Facebook What's App group reports :
15 April 2024

Ruppell's warbler
Savi's warbler
Common cuckoo
16 April 2024
Meladia Chapel & Valley

Citrine wagtail
Collared flycatcher
Red throated pipits
Night heron x 5
Greater short toed lark
Faneromeni fields & ford
Collared flycatcher x 10
Pied flycatcher
Little crake
Marsh sandpiper
Red backed shrikes fem
Sedge warbler
Laughing dove x 2
Mesa/Kalami Wetland
Pygmy cormorant x 2
irruption of Dark spreadwing dragonflies (100's)
Great bittern

17 April 2024
Tsiknias River

Spur winged lapwing x 2
Gull billed terns x 2
Faneromeni Ford
Citrene wagtail
Purple heron
Kalloni Salt Pans
Broad billed sandpiper x 2
Spotted redshank 18
Marsh sandpiper 7
Curlew sandpiper 2
Little stint 35
Whiskered Tern 2
Alikoudi Pool
European bee eater 7 - first report
Alykes Wetland
Black tailed godwit
Common snipe
Glossy Ibis x 22
little stint x 10
Marsh harrier
Montagu's harrier
Red throated pipit 5
Metochi Lake
Little crake x 6 4 x fem 2 male
Tree pipit
Green sandpiper
Mesa /Kalami Marss
Pygmy cormorant x 2
Potamia Old Reservoir
Night heron 3
Laughing doves x 4 Taverna opp supermarket
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Today was fairly casual but actually ended up being pretty successful, with lots of good birds. The weather started windy but in most areas I went to, it was relatively light. Sometimes there was warm sunshine, amidst more overcast conditions.

Road to Kalloni: I stopped a few times along the road towards the centre of the island. A wander along a pretty valley produced Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Masked Shrike, and Woodchat Shrike. A stop further on provided a singing Cinereous Bunting, Isabelline Wheatear and a couple of Short-toed Eagles.

Metochi Lake: I spent quite a while at the lovely marshy lake at Metochi. Careful scanning around the edges produced five Little Crakes: three females and two males. These often showed rather well. Other birds included Green Sandpiper, Ruddy Shelduck, an Osprey, Whinchat, Tree Pipit and Purple Heron. I enjoyed watching some Red-rumped Swallows collecting mud for their nests from a drying stream bed.

Kalloni Salt Pans: I spent most of the afternoon along the west side of Kalloni Salt Pans. Almost immediately, I picked out a Spur-winged Lapwing along the edge of the first lake. This was soon flushed, along with lots of other waders, by yesterday's Hen Harrier. Further along, an excellent flock of waders gathered, including at least nine Little Stint, as well as Marsh Sandpipers, Spotted Redshanks and four Curlew Sandpipers. As I was watching them, I noticed two unusual small waders, wading up to their bellies in the water. I realised these were Broad-billed Sandpipers in transitional plumage. Quite a good bird for Lesvos, it seems. They pleased Killian Mullarney, who arrived on the scene soon afterwards. Other birds included 12 Short-toed Larks, 60 Yellow Wagtails, a Tawny Pipit, two Whiskered Terns and two Little Terns. A distant group of seven Short-toed Eagles appeared to be migrating.

Messa/Kalami Wetlands: I visited the nearby Kalami wetlands late in the afternoon, mostly watching from the old bridge. Eventually, a Pygmy Cormorant appeared in one of the pools, diving regularly. There have been a few of these generally scarce species here over recent days. Three male Garganey were nice to see. Other birds included a Purple Heron, a circling flock of 11 Mediterranean Gulls, a showy Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, and a female Little Crake.


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Note : this is a summary of the more interesting sightings
Updates from Observation.org, eBird & Facebook What's App group reports :
18 April 2024
Meladia Valley & Chapel

Collared flycatcher x 2
Semi-collared flycatcher
Ortolan bunting
Rufous Bush Robin
Steppe buzzard
Olive tree warbler
Rock sparrow
Golden oriole
Common cuckoo
Alpine swift 3
Alykes wetland
Merlin - fem
Montagu's Harrier- male
Collared pratincole ("sheep field")
Tsiknias River & River Mouth
Mediterranian Gull x 3
Caspian Tern x 4 ( alsoon Cristou opposite Aegean Hotel at Skala Kalloni earlier)
Sandwich Tern x2
Gull-billed tern
Common terns
Great white egret
Kalloni Salt Pans
Little gull
Mixed waders
Kalami Marsh
Pygmy cormorant
Steppe buzzard
Haramida Marsh
Ruppell's warbler x 2
Sardinian warbler
Metochi Lake area
Squacco heron
Collared flycatcher
Peregrine falcon
European bee-eater
Little crake x2

Also noted Army exercises at Mikri Limni Krüper's site
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Note : this is a summary of the more interesting sightings , many breeding migrants already in.
Updates from Observation.org, eBird & Facebook What's App group reports :
One from 18 April
Skala Sikimineas

Audouin's gull
19 April 2024

Montegu's harrier - male
Collared flycatcher 5
Pied flycatcher 2
Spotted flycatcher
Common redstart 2
European bee-eaters 43
Alpine swift 2
Pallid swift
Turtle dove 11
Masked, Woodchat & Red-backed shrikes
Sigri Sanitorium area
Lesser kestrel 17
Collared flycatcher 3
Pied flycatcher 2
Spotted flycatcher
Tawny pipit
Honey buzzard
Meladia Valley & Chapel
Turtle dove 11
Rock sparrows
Citrine wagtail - fem
Cinereous bunting 2
Black redstart
Black headed bunting 2
Collared flycatcher 4
Pied flycatcher 2
Wood warbler
Marsh harrier
Long legged buzzard
Whinchat 12
Yelkouan shearwaters - big movement offshore
+ Large movement of raptors said to be short toes eagles

Eressos area
Garden warbler
Willow warbler

Tsiknias River & River Mouth

Spur winged plover 2

Kalloni Salt Pans
Hen harrier
Short toed eagle 2
Greater short toed lark 4
Red throated pipit
Northern wheatear
Spur winged plover 2

Kalami Marsh
Great bittern
Citrine wagtail
Pigmy cormorant 2
Temminck's stint
Squacco heron 2

Skala Vasilikon (seasonal pool)
Common snipe
Spotted redshank x2
Montegu's harrier

Metochi Lake area

Little crake


Golden oriole 7
Catching up a bit. Yesterday, I spent the morning and early afternoon in the Meladia Valley area.

Rocky Road: I saw a good range of birds along the road, including a few Cinereous Buntings and Cretzschmar's Buntings, two Masked Shrikes, five Isabelline Wheatears, a Woodlark, and a Whinchat. A Chukar flushed down the slope and my first Bee-eater of the trip flew over.

Meladia Valley: As I approached the ford, I was greeted by a splendid Roller flying along the telegraph line and perching nicely. A little further on I met Killian, who told me that he'd seen an early Black-headed Bunting. After a bit of searching, I managed some great views. A variety of other birds included a Glossy Ibis, a Red-backed Shrike, two Sombre Tits, two Rock Sparrows, a Western Rock Nuthatch, four Whinchats, and four Cuckoos. Both Eastern Subalpine Warblers and Eastern Orphean Warblers were quite conspicuous.

Skala Eresou: A fairly lengthy stroll around Skala Eresou late in the afternoon was generally quiet, but I did see a female Collared Flycatcher in the tamarisks.


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Today was still warm and sunny for the most part, but there were more clouds around. In the middle of the afternoon, I got a noisy warning message on my phone saying that severe storms are likely.

Skala Eresou: I began in Skala Eresou. The highlight was a couple of Red-throated Pipits, which showed nicely in a ploughed field, along with several Yellow Wagtails of various subspecies. A couple of Whinchats were also around a group of 19 Bee-eaters drifting over.

Rocky Road: I didn't stop too much along the road, although the usual suspects such as Cinereous Bunting and Isabelline Wheatear were all present. A couple of Alpine Swifts and a Whinchat were evidence of some migration.

Meladia Valley: There were now three male Black-headed Buntings, in fairly close proximity just before the ford. A wander past the fig grove produced a lovely male Collared Flycatcher and a female Red-backed Shrike. A male was seen later. Other birds in the area included five Whinchats, five Alpine Swifts, and a Tree Pipit.

Old Sanitorium: I continued along the increasingly rocky road up towards Sigri, stopping around the Old Sanitorium. There were three Collared Flycatchers here, two males and a female. Also about were a Spotted Flycatcher and four Whinchats. In the distance, a group of at least 15 Lesser Kestrels were hovering together over the hilltops.

Faneromi Fields: I spent the rest of the day wandering about the fields between Sigri and Faneromi. At the irrigated fields, I soon heard a couple of Red-throated Pipits calling, although I didn't see them. Large numbers of Bee-eaters began to gather, either swooping over the fields or perching up on wires or trees. Eventually, I counted 64 but there were probably more. Turtle Doves were about, with seven counted including one perched on the wires. The best area was around the ford, where various migrants were gathering. There were five Collared Flycatchers there, with another two seen elsewhere. Two Pied Flycatchers provided good comparison and there were three Redstarts and six Whinchats. A few raptors were moving about, including a male Montagu's Harrier that circled overhead. Back at the irrigated fields, over 160 Yellow Wagtails flew in as the light faded and a Tree Pipit perched discretely.


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This may be my last contribution for a while:
Note : this is a summary of the more interesting sightings , many breeding migrants already in.
Updates from Observation.org, eBird & Facebook What's App group reports :
From yesterday
19 April 2024

Mediterranean monk sea
Kalloni Area
Long-eared owl 3
20 April 2024
Following heavy downpours overnight , cloud and cooler temperatures
Ipsilou -
low cloud and rain am
Wood warbler 6
Pied flycatcher
Eastern bonelli's warbler

Faneromeni (fields & ford)
Eastern bonelli's warbler
Wood warbler
Eastern Orphean warbler
Lesser whitethroats
Collared flycatcher
Pied flycatcher
Spotted flycatcher
Hoopoe 5
Montagu's harrier - male
Lesser kestrel
Common redstart
Tree pipit
Golden oriole 25
Thrush nightingale
Yellow wagtails 100's
Yelkouan shearwaters in numbers + odd scopoli's

Sigri Sanitorium area
Ortolan bunting

Meladia Valley & Chapel
Common starling
Golden oriole 14
Semicollared flycatcher
Collared flycatcher
Pied flycatcher - several ?
Wood warbler 5
Icterine warbler
Lesser whitethroat
Common redstart
Red footed falcon 4
Yellow wagtails in numbers

Eressos area
Cattle egret
Tawny pipit
Collared,Pied and Spotted flycatchers
Turtle dove 10
Hoopoe 3
Olivaceous warbler
Common redstart
Whinchat 11
Glossy ibis 32
Little bittern
Black stork
Pallid swift 2
Alpine swift 2

Tsiknias River & River Mouth
Spur winged plover 3
Temminck's stint 2
Little gull
Montagu's harrier
Caspian tern
Purple heron 3
Squacco heron
Sand martin's 100s
Glossy ibis 20 flying North
Wagtails - large mixed flock of yellow, many sub-species
Alykes wetland
White winged tern
Marsh harrier 2
Ringtail harrier
Passage of swifts

Kalloni Salt Pans
Red footed falcon 2 - pumping station wires
Short toed eagle
Tawny pipit

Red footed falcon 2
Common starling
Spur winged plover
Red throated pipit 4

Kalami Marsh
Pygmy cormorant 2

Christou River
Cattle egret
Metochi Lake area
Little crake 2
Squacco heron
Montagu's harrier male

Little bittern
Long legged buzzard

Haramida Marsh
Ruppell's warbler 2
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Just to round things off, here are some notes from yesterday - my final day in Lesvos. There had been fairly substantial rain overnight, which was encouraging.

Skala Eresou: I spent most of the morning in Skala Eresou, around the river and in the areas to the west. The first birds I saw were a flock of 32 Glossy Ibis flying over the beach. It took a while for migrants to be apparent and there weren't huge numbers, but there was a nice selection. Three species of flycatcher included at least one Collared Flycatcher and two each of Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Flycatcher. Warblers included five Eastern Olivaceous Warblers and a couple of heard only Great Reed Warblers. Eight Red-backed Shrikes was a good count and there were at least 11 Whinchats, three Hoopoes, ten Turtle Doves and a Redstart. Overhead, two Pallid Swifts and two Alpine Swifts kept things interesting and a Black Stork soared over. A Middle-spotted Woodpecker was seen briefly near the river, where a female Little Bittern flew up from near the upper bridge. Quite a nice selection of stuff, and I'm sure more would have been found with more time.

Kalloni Salt Pans: Sadly, I didn't have much time and had to head off. I was able to stop for about half an hour at Kalloni. A lovely White-winged Black Tern was accompanied by an immature Little Gull. Two Whiskered Terns and a Gull-billed Tern were also seen.

I recorded 141 species in Lesvos in a week, which is quite decent given that it was a bit early in the season and the migration was a bit slow most days. I was also pretty laid back in my approach. Here's the Ebird trip report:


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Updates to some rarer birds seen this last week end 27-04-24:
Blue cheeked bee-eater 23-04
Barred warbler 25/04
Thrush nightingale 25/04
Kalami Marsh
Pygmy cormorant x4 present up to 27/04
Kaolin Salt Pans
Cattle egret 25/04 ( present 28/04)
Merlin 25/04
Collared print Cole x50 24/04
Little gull 24/04
Bar tailed godwit 25/04
Dalmatian pelican 25/04
Sigri Sanatorium
Red breasted flycatcher 25/04 ( also seen at the chapel 27/04)
Meladia Valley
Common rock thrush 24/04
Wryneck 24/04
Steppe grey shrike 26/04

28 th April 2024
Faneromeni upper Ford area
Re breasted flycatcher
Semi Collared flycatcher fem
Roller x 2
Spur winged plover
Citrine wagtail
Red breasted Flycatcher- fem
Petrified Forest
Ortolan bunting
Good passage of Yelkouan at various locations today.

Above as reported on WhatsApp.

My photos
Red breasted flycatcher Sigri
Eleonoras falcon - Skalahori
Honey buzzard Skalahori
Eastern bonellis warbler Filia track
Hawfinch near Skalahori
All seen this week end 27/04


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