The almost annual pilgrimage to Lesbos started on the 19th of April, nice and early to catch the migrants but the expected movement didn't materialise. For a start, it was cold the whole two weeks, about 15 degs although in the sun it was hot but very windy, a lot of rain and storms. The channel around the saltpans was almost empty of birds apart from the usual stilts although there were birds in the wet fields eg. short-toed larks and red-throated pipits. It was several days before I caught up with any marsh terns with only one whiskered tern but c.30 gull-billed terns made up for it somewhat. However, I still recorded 156 bird species without any real effort, it was a holiday as well. I am not going to give a day by day account as its too much work so I'll just put in some photos with captions.
A view of the East River mouth good for terns plus two slender-billed gulls
A couple of stone curlews were attempting to nest on the E.River.
Little Crakes on the E.River
Marsh harriers were common plus a few Monty's and two pallids
Black stork, usually plentiful but only a handful seen
Swallowtail, quite numerous
Common Sandpipers were few
Black-winged stilts numerous
Crested larks and corn buntings everywhere
The black-headed yellow wagtail
Ruppell's Warbler - only one seen, a crowd of over one hundred one day, like a major twitch. Plenty of Dutch, German, French and even Italian groups present, Lesbos becoming a victim of it own success!
Scops Owl - several around even in the hotel grounds.
Plenty of wild flowers across the island
Lesbos is a great place to visit, never the same each year and that goes for the weather as well, can be cold and very hot. By mid May migration is over and the hordes of birders are gone but there is still plenty of birds to see plus any overshoots that are probably not recorded later on. I remember on a late visit seeing c.40 rose-coloured starlings so who knows what may turn up.