Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lesbos, Day2

Sun. 19th April

As usual the first site to check is the saltpans and the East River (Tsiknias river) and the first bit of excitement was of a pair of penduline tits nesting close to the ford. Still nest building, and almost complete except for the 'tubular' entrance which we saw a few days later. 

Penduline tit nest under construction


Plenty of hirundines swooping about and a couple of the 'feldegg' wagtails on the river plus a reed warbler, moorhens, nightingales, little bittern, and sedge warbler.

 Reed Warbler

Yellow Wagtail - Feldegg

Crossing the concrete ford we continued on the bumpy track through the fields to the saltpans seeing goldfinches, grt tits and whitethroats plus red-rumped swallows.  The roadside waterway around the pans was fairly deep and didn't hold many birds although several black-winged stilts and a dozen or more wood sandpipers and LRPs were present.  The road which then turns to a track finishes by the 'sheep fields', wet in many places but also has dry 'dunes' closer to the beach. Here we saw kentish plovers, 4 red-throated pipits, ruff, whinchats, 3 shelduck, 2 ruddy shelduck, 1 grt white egret and little terns plus lots of crested larks.  A small group of Irish birders had found a tiny skink in the grass which caused a bit of discussion.

Known as the 'sheep fields' but now donkeys and ponys as well

The flooded field in front of the saltpans is usually teeming with birds but was quite empty, just a couple of mallard, ibises and shelduck.  Earlier we had views of a ring-tailed harrier, thought to be pallid and a female marsh harrier was cruising about over the fields.  Making our way back to the village for lunch we recorded linnet, lots of corn buntings and crested larks plus several nightingales. No song from olivaceous warblers yet so migration must be a bit late, or was it the cold, only about 10 -14 degs this week and windy!

 Red-rumped Swallow

 Little Ringed Plover - common

Corn Bunting - maybe the commonest bird!

Returning pm to the same area we saw the only wood warbler of the fortnight (hardly any this year), lesser whitethroats, sedge warblers, red-backed shrike on the wires, woodchat, 2 common buzzards and the pendulines of course.  The small pool on the other side of the main road held 2 marsh sandpipers, 2 garganey and 1 greenshank. we then made a dash over to the mini soccer pitch getting a poor view of scops owl. The cold wind was blowing up so back to the hotel at 6.20pm for tea, never before have we needed the heater on in the room each night!

Wood Sandpipers - numbers seemed down this year

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