Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Holiday to Kos


My usual Lesbos destination was fully booked this year as Thomas Cook cancelled all the April flights due to the thought of a migrant problem that does not exist. So I thought we might try Kos, it has a couple of wet areas so the internet told me so it could be nearly as good. However, it wasn't, nowhere near, I had a car for four days but there was a dearth of small birds. Not one wheatear, tern, etc., I learnt from the two regular birders there were special places to go that could have produced a wheatear or two, they commented they had never known such a poor year.

We stayed at Tingaki right next to the 'salt lake', a huge shallow lagoon which held c100 flamingoes, 5 curlew sandpipers, 2 greenshank, 1 common and green sandpiper, c.150 ruff, c.15 little stints, 2 ringed plovers, 2 LRPs, c.30 stilts, 3 Kentish plovers, reed warblers, cetti's, 1 tawny pipit, ruddy ducks, 2 little bitterns, 5 squacco herons plus hirundines, 2 cuckoos and most mornings bee-eaters were flying over, lots of crested larks, hooded crows, lesser kestrels. Spur-winged plovers were easy to see with at least four around the lake, bred in past years I was told.

Rollers are quite common near the airport as there are some sandy valleys that they like, I saw four altogether. A couple Eleonora's falcons, 2 long-legged buzzards and the kestrels were the only birds of prey I saw. What was common all across the island were jackdaws, everywhere, up in the mountains, all over plus odd to see several magpies here as well. My list amounted to only 51!

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