Late Spring in Lesbos

We’ve just got back from a weeks holiday in Petra, Lesbos, with GPOG (Greater Peterborough Ornithological Group – a rather grand title for a bunch of birding/drinking mates!). We stayed at the excellent Niki Michael Studios booked as a package with Thomas Cook, used vehicles from Costa rentals and based our itinerary on Steve Dudley’s excellent book and our accumulated knowledge from previous trips. We deliberately chose a May week to catch the later arriving migrants and resident breeding species. We managed to notch up nearly 150 species during the week and several members of the party got a ‘life tick’ or two!

Some of the birds we saw:

Subalpine Warbler, male

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Black Stork, this one in the centre of Kalloni!

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An obliging Eastern Olivaceous Warbler

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Cirl Bunting

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A female Blue Rock Thrush, feeding young at Ipsilou monastery

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Lesbos speciality, Cinereous Bunting

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Another Lesbos speciality – Isabelline Wheatear, one of a couple of pairs seen

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Roller, one of a small influx on our last day – we saw four birds, there were probably more

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Another special Lesbos bunting – this one is Cretzchmar’s

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Olive-tree Warbler, difficult to see and near impossible to photograph!

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Red-rumped Swallow collecting mud for nest-building

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Rufous Bush Robin, also nest building.

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Broad-billed Sandpiper, one of three seen. This cooperative individual was at Faneromeni Beach pool

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Great Spotted Cuckoo – a poor picture of a great bird, well actually one of a breeding pair

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One of this year’s target species, a superb male Black-headed Bunting

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Red-breasted Flycatcher, this one was in a roadside ravine on the old Sigri to Erossos road

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Another Lesbos speciality – Kruper’s Nuthatch

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Alpine Swift, odd birds seen on several days – this one was over West river

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Red-backed Shrike – there was a large influx towards the end of the week, mostly males

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Little Bittern at the lower ford, Faneromeni

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Rock Nuthatch – reasonably common and widespread in sparsely vegetated areas

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and lastly, Spanish Sparrow – near the old Sanatorium

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A great weeks birding with lots to find and some really superb ‘celebrity’ species.

We’ll be publishing a complete annotated & illustrated trip report shortly.. watch this blog for details.

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This entry was posted in Birding.

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