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
Black Stork, this one in the centre of Kalloni!
An obliging Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
A female Blue Rock Thrush, feeding young at Ipsilou monastery
Lesbos speciality, Cinereous Bunting
Another Lesbos speciality – Isabelline Wheatear, one of a couple of pairs seen
Roller, one of a small influx on our last day – we saw four birds, there were probably more
Another special Lesbos bunting – this one is Cretzchmar’s
Olive-tree Warbler, difficult to see and near impossible to photograph!
Red-rumped Swallow collecting mud for nest-building
Rufous Bush Robin, also nest building.
Broad-billed Sandpiper, one of three seen. This cooperative individual was at Faneromeni Beach pool
Great Spotted Cuckoo – a poor picture of a great bird, well actually one of a breeding pair
One of this year’s target species, a superb male Black-headed Bunting
Red-breasted Flycatcher, this one was in a roadside ravine on the old Sigri to Erossos road
Another Lesbos speciality – Kruper’s Nuthatch
Alpine Swift, odd birds seen on several days – this one was over West river
Red-backed Shrike – there was a large influx towards the end of the week, mostly males
Little Bittern at the lower ford, Faneromeni
Rock Nuthatch – reasonably common and widespread in sparsely vegetated areas
and lastly, Spanish Sparrow – near the old Sanatorium
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.