|Lesvos, Greece - April 2008 and April/May 2009|
|New images added 2009 - Little Bittern - plenty about in 2009|
|White Stork - regularly seen around Kalloni, one individual was very faithful to one field by the East River for much of our stay!|
|Tawny Pipit - only one or two seen|
|Black-winged Stilt - common around the Salt Pans, often in the channel - great for photos on calm, bright evenings|
|Glossy Ibis - a regular sight around Kalloni Salt Pans|
|Kentish Plover - regularly seen. A pair was photographed along the track behind the Salt Pans|
|Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - a scarce visitor to the island. We were fortunate enough to find this bird on our first full day|
|Crested Lark - very common, arguably to the point of being dull!|
|Middle-spotted Woodpecker - we located several nests, some of which were quite close to the road, allowing photos to be taken without causing disturbance, despite our yellow car!|
|Red-throated Pipit - plenty about. The good-looking Spring males look especially picturesque among the yellow flowers on the flooded sheep fields|
|Yellow Wagtail - common. Mostly Black-headed feldegg birds|
|Nightingale - very common. In suitable habitat, at least one bird singing to every 10 yard patch of scrub!|
|Black-eared Wheatear - common, including both 'pale-throated' and 'black-throated' birds|
|New images added 2009 - Isabelline Wheatear - several located at the usual site in the west of the island|
|Ruppell's Warbler - plenty on the usual hillside near Molivos/Mythimna|
|Subalpine Warbler - numerous, but often frustratingly difficult to photograph! One bird finally gave itself up and was duly nailed|
|New images added 2009 - Olivaceous Warbler - plenty arriving towards the end of our stay in 2008, common throughout our trip in 2009|
|Kruper's Nuthatch - a pair showing very well excavating a nest hole near Achladeri|
|Western Rock Nuthatch - seen most days, several impressive looking nests located|
|Woodchat Shrike - pretty common|
|New images added 2009 - Masked Shrike - seen most days|
|New images added 2009 - Cretzschmar's Bunting - plenty about on rocky hillsides|
|Corn Bunting - very common|
|Cinereous Bunting - a few seen at sites such as the hillside above 'The Devil's Bridge' near Parakila|
|Other species - a few more shots -Short-toed Lark, Whiskered Tern and a striking Jay of the eastern race.|
|I visited Lesvos in mid-April 2008 with Bill Baston. We chose a date somewhat earlier than what most people consider the 'peak' time, but there was still plenty of birds about, and they could be enjoyed in relative peace (compared to later in the month when the Kalloni area is teeming with birders and tour groups!).
The undoubted highlight for us was finding a superb adult male Blue-cheeked Bee-eater between Kalloni East River and Kalloni Salt Pans. A few more of this scarce visitor were seen later in the month. The birding aside, it was a most enjoyable trip, due in part at least to our wonderful bright yellow Hyundai Atos hire car, which managed to get stuck in the mud twice, bottom-out on numerous occasions and scare birds off with it's garish colouring. If you hire a car on the island, avoid this one.
We were back again in 2009, a bit later in the season this time - and with an Atos of more sober colouration. The highlight on this trip was a male Rock Thrush found near Ipsilou monastery and various Little Bitterns in the ditches and waterside trees near Kalloni.
There are numerous Lesvos trip reports online, as well as the fine volume 'Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos' by Richard Brooks, so I haven't written a full diary with locations etc. If you'd like any more information about where the birds were seen etc, just email me.
Please click on the thumbnails below for the image galleries, enjoy!
|New 2009 - Black-headed Bunting - plenty about in 2009|
|New 2009 - Rock Thrush - a single male found and photographed near Ipsilou Monastery on 26th April|
|New 2009 - Black Stork - regularly seen around Kalloni|
|New 2009 - European Bee-eater - common|
|New 2009 - Hoopoe - several seen, photographed at a possible nest hole near Agra|
|New images added 2009 - Scops Owl - 2 roosting in the usual trees near Kalloni|
|New 2009 - Spotted Crake - one at Faneromeni ford|
|New 2009 - Spanish Sparrow - common|
|New 2009 - Ruddy Shelduck - a few seen, photographed at Palios|