TRIP REPORT LESVOS
14 -28 JUNE 2002
The main purpose of this trip was a family holiday with my wife and our two daughters, 11½ and 13 years old. But most of the early mornings, when the rest of the family was asleep, were set aside for birding, as well as some evenings and other odd times of the day.
First light at about 5:15 a.m., sunrise at 6:15 and sunset at 9:05 p.m.
We bought flight tickets from Apollo (a charter company) in Sweden with direct flight from Stockholm to Mitilini, the capital of the island. We left Stockholm on 14th June at 3:55 p.m. and arrived at Mitilini airport at 8:25 p.m., local time (which is GMT +3h at this time of the year). The cost was SEK 3698 per person (about 390) including meals on the flight.
We stayed in Skala Kallonis which is not only strategically situated in the middle of the island; it is also close to superb birding areas. We stayed the whole period at Hotel Malemi, run by George and Effy Kapsali in a familiar atmosphere. We pre-booked, via e-mail to email@example.com, a two-room apartment with kitchenette, refrigerator and air condition, at a cost of 78 per night, without meals. That apartment showed to be occupied when we arrived so we spent the first night in an apartment without air condition. The next day we moved into another apartment with refrigerator and air condition, at a cost of 90 per night, including breakfast buffet.
I have not seen any trip report from Lesvos at this time of the year, but June is hardly an optimal time of the year in a birding point of view. The spring migration is completely over and many of the breeding species have stopped singing and are therefore difficult to find. Although they are present and even more numerous than in the spring, due to many fledged young. Another thing is the heat, sometimes bearable, sometimes not, especially during daytime. On the other hand you can expect the weather to be settled.
We rented a car from Budget, a Hyundai Atos, delivered to the hotel where we also left it on our last day. The cost was 32 per day with full insurance and unlimited km. During the fortnight we drove about 1200 km without problems.
Apart from the hotels, the village of Skala Kallonis hosts several very nice restaurants. It’s of course a matter of taste, but I can’t resist the temptation to recommend one of them, ‘Fish Tavern Omimis’. The sign says ‘YAROTABERNA OMIMHS THL 22113’ and it’s situated at the square in Skala Kallonis. We give their moussaka 10½ on a 1-10 scale and as an extra attraction the famous pelican of the village, named Odysseus (‘because he travels a lot’); often come to visit the fish department in this tavern. The people in charge are very warm and generous.
The weather was settled during the whole stay. The atmospheric pressure varied between 1011 and 1014 hPa. The sky was clear throughout with the exceptions of the afternoons 18-21/6 and 27/6, when it was partly cloudy. No precipitation at all during the stay. A wind from north or north-east blew all the time, more or less, often 5-8 m/s. It was often gusty. During short periods it was calm, though. The humidity was low with few exceptions. The maximum temperature in the afternoon varied from 28° C to 35° C. The temperature did never go below 20° C, not even during night time.
Balmer, Dawn. 2001. Lesbos: an eastern Mediterranean hotspot. Sandgrouse 23 (1): 18-23.
Brooks, Richard. 1998. Birding on the Greek Island of Lesvos. Brookside Publishing. Fakenham, Norfolk. ISBN 0 9527249 2 8. This book is a must! It gives you invaluable descriptions of interesting sites to visit and also summarizes the knowledge of different species up to 1998.
Brooks, Richard. 1999. Lesvos update, spring ’99. Brookside Publishing. Fakenham, Norfolk. ISBN 0 9527249 3 6. Contains updated information and e.g. a description of a ‘new’ site: Napi Valley.
Brooks, Richard. 2000. Lesvos update, spring-summer 2000. Brookside Publishing. Fakenham, Norfolk. ISBN 0 9527249 4 4. You will find the description of the route to Napi Valley in this update as well.
Brooks, Richard. 2001. Lesvos update, spring-summer 2001. Brookside Publishing. Fakenham, Norfolk. ISBN 0 9527249 5 2. In this update I couldn’t find any description of Napi Valley, but a lot of other interesting things.
Handrinos, George & Triantaphyllos Akriotis. 1997. The Birds of Greece. Helm. London. ISBN 0-7136-3929-6. A valuable reference, but perhaps not essential to bring on the trip.
Svensson, Lars, Peter J. Grant, Killian Mullarney & Dan Zetterström. 1999. Fågelguiden. Europas och Medelhavsområdets fåglar i fält. Albert Bonniers Förlag. Stockholm. ISBN 91-34-51038-9. A field guide in Swedish, but there exists an English edition as well. An excellent field guide, but at this time of the year one could have used more descriptions of juvenile plumage, i.e. plumage before post-juvenile moult.
Lesvos. Road Map. Scale 1:75 000. Year of print: unknown. Freytag-Berndt, Vienna, Austria. ISBN? The best I found, bought in a souvenir shop in Skala Kallonis at the cost of 3.82, but some of the minor roads are incorrect shown or are not shown at all.
I also checked the Road Editions island map in a souvenir shop, but it seemed to be definitely not better than the one I used.
14th June (Friday).
We arrived at Mitilini airport at 8:25 p.m. It was dusk and we went by a pre-booked taxi (arranged by George at Malemi Hotel) straight to Skala Kallonis. The cost was 26 which we paid direct to the driver. George met us in the reception at 9:30 and showed us to the apartment. It turned out to be another apartment than we had booked, without air condition. The people, who stayed in the very apartment that we had pre-booked, had decided to stay a few more days. Although George promised us to arrange something else for us the next day. This apartment must have been closed for a while, since it was warm and stuffy. Before bedtime we had a taste of the famous, according to numerous trip reports, dinner buffet of the hotel. We also noticed that we had company in the apartment, a Turkish Gecko, who we gave a warm welcome since it’s a keen insect eater.
15th June (Saturday).
We slept with all doors and windows open, which meant that we heard the barking dogs and roaming donkeys in the vicinity extremely well. Before dawn we were woken up by numerous of Collared-doves and a huge colony of Spanish Sparrows in the garden. Soon after the first light I went for a walk on my own in the surroundings of Skala Kallonis. One of the first birds I saw was a Little Owl, perched on a pole near the road. When I tried to pass it on the road, I obviously came too close and it flew away to an olive grove nearby. Three species could almost immediately be labelled as ‘very common’; Eurasian Collared-dove, Crested Lark and House Sparrow. I moved on to the ‘Kalloni pool’ which had no visible water. When I approached the pool area I saw at least three Coots and six Black-winged Stilts flew alarming over me. I continued through the village of Skala Kallonis towards Tsiknias River (=’East River’). Along the road I noticed quite a few Black-headed Buntings. I also heard a couple of singing Corn Buntings and saw a Bee-eater. Another Little Owl sat in a chimney. At the river mouth there was a Grey Heron, a couple of Little Terns and some Common Terns. Yellow-legged Gulls seemed to be numerous. A flock of 21 Flamingos flew westwards off the river mouth. At the fields just west of the river mouth there were two singing Greater Short-toed Larks. I finished my walk via the village of Papiana where I saw a White Stork on its nest on a church roof, and near the Malemi Hotel I saw a Eurasian Jay of the G. g. anatoliae subspecies, perched surprisingly open on a wire. I was back at Malemi at 8.30 for breakfast, where we saw a Black Stork soaring above the hotel garden. In the garden there is a very small pond, not more than five meters cross over. There I suddenly discovered a juvenile Little Grebe. I can’t imagine that the bird had found the pond by itself, but it was certainly trapped there since it should need a starting run to fly. Although it was skilled to hide for the bathing dogs! These two dogs, one boxer and one Alsatian, were running loose from time to time and this was really the only minus on this hotel. This day we moved to another apartment in the hotel, on the second floor in the main building, with refrigerator and air condition. In the evening the rental car arrived, that George had booked for us.
16th June (Sunday).
An early morning, from 5:30 a.m., drive on my own to Kalloni salt pans. At the lower ford at Tsiknias River a Great Reed Warbler sang from a reed-bed. Two different Little Owls and a Black Stork were seen there as well. At the salt pans I roughly counted the Flamingos to 75 where after I moved on to the fields beyond the pans. There I saw three Stone-curlews and Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins feeding young on at least three different spots. At the salt pans, including the surrounding channel, I saw plenty of Pied Avocets and Black-winged Stilts, including downy young. One could also mention two Black Storks, one Grey Heron, two Common Shelducks and breeding Red-rumped Swallows at a bridge. I also noticed Little Ringed Plover and Kentish Plover and at least ten Little Terns as well as three Whiskered Terns. A few Bee-eaters were seen there as well. After that I moved on to a wetland just south of Messa. It’s used to be called ‘Derbyshire’, for some inconceivable reason. The wetland is readily seen from the road, a few hundred meters after the turn-off to Ahladeri. It turned out to be at really nice spot with two Black Storks, one Little Egret in breeding plumage and two Ruddy Shelducks. From the surrounding woods I heard a singing Turtle Dove and at the marshes towards the sea a Yellow Wagtail of the subspecies M. f. feldegg sang and gave good views. Suddenly, and surprisingly, a Western Rock Nuthatch flew by and perched on a little rock close to me. Back at the hotel for breakfast and the rest of the day was set aside for the beach, pool and other touristy things.
17th June (Monday).
This morning I got up already at 5:00, because this day I had planned to search for Krüper’s Nuthatch in the pine woods some distance away. I parked at the road junction near Mikri Limni (=small lake) and started a slow walk in the surroundings. Fire guards were posted at the junction and after a while one of them came on a motorcycle towards me, shouting, obviously wondering what I was doing there. But he turned immediately around and said ‘OK’, when he saw my binoculars. I couldn’t see any water in the lake but I heard a Moorhen from it and I also flushed two Black Storks and two Grey Herons. The pine forest was very quiet, apart from numerous Collared-doves, and I only noticed a calling Song Thrush, one singing Coal Tit, two calling Short-toed Tree-creepers, a few Serins and a male Woodchat Shrike feeding a young. I moved back to a site north of Pyrra, described as a reliable place for Krüper’s Nuthatch. By the road I saw a Common Buzzard and a Rock Dove. Near a little chapel I saw and heard singing a Common Whitethroat. While at the ‘Krüper-site’ I heard a ‘strange sound’ already after a few minutes. Suddenly I saw an adult Krüper’s Nuthatch and an apparently young ditto, with duskier under part, at close range. At this spot I also saw a Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatchers (adult feeding young), two Short-toed Tree-creepers and a Cirl Bunting. One singing Hoopoe was also heard. A stop on the way back at the marshes of Messa I saw nine Little Egrets, one Black Stork, two Mute Swans, two Common Shelducks, Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern Wheatear and Black-eared Wheatear. A Western Rock Nuthatch (the one from yesterday?) was found dead on the road. So far this morning 3-4 Turtle Doves were heard. On the way back to Skala Kallonis I stopped briefly at the salt pans and counted some 110 Flamingos and 60 Pied Avocets in only one of the pans. Also a female Common Shelduck was there. Above the pans came a Short-toed Snake-eagle with a snake in its beak. The main part of the day was spent at the beach, apart from a short trip in the afternoon to ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ where I and my daughter (11½) saw a Black Stork and a Muscovy Duck Cairina moschata (Linnaeus 1758), the latter apparently domestic. And, of course, there were lots of European Pond Terrapins Emys orbicularis (Linnaeus 1758), the main target this afternoon. Just outside Malemi Hotel I unintentionally killed, or at least seriously injured, a snake with my car. Later during the day another hooligan killed a Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilineata Bedriaga 1886 at the same spot. After dark, on our way back to our hotel from Skala Kallonis centre, we saw two Common Coots, walking on the road close to Kalloni Pool, obviously seeking for another place to stay since this pool was drying up. Also one terrapin was on the move.
18th June (Tuesday).
No alarm clock this morning, but a family trip after breakfast to Mithimna and surroundings. We visited of course the castle of Mithimna where we also had lunch, the usual horiatiki (Greek salad). There we saw a male Common Kestrel and just east of Mithimna a female Honey Buzzard. I searched every cavity I could find in the castle for owls, but I didn’t see any sign of such. We went by the coastal road towards Loutra Evthalous and at one stop we saw a Middle Spotted Woodpecker, a male Black-eared Wheatear and a pair of Masked Shrike. A visit in the afternoon to Kalloni salt pans gave e.g. 80 Pied Avocets (pulli excluded), 18 adult Whiskered Terns, 1 adult Black Tern and a Common Redshank. Also four brooding Little Terns on a little sandbar in one of the pans.
19th June (Wednesday).
This morning the alarm clock was set already at 4.30, because today I wanted to visit the grounds of the Cinereous Bunting between Agra and Mesotopos in the very dawn. At a short stop near Parakila, well before dawn, I heard a humming Nightjar. Further on the road I saw five more Nightjars, two of them sitting on the tarmac road. How early you get up, don’t expect to be on your own. It seems there’s always to be people moving around, riding on donkeys, going by cars, and so on. I made several stops on the road between Agra and Mesotopos but heard and saw nothing but Western Rock Nuthatches. But after a while I heard the first Cinereous Bunting singing, but I could not find it. After one more hour and a few more stops I had heard at least six singing males and at one spot I saw a pair and a couple of juveniles. At a derelict sheep house (?) there was a noisy party of nine Rock Sparrows and one Linnet. There after I went to the coast at Tavari, where I saw a Bee-eater and a Little Owl. Off the beach I saw in only a few minutes some 150 Yelkouan Shearwaters and two Cory’s Shearwater passing to the west at a close range. A short detour to Kroussos gave 100 more Yelkouan Shearwaters and three Cory’s. At Kroussos I also saw my first two Sombre Tits. On the way back I saw a Hoopoe in Agra. A short stop in the Potamia River Valley revealed two Common Buzzards and a male Sardinian Warbler with food in its beak. In the afternoon I took a short trip via the salt pans, where I saw two Short-toed Snake-eagles, just to find the way to the valley north of Napi. My plan was to visit this place early the next morning to hopefully find an Olive-tree Warbler. One surprise this afternoon was an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull together with numerous Yellow-legged Gulls in the valley.
20th June (Thursday).
Just after the first light I stepped out of the car, exactly on the spot where several people claim to have both seen and heard Olive-tree Warbler earlier this year. Suddenly I heard an unfamiliar song with a harsh tone. Could that be the one? I tiptoed towards the origin of the song and found out that it came from a Masked Shrike. Twice more this morning Masked Shrikes made me think ‘Olive-tree Warbler’, but no! The valley though turned out to be a very nice spot and I could enjoy myself with a lot of good birds. Among them I can mention Turtle Dove (2 singing and 1 seen), Little Owl, Hoopoe (1+1 seen), Middle Spotted Woodpecker (altogether 4 different individuals), Subalpine Warbler (2 males seen), Orphean Warbler (1 seen), Sombre Tit (2+2+1), Western Rock Nuthatch (common), Masked Shrike (3 singing and several seen) and Cretzschmar’s Bunting (2 singing and several seen). At Kalloni salt pans I tried the track on the east side of the pans and it proved to be good at this time of the day with the sun behind you. Among the usual birds I could mention a gathering of 18 Common Redshanks and three Marsh Sandpipers. In the evening, before we went to Skala Kallonis for dinner, we took a short tour to the salt pans and all family members were able to see Stone-curlew and a Greater Short-toed Lark singing in its characteristic song flight. The usual lingering at dusk in the square in Skala Kallonis gave no Barn Owl – as usual.
21st June (Friday).
This day was set aside for a family trip to the western part of the island, in particular to the Petrified Forest. We went by Filia, Skalohori and Vatousa. Somewhere between Vatousa and Andissa I saw a couple of Crag Martins at a possible breeding site and a short while after (west of) Andissa there were two Peregrine Falcons, one chasing the other, besides the road. At the entrance to the Petrified Forest we saw a Little Owl and an Isabelline Wheatear. We had lunch, the usual horiatiki, in Sigri, where we saw a female Kestrel, probably of the Common species. On the way back we went to the monastery of Ipsilou, which was very quiet in all senses, perhaps with the exception of the narrow and steep road. A new-built, more reasonable road was closed! The only bird to make mention of from there is a female Kestrel, again most probably a Common Kestrel. The way back via Skala Eresou and Agra produced a single Short-toed Snake-eagle and a total of three Ravens.
22nd June (Saturday).
Another early morning in the valley north of Napi, but no Olive-tree Warbler this time either. Although a nice morning with Turtle Dove (2 singing and 1 seen), Bee-eater, Middle Spotted Woodpecker (1+1+1), Subalpine Warbler (female) and Sombre Tit (2). After a couple of hours I went to the Potamia River valley, where an Olive-tree Warbler was heard at least in mid May this year. But I heard none. The valley was rather quiet, but I could mention a Nightingale with alarm call, a Sombre Tit and a singing Cetti’s Warbler. The river itself, just north of the main road bridge, held some standing water and turned out to be a nice spot. Broods of Little Grebe, Common Moorhen and Common Coot were seen as well as a Black Stork and a White Stork. Also a few waders were seen there, such as Little Ringed Plover (breeding?), Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper. Three Yellow Wagtails were also present, one adult male M. f. feldegg and two juveniles.
23rd June (Sunday).
Today I went for an early morning trip to the north east part of the island. First I made a few stops along the road between Petra and Mithimna. One Peregrine Falcon was perched on a rock and on the slopes above the road I eventually found a female Rüppell’s Warbler with two young. There were also some Linnets, one of them singing, a Subalpine Warbler and a Middle Spotted Woodpecker. On and above an island off Petra, named Ag. Georgios Petras, I saw at least ten Jackdaws, six Shags and at least one hundred Alpine Swifts. Four Pallid Swifts flew by. After that it was time for a visit to Petra dam. The perhaps most remarkable there, was four White Wagtails (1 ad. + 3 juv.), about ten drinking Alpine Swifts, an adult Little Grebe and four adult Little Ringed Plovers. The road to Skala Sikamineas was rough but the scenery made it worth driving. On that distance I heard eight Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. Near Klio I discovered a nice pool close to the road. It revealed nothing in particular, but when I had stared for a while through my binoculars, I came aware of that I was in the immediate vicinity of a military camp. One man in uniform marched towards me and the guard glanced nervously, sometimes at me, sometimes at his marching colleague (probably a superior). Well, I didn’t had time gossiping with them, so I gave them a smile and went off. I guess ‘surprised’ is the word. Close to Pelopi, perhaps best known as being the home town of an American president wannabe, Michael Dukakis, I saw a Common Buzzard. Somewhere between Pelopi and Ipsilometopo, on the north side of the road, at a conspicuous rock, I saw some ten Crag Martins and a few nests and also a male Blue Rock Thrush. Just west of Ipsilometopo I saw the first Long-legged Buzzard on this trip, a juvenile light morph. At a convenient lay-by, west of Stipsi, I heard a party of Long-tailed Tits from an oak and eventually I also saw two of them, Ae. c. tephronotus. I finalized the day at Potamia River where I saw the usual birds, and also the second Long-legged Buzzard, an adult intermediate morph.
24th June (Monday).
Today we made a family trip towards south west and had lunch in Skala Polihnitou. On the way we saw two Common Buzzards near Vasilika, a White Stork at nest in Polihnitos and a Honey Buzzard (ad. male) just south-east of Skala Polihnitou. After some difficulties and a detour, we eventually found the salt pans just outside Skala Polihnitou. It turned out to be rather dull, at least no Flamingos. We noticed a Grey Heron, a Little Egret, two White Storks, a few Bee-eaters and a Kentish Plover played injured. This day was the hottest so far on our trip, +35° C, but after I put down my family at the hotel, I went to Kalloni salt pans. Besides the usual birds I also had some new ones; two White-winged Black Terns, adults moulting their heads, two Marsh Sandpipers and a female Western Marsh-harrier. The most notable at ‘Derbyshire’ today, was seven Ruddy Shelducks. Also the usual at Potamia River, but this time I saw four juvenile Yellow Wagtails. After dusk, and after another fruitless walk around the square of Skala Kallonis, I went by car to listen for owls and nightjars or what ever. It was an extraordinary hot evening and a thermometer in Kalloni showed +31° C at 11.00 p.m. At the school in Papiana a Scops Owl called a few times. I went in a slow mode along the tarmac road west of the salt pans and the amount of insects seen in the light of the headlights of the car was tremendous. Nothing but some noisy insects was heard, and of course some alarming Black-winged Stilts.
25th June (Tuesday).
An early morning trip on my own to the Potamia River Valley, of course searching for Olive-tree Warbler. Negative. Noteworthy birds were three singing Turtle Doves, a Bee-eater, a Crag Martin near a possible breeding site and a singing Short-toed Treecreeper in an olive grove. At Kalloni Inland Lake I saw three Night-herons (1 ad. + 2 imm.), four Black Storks and I also heard a singing Reed Warbler. I also met two English birders, who gave me useful information on where to find Barn Owl and Scops Owl. I tried the Scops Owl tip already later this day, but I dipped. There should be a roost in a Eucalyptus tree just north of Kalloni on the Petra road. Barn Owl was said to breed behind the school in Skala Kallonis, so of course I lingered around there for a while after dusk, but without positive result.
26th June (Wednesday).
This morning my plan was to go to Apothikes and there find somebody who could take me by boat to the island of Garbias in the mouth of Kolpos Kallonis. Before I left Skala Kallonis in the first light, I checked the chimneys behind the school and, yes, a Barn Owl sat in one of them. I could see the upper half of its face through my binoculars for about two seconds, and then it dropped down in the chimney. I’m sure the face was pure white, which should exclude the possibility of Tyto alba guttata. But if it was T. a. alba or T. a. erlangeri was impossible to say. Thanks to Ann and Martin! Well, back to Garbias. When I approached Apothikes and had a good view of the sea, I saw it was quite windy so I changed my plans. Instead I went to a cape called A. Plati, close to Makara. From there one can have rather good views of Garbias, although the distance is a little bit more than one kilometre and the light is really good only the first hour after sunrise. And, of course, you can’t view the south side of the island which probably is a big disadvantage since it’s shelter there from the fresh northerly breeze. I took shelter behind the car and mounted up my telescope (zoom 20-60x). Besides the more expected species, the many Yellow-legged Gulls and about 30 Shags, I saw at least ten Kestrels flying around on the other side of the island. At one moment I saw ten birds at the same time, but most often not more than one or two at the same time. At two single occasions I saw a male Lesser Kestrel, but the rest must remain unidentified for sure. But I don’t think it’s too risky to presume that all of them were Lesser Kestrels. After a little while I also saw an Eleonora’s Falcon, light morph, leaving the island. At least 100 Alpine Swifts swarmed over the island and there were also some Rock Doves (c. 10) and Jackdaws (7) present. A little bit further out at sea there were flocks of Yelkouan Shearwaters flying more or less continuously to the west. I counted the passage a few times and the span was 2 to 68 birds per minute, with an average of 24 birds/min. During my stay, about one hour and a half, there must have passed more than 2,000 Yelkouan Shearwaters. On the way back I checked the Kalloni salt pans briefly and eight Common Shelducks, a Spotted Redshank and an adult Gull-billed Tern could be mentioned. The rest of the day was spent at the pool, where a Hoopoe flew by.
27th June (Thursday).
Late morning! From the balcony (!) I saw an Eleonora’s Falcon (dark morph) passing to the east. A middle of the day trip to Potamia River and Kalloni Inland Lake didn’t give much. Though could be mentioned two Great Reed Warblers, one chasing the other, at the latter spot. The Kalloni salt pans were apparently more productive. Not high numbers, but something seems to change from day to day. New today were two adult Mediterranean Gulls, a Greenshank and an adult Black Tern in moult. At ‘Derbyshire’ I could count to five Ruddy Shelducks and from the junction I saw a party of eight storks feeding in the river, one White Stork and seven Black Storks.
28th June (Friday).
Our last day on Lesvos and I took the opportunity to go birding a couple of hours for the last time on this trip. I started at dawn at Kalloni Inland Lake, where I saw six Black-crowned Night-herons (3 ad. + 3 imm.). Next I went to the track east of Kalloni salt pans. I tried to move slowly with the windows down in purpose to listen for Zitting Cisticola. But it was impossible because of all blood-thirsty insects, especially the horseflies. From this part of the salt pans I can mention eight Little Egrets, six Greater Flamingos (the first ones for ten days), ten Common Redshanks, a pair of Common Shelduck with eight downy young and, new for the trip, and a Eurasian Curlew. At ‘Derbyshire’ there were altogether eleven Black Storks and twelve Ruddy Shelducks. On the west and south side of the salt pans I saw three Marsh Sandpipers and two Black Storks. At the fields east of the pans there was a Stone-curlew and a singing Greater Short-toed Lark. At a top of a bush just inside the fence a Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin sang and gave good views. The Black-headed Gull totalled today with 54 at the salt pans, the highest count I had during two weeks. This morning I could also summarize impressive 15 Black Storks.
Annotated species list
I follow the systematics adopted by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliot & Jordi Sargatal. 1992-2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. I – VII. Lynx Ediciones. Barcelona.
Stanley Cramp & C. M. Perrins. 1988-1994. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Vol. V – IX. Oxford University Press. Oxford.
Abbreviations and symbols
ad. = adult, adults
juv. = juvenile, juveniles
imm. = immature, immatures
? = male
? = female
Little Grebe / Smådopping / Tachybaptus r. ruficollis (Pallas 1764).
1 juv. seen in a very small pond in the garden of Malemi Hotel in Skala Kallonis 15/6 and 19-21/6; 4 juv. at Potamia River 22/6 and 24/6; 1 ad. at Petra dam 23/6; 1 ad. + 2 juv. at Potamia River 25/6; 1 juv. at Potamia River 27/6; 4 juv. at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 27/6; 6 juv. at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 28/6.
Cory’s Shearwater / Gulnäbbad lira / Calonectris d. diomedea (Scopoli 1769).
2 at sea off Tavari 19/6; 3 at sea off Kroussos 19/6.
Yelkouan Shearwater / Medelhavslira / Puffinus y. yelkouan (Acerbi 1827).
C. 150 flying west off Tavari 19/6; c. 100 flying west off Kroussos 19/6; more than 2 000 flying west off Garbias during 1½ hours in the morning 26/6.
European Shag / Toppskarv / Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii (Payraudeau 1826).
6 at Ag. Georgios Petras 23/6; c. 30 (both adults and juveniles/immatures) at Garbias 26/6.
Grey Heron / Gråhäger / Ardea c. cinerea Linnaeus 1758.
Seen at every visit to Kalloni salt pans and ‘Derbyshire’ with high count of 7 at the salt pans 26/6 and 6 at ‘Derbyshire’ 16/6. Moreover: 1 at Tsiknias River mouth 15/6; 2 at Mikri Limni 17/6; 2 at Potamia River 23/6; 1 at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6; 1 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 28/6.
Little Egret / Silkeshäger / Egretta g. garzetta (Linnaeus 1766).
1 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 16/6; 9 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 1 at Kalloni salt pans 20/6; 1 ad. at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6; 8 at Kalloni salt pans 28/6.
Black-crowned Night-heron / Natthäger / Nycticorax n. nycticorax (Linnaeus 1758).
1 ad. + 2 imm. ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 25/6; 3 ad. + 3 imm. ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 28/6.
Black Stork / Svart stork / Ciconia nigra (Linnaeus 1758).
Seen almost daily in the vicinity of Skala Kallonis. The most remote sighting was at Mikri Limni. Most of the birds seen were apparently adults, but a few were obviously younger than the rest, because their plumage was more brownish black than glossy black, and the legs and bill wasn’t as bright red as the others. High count was 11 at ‘Derbyshire’ 28/6 and altogether 15 individuals seen that day. Sightings: 1 soaring above Malemi Hotel 15/6; 1 ad. at Tsiknias River 16/6; 2 at Kalloni salt pans 16/6; 2 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 16/6; 1 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 2 ad. at Mikri Limni 17/6; 1 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 17/6; 1 (2nd year?) at Potamia River 22/6; 1 at Kalloni salt pans 22/6; 1 ad. at Potamia River 23/6; 4 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 25/6; 2 at Kalloni salt pans 27/6; 7 at ‘Derbyshire’ River 27/6; 2 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 28/6; 11 at ‘Derbyshire’ 28/6; 2 at Kalloni salt pans 28/6.
European White Stork / Vit stork / Ciconia c. ciconia (Linnaeus 1758).
Single occupied nests in Papiana and Polihnitos (24/6). Singles seen feeding frequently at different spots in the Kalloni area, almost every day, e.g. at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’. 2 ad. at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6.
Greater Flamingo / Större Flamingo/ Phoenicopterus ruber roseus Pallas 1811.
Seen at Kalloni salt pans 15-18/6, with high count c. 110 17/6; 21 flying westwards off Skala Kallonis 15/6; 6 (presumably 1 ad. and 5 subad.) back at Kalloni salt pans 28/6. None was seen at Kalloni salt pans 19-27/6, neither at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6.
Mute Swan / Knölsvan / Cygnus olor (Gmelin 1789). 2 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 16-28/6.
Ruddy Shelduck / Rostand / Tadorna ferruginea (Pallas 1764). Only seen at ‘Derbyshire’: 2 on 16/6, 7 on 24/6, 5 on 27/6 and 12 on 28/6.
Common Shelduck / Gravand / Tadorna tadorna (Linnaeus 1758).
2 females at Kalloni salt pans 16/6; 2 ad. at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 1 female at Kalloni salt pans 17/6; 2 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 18/6; 3 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 20/6; 8 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 26/6; 1 male, 1 female and 8 large pulli at Kalloni salt pans 28/6.
Western Honey Buzzard / Bivråk / Pernis apivorus (Linnaeus 1758).
Two sightings: 1 ad. ? at Ag. Georgios (just east of Mithimna) 18/6; 1 ad. ? just south-east of Skala Polihnitou 24/6.
Short-toed Snake-eagle / Ormörn / Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin 1788).
Three sightings: 1 ad. with a snake in its beak just south of Kalloni salt pans 17/6; 1 ad. + 1 another individual above Kalloni salt pans 19/6; 1 ad. at Portos (north-east of Skala Eresou) 21/6.
Western Marsh-harrier / Brun kärrhök / Circus ae. aeruginosus (Linnaeus 1758).
1 ? at Kalloni salt pans 24/6.
Eurasian Buzzard / Ormvråk / Buteo b. buteo (Linnaeus 1758).
Five sightings: 1 ad. at Ahladeri 17/6; 2 at Potamia River Valley 19/6; 1 at Potamia River Valley 22/6; 1 near Klio 23/6; 2 near Vasilika 24/6.
Long-legged Buzzard / Örnvråk / Buteo r. rufinus (Cretzschmar 1827).
Two sightings: 1 juv. (light morph) west of Ipsilometopo 23/6; 1 ad. (intermediate morph) at Potamia River Valley 23/6.
Lesser Kestrel / Rödfalk / Falco naumanni Fleischer 1818.
At least 10 were flying around Garbias 26/6. One, possibly two, was identified as a male of this species and the others are presumed to be this species.
Common Kestrel / Tornfalk / Falco t. tinnunculus Linnaeus 1758.
1 ? in Mithimna 18/6; 1 ? at Ipsilou 21/6; 1 ? at Sigri 21/6. Concerning the females, F. naumanni is not totally out of the question.
Eleonora’s Falcon / Eleonorafalk / Falco eleonorae Gené 1839.
1 (light morph) at Garbias 26/6; 1 (dark morph) passing Malemi Hotel in Skala Kallonis 27/6.
Peregrine Falcon / Pilgrimsfalk / Falco peregrinus brookei Sharpe 1873.
1 ad. chased by another (juv. ?) between Andissa and Ipsilou 21/6; 1 perched on a rock just south of Mithimna 23/6.
Common Moorhen / Rörhöna / Gallinula ch. chloropus (Linnaeus 1758).
Heard from Mikri Limni 17/6; 1 ad. + 3 juv. at Potamia River 22/6; 2 juv. Potamia River 23/6; 1 ad. + 6 juv. Potamia River 24/6; 2 ad. + several juveniles at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 27/6.
Common Coot / Sothöna / Fulica a. atra Linnaeus 1758. At least 3 ad. at Kalloni Pool 15/6; 2 ad. at Kalloni Pool 17/6 (walking on the road at night!); 3 ad. at Tsiknias River 18/6; 2 ad. at Tsiknias River 20/6; 3 ad. + 8 juv. at Potamia River 22/6; 4 ad. + 8 juv. at Potamia River 23/6; 7 ad. + several juveniles at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 27/6.
Black-winged Stilt / Styltlöpare / Himantopus h. himantopus (Linnaeus 1758).
Common at Kalloni salt pans, where several juveniles and pulli were seen. Also seen regularly at ‘Kalloni pool’ (6 with alarm call 15/6), ‘West River’, Potamia River and ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’. Perhaps incomplete notes, but I have no counts.
Pied Avocet / Skärfläcka / Recurvirostra avosetta Linnaeus 1758.
Only seen at Kalloni salt pans, where it was numerous. High count was 80 adults and several pulli 18/6, but I believe it could be considerable more, since the pans aren’t too easy to survey.
Stone-curlew / Tjockfot / Burhinus oedicnemus saharae (Reichenow 1894).
Seen in the fields east of Kalloni salt pans with 2-3 ad. 16/6, 20/6 and 28/6.
Little Ringed Plover / Mindre strandpipare / Charadrius dubius curonicus Gmelin 1789.
Seen in one or twos (adults) at Kalloni salt pans. Also seen at ‘West River’ (1 16/6), Potamia River (at most 4 adults 23/6) and Petra dam (4 ad. 23/6).
Kentish Plover / Svartbent strandpipare / Charadrius a. alexandrinus Linnaeus 1758.
Several pairs seem to breed at Kalloni salt pans where a few birds were seen on every visit. Also 1 ad. at ‘West River’ 16/6 and 1 ad. playing injured at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6.
Spotted Redshank / Svartsnäppa / Tringa erythropus (Pallas 1764).
1 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 26-28/6.
Common Redshank / Rödbena / Tringa t. totanus (Linnaeus 1758).
Only seen at Kalloni salt pans 18/6, 20/6, 24/6 and 26-28/6. High counts were 18 on 20/6 and 11 on 28/6. All birds of known age were adults.
Marsh Sandpiper / Dammsnäppa / Tringa stagnatilis (Bechstein 1803).
3 at Kalloni salt pans 20/6; 2 at Kalloni salt pans 24/6; 3 at Kalloni salt pans 28/6.
Common Greenshank / Gluttsnäppa / Tringa nebularia (Gunnerus 1767).
1 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 27/6.
Green Sandpiper / Skogssnäppa / Tringa ochropus Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Potamia River 22/6; 2 at Potamia River 24/6; 1 at Potamia River 25/6; 2 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 28/6.
Wood Sandpiper / Grönbena / Tringa glareola Linnaeus 1758.
1 at Kalloni salt pans 20/6; 3 at Kalloni salt pans 26/6; 1 at Kalloni salt pans 27/6.
Common Sandpiper / Drillsnäppa / Actitis hypoleucos (Linnaeus 1758).
2 at Potamia River 22/6; 1 ad. at Petra dam 23/6; 1 at Potamia River 24/6; 2 at Potamia River 25/6; 1 at Kalloni salt pans 26/6; 1 at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 27/6 and 28/6; 2 at Kalloni salt pans 28/6; 2 at Tsiknias River mouth 28/6.
Yellow-legged Gull / ‘Kaspisk trut’ / Larus cachinnans michahellis J. F. Naumann 1840.
Common throughout with large roosts at Petra Dam and ‘New Reservoir’ (west of Kalloni).
Lesser Black-backed Gull / Silltrut / Larus f. fuscus Linnaeus 1758.
1 ad. with a party of Yellow-legged Gull flying north-east, north of Napi 19/6.
Common Black-headed Gull / Skrattmås / Larus ridibundus Linnaeus 1766.
Seen at Kalloni salt pans 18/6, 24/6 and 26-28/6. High count was 54, both adults and immatures (2nd year individuals), on 28/6. 3 at Tsiknias River mouth 28/6.
Mediterranean Gull / Svarthuvad mås/ Larus melanocephalus Temminck 1820.
2 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 27/6.
Gull-billed Tern / Sandtärna / Gelochelidon n. nilotica (Gmelin 1789).
1 ad. at Kalloni salt pans 26/6.
Common Tern / Fisktärna / Sterna h. hirundo Linnaeus 1758.
Common both at Skala Kallonis and Kalloni salt pans. A few birds were also seen fishing in Tsiknias River and at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’.
Little Tern / Småtärna / Sterna a. albifrons Pallas 1764.
Rather common at Kalloni salt pans, where several pairs breed. On one single sandbar in one of the pans I could see four brooding terns on nests. Singles feeding at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ where seen 25/6 and 28/6.
Whiskered Tern / Skäggtärna / Chlidonias h. hybridus (Pallas 1811).
Only seen at Kalloni salt pans: 3 ad. 16/6; 18 ad. 18/6; 3 ad. 24/6; 2 ad. 27/6.
White-winged Black Tern / Vitvingad tärna / Chlidonias leucopterus (Temminck 1815).
2 ad., both of them in body moult, at Kalloni salt pans 24/6.
Black Tern / Svarttärna / Chlidonias n. niger (Linnaeus 1758).
1 ad., obviously not in moult, at Kalloni salt pans 18/6. 1 ad., in body moult, Kalloni salt pans 27/6.
Rock Dove / Klippduva / Columba l. livia J. F. Gmelin 1789.
1, together with a feral individual, between Pyrra and Messa 17/6; c. 10 at Garbias 26/6; 3 near Messa 28/6.
European Turtle Dove / Turturduva / Streptopelia t. turtur (Linnaeus 1758).
1 singing near ‘Derbyshire’ 16/6; 3-4 singing between Mikri Limni and Ahladeri 17/6; 1 singing at Loutra Evthalous 18/6; 2 singing and another seen north of Napi both 20/6 and 22/6; 1 singing at Potamia River Valley 22/6 and 3 singing there 25/6; 1 singing at Petra dam 23/6.
Eurasian Collared-dove / Turkduva / Streptopelia d. decaocto (Frivaldszky 1838).
Very common, and several heard singing even in apparently pure pine forest near Mikri Limni 17/6.
Common Barn-owl / Tornuggla / Tyto a. alba (Scopoli 1769).
1 inside a chimney behind the school in Skala Kallonis, early in the morning 26/6. The upper half of its face was visible through my binoculars for about two seconds! At least I could exclude T. a. guttata (C. L. Brehm 1831) as a possible subspecies, but certainly not T. a. erlangeri W. L. Sclater 1921!
Eurasian Scops-owl / Dvärguv / Otus scops cycladum (Tschusi 1904).
1 heard a few times at the school in Papiana 24/6, at about 11:00 pm.
Little Owl / Minervauggla / Athene noctua indigena C. L. Brehm 1855.
Eight sightings: 1+1 in Skala Kallonis 15/6; 1+1 in Skala Kallonis 16/6 (different sites than previous day); 1 at Tavari 19/6; 1 north of Napi 20/6; 1 at the Petrified forest 21/6; 1 at Kalloni Pool 25/6.
European Nightjar / Nattskärra / Caprimulgus europaeus meridionalis Hartert 1896.
1 heard singing near Potamia River, early (c. 4.15 a.m.) in the morning 19/6; 2+1+2 seen before dawn 19/6 along the road from Skala Kallonis to Parakila, two of them were sitting on the tarmac road.
Alpine Swift / Alpseglare / Tachymarptis m. melba (Linnaeus 1758).
At least 100 around N. Ag. Georgios Petras 23/6; c. 10 came to drink at Petra Dam 23/6; at least 100 around N. Garbias 26/6.
Common Swift / Tornseglare / Apus a. apus (Linnaeus 1758).
Pallid Swift / Blek tornseglare / Apus pallidus brehmorum Hartert 1901.
4 heading north between Petra and Mithimna 23/6.
European Bee-eater / Biätare / Merops apiaster Linnaeus 1758.
Seen at every visit to Kalloni salt pans with high count of at least 22 on 28/6. Other sightings: 1 at Tsiknias River 15/6; 1 at Tavari 19/6; 1 north of Napi 22/6; 1 at Potamia River 22/6; 1 at Skala Polihnitou salt pans 24/6; 1 at Potamia River Valley 25/6.
Eurasian Hoopoe / Härfågel / Upupa e. epops Linnaeus 1758.
Five sightings: 1 heard near Pyrra 17/6; 1 seen at Agra 19/6; 1+1 seen just north of Napi 20/6; 1 seen at Malemi Hotel in Skala Kallonis 26/6.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker / Mellanspett / Dendrocopos medius anatoliae (Hartert 1912).
1 at Pyrra 17/6; 1 at Loutra Evthalous 19/6; 4 north of Napi 20/6; 3 north of Napi 22/6; 1 at Potamia River 22/6; 1 between Petra and Mithimna 23/6; altogether 8 between Mithimna and Skala Sikamineas 23/6. Most of the birds were only heard, a few were seen, but none very well.
Greater Short-toed Lark / Korttålärka / Calandrella b. brachydactyla (Leisler 1814).
2 singing just west of Tsiknias River mouth 15/6; 1 at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 1 singing at the fields east of Kalloni salt pans 20/6 and 28/6.
Crested Lark / Tofslärka / Galerida cristata caucasica Taczanowski 1887.
Eurasian Crag Martin / Klippsvala / Ptyonoprogne rupestris (Scopoli 1769).
2 at a cliff (possible breeding site) between Vatousa and Andissa 21/6; c. 10 and some occupied nests at a cliff between Pelopi and Ipsilometopo 23/6; 1 at a cliff north of Potamia River (possible breeding site) 25/6.
Barn Swallow / Ladusvala / Hirundo r. rustica Linnaeus 1758.
Common. Young fledged at Malemi Hotel during our stay.
Red-rumped Swallow / Rostgumpsvala / Hirundo daurica rufula Temminck 1835.
Incomplete notes, unfortunately, but a few breeding pairs under a bridge at Kalloni salt pans were seen and 2 individuals north of Napi 20/6.
Common House Martin / Hussvala / Delichon u. urbica (Linnaeus 1758).
Common and seen daily, but I have no notes.
Yellow Wagtail / Gulärla / Motacilla flava feldegg Michahelles 1830.
1 male singing at ‘Derbyshire’ 16/6; heard at Kalloni salt pans 18/6, 20/6 (song) and 28/6; 1 male at Potamia River 22/6 and 24/6, up to 4 juveniles there 22-24/6.
White Wagtail / Sädesärla / Motacilla a. alba Linnaeus 1758.
1 ad. + 3 juv. at Petra dam 23/6.
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin / Trädnäktergal / Cercotrichas galactotes syriacus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1833).
Only seen at Kalloni salt pans and at the fields east of them: 3 territories with feeding birds 16/6; 1 seen 20/6; 1 singing 28/6.
Common Nightingale / Sydnäktergal / Luscinia m. megarhynchos C. L. Brehm 1831.
1 with alarm call in Potamia River Valley 22/6.
Isabelline Wheatear / Isabellastenskvätta / Oenanthe isabellina (Temminck 1829).
1 ad. at the Petrified forest 21/6.
Northern Wheatear / Stenskvätta / Oenanthe oenanthe libanotica (Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1833).
My notes are very incomplete indeed: 1 ad. male at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 1 juv. north of Napi 20/6.
Black-eared Wheatear / Medelhavsstenskvätta / Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca (Güldenstädt 1775).
1 male at ‘Derbyshire’ 17/6; 1 male at Loutra Evthalous 18/6. Both were black-throated. Many sightings of wheatears, but most often too short glimpses to be sure of the species.
Blue Rock Thrush / Blåtrast / Monticola s. solitarius (Linnaeus 1758).
1 ad. ? at a cliff between Pelopi and Ipsilometopo 23/6.
Common Blackbird / Koltrast / Turdus merula aterrimus (Madarász 1903).
Common and seen almost daily in different habitats, often at orchards.
Song Thrush / Taltrast / Turdus ph. philomelos C. L. Brehm 1831.
1 seen calling near Mikri Limni 17/6.
Cetti’s Warbler / Cettisångare / Cettia c. cetti (Temminck 1820).
Singing specimens heard during six days of the fortnight, e.g. one at Potamia River 22/6.
European Reed Warbler / Rörsångare / Acrocephalus s. scirpaceus (Hermann 1804).
1 heard singing at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 25/6 and 28/6.
Great Reed Warbler / Trastsångare / Acrocephalus a. arundinaceus (Linnaeus 1758).
1 heard singing at the lower part of Tsiknias River 16/6; 2 seen, one chasing the other, at ‘Kalloni Inland Lake’ 27/6.
Olivaceous Warbler / Eksångare / Hippolais pallida elaeica (Lindermayer 1843).
Singing birds were heard rather frequent 15-18/6, but after that no song were heard. Although silent birds were seen here and there. A common species, no doubt.
Subalpine Warbler / Rödstrupig sångare / Sylvia cantillans albistriata (C. L. Brehm 1855).
2 males seen north of Napi 20/6; 1 female seen north of Napi 22/6; 1 seen between Petra and Mithimna 23/6.
Sardinian Warbler / Sammetshätta / Sylvia m. melanocephala (Gmelin 1789).
1 ? carrying food in Potamia River Valley 19/6.
Rüppell’s Warbler / Svarthakad sångare / Sylvia rueppelli Temminck 1823.
1 ? with alarm call and 2 juv. between Petra and Mithimna 23/6.
Orphean Warbler / Mästersångare / Sylvia hortensis crassirostris (Cretzschmar 1826).
1, probably a ?, seen north of Napi 20/6.
Common Whitethroat / Törnsångare / Sylvia communis icterops Ménétries 1832.
1 singing and using alarm call at Ag. Nikolaos between Pyrra and Messa 17/6.
Spotted Flycatcher / Grå flugsnappare / Muscicapa striata neumanni Poche 1904.
1 ad. feeding juv. near Pyrra 17/6.
Long-tailed Tit / Stjärtmes / Aegithalos caudatus tephronotus (Günther 1865).
A party heard and two birds seen in oak wood just west of Stipsi 23/6.
Sombre Tit / Balkanmes / Parus lugubris anatoliae Hartert 1905.
Six sightings: 2 at Kroussos 19/6; 2+2+1 north of Napi 20/6; 2 north of Napi 22/6; 1 at Potamia River Valley 22/6.
Coal Tit / Svartmes / Parus a. ater Linnaeus 1758.
1 singing near Mikri Limni 17/6.
Blue Tit / Blåmes / Parus c. caeruleus Linnaeus 1758.
Not uncommon and seen or heard during six days.
Great Tit / Talgoxe / Parus major aphrodite Madárász 1901.
Approximately twice as common as Blue Tit.
Krüper’s Nuthatch / Krüpers nötväcka / Sitta krueperi Pelzeln 1863.
1 ad. and 1 juv. seen in pine wood just north of Pyrra 17/6.
Western Rock Nuthatch / Klippnötväcka / Sitta neumayer zarudnyi Buturlin 1908.
Common in suitable habitat.
Short-toed Treecreeper / Trädgårdsträdkrypare / Certhia brachydactyla harterti Hellmayr 1901.
2 seen in pine wood near Mikri Limni 17/6; 2 seen in pine wood just north of Pyrra 17/6; 1 heard singing in an olive grove in Potamia River Valley 25/6.
Woodchat Shrike / Rödhuvad törnskata / Lanius s. senator Linnaeus 1758.
Rather common. Juveniles were seen at least at Mikri Limni 17/6 and north of Napi 20/6.
Masked Shrike / Masktörnskata / Lanius nubicus Lichtenstein 1823.
One pair in olive grove at Loutra Evthalous 18/6; 3 singing at several seen north of Napi 20/6; several seen north of Napi 22/6.
Eurasian Jay / Nötskrika / Garrulus glandarius anatoliae Seebohm 1883.
Seen almost daily.
Western Jackdaw / Kaja / Corvus monedula soemmerringii Fischer 1811.
At least 10 at N. Ag. Georgios Petras 23/6; 7 at N. Garbias 26/6.
Carrion Crow / Kråka / Corvus corone sharpii Oates 1889.
Common Raven / Korp / Corvus corax laurencei Hume 1873.
2 north east of Skala Eresou 21/6; 1 west of Agra 21/6.
House Sparrow / Gråsparv / Passer domesticus balearoibericus Von Jordans 1923.
Spanish Sparrow / Spansk sparv / Passer h. hispaniolensis (Temminck 1820).
Common. Several huge colonies at Malemi Hotel and neighbouring hotels. Also seen and heard at the beach in Skala Kallonis and near Tsiknias River.
Rock Sparrow / Stensparv / Petronia. p. petronia (Linnaeus 1766).
9 at an abandoned sheep house on a steep slope between Agra and Mesotopos 19/6.
Common Chaffinch / Bofink / Fringilla c. coelebs Linnaeus 1758.
Rather common and I have notes from 10 days.
European Serin / Gulhämpling / Serinus serinus (Linnaeus 1766).
Several heard calling at Mikri Limni 17/6. I also have a note from 23/6, but without locality, (somewhere in the north – Loutra Evthalous?).
European Greenfinch / Grönfink / Carduelis chloris muehlei Parrot 1905.
Rather common and I have notes from 8 days.
European Goldfinch / Steglits / Carduelis carduelis balcanica Sachtleben 1919.
Common, even more common than Greenfinch.
Common Linnet / Hämpling / Carduelis cannabina mediterranea (Tschusi 1903).
1 between Agra and Mesotopos 19/6; 1 singing + 4 other individuals between Petra and Mithimna 23/6.
Cirl Bunting / Häcksparv / Emberiza cirlus Linnaeus 1766.
Rather common and singing males were heard rather frequently throughout the fortnight.
Cinereous Bunting / Gulgrå sparv / Emberiza c. cineracea C. L. Brehm 1855.
6 singing (some of them also seen) and 1 ? + 1 ? + 2 juv. seen between Agra and Mesotopos 19/6.
Cretzschmar’s Bunting / Rostsparv / Emberiza caesia Cretzschmar 1826.
Rather common but rather inconspicuous since most of them had stopped singing.
Black-headed Bunting / Svarthuvad sparv / Emberiza melanocephala Scopoli 1769.
Common in the Kalloni area. Frequently heard singing.
Corn Bunting / Kornsparv / Miliaria c. calandra (Linnaeus 1758).
Common. Small flocks were often seen in their characteristic fast flight. Frequently heard singing.
A total of 112 species during the week. Of all the dips, my most regrettable were of course Olive-tree Warbler (would be a lifer) and also Lanner Falcon. I wouldn’t have minded a Zitting Cisticola neither or a Bonelli’s Eagle. But altogether I am of course very satisfied with the trip, in all aspects, and I saw more birds than I‘d really expected.
Acknowledgements first of all to my family, who patiently let me pursue my sometimes one-track-minded hobby. I also want to thank all who provided useful information prior my trip, in particular Triantaphyllos Akriotis, Dawn Balmer, Gijsbert van der Bent, Joakim Djerf and Koen Maes. Thanks also to all of you who bothered to put together trip reports, useful to me in one way or another, and that you also made them available on the internet.
Also available is a longer version of this trip report which include photographs, etc.
Thomas Pettersson, Härnevigatan 3A, SE-723 41 Västerås, Sweden