Lesvos-Chris-Donnelly

Lesvos - easy spring birding in the Aegean

A week of easy birding during the spring migration on the beautiful island of Lesvos in the Aegean Sea.
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From the pleasant fishing harbour of Skala Kalloni we will explore the lovely island of Lesvos, one of the largest in the Aegean. The island is now famous for its birdlife and we have timed this holiday to catch the best of the spring migration and the arrival of many birds that will breed on the island. We should enjoy pleasant temperatures and quiet walks before the majority of tourists arrive. The trip is an ideal introduction to birds and birdsong for those who want some easy birding at an ideal time of year.

Our hotel is within walking distance of the Kalloni wetlands which contain the prime birding spots on the island, often with large numbers of waders, herons and terns. Birds that can be found in the marshes and salt pans here include Glossy Ibis, Black and White Stork, Greater Flamingo, Purple and Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Kentish Klover, Stone Curlew, and Whiskered, Gull-billed and White-winged terns.

During the week we will be visiting many parts of the island to look for the special birds such as Achladeri woodlands for Kruper’s Nuthatch, Kavaki for Ruppell’s Warbler and the west of the island for Rock Nuthatch and both Cinereous and Ortolan buntings. We will also spend time at a raptor watch point with possibility of seeing Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Marsh and Montagu’s harriers, Red-footed Falcon and Peregrine. On our walks there should be Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole and Cretzchmar’s and Black-headed Buntings. Nightingale, Corn Bunting, Serin and Crested Lark are all common. There will also be time to see and enjoy the other wildlife to be found on the island.

Lesvos is still an undiscovered island for many, despite being the third largest in Greece and close to the Turkish mainland. It is relatively undeveloped and retains its rural culture, interspersed with a few attractive towns and villages. Our search for birds and other wildlife will take us to some interesting landscapes and historical sites and we will also have an opportunity to sample local tavernas for lunch.

There is also plenty of other wildlife to see and we won’t be ignoring the several orchids and other spring flowers in bloom and we should see many dragonflies, butterflies, frogs and lizards and also spur-thighed tortoise and Balkan terrapin. The whole island is now a Geopark due to its unique geology and we will visit the petrified forest area whilst exploring for birds.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

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