TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
3 - 10 May 2001
The two leaders gathered their groups together at Manchester and Gatwick airports respectively and flew out to arrive within minutes of each other. We were greeted by sunshine, plenty of flowers and Lena from Eressos Travel. We loaded the bus and set off across the island driving through Mytiline Town and we were soon out into olive groves bright with blood-red poppies and the yellow Chrysanthemum coronarium or Crown Daisy. We arrived in Skala Kalloni and settled into our rooms all with views over the pool and were soon tucking into a delicious lunch.
At 4 we assembled at the pool to start birdwatching, and immediately we did not know where to look. There were White-winged Black and Whiskered Terns, Black-winged Stilts, Wood Sandpipers, Garganey, Purple and Squacco Herons and many more. A female Red-footed Falcon flying over was to be our only sighting of this species during the week. We took nearly two hours to walk round the pool and finally returned to prepare for our first bird list and eat another fine spread. We were two members short, but were all too tired to wait up for them, so we left Jamie to be the welcome committee, and retired for a well-earned sleep.
Friday 4th May Sunny and hot.
Out to explore West River at 6.30 and we were soon watching Cetti's Warbler as well as Olivaceous and admiring Stone Curlew and Kentish Plover. A flock of Little Stints fed in a pool with Marsh Sandpipers and Grey Herons and Little Egrets were hunting in the river. We returned for breakfast to greet the two remaining members of the tour and to set off to explore the local area.
We began at the back of the Salt Pans and found more Greater Flamingoes than usual and loads of Avocet. Further along we spotted a solitary Spoonbill and plenty of Ruff, and glimpsed our first Bee-eaters. At Misintziki, better known in Britain as 'Derbyshire' we walked the lane and found our first orchid, Holy Orchid, Orchis sancta and found a pair of Rufous Bushchats displaying nicely.
We called in at the taverna near Ancient Pyrra, which was submerged by the sea in 231BC, and then explored the pine forest. Within yards of the coach we found a Long-eared Owl staring back down at us from a pine tree, an excellent find and the first we've seen on Lesbos. We had good views of Serin before lunch, but it was only after lunch that we located our main quarry - two Krüper's Nuthatches near a nest hole.
Our next stop was at the Vouvara River where we stood on the bridge and found lots of little heads swimming towards us: the Stripe -necked Terrapins were used to being fed. Jamie demonstrated his bread throwing skills and had to revise his rules about what could be counted on a checklist if it came for food. An elusive Nightingale sang beautifully, but otherwise it was quiet in the shade and heat of the afternoon, so we went on to the Salt Pans where the Greater Flamingoes were shining pink in the sun, and we found Ruff, Curlew Sandpipers in superb breeding plumage, and Redshank in the channel. Over the fields Bee-eaters were hunting and amongst many Crested Larks and Corn Buntings we spotted a Lesser Grey Shrike. As we drove back over the East River we screeched to a halt, and Paniyotis reversed the bus down so we could see the waders, White Wagtails and five immaculate Glossy Ibis. On our return those with energy still enjoyed the sight of three Little Bittern at the Kalloni Pool.
Saturday 5th May Sunny and clear but windy in the afternoon.
The early morning walkers explored to the mouth of the west river, the Potamia and we found Grey, Kentish & Little Ringed Plovers and had good views of Black-headed Wagtails and female Marsh Harrier.
After breakfast we drove through Kalloni and up into the hills, where we were soon in a very different rocky landscape, the result of an ancient volcanic explosion 20 million years ago. In the fertile patches were village houses perched above each other with oak trees and green fields scattered below.
We stopped above Skalahorio, explored a lane, and found many flowers including more Holy Orchids, two kinds of Campanula and masses of white daisies, Greek Chamomile. Subalpine Warbler and Cirl Buntings showed well here, together with two Hoopoes and Eastern Festoon, Spotted Fritillary, Black-veined White and Inky Skipper butterflies. We then moved on to the Vatoussa Gorge to watch Blue Rock Thrush and Long legged Buzzards displaying.
At the Ipsalou Monastery the bus took us as high as the road would allow so we walked up the remaining steep part to the monastery at the top of the volcanic plug. There were lots of Spotted Flycatchers, a very watchable Little Owl, and brief views of a Rock Sparrow as the wind was rising, but we had good views of Rock Nuthatch and one of our main target birds here, Cinereous Bunting. We watched at least two males singing from the rocks and trees below us. They were feeding on the
We continued to the Petrified Forest, where we had lunch sheltering from the wind in their picnic area. Here we marvelled at the fossilised trees, preserved by the cataclysmic volcanic explosion that created much of this barren landscape.
At the harbour at Sigri we found Jackdaws, a Shag and plenty of Lesser Kestrels coming in to feed over the town, and as we left after coffee and beers a Short-toed Eagle hung in the wind alongside the bus to give us very close views. At the Eressos turn-off we saw several Isabelline Wheatears and a very large spider or harvestman, together with masses of the 'ladder-backed' bush crickets that many of the birds, including Cinereous Buntings were feeding on. Stonechats were spotted from the bus and the Barn Owls were busy in the evening in Skala Kalloni village to complete a busy day.
Sunday 6th May Windy
The weather had changed in the night, and there was a strong wind from the SW, which was to bring in dust from the Sahara and a variety of migrants, including a dramatic passage of Sand Martins. The early morning tourers of the pool saw three Night Herons flying over.
We set off up the Potamia valley and found it full of flowers and many Swallows. Swifts and Sand Martins. We heard Nightingales everywhere, saw a Masked Shrike in the olive groves, and heard an Olive-tree Warbler singing in the valley.
We lunched at the old Mosque at Parakila and walked on an old road or Kalderimi, passing over a double arched ridge with a Roman and a Turkish Arch. Here we saw a freshly-dead Ottoman Viper with spectacular markings.
We climbed up to the Church of the Holy Cross and found Frogs and Toads and Spiders, including several Ladybird Spiders, which had Jamie very excited as he had always wanted to see them in their only UK site in Dorset. There were several other spiders to take our interest and sounds of a Cinereous Bunting but few other birds.
Parakila Marsh was fairly quiet but we did see Little Grebe, nesting Black-winged Stilts and many flowers. A walk along the beach produced various shells that Jonathan told us were mentioned by Aristotle, including the distinctive fan-shaped Pinna.
At our last stop at the second East River we found two Little Bitterns and there were still many Sand Martins passing through. After the checklist we went to the Sea Horse Taverna and had a typical Greek evening meal; but the situation was not typical, sheltering from the onshore wind behind plastic screening! However our spirits warmed the situation and a good time was had by all. A few of the group went to see the Barn Owls, and just as we had given up hope there was a change over in the chimneys - just after Brian left!
Monday 7th May Overcast with bright intervals Clearing later.
The early morning walk reached West River bridge and found all the saltmarsh flooded. We had good views of Kentish Plover and there were 15 Little Egrets on the upper reaches, and a dark phase Eleonora's Falcon flew over. After breakfast we set off to Kalloni to look in the picnic site for a Scops Owl, which was found giving excellent views in the appointed Eucalyptus tree, and we saw two Persian Squirrels. Middle Spotted Woodpecker flew over in front of the bus, but we could not stop due to the many bends in the road. However when we did stop at the Panorama layby we were soon watching Rüppell's Warblers, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch, Cretzschmar's Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear, as well as a Peregrine hunting over the ridge.
We drove on past Molyvos towards Eftalou and had some coffee when the taverna opened. Many Turtle Doves were feeding in the field and a Shag was diving offshore. Climbing the road past the Hot Springs we were soon finding plenty of flowers including the Yellow-horned poppy which grows in an orange form here, and lots of Helichrysum barrelieri(siculum), the 'dried flower'.
Many birds were visibly migrating through, and amongst flocks of swallows we saw some Alpine Swifts, at least 20 Bee-eaters and an Eleonora's Falcon. Below us on the hillside there were Red-backed Shrike and Cirl Bunting and yet more Cretzschmar's Buntings. We returned to the shore and had our lunch watching the sea and looking across to Turkey at about its closest point to the island - Paniyotis told us that on still mornings from here you can hear the cockerels crowing in Turkey!
At Molyvos Castle we drove up past Spotted Flycatchers and Black-eared Wheatears and on to the castle. Another dark-phase Eleonora's flew over giving superb views, as we looked down over the rooftops to the village.
We crossed back through the island and went down to the Kalloni Salt Pans where we found Marsh & Montagu's Harriers and more Bee-eaters. Out on the grazed fields we found Short-toed Larks and Red-throated Pipits, having passed a couple of Rufous Bushchats. In the lagoons there were about 500 Greater Flamingoes, many more than we had seen on previous visits, and a good variety of waders as well as a solitary Shelduck.
We returned to the Hotel in time to have a rest and change as we were having a Barbecue and Greek Night. The dull cool weather meant that the Souvlaki and Sausages were grilled undercover but the rest of the spread was very enjoyable. Lena came again with a guest, the local Vet. The dance team showed us dances from Lesbos and the mainland and then demonstrated Chair dancing, which all the men in the group performed while we watched and anticipated broken legs, both chair and human, but fortunately everyone survived. Dancing lessons then encouraged the group to take to the floor and we ended the evening with The Travelling Naturalists the main guests at the party.
The Barn Owl was reported to have shown briefly by Brian, who passed on the dancing.
Tuesday 8th May Overcast clearing later.
The early morning walkers came home early due to approaching showers, but not before seeing two Golden Orioles. However after breakfast it was clearing and we stopped at Misintziki (Derbyshire), which had Ruddy Shelduck, Greater Flamingo and Great White Egret, and good views of Common Terns. A goatherd on a pony came over the hillside in pursuit of his goats, and had us all entertained as we wondered how he kept on board riding side-saddle and later astride.
Our next stop was at the Karynis Springs where we watched a Wren at a nest, and looked at donkey saddles and saw how they were constructed. We stood inside the ancient Oriental Plane Tree which the folk painter Theophilus had lived in for several years. Paniyotis drove up above Agiassos and we saw the village below us as we wound our way up into the forests. Here we found plenty of new flowers although we had to search hard to find a fresh Pontic Fritillary as they were in seed pod, as were the tulips. However we had a good list of new orchids. We had lunch watching Subalpine Warblers, and finding a huge Roman Snail.
On our return we walked through the village of Agiassos and explored the narrow streets. An excellent bakery induced an outbreak of sticky cake buying and Jamie was caught going back for a third time, for gifts he claimed. After a swim we were ready for another buffet spread despite all that cake eating. The Barn Owls were reported as busy after last night's dull weather.
Wednesday 9th May 2001 Sunny with high cumulus
We began the day with an early morning walk to West River, seeing five Black Storks in the sunshine, and a superb flypast of flamingoes.
We set off after breakfast to Kalloni and north to Petri where we walked through the countryside which was full of Greek Chamomile, poppies and Greek Anchusa under the olive trees. We followed a small road along a hillside giving us splendid views over the landscape full of volcanic features. We found a Masked Shrike, and a pair of Woodchat Shrikes posed for us in a tree. The local race of Jays displayed themselves as a party of five raced around showing their paler heads. Many Nightingales sang and an unusual cricket-like song was identified as River Warbler. A single Sombre Tit gave us good but brief views.
We went down to Petra and visited the frescoes in the Chapel of St Nicholas and climbed up to the church on the volcanic plug. The Merchant's House was open after last year's repairs and we had a guided tour. Many people stocked up on olive oil, olive wood and other souvenirs before we had our last picnic on the beach. A sharp shower cleared the beach and we drove back to Kalloni and searched for the Middle Spotted Woodpecker nest near the school, this time with success.
Finally we walked to East River mouth where we found House Martins and Swallows gathering mud and we saw Little Ringed Plover displaying and also Short-toed Larks both breeding in the area. At the river mouth Common Terns rested and a Little Egret hunted, but the water levels were very high so we walked home and visited the ice cream shops, on the way, before our last log and dinner. Finally Richard Brooks gave a slide show with fine photographs, which was a good overview of the birds we had seen and helped to remind us of our highlights.
Thursday 10th May Sunny
The early morning walkers saw Black Storks as well as many Little Stints reflected in the pools near West River and a fine ring-tailed Montagu's Harrier flew over. At the pool there was the resident White Stork, a Little Bittern and a flock of Little Egrets. We were going to miss them on our doorstep tomorrow.
Some time during the week we found two magnificent spikes of the very rare Komper's Orchid in its only European locality - a find that had Jamie dancing with delight!
Many thanks to Paniyotis, our driver for his local knowledge and excellent English (well, Australian!), and to the group for being both enthusiastic and excellent company. We look forward to seeing you again in the not-too-distant future.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis One, Parakila Marsh, 6th
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis Singles at Sigri, Eftalou and Petri
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Seen at West River (max 6 on 7th), Kalloni Salt Pans and Derbyshire
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Up to 2 daily at Kalloni Pool, singles at Derbyshire
Great White Egret Egretta alba Up to 3 at Derbyshire, with one at the salt pans
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Up to 15 noted on West River and Kalloni Pool, with odd records from other wetlands
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides Up to six on Kalloni Pool, noted daily
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax Three flew over Kalloni Pool on 6th
Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Up to 3 noted daily at Kalloni Pool. Also two on Potamia River
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber Up to 485 counted on Salt Pans - much more numerous than in previous year. Also seen on West River with a superb fly - past in the morning light on 9th
Black Stork Ciconia nigra Up to 5 at West River on four days. Odd singles seen elsewhere
White Stork Ciconia ciconia Up to 3 noted daily. Regular confiding birds at Kalloni pool, commuting to their nest site in Kalloni. Also at Salt Pans & Derbyshire
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Five in superb light at East River bridge, 4th
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia One at Salt Pans, 4th
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea Five at Salt Pans, 7th; eight at Derbyshire, 8th.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna One Salt Pans, 7th. A new species for the Travelling Naturalist on Lesbos.
Garganey Anas querquedula Up to 6 daily at Kalloni Pool
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata 2 drakes on 3 days at Kalloni Pool
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Up to 3 per day seen from 5th
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus One over Kalloni, 6th; 3 on Salt Pans, 7th; one West River, 10th. All ringtails.
(Eurasian) Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Up to 2 per day seen in lowland areas on 5 days
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis One over Potamia Valley, 6th
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo Up to 2 seen on 5 dates in the Kalloni area
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus At least 10 on the west island trip on 5th. 2 or 3 in the Potamia Valley.
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni At least 20 flying in over Sigri and hunting over the rocky hillsides near Petrified Forest
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Up to 2 on 3 days in Kalloni area
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus Two females and a male over Kalloni Pool on 3rd.
Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae Three along north coast 7th, with a dark-phase bird giving superb views at Molybos Castle; two at Petri, 9th
Peregrine Falco peregrinus Three along north coast on 7th
Chukar Alectoris chukar Heard at Potamia Valley; one seen above Eftalou.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus Heard at Kalloni Pool, 7 - 10th
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Up to 2 daily, Kalloni Pool; 5 at Parakila Marsh.
Common Coot Fulica atra Two at Derbyshire, 3rd
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Up to 10 at Kalloni Pool; seen daily here, Salt Pans, Derbyshire & Parakila Marsh, where nesting
(Pied) Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta At least 100 on Salt Pans
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus Pair regularly seen on West River, sometimes giving excellent views
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola Three on West River, 5th.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Seen on shore around Kalloni and Salt Pans
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Seen daily around Kalloni. Chicks seen East River mouth, 9th
Common Redshank Tringa totanus One on Salt Pans, 4th - a new species for the Travelling Naturalist on Lesbos.
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Two, West River, 4th
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia One on Salt Pans, 4th
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Up to 20 daily.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Two on Salt Pans, 4th
Little Stint Calidris minuta Seen daily. Up to 30 West River.
Dunlin Calidris alpina Flock of 10, Salt Pans, 7th
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Up to 8 on Salt Pans with 5 West River on 9th. Many in superb breeding plumage.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax Hundreds on Salt Pans on 4th, with lower numbers seen thereafter
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis Seen daily all over the island.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus Seen daily. Max 10 at Kalloni Pool on 3rd with decreasing numbers during the week
White-winged (Black) Tern Chlidonias leucoptera Seen 3rd - 8th. Max 23 on Salt Pans 4th, with Kalloni Pool having max 6 on 6th
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica Four on Salt Pans, 4th
Common Tern Sterna hirundo Seen daily along shore with 10 East River, 9th
Little Tern Sterna albifrons Seen at Kalloni and Salt Pans, with at least 10 there on 4th
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia Seen daily. Possible wild-type Rock Doves at Eftalou
European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur Seen daily from 4th, with max 10 at Eftalou on 7th
(Eurasian) Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto Seen daily
Common (Eurasian) Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Heard at Achladeri, 4th
Barn Owl Tyto alba The Skala Kalloni pair seen most evenings bringing food to young in the chimneys of the local disco !
European Scops Owl Otus scops Wonderful views of a roosting bird just outside Kalloni, 7th
Little Owl Athene noctua One seen very close at Ipsalou Monastery; another on West River
Long-eared Owl Asio otus Looking up in pines for Krüpers Nuthatch at Achladeri and finding one of these staring back down was something of a surprise. A first for the Travelling Naturalist in Lesbos.
Alpine Swift Apus melba Seen daily from 6th, including some over the hotel with max 20 + at Eftalou on 7th
Common Swift Apus apus Seen daily
European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Seen on 5 days with max 30 on 7th - visible migration of these at Eftalou. Superb views of perched birds at the Salt Pans & Derbyshire
(Eurasian) Hoopoe Upupa epops Two near Skalahouri, 5th
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius Seen in forest on 3 days, with best views behind the school at Kalloni, where a pair was feeding young
(Greater) Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla A few seen regularly on the Salt Pans and West and East Rivers
Crested Lark Galerida cristata Probably the most ubiquitous bird; seen daily
(European) Sand Martin Riparia riparia Hugely impressive passage and gatherings of these, peaking at several hundred over Kalloni Pool and area on 7th
(Eurasian) Crag Martin Hirundo rupestris Singles at Vouvrai Gorge and near Skalahouri, 8th
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Seen daily - nesting in the hotel
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica Up to 5 seen on 5 days mostly away from Kalloni area
(Common) House Martin Delichon urbica Seen daily - nesting on the hotel balconies
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Up to 5 of the Black-headed (feldegg) race seen daily
White Wagtail Motacilla alba Four East River, 4th. One Parakila Marsh, 6th
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus Five at Salt Pans, 4th, with 3 there on 7th
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor One on Salt Pans, 4th
Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator Up to 2 noted on 3 days. Best views of a pair at Petri, 9th
Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus One Potamia Valley, 6th; one Petri, 9th
Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Up to 2 noted, 4th - 8th. Best views of a male at Eftalou, 7th
(Winter) Wren Troglodytes troglodytes One at Karynis Springs, nestbuilding by the taverna. Two in Agiassos Forest.
Blue Rock Thrush Monticola solitarius Seen at Vouvrai Gorge and Ipsalou Monastery, with a pair at the Panorama lay-by north of Petri
(Common) Blackbird Turdus merula Widespread; seen daily
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos Widespread; heard in most habitats daily. Occasional sightings
Rufous Bushchat Cercotrichas galactotes Two at Derbyshire displaying on 4th; two presumed migrants at the Salt Pans, 7th
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra Up to 6 seen on 3 days; 4th, 5th and 7th
(Common) Stonechat Saxicola torquata One near Salt Pans, 4th; 2 at Antirco ??, 5th; one on Mytilini road, 10th
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe One on Salt Pans, 4th
Black-eared Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica Up to 10 seen on 5 dates. Regular away from Kalloni area
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina About five at Eressos turning below Ipsalou, 5th
Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) Cisticola juncidis Heard and seen, mostly in Kalloni area, on 5 dates
Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti Common; heard and seen each day especially around Kalloni Pool
(Eurasian) River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis One heard near Petri, 9th.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Kalloni Pool - one on 4th; two on 7th; four on 10th
Olivaceous Warbler Hippolais pallida The most abundant warbler; noted daily in a wide variety of habitats
Olive-tree Warbler Hippolais olivetorum One heard in Potamia Valley, 6th
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita Two seen and heard singing at Agiassos, 8th. These were grey-looking birds, probably of one of the eastern races. A first for the Travelling Naturalist on Lesbos
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix One at Achladeri, 4th; one in Potamia Valley, 6th
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla One at Petri and one at Kalloni school on 9th
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis One at Eftalou on 7th
Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis One at Eftalou, 7th
Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli At least 10 seen at Panorama lay-by site and Eftalou on 7th
Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans Seen on 5 days in wood areas, with at least 10 at Petri on 9th
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Seen 6 days. Seemed very numerous on 5th when at least 20 seen
Sombre Tit Parus lugubris One at Petri showed briefly but well
Great Tit Parus major Widespread. Seen daily
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Widespread. Seen daily
Krüper's Nuthatch Sitta krueperi Pair seen at Achladeri around nest hole
Rock Nuthatch Sitta neumayer Noted on 4 days; at Ipsalou Monastery, Panorama lay-by, Agiassos, and max 4 at Petri
Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla Heard at Achladeri and Agiassos.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius Seen daily, mostly from vehicle, but excellent views of this south-east European race at Petri, where at least 10 birds were present
(Eurasian) Jackdaw Corvus monedula 30 over Sigri
Hooded Crow Corvus corone Widespread, many seen daily
(Eurasian) Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus Two seen near Skalahouri, 5th. Two juv. males singing and seen at Skala Kalloni, 8th; heard at Petri, 9th
Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra Seen daily, but becoming less obvious through the week as the barley was cut
Cinereous Bunting Emberiza cineracea Excellent views at Ipsalou Monastery; where two males seen, and a female carrying a bush-cricket. Also at Petrified Forest and Holy Cross Chapel
Cretzschmar's Bunting Emberiza caesia Seen on 4 days on open hillsides, with best views at Eftalou - males often singing
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus Up to 6 seen on 4 days
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala Seeing males singing from the tops of bushes and telegraph wires so abundantly was one of the most memorable features of the trip. Up to 20 - 30 seen daily
(Common) Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs Common in forests. Seen daily
European Serin Serinus serinus A pair at Achladeri. Several at Agiassos.
(European) Greenfinch Carduelis chloris Noted on 5 days, mainly in forests
(European) Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis Common. Noted daily.
(Common) Linnet Carduelis cannabina A few at the Petrified Forest and Agiassos
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Seen daily. Breeds in the hotel, often in House Martin nests. Chick rescued and returned to nest by Stephanie on 8th
Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis Superb views at the hotel, where it nests both in the trees and behind the air-conditioning units. Those who had Spanish Sparrows nesting on their balcony (including Jamie) definitely one up on those who had mere House Sparrows!
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia One seen at Ipsalou Monastery.
Eastern Hedgehog Erinaceus concolor One dead on road, 6th.
Persian Squirrel Sciurus anomalus One or two seen on 5 dates.
Green Toad Bufo viridis Probably this species at the Holy Cross chapel.
Marsh Frog Rana ridibunda Quoting from Aristophanes all night at Kalloni pool.
Spur-thighed Totoise Testudo graeca One at the salt pans, 4th.
Stripe-necked Terrapin Mauremys caspica At Vouvara River, where came enthusiastically to bread, and Parakila Marsh.
Turkish Gecko Hemidactylus turcicus Apparently this species seen at the hotel.
Agama Agama stellio This spectacular lizard was seen on 3 dates.
Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilineata Quite common. Noted 6 days.
Dice Snake Natrix tessellata Probably this species seen vanishing into a pool at Derbyshire.
Montpellier Snake Malpolon monspessulanus Huge snake crossing the road towards Ipsalou.
Ottoman Viper Vipera xanthina Dead individual at Parakila.
Scarce swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius One at Petri, 9th
Eastern festoon Zerynthia cerisyi Seen on 3 dates.
Black-veined white Aporia crategi Seen at Skalahouri, 5th.
Large white Pieris brassicae Common. Seen daily.
Small white Pieris rapae Common. Seen 5 dates.
Eastern dappled white Euchloe ausonia Common. Seen 5 dates.
Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines Seen on 5th and 8th.
Clouded yellow Colias crocea Common. Seen daily.
Ilex hairstreak Nordmannia ilicis Seen on 6th and 7th.
Small copper Lycaena phlaeas Seen 5 dates.
Holly blue Celatrina argiolus Seen at Agiassos
Brown argus Aricia agestis Seen on 2 dates.
Common blue Polyommatus icarus Seen on 5 dates
Southern white admiral Limenitis reducta Seen on 9th.
Red admiral Vanessa atalanta Seen on 2 dates
Painted lady Cynthia cardui Widespread. Seen on 6 dates.
Spotted fritillary Melitaea didyma Seen on 2 dates.
Balkan marbled white Melanargia larissa Seen at Sigri and Potamia valley.
Meadow brown Manolia jurtina This species not found in eastern islands where it is replaced by M.telmessia and M.megala. Seen daily.
Small heath Coenonympha pamphilus Seen 3 dates
Inky skipper Erynnis marloyi Seen at Skalahouri, 5th.
Small skipper Thymelicus flavus Seen 2 dates
Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum Seen two days.
Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Anax parthenope Seen at Derbyshire.
Crocothemis (red dragonfly) Crocothemis erythaea Seen at Derbyshire.
Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa One crossing the road outside the hotel on 3rd.
Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptium Seen two days.
Buprestid beetle sp. Capnodis tenebrionis Abundant at Achladeri wood
Violet Carpenter Bee Xylocopa violacea Seen on 4th.
Scolia wasp Scolia flavifrons Seen on three days.
Spider-hunting Wasp A huge pompilid wasp seen around Achladeri.
Ascalaphid Nemoptera sp. A spectacular insect with long hind wings found by Stephanie in the Potamia valley.
Lesser Stag Beetle Dorcus parallelepipedus One on the salt pans, 7th.
Cream-spot Tiger moth Arctica villica One at Eftalou.
'Ladder-backed' Bush-cricket Barbitistes fischeri ? Abundant on open ground.
Ladybird Spider Eresus niger Several at Holy Cross Chapel
Harvestman Large black short-legged harvestmen abundant on roadsides and open ground.
Roman Snail One at Agiassos woods.
Pinna Fan-shaped shell found on beaches. Edible according to Paniyotis!
The numbers refer to Grey Wilson & Blamey's " Mediterranean Wild Flowers". Some highlights:
1 Pinus halepensis Aleppo Pine
2 Pinus brutia Calabrian Pine
3 Pinus pinea Stone Pine/Umbrella Pine
11a Cypressus sempervirens forma horizontalis Cypress
11 Cypressus sempervivens forma sempervivens Funeral Cypress
15a Juniperus oxacedrus macrocarpa Juniper
20a Ephedra campylopoda Joint Pine
Juglans regia Walnut (introduced)
23 Castanea sativa Sweet Chestnut (introduced)
24 Quercus coccifera Kermes Oak
28 Quercus aegilops (macrolepis) Valonia Oak
31 Quercus pubescens Downy Oak
35 Salix pedicellata Mediterranean Willow
41 Morus alba White Mulberry
42 Ficus carica Fig
47 Urtica dioica Stinging Nettle
48 Urtica pilulifera Roman Nettle
50 Parietaria judaica Pellitory of the Wall
70 Polygonum maritimum Sea Knotgrass
85 Salicornia europaea Salicornia
110 Bougainvillea glabra Bougainvilla
116 Carpobrotus aciniformis Hottentot Fig
157 Silene vulgaris vulgaris Bladder Campion
167 Silene cretica Cretan Catchfly
176 Silene gallica French Catchfly
180 Silene colorata Seaside Catchfly
187 Kohlrauschia velutina Kohlrauschia/Proliferous Pink
211 Anemone coronaria Crown Anemone
261 Delphinium staphissagria Wild Delphinium
283 Papaver rhoeas Common Poppy
284 Papaver dubium (Long-headed) Small poppy
291 Papaver hybridum Rough Poppy
293 Glaucium flavum Yellow-horned Poppy
297 Hypercoum imberbe Hypercoum
303 Fumaria capreolata Ramping Fumitory
306 Fumaria officinalis Common Fumitory
313 Malcomia littorea Sand Stock
316 Malcomia maritima Virginia Stock
326 Matthiola sinuata Sea Stock
333 Alyssum saxatile Golden Alyssum
341 Biscutella didyma Biscutella/ Buckler Mustard
359 Sinapis arvensis Charlock
360 Sinapis alba White Mustard
361 Eruca sativa Rognette
369 Raphanus raphanistrum Wild Radish
376 Reseda lutea Wild Mignonette
396 Umbilicius rupestre Wall Penny wort
400 Platanus orientalis Oriental Plane Tree
404 Rosa sempervirens Wild Rose
411 Sacropoterium spinosum Thorny Burnet
420 Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
429 Eriobotrya japonica Japanese Loquat
431 Ceratonia siliqua Carob
481 Spartium junceum Spanish Broom
486 Lupinus angustifolius Narrow-leaved Lupin
??? Vicia bithynica Bithynian Vetch
510a Vicia dasycarpa
510 Vicia villosa Fodder Vetch
531 Vicia sativa Common Vetch
533 Vicia peregrina Blue Pea
545 Lathyrus cicera Red Vetchling
555 Pisum sativum Wild Pea
572 Meliotus indicus Small Melilot
594 Medicago lupulina Black Medick
623 Medicago arabica Spotted Medick
651 Trifolium uniflorum One-flowered Clover
657 Trifolium resupinatum Reversed Clover
659 Trifolium pilulare Ball Cotton Clover
662 Trifolium stellatum Star Clover
761 Erodium cicutarium Common Storksbill
777 Linum bienne Pale Flax
792 Euphorbia dendroides Tree Spurge
801 Euphorbia myrsinites Broad-leaved Glaucous Spurge
818 Euphorbia characias Mediterranean Spurge
824 Ricinus communis Castor Oil Plant
832 Citrus limon Lemon
836 Citrus sinensis Orange
843 Melia azederach Indian Bead Tree, Persian Lilac (planted)
861 Pistachia terebinthus Turpentine tree/ Terebinth
889 Vitus vinifera Grape/Common Vine
898 Malva sylvestris Common Mallow
905 Alcea rosea Common Hollyhock
912 Lavertera arborea Tree Mallow
962 Cistus creticus Cretan Cistus
964 Cistus parvifolius Small-Flowered Cistus
965 Cistus salvifolius Sage-Leaved Cistus
985 Tuberaria guttata Annual Rockrose/Spotted Rockrose
1022 Tamarix smyrnensis Tamarisk sp.
1032 Ecballium elaterium Squirting Cucumber
1033a Bryonia cretica White Briony ssp.dioca
1040 Opuntia ficus indica Prickly Pear
1073 Eryngium maritimum Sea Holly
1088 Smyrnium perfoliatum Perfoliate Alexanders
1102 Oenanthe pimpinelloides Med. Water Dropwort
1141 Ferula communis Giant Fennel
1149 Tordylium apulum Tordylium
1166 Orlaya grandiflora Orlaya
1168 Daucus carota Wild Carrot
1191 Lysimachia atropurpurea Purple Loosestrife
1198 Anagallis arvensis Scarlet/Blue Pimpernel
1205 Cyclamen graeca Greek/Sowbread (Cyclamen)
1220 Limonium sinuatum Winged Sea Lavender
1248 Olea europaea Olive(planted)
1255 Centaurium maritimum Sea Centaury
1331a Convolvulus althaeoides sp eleganthissimus Mallow- Leaved Bindweed
1380 Echium italicum Pale Bugloss
1382 Echium angustifolium Red Bugloss
1383 Echium plantagineum Blue Bugloss
1406a Anchusa undulata (hybrida) Undulate Anchusa
1416 Vitex agnus-castus Chaste Tree
1469 Ballota acetabulosa Ballota
1515 Origanum vulgare Marjoram
1518 Origanum onites Pot Marjoram
1528 Lavendula stoechas French Lavender
1537 Salvia fruticosa (triloba) Three-lobed Sage
1555 Hyoscyamus albus White Henbane
1592 Scrophularia scoplii Figwort
1601 Verbascum sinuatum(graeca) Greek Verbascum
1602 Verbascum undulatum Wavy Leaved Verbascum
1646 Veronica cymbalaria Cymbalia-leaved Speedwell
1652 Parentucellia latifolia Parentucellia
1664 Orobanche minor Common Broomrape
1675 Orobanche crenata Crenate Broomrape
1736 Knautia integrifolia Knautia
1739 Pterocephalus plumosus Annual Pterocephalus
1751 Scabiosa brachiata Tremastelma
1757 Campanula patula Spreading Bellflower
1759 Campanula rapunculus Rampion Bellflower
1769 Campanula lyrati Rock Campanula
1778 Legousia speculum-veneris Large Venus Looking Glass
1780 Legousia pentagonia Pentagonia
1805 Evax pygmae Evax
1825 Helichrysum siculum Helichrysum
1831 Phagnalon rupestre Phagnalon
1847 Pallenis spinosa Pallenis
1870 Anthemis cretica (rigida) Rayless Chamomile
1892 Otanthus maritimus Cottonweed
1894 Chrysanthemum segetum Corn Marigold
1895 Chrysanthemum coronarium Crown Daisy
1908 Calendula arvensis Field Marigold
1937 Echinops ritro Globe Thistle
1966 Notobasis syriaca Syrian Thistle
1971 Galactites tomentosa Milk Thistle
1973 Onopordon illyricum Illyrian Scotch Thistle
2008 Centaurea cyanus Cornflower
2023 Cichorium intybus Chicory
2055 Tragopogon porrifolius Salsify/Med. Goatsbeard
2070 Crepis rubra Pink Hawksbeard
??? Doronicum orientale Leopard's Bane
2087 Asphodelus albus White Asphodel
2116 Colchicum variegatum Colchicum
2141 Tulipa orphanidea Orange Wild Tulip
2154 Fritillaria pontica Pontic Fritillary
2167 Ornithogalum montanum Branched Star of Bethlehem
2166 Ornithogalum narbonese Slender Star of Bethlehem
2173 Ornithogalum nutans Large Star of Bethlehem
2201 Muscari comosum Tassel Hyacinth
2224 Allium roseum Rosy Garlic
2227 Allium subhirsutum White Allium
2237 Allium ampeloprasium Wild Leek
2241 Allium sphaerocephalon Round-headed Leek
2287 Iris orientalis Oriental Iris
2307 Gladiolus italicus Wild Gladioli
2358 Dracunculus vulgaris Dragon Arum
2364 Arum corophalloides Eastern Arum
2383 Cephalanthera longifolia Narrow-leaved Hellebore
2386 Limodorum abortivum Violet Bird's Nest Orchid
2400 Comperia comperiana Komper's Orchid
2403a Orchis morio picta Green-Winged Orchid
2407 Orchis tridentata Toothed Orchid
2408 Orchis lactea Milky Orchid
2409 Orchis italica Italian Orchid (Naked Man)
2417 Orchis provincialis Provence Orchid
2436 Ophrys scolopax Woodcock Orchid
2447 Anacamptis pyramidalis Pyramidal Orchid
2452 Serapias parviflora Small -Flowered Tongue Orchid
2469 Hordeum murinum Wall Barley
2494 Arundo donax Giant Reed
Stephanie Coghlan May 2001.