5 - 12 May 2004

Mike Langman


Wednesday 5 May

The group arrived safely in Gatwick at just before 5am and checked in. After a few minor problems with the aircraft door we departed 30mins late. Europe had disappeared under a blanket of cloud so there was little to see. Eventually we broke through the cloud and landed on Kos, and were greeted with a smile by Nikos the manager of the Tropical Sol Hotel. The Minibus and Nikos's car were loaded with people and luggage and it wasn't long before we arrived at the hotel and unpacked. Within half an hour the group was sat in our local Taverna enjoying a large Greek salad and omelette.

Suitably rested the party walked down the saltpans at Tingaki. In bushes and fields on the way we familiarised ourselves with singing Olivaceous Warbler, Fan-tailed Warbler, Woodchat Shrike which was sat on a road sign and the pale-looking local House Sparrows! Out on the saltpan lagoon there were good numbers of Flamingos, Ruddy Shelduck, three Whiskered Terns and a White-winged Black Tern plus an excellent selection of waders. The ubiquitous Crested Lark was to be a bird we bumped into at almost every site during the week, a single Lesser Kestrel and were all those falcons at the other end of the dunes all Lesser Kestrels- we would have to wait to find out?

A Greek written Menu was handed to us for our evening meal, we thought as a joke, but the waiter kindly translated the whole menu. Several of the group opted out of starters after the large snack we had all had earlier and many of us enjoyed the swordfish steaks on offer. We headed for bed at 9.30pm after a long day.

Thursday 6 May

The 7am start was attended by most of the group and to save some important birding time we took the minibus down to the edge of saltpans. Flamingos were still present in good numbers and there were several Little Egrets, three Glossy Ibis including a couple of very close birds showing off their smart burgundy and green sheens. The Terns from the previous day had gone but we heard a singing Great Reed Warbler in the Giant Reed. A small Preying Mantis was a good find in the sedge grass.

Breakfast eaten and packed lunches delivered we headed for a usually damp field area to the north west of Kos town, unfortunately it was dry but we did find a pair of Bee-eaters, 'Steppe' Buzzard being mobbed by a couple of 'Hoodies' plus Pallid and Alpine Swifts.

A short drive through the outskirts of Kos town with its many archaeological sites and we were soon overlooking the Psalidi Wetlands. In the surrounding fields there were Black-headed and Corn Buntings, Woodchat Shrikes while overhead were Bee-eaters, and Red-rumped Swallows. The Lagoon appeared almost empty but for a few Coots and a little Grebe, however in a few minutes we had seen two Squacco Herons and a rather nice looking bird hide! Back to the minibus; it was time to investigateÖ A quick drive to the other end of the wetland and on the road to the Water Park we discovered a new(ish) visitor centre where we were greeted, given maps, stickers and were told how to get to the hide. Strolling on a good path beside the reedbed we found an immature Purple Heron posing in the middle of the path and a little further on a fine Squacco Heron. A group of ten Glossy Ibis flew around then dropped into the wetland reserve and a Green Sandpiper got up briefly from a ditch. Disappointingly we found the hide locked!

After a picnic lunch on a table with sunshade with large marauding ants we headed for the hills and the ruins of Hippocrates' old hospital at Asklepieion. The site was about to close so we decided to save the venue for another day. Back on the road we turned off onto a dirt track that was to take us to Asfendiou but we were soon greeted by a car full of German girls who told us the road was very bad and not recommended. We took a longer detour then parked and walked into a small farmstead surrounded by pines. A nearby meadow attracted our attention where we walked past several grazing Spur-thighed Tortoises. We watched Serins and a pair of Black-eared Wheatears and a few Coal Tits, a few of us were lucky enough to see a couple of Golden Orioles but views were brief.

Our Drive down from the hillside included a good raptor stop and we duly greeted with views of a Long-legged Buzzard that flew off from below us. Small birds at the same spot included several Subalpine, Sardinian and a Rüppell's Warbler. A Crested Tit was seen by Roma and a Nightingale sang in the distance.

By now we were getting familiar with the Taverna menu but the promised English written translation had yet to appear. Our orders were place with near confidence our only surprise being the fruit salad turned out to be an apple!

Friday 7 May

Just two started the early morning walk but Margaret caught up with us a little later. Not much else to add to the list but we did have some excellent views of two male Lesser Kestrels on power cables beside Tingaki beach. The Ruddy Shelducks looked even more ruddy in the early morning light.

Breakfast was enjoyed even more now that Greek yoghurt was on offer with honey. We were soon off to the ruins of Old Pyli in the hills below mount Dikeos. A casual stroll up some new steps to the ruins produced Serins, Olivaceous Warbler and a particularly confiding Little Owl doing its best to look like just another stone. Alan then gave a shout as a Bonelli's Eagle drifted, rather too quickly, overhead! More Lesser Kestrels quartered the hillside with lots of Jackdaws and we gained some stunning views of a largish Agama Lizard beside the path. Driving up a little higher we took a walk that contoured the hillside, it was very windy and most birds were staying low but we found Stonechats, pure looking Rock Doves, Cretzschmar's Buntings and no fewer than 13 Spur-thighed Tortoises on a small area of grass.

Next site on the agenda was Plaka forest it would be sheltered there and cool for a picnic. The airport was on route so was a convenient 'comfort stop'. Leaving the airport building, at the same time as a large German group, the first of our group were handed 'welcome' sweets but the tour operator soon realised there were some impostors and the rest of us missed out! Plaka Forest was indeed cool and calm so we enjoyed our lunch amongst the feral Peacocks which enjoyed our company. We discovered Peacocks ate cucumber, bread, roast chicken, cheese but preferred apple peeled! Walking down through the valley we found many Spotted Flycatchers, Chaffinches, some skulking Subalpine and Sardinian Warblers. A short Journey up the valley in the Minibus failed to produce the Roller that Mike had noticed earlier but we did find several Turtle Doves, four Red-rumped Swallows, Whinchat and another Preying Mantis.

Heading back toward the Hotel we made a detour to the south west corner of the saltpans, with the light behind us we gained wonderful views of 14 Glossy Ibis, two Temminck's Stints, Bar-tailed Godwit, White-winged Black Tern, Black-winged Stilt and seven Curlew Sandpipers and a distant Purple Heron.

Back at the hotel some of the group went for a dip in the pool while others relaxed in the late afternoon sun.

The evening meal went well despite there still being no sign of the promised English menu, the waiters even coped with special requests and only one trip back to the Kitchen.

Saturday 8 May

Due to an early start to catch the boat to Nisyros there was no early morning walk. The packed Lunches were collected to prevent any delays and we were on the road soon after 8.30am, with one brief stop for a Roller and long-legged Buzzard. After finding a shady parking spot we headed for Kardamena Harbour. The wind had dropped and the sea was nearly calm except for a slight swell. Around Kardamena Harbour Pallid Swifts chased and the many Yellow-legged Gulls were joined by a fine Audouin's Gull. Birds were few on the crossing but we did see some distant Yelkouan Shearwaters, Shag and Eleonora's Falcons.

Landing at Mandraki on Nisyros we were ushered to our bus and were on our way - first up and then down - into the volcano. We all chose to walk a rough congested path into the crater where mud bubbled and sulphur crystals grew at the entrance to steaming holes with the whole place smelling like stink bombs! Back in the coach we headed back to the harbour, some of us were lucky enough to see three Eleonora's Falcons en-route.

We ate our packed lunches on benches by a sea wall watching Yellow-legged Gulls and a single Shag. After a well-deserved rest we wandered off into the town to find a splendid Greek Orthodox Church somewhere in the narrow bleached streets, it didn't take long to find and we all investigated the splendour in our own time. There was now a little spare time before a planned walk into the countryside behind the town, so most of the group made their way back slowly, visiting photographic galleries and shops before enjoying a cold drink in a pleasant taverna overlooking the turquoise sea. An immature Night Heron drifted past for some of us to see and another Audouin's Gull. The bird walk was hot but worthwhile, the steeply terraced olive groves held Orphean Warblers which proved difficult to see but we all appreciated their throaty Blackcap- like song. A couple of Subalpine Warblers performed well enough for the whole group to watch and Scarce Swallowtail Butterfly was added to our insect list. Other birds included a couple of Red-rumped Swallows, Long-legged Buzzard and about 30 Bee-eaters.

The boat trip back was uneventful but for the last ten minutes when two groups of Yelkouan Shearwaters passed close by the bows. We opted for a scenic minibus route back to the hotel and gained some good views of several Rollers, Corn and Black-headed Buntings.

Breaking free from normal evening main course meals with rice and baked potato many of the group requested chips, everything arrived correctly and very hot.

Sunday 9 May

Five got up early for the pre-breakfast walk which again saw the two Lesser Kestrels, Sardinian Warbler, Greenshank, Ruff and Sanderling around the Saltpans.

We searched once more the area between Tingaki and Kos town for damp fields but again failed to find any. However, watching the straights between Kos and Turkey coastal resort of Bodrum we found a sizable group of Shag including some of the very pale immatures and some distant Eleonora's Falcons. Making our way to a hill view point south of Kos town we dropped off Dorothea and Roma so they could attend Church and agreed to pick them up again at 1pm. An initial wrong turn was very productive with good views of Long-legged Buzzard, Eleonora's Falcon, Cretzschmar's Bunting plus Spotted Fritillary and two species of Swallowtail butterflies.

Apart from giving us a look at both sides of the island the view point failed to produce much in the way of birds with the exception of Northern Wheatear. Forested mountain tracks look very similar and it was not long before Mike took one wrong turn and we were led a merry dance up, down and backwards along the narrow tracks before we found our way out!

We collected Dorothea and Roma half an hour late and headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest and to eat our picnic lunches. This was fortuitous as the 'baskets' consisted of fried eggs, dolmades, lamb burger and several other interesting foods which without knives and forks could have been very messy affair.

After Lunch we drove to an area just north east of Kardamena for a short but very hot walk to a small chapel. Sadly a recent fire had destroyed the once productive olive groves. After a rest in the cool of the chapel we watched Short-toed Eagle, Honey and Long-legged Buzzard, Red-rumped Swallows, Blue Rock Thrush and Little Owl. One or two of us heard a Scops Owl but it was distant! Margaret found a group of small black and white spotted cockchafers huddled in a large thistle on the way back down to the minibus. The heat was too much for the group so we called off a search for birds in the arable fields near to Kardamena and headed on a scenic route back to the hotel. We stopped again at the Saltpans and were rewarded with Short-toed Lark, two Squacco Herons, five Ruddy Shelduck, Black-winged Stilts and a pair of Kentish plovers that had found a perfect miniature 'shingle beach' amongst the arid salt flats.

At last our promised English written menu arrived but by now we all knew what was on offer and most us didn't need to look at it!

Monday 10 May

Another day of clear blue skies with no wind, for this mornings early walk we headed for the south west corner of the saltpans to search for a Little Bittern that another English birdwatcher had see the day before - we failed in our quest but did get good views of a Stone Curlew, a stunningly yellow Icterine Warbler, Chiffchaff, Little Owl and a Rabbit! The Short-toed Lark was in full display flight bouncing around overhead and a Sedge Warbler was an addition to the week's bird list.

Following breakfast and watching the Fan-tailed Warbler at the back of the Hotel we made an early start to try and avoid the heat of the day to a small coastal valley near to Mastichari, it was a productive spot with several Sardinian, Olivaceous and Cetti's Warblers, a couple of very close singing Black-headed Buntings, Whinchat, Northern Wheatears, Alpine Swift and several Balkan Terrapins. Just as we were walking back to the van a Great Spotted Cuckoo flew over the group and landed on top of a small Juniper bush giving us all stunning views. As most of the party were getting into the minibus a Great Reed Warbler started to wind up its song in a nearby bush - well away from any water, it did show briefly as it flew across the path.

Next Stop was to be the ruins at Asklepieion but we found them closed on Mondays - perhaps third time lucky. Psalidi Wetlands became our next destination for our picnic and walk. The bunker in the south east corner afforded good scanning opportunities but before arriving two White Storks sailed over the road ahead and a pair of Chukar tried their best to hide in a stubble field. A flock of Spanish Sparrows gave a typically quick flyby and a large flock of Bee-eaters added a splash of colour. Our picnic lunch was consumed under the parasolled picnic benches at the information centre, with knives and forks 'borrowed' from our Hotel it was a very civilized affair until a small treat of Baklava cakes were produced dripping in sticky but delicious syrup! The afternoon walk around the Psalidi Wetland was hot but exciting with 8 Glossy Ibis perched up on a dead pine beside the path, several Squacco Herons with the highlight of a female Little Bittern that bust out of some nearby reeds and landed mostly hidden in some tall reeds before flying out of sight.

A taverna stop near to the Harbour in Kos Town allowed us to see the pretty Harbour and Plane Tree that Hippocrates was supposed to have lectured beneath. We were also able to compare Pallid and Alpine Swifts amongst the hundreds of Common Swifts around the castle by the harbour.

The large supermarket near to Tingaki was preferred over Kos Town as the destination to buy those holiday gifts and bargains. The minibuses suspension was truly test on the short hop back to the Hotel with all the extra booty.

A planned twilight owl hunt meant an early dinner but could the waiters serve us in time before it got dark? Despite our fears and a slightly later than planned departure we arrived in a olive tree lined valley below Asfendiou just as it was getting 'dimpsy' Nightjars started churring and flying around the slopes, then a Stone Curlew flew past and landed in a ploughed field. Despite the failing light most of us saw it well through the telescope - its eye pupils fully dilated and appearing a much friendlier looking beast to a daytime Stone Curlew. The bird started to give an eyrie wailing which started up a chorus of several other Stone Curlews in the area, with Nightjars churring, quipping and clapping around us and a screeching Barn Owl it was truly one of those memorable birding occasions. However we still hadn't heard our target bird the Scops Owl so with reluctance we 'jumped' back into the minibus and headed for a more enclosed sheltered olive grove. On the way and a quick stop Mike noticed something on the road, it was a 'dead' Nightjar, still warm, that had been hit by a car. While showing it to the group, in the minibus, it suddenly started to move; unfortunately the poor beast was in its last death throws due to a broken neck. Our spirits were soon picked back up when a distant Scops Owl was heard, a short drive later and we were listening to four or five Scops Owls that appeared to converse with our mimicking whistles.

A late log finished of a long but thoroughly rewarding day.

Tuesday 11 May

Yet another clear blue sky greeted those of us up for the early morning walk. No new birds had arrived at the Saltpan in the last 24hrs but we did see three Short-toed Larks, a Green Sandpiper and a Squacco Heron.

Back up at the contour walk above the village of Old Pyli and reaching the view point destination we were rewarded with at least two Bonelli's Eagles, two Short-toed Eagles, Eleonora's Falcons both dark and rusty forms, dozens of Lesser Kestrels plus a bonus of a Lanner Falcon stooping a Bonelli's Eagle! But we must not forget the supporting cast of two Great Spotted Cuckoo's, Serin, Cretzschmar's Buntings, Black-eared Wheatears, Sardinian and a brief Icterine Warbler! The regular Tortoises were making the most of a leaking water trough hose by creating their own personal mud baths beside the path providing welcome relief from the heat.

The day was heating up so we adjourned to a small taverna where we were surprised to find three magnificent male Ostriches peering over a fenced Corral. As we consumed cold drinks as a Peregrine flew over being mobbed by a Lesser Kestrel.

Our Lunch Stop was at Asklepieion and the local feral cat seemed to appreciate the cheese as much as us. Our Greek cake supplied this time by the ladies in our Tingaki Taverna was good but very filling and sticky, most of managed to finish our slices off!

We had an hour to look around the ruins of Hippocrates hospital which was more than enough in the soaring temperatures. A roosting Scops Owl tested everyone's observational skills, several Agama Lizards were noted and a Roller flashed blue as it dashed around the bleached stone work.

Back at Tingaki the group was offered several options, two chose the super market for some last minute buys, another decided to have a rest back at the hotel and the rest of us went for our last walk along the south edge of the saltpans. We concluded the numbers of Flamingo's had dropped to around 70 birds, also watched some squabbling Ruddy Shelducks then noticed that one pair had at least three chicks and the other Shelducks were getting a little too inquisitive for the parents liking. Audouin's Gull, Black-winged Stilts, Glossy Ibis and a close quartering Marsh Harrier were all watched, a Humming Bird Hawkmoth and some tall Orchids added some extra curricular interest. As we walked back to the minibus Margaret turned around and noticed some waders on a sand spit that we had not noticed. The group of about 40 birds consisted of mostly Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints and a single Sanderling.

Back at the Hotel it was time to pack our suitcases followed by a final log call. As it was our last meal together so we all chipped in to buy a couple of bottles of red wine which went down very well with the meal.

Wednesday 12 May

Although we were flying out later in the morning the whole group opted for a final pre-breakfast expedition choosing some nearby olive groves that we thought just might produce a Hoopoe, unfortunately it was to be our bogey bird of the week. The site did hold our only Whitethroat of the week and several Sardinian and Olivaceous Warblers, plus Spotted Flycatchers and another group of 18 Bee-eaters.

Down on the coast the wind had picked up to a force 4-5 and was onshore, a quick look at the sea was fortuitous as large, long stiff wings broke the horizon, there were at last Shearwaters out there. Setting up the telescopes the birds were soon identified as Cory's Shearwaters and eventually we all got some reasonable looks at the birds. One last go at the saltpans found a small group of Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers a Turnstone, while behind us a Little Owl sat up on some metal spikes and a Short-toed Lark scuttled around in the dunes.

It was time to head back for a late breakfast and sort out our last minute packing. We said our goodbyes to Maria and left with Nikos, helping with some luggage in his car, for the airport. After a little confusion over the actual departure time and arrival in the boarding gate area we took off 15 minutes late. Four hours later at 4.05pm we had landed at Gatwick where we said our final goodbyes and went our separate ways.

Mike Langman

Species Lists


Little Grebe: one at Psalidi Wetland on 6/5 and 10/5.

Yelkouan Shearwater:20+ note on return sea crossing to Nysiros.

Cory's Shearwater: 10+ from Tingaki Beach 12/5.

European Shag: several of this Mediterranean subspecies at most coastal sites the best count being 7 NW Kos town 9/5.

Grey Heron: one or two at Tingaki Saltpans most days.

Purple Heron: singles at Psalidi 6/5, and Tingaki Saltpans 7/5.

Little Egret: small numbers daily at Tingaki Saltpans with maximum count of 13 on 7/5, also one at Psalidi on 6/5

Squacco Heron: ones and twos at Tingaki Saltpans from 8-11/5 and four at Psalidi on 6/5 and 10/5.

Black-crowned Night-heron: 1 imm flew over Mandraki, Nysiros 8/5

Little Bittern: 1 at Psaladi Wetlands 10/5.

Glossy Ibis: several noted at Tingaki Saltpans on most visit best counts being 14 0n 7/5 and 5 on 11/5, also at Psalidi with ten on 6/5 and eight on 10/5.

White Stork:two drifted over road near Psalidi on 10/5.

Greater Flamingo: noted daily at saltpans only. Numbers dropped from in excess of 150 on first day to 70+ on 11/5.

Mute Swan:A pair noted on a small pond beside the main road near Marmari.

Greylag Goose: one in field near super market in Tingaki on 11/5 Probably (feral).

Ruddy Shelduck:up to 6 noted at Tingaki Saltpans through the week and a pair with three chicks there being hassled by another 4 adults on 11/5.

Mallard: noted in small numbers on every visit to Tingaki Saltpans the highest count being six on 6/5.

Honey Buzzard: one over Panaghia Chapel NE of Kardamena on 9/5.

Bonelli's Eagle:one over Old Pyli on 7/5 and a pair and perhaps a single there on 11/5.

Short-toed Eagle:one Panaghia Chapel NE of Kardamena on 9/5 and a pair over Old Pyli on 11/5.

Eurasian Marsh Harrier: one female note on several occasions near Tingaki saltpans during the week.

Common Buzzard: one 'steppe' type note North of Kos town on 6/5.

Long-legged Buzzard:singles seen at many sites the best count was of three at Panaghia Chapel on 9/5.

Common Kestrel: singles noted daily but a far rarer sp. Than Lesser Kestrel on the island.

Lesser Kestrel:noted at many sites with in excess of ten at Tingaki Saltpans on 5/5 and above Old Pyli on 7/5 and 11/5.

Hobby: one over Old Pyli village on 7/5.

Eleonora's Flacon:three noted on Nysiros on 8/5, then four crossing sea between Kos and Bodrum on 9/5 with another two in hills south of Kos town and 3 over old Pyli on 11/5.

Peregrine: one over Taverna near Lagoudi on 11/5.

Lanner Falcon: one over Old Pyli mobbing Bonelli's Eagle on 11/5.

Chukar: two Psalidi 10/5 and one or two heard at Old Pyli on 7/5 and 11/5.

Common Moorhen: two on saltpan on 5/5, also at least two pairs at Psalidi wetlands on 6/5 and 10/5.

Common Coot: up to 12 noted with young at Psalidi on 6/5 and 10/5.

Stone Curlew: two at Psalidi beach on 6/5 then one at saltpans marsh on 10/5 and at least three more seen and heard in hills near Lagoudi at dusk on 10/5.

Grey Plover:two on saltpans on 7/5.

Little Ringed Plover: seen only on saltpans with four on 5/5, one 6/5 and one on 11/5.

Great Ringed Plover: noted only at saltpans with one on 7/5, two on 9/5 and three on 11/5.

Kentish Plover:noted on most visits to saltpans the best count being three on 9&10/5 - a pair on territory at south west end on lake.

Turnstone:one on saltpans from 5/5 - 12/5.

Common Greenshank: one at Tingaki Saltpans between 6-10/5.

Wood Sandpiper: ten plus on Saltpans on 5/5, one on 6/5 then four on 7/5 and three on both 9/5 and 10/5.

Green Sandpiper:one at Psalidi on 6/5 and one in wetland by saltpans on 11/5.

Common Sandpiper: ones and two's seen at saltpans on most visit but three there on 5/5.

Sanderling: two on 5/5 and 9/5 and one on 11/5 and 12/5.

Temminck's Stint:two at saltpans on 7/5 and 9/5.

Little Stint: noted only at saltpans 40+ on 5/5, three on 6/5, five on 7/5 15-20 on 11/5 and 15+ on 12/5.

Ruff: seen only on saltpans - two on 5/5, two on 77/5 and one on 9/5.

Bar-tailed Godwit: a single bird on saltpans from 7-11/5.

Audouin's Gull: singles, mostly adults noted at Kardamena Harbour and Mandraki Harbour, Nysiros on 8/5 one 2nd year bird outside Kos harbour on 10/5 and one on Saltpans on 11/5.

Yellow-legged Gull: Common.

Black-headed Gull: between one and three noted at saltpans during week.

Whiskered Tern: three on saltpans on 5/5.

White-winged Black Tern: one at Saltpans on 5/5 and 7/5.

Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon): 20+ pure looking Rock Doves above oOld Pyli on 7/5 and five ther on 11/5.

European Turtle Dove: small numbers seen daily and many sites but 20+ sat on wires and in stubble field beside saltpans on 11/5

Eurasian Collared Dove: common around most villages.

Common (Eurasian) Cuckoo: one in hills south of Kos town on 9/5.

Great Spotted Cuckoo:one near Mastichari on 10/5 and a pair above Old Pyli on 11/5.

Barn Owl: one heard near Lagoudi on 10/5.

Little Owl: singles sat on rocks at several sites.

Scops Owl: one heard in daytime at Panaghia Chapel on 9/5, Four-five heard on 10/5 near Lagoudi and one found roosting at Asklepieion on 11/5.

Alpine Swift: two north of Kos town and one at Psalidi Wetland on 6/5, one near Mastichari and one in Kos town on 10/5.

Common Swift: common.

Pallid Swift:two north of Kos town on 6/5, six+ around Kardamena Harbour on 8/5, and 10+ around castle by Kos harbour on 10/5.

Bee-eater: numbers increased during the week with daily counts of six on 6/5, seven on 7/5, 30 on 8/5, ten plus on 9/5 and 40+ on 10/5.

Roller: Five noted in Mastichari area on 8/5 then noted daily sat on wires at different locations, one also in Asklepieion ruins on 11/5.

Greater Short-toed Lark: only noted around saltpans displaying bird seen at south west end on 9-11/5 with three birds there on 11/5 and one at north end on 12/5.

Crested Lark: Common everywhere along coast.

European Sand Martin: noted in small numbers at both saltpans and Psalidi.

Barn Swallow: Common.

Red-rumped Swallow: pairs noted at several locations around island and also at Mandraki, Nysiros on 8/5.

House Martin: Common.

Yellow Wagtail: just one flew over Psalidi on 6/5.

Meadow Pipit: five flew over calling near Mastichari on 10/5.

Woodchat Shrike: one saltpans on 5-7/5 a pair at Psalidi Wetland on 6/5 and a single there on 10/5.

Blue Rock Thrush: One above Panaghia Chapel on 9/5.

Common Blackbird: not uncommon in hills.

Common Nightingale: birds heard only in olive groves near Asfendiou.

Whinchat: up to six note around saltpans on 5/5 but numbers dropped off to just one at Mastichari on 10/5

Common Stonechat: three above Old Pyli on 6/5, three in hills south of Kos town on 9/5 and two again above Old Pyli on 11/5.

Northern Wheatear: pair at Transmitter mast in hills south of Kos Town on 9/5 and three at Mastichari on 10/5.

Black-eared Wheatear: singles and pairs noted at most hill and mountain sites.

Fan-tailed Warbler: one outside Tropical Sol Hotel daily, also pairs noted regularly near saltpans and on both visits to Psalidi Wetlands.

Cetti's Warbler: ones or two heard at most wetland sites.

Great Reed Warbler: one singing at Saltpans on 6-7/5, one seen and heard at Mastichari on 10/5 and one singing in small marsh south of saltpans on 11/5.

Sedge Warbler: just one at saltpans on 10/5.

Reed Warbler:Breeding in small numbers around saltpans and common at Psalidi.

Olivaceous Warbler:Common.

Icterine Warbler: one at saltpans on 10/5 and above Old Pyli village on 11/5.

Whitethroat: one in olive grove near Lagoudi on 12/5.

Rüppell's Warbler: one noted above Asfendiou on 6/5.

Orphean Warbler: two pairs in terraced olive groves behind Mandraki, Nysiros on 8/5

Sardinian Warbler: common.

Subalpine Warbler: difficult to see but not uncommon in hills and Plaka Forest.

Chiffchaff: one by saltpans on 10/5.

Spotted Flycatcher: common around pine woodlands.

Great Tit: several in ruins of Old Pyli village on 7/5, one in Plaka forest on 7/5 and one above Old Pyli Village on 11/5.

Blue Tit: family party in terraced olive groves behind Mandraki, Nysiros on 8/5.

Coal tit: common in all hillside pine forests.

Crested Tit: one seen on 6/5 near Asfendiou.

Eurasian Jackdaw: Common in hills and mountains.

Hooded Crow: common.


Golden Oriole: two in pine woods above Asfendiou on 6/5.

Corn Bunting: common around coastal plains

Black-headed Bunting:not uncommon around coastal plains.

Cretzchmar's Bunting:not uncommon in hills and mountain areas.

Common Chaffinch: common pine forests.

European Serin: noted around Old Pyli village and in hills above on 7/5 and 11/5 and above Asfendiou on 6/5.

European Greenfinch: fairly common.

European Goldfinch: just two noted near Zia on 6/5.

House Sparrow: Common nesting everywhere.

Spanish Sparrow: flocks flew over Saltpans eight on 9/5 and 9 on 11/5 also 15+ at Psalidi on 10/5.


Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus: just two noted during week.


Levant Water Frog Rana bedriagae: probably this sp. heard at at several locations most notably at Plaka forest.


Spur-thighed Tortoise Testudo graeca: very common in mountain pastures one's and two's at lower levels.

Balkan Terrapin Mauremys rivulata: six in a small steam nr Mastichari and two or three around saltpans.

Starred Agama Laudakia stellio: commonest lizard on island very numerous in hills and mountains.

Erhard's Wall Lizard Podarcis erhardii: a few noted mostly in hills and mountains thought originally to be Peloponnese Wall Lizard.

Balkan Green Lizard Lacerta trilineata: Three noted on low lying plains, Asklepieion and Psalidi Wetland tracks.


Scarce Swallowtail Paplio podalirius: one on Nysiros and another in hills south of Kos Town.

Swallowtail Paplio machaon: three seen at Psalidi, Mastichari and Old Pyli.

Small white Artogeia rapae: Common.

Large White Pieris brassicae: Common.

Bath White Pontia daplidice: type sp. Noted around Psalidi Wetlands.

Clouded yellow Colias croceus: several noted at different locations.

Red admiral Vanessa atalanta: just one noted at Psalidi.

Painted lady Cynthia cardui: very bright individuals seen at Psalidi, Saltpans and Old Pyli.

Spotted Fritillary meliaea didyma: this sp. Or very similar seen in hills south of Kos Town.

Skipper Sp. syrichtus sp.: large sage type skipper seen in hills south of Kos Town.


Processionary Moth: Caterpillar nests noted in many pine trees.

Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum: seen at Saltpans on 11/5.


Hawker Sp.: Just one noted at Psalidi Wetlands.

Darter Sp.: hundreds of bronzy and red and blue types noted at Psalidi Wetlands.

Damselfly Sp.: many that looked like Large blue-tailed Damselflies - perhaps Lestes sponsa.


Egyptian Grasshopper Anacridium aegyptium: pair noted at Psalidi.

Violet carpenter bee Xylocopa violacea: noted on several days.

5-spot Ladybird ?: found in Taverna evening.

Preying Mantis Mantis Sp: two found one at Saltpans and one near Plaka Forest.

Bush Cricket Sp: several green individuals noted around Hotel.

Cockchafer sp: two species noted including many small black and white beetles gathered feeding on thistle nectar.

Hornet Sp: Several large hornets noted at different locations none seen well.

Acrida ungarcia: stick insect like grasshopper noted near to Kardamena.

© The Travelling Naturalist 2004