This was a mish-mash of a day, we had seen most of the species Lesvos had to offer and we just need to find about 5 more. We changed our minds several times on which direction to go as recent sighting reports came in during breakfast. Finally we decided to head out west we left the hotel at 8:30am and headed for Skala Eresos.
The weather was a vast improvement on the previous two days and it became quite sunny and warm in the afternoon. Once we arrived we walked along the river and soon found many species, Night Herons were one of the first as we disturbed them from their roost! We also saw a male Little Bittern, lots of Sedge and Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Tree Pipit, Olivaceous Warbler, Wood Warbler, Little Crake and Great Reed Warbler. Our main target took some finding but showed well once we located them. The Penduline Tit is a very rare breeder on lesvos and we found a pair building a nest, what a task that is, the intricately woven nest is attached to twigs and hangs by thick threads over the water. The birds performed well whilst we were there.
We then drove through the beautiful valley that connects Eresos with Andissa at the crossroads we turned towards Sigri and stopped at the Ipsilou Monastery where we ate our picnic lunch in the clouds. Ipsilou Monastery is a working monestery that sits on the top of steep sided pinnacle of a mountain, the views from the top are fantastic. Once we had finished our lunch we began the descent, I drove whilst the rest of the group walked.
During the walk we found several interesting species including our first Eastern Bonelli's Warbler, in the woodland that covers the slopes of the pinnacle we also found Pied Flycatcher, Cinereous Bunting, Black-eared Wheatear, Wood Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Hoopoe.
We stopped at the 'Eresos' cross-roads to have quick look in a copse of oaks trees, there we saw Masked Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Woodlark and more of the same warblers.
A diversion was made on the way home to Gavathas where a small patch of road-side grass holds a good number of the endemic Ophrys Lesbis - we saw about 15 spikes of this lovely flower. A short visit to the beach area at Gavathas didn't produced the hoped for Bee-eatears, Shrikes or Rollers, we found a bunch of Jackdaws and that was it.
We passed through the Lardia Valley en-route during our return journey to Kalloni so we stopped there hoping for views of the recently discovered breeding Eastern Bonelli's Warbler but we found no activity at the nest site.
Olive Tree Warbler ws our last target species of the tour, a couple had be reported singing at the head of the Napi Valley so this was our next destination. In lovely afternoon sunshine we searched for this elusive bird without success but we did find a nesting pair of Sombre Tits and also a nesting pair of Eastern Orphean Warblers. Other species seen were Woodchat Shrike, Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Hoopoe and Lesser Whitethroat.
The last couple of hours was spent at the Kalloni Saltpans, many birds had moved on but there is always a good variety to see at this time of year and many of them can be watched at close quarters. Temminck's Stint, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Common Sandpiper, Little, Common, Whiskered and White-winged Terns were all seen well. Whilst in the flooded fields at the back of the pans we saw both Ruddy and Common Shelduck, Great Egret, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Red-throated Pipit and Short-toed Lark.
This was our last birding of the tour because we had to leave very early in the monring in order to catch an early flight to Athens.