Monday, 12 May 2014

Lesvos 2014 May 4th

The weather had deteriorated still further during the night with both rain and strong winds. I woke up several times to hear things blowing about outside. We decided today was the day to travel west where hopefully it was a bit brighter. I had earmarked several places of potential interest to both Claire and myself. First stop was Ipsilou where a monastery is perched high on a rocky hill top. A nice walk on a good day but it was dull and very windy so we drove on to the petrified forest. Again, the weather conditions put us off the long walk down the exposed valley to the area of petrified forest so we moved on to Sigri. Underwhelmed by what we found, we drove through Sigri and took up another unmade track following the coast south. We hadn't gone far when it was decided to stop for our picnic lunch. It was reasonably sheltered from the wind and the sun was out. Claire sat and read her Kindle for a while as I explored the vicinity of a small stream.
Best sighting were a few Spotted Flycatchers
Spotted Flycatcher 2014-05-04 (6)
but better still was this possible Rock Nuthatch
Rock Nuthatch 2014-05-04
I had a confirmed sighting of one later as I drove past one sat on a fence. Unlike our usual Nuthatch they have a very pale belly.
Another possible new species is this one
Unknown 2014-05-04
I'm not at all sure what it is but if anyone knows I'd appreciate your ideas.
We decided that the unmade track was not the best option for traveling and returned to Sigri but along the way I spotted a Kestrel flying towards us. I stopped the car and jumped out for a grab shot.
Lesser Kestrel 2014-05-04Not the best by any means the big problem being the limited focus points available when you have a 2.0xTC on and f4 lens. Still I was able to confirm a Lesser Kestrel which was my next lifer for the trip.
We drove on for what seemed an age before eventually arriving at Skalla Kallonis. The good news was we'd explored the island, the bad news we felt it was largely a wasted day as neither of us had benefited. Claire agreed to let me have a quick peep at the salt pans yet again but as with the previous day there was hardly anything about. The one thing I had spotted as we crossed the Tsiknias river bridge was the unmistakable hat of my recently acquired friend Moss, closely followed by partner, Robina. We had met both on our recent cruise to the Amazon and West Indies and enjoyed days out together both in Cape Verde and Barbados to say nothing of the hours spent sea watching from the boat. By sheer coincidence they had booked a two week trip to Lesvos which partly coincided with our week. By email it had been agreed where and when we'd meet, but not to the following day. It was a nice surprise to find them a day earlier ! With confirmed arrangement made and detailed instruction given we left them exploring the river bed area as we drove home in the now hot and sunny conditions. Annoyingly, another sunbathing session for Claire missed.

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