Monday, 12 May 2014

Lesvos 2014 May 5th

Today was the day we'd arranged to meet Moss and Robina and to make things as simple as possible I had chosen the Rupell's warbler site at Kavaki as it's on the main road from Petra to Molyvos and easy to find. We had agreed to meet at 9.00am but I was there at 7.30am.
Things kicked off instantly, it was one of those adrenaline rush days which make up for all the hours spent doing nothing. Two species, the Black-headed Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear, are fairly common but both had proved elusive when it came to photographs. Today was if they had volunteered for a photo shoot !
The Wheatear particularly had proven awkward previously but fell over backwards to give fabulous views today.
The stunning male
Black-eared Wheatear 2014-05-05
and the less obvious female
Black-eared Wheatear 2014-05-05
One of those species where you are not quite sure what you are looking at !
The male though is unmistakeable
Black-eared Wheatear 52014-05-05 (1)
Another species where the male stands out is the Black-headed Bunting.
Black Headed Bunting 2014-05-05
The  unknown bird I posted on the previous day's blog has been identified as a female (thanks Alan and Mike) but to my knowledge only the male put in an appearance at Kavaki.
I was pleased that Moss and Robina made it in time for some good views of both species as well as the Rupell's that was busy gathering nesting materials.We stayed for an hour or so before picking up our breakfast and heading back for coffee.
Rupell's Warbler 2014-05-05
After refreshments we set off once again to head for the north track. As well as great company, Moss and Robina are an incredible source of wildlife knowledge. Moss's avian ID skills, particularly his knowledge of song is quite amazing. However, it gave me great pleasure to take him to a spot where I knew he would see Cretzchmar's, a lifer for him I believe. To share the pleasure of finding a first is always a great feeling. Moss would have found one anyway but hey,I made sure he did !
Unfortunately the weather started to turn extremely ominous and before long we were sheltering under what ever cover was available. The best opportunity for a photo was interrupted by rain before we got close and it got  so heavy the bird flew away!
Cretzschmar's Bunting 22014-05-05
Moss spotted a lifer for me, a Tawny Pipit. As the rain came down again I retreated for cover, he went and looked for it and came back with a great shot.
Here he is, complete with distinctive hat looking at what was a great image. Left me just a tad jealous but served me right for staying under cover !!
Moss 2014-05-05
With regular interruptions from the rain and the ever threat of a total soaking I decided to at least try and reduce the risk by going back and getting the car. It meant me walking twice as far every time I moved it on up the track but I need the exercise.
At one stage I sent the others ahead to a spot that should provide a few interesting photo opportunities whilst I took the 30 minutes or so to retrieve the car. It turned out to be an excellent spot for Subalpine, and they were showing well when I got back

Subalpine Warbler 2014-05-05
A little belter !
Subalpine Warbler  2014-05-05
The day was nearly over and after a quick drink stop it was all too soon time to say goodbye again. We were also looking at the prospect of only one full day left to go.

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