Birding in Lesvos 2022: Trip Report of Day 3

Birding in Lesvos 2022: Trip Report of Day 3

After two days of extensive birding in the best greek island for birdwatching (read here the relevant trip reports of Day 1 and Day 2), we decided to slow down and enjoy some less visited part of the island. We still had a few targets, and there have been reports of Great Snipe in the area, which is always a must-see species.

So, we headed to Achladeri pond, a small water reservoir right next to Achladeri forest, east of Kalloni. It was 7am and the road that goes all the way to Skala Polychnitos was already busy with birders that wanted to see this year’s highlight: the Great Snipe (Gallinago media). Numbers of this species are declining worldwide, so any sighting in Greece in important. Fortunately, there was some space left for us to park the car, and start looking for the bird. News were bad, the bird was very shy until then, only a few glimpses far out in distance. It took us more than one hour to wait, but the result was enough satisfying. Excellent view of the bird, both with spotting scope and binoculars.

Great snipe GREECE BIRD TOURS
Great Snipe is this year's highlight migrant in Lesvos

We stayed for about 2 hours in the spot, watching the bird feeding behavior, which is a lot more relaxed than that of Common Snipes. Since Achladeri forest was just beside, we continued there, in order to find another target species: Krupper’s Nuthatch (Sitta krupperi).

Krupper's Nuthatch GREECE BIRD TOURS
Kruepper's Nuthatch in its breeding habitat

We found the right territory and soon after we saw 3-4 birds looking for food, small caterpillars, from the pine trees trunks. Lesvos is the only European country one could see and photograph this Asian species of Nuthatch, that is abundant in Turkey. Chaffinches, Coal Tits and Great Tits were present in the wooded areas, along with Cirl Buntings.

Another goal of this trip were the wild flowers of Lesvos. The best place for orchids, tulips and other wild flora is undoubtedly Agiassos area. The chestnut forest north of the colorful unspoiled town is rich in most striking species of plants.

Fritillaria theophrasti
Fritillaria theophrasti 

Neotinea tridentata, the three-toothed orchid
Neotinea tridentata, the three-toothed orchid

Orchis provincialis, the Provence orchid
Orchis provincialis, the Provence orchid

Anacamptis morio subsp. caucasica
Anacamptis morio subspcaucasica 

Cephalanthera longifolia, the narrow-leaved helleborine
Cephalanthera longifolia, the narrow-leaved helleborine


Tulipa hageri, a species of wild tulip
endemic to parts of Greece, Bulgaria, West Turkey

Balkan green lizard (Lacerta trilineata)
Balkan green lizard (Lacerta trilineata)

Snake-eyed Lizard (Ophisops elegans)
Snake-eyed Lizard (Ophisops elegans),
endemic to Mediterranean and Central Asia

During the afternoon, we tried a complete different habitat, the Oak forest of Filia, north of Kalloni. The target species here was Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler and Masked Shrike. Both species hold territories in this area, and with some good hiking in the forest, a birder can enjoy both species, together with Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Coal Tits, Great Tits.

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike

Masked Shrike
Masked Shrike on Kermes Oak

Little Owl
Little Owl on a typical breeding habitat

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, a cryptic species of warbler

Bee-eater
Bee-eater on wire

Black-headed Bunting
Black-headed Bunting singing loud

Cretzschmar's Bunting singing loud
Cretzschmar's Bunting singing louder

Blue Tit
Blue Tit

Eastern Bonelli's Warbler
Eastern Bonelli's Warbler 

Rock Nuthatch
Rock Nuthatch