Greece - Lesvos........5th to 12th May 2018
For Spring birdwatching in beautiful surroundings, Lesvos is hard to beat. The wooded hillsides of this lovely Aegean island offer welcome refuge for tired migrants, and it is also home to some sought-after Mediterranean species like Isabelline Wheatear, Krüper’s Nuthatch, Cretzschmar’s & Cinereous Buntings. In the valleys, birdsong radiates from bushes that conceal Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin, Cetti’s and Olivaceous Warblers; Little Crakes and Little Bitterns feed along the rivers, and Long-legged Buzzards soar overhead. Looking out to sea, we may see Yelkouan & Cory’s Shearwaters and Audouin’s Gull, whilst inland we hope to find Olive-tree Warbler amidst the olive groves of the Potamia Valley, as well as Rüppell’s Warbler on the rocky hillsides. We shall search for breeding Stone-curlew and Scops Owl, and as we travel up through flowering meadows and pine forests towards remote hilltop monasteries, four species of shrike are possible. An exciting prospect - but if this isn’t enough to whet your appetite, take a look at the long and varied list of raptors. A birdwatching holiday on the delightful island of Lesvos will certainly leave you spellbound!
Day 1: We fly from UK to Mytilini (direct flight) and then transfer to our comfortable hotel at Skala Kalloni, our base for the whole tour and ideally situated for us to explore all the prime birding sites.
Days 2 - 7: We shall explore some of Lesvos’ superb birdwatching areas: the East and West Rivers, with their reedy banks, tamarisk and willow thickets, support an excellent range of species including Black Stork, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Stone-curlew, Little Crake, Montagu’s Harrier, Cetti’s & Olivaceous Warblers, Crested Lark, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Bunting and colonies of European Bee-eaters. Outside our hotel is a pool which attracts White Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Wood Sandpiper, Glossy Ibis, Garganey and Whiskered Terns. Olive groves in the Potamia Valley are home to Eurasian Hoopoe, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Woodchat Shrike and Sombre Tit, and also a few pairs of Olive-tree Warblers. The mixed woodland habitat of Achladeri Forest is the haunt of Krüper’s Nuthatch, Subalpine Warbler and Masked Shrike, while the beautiful hillsides and rocky outcrops on the western side of the island, between Eressos and Sigri, are the haunt of Isabelline Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch, Lesser Kestrel, Rock Sparrow, Cinereous & Cretzschmar’s Buntings. The fertile coastal strip around Sigri is excellent for migrants including Rufous-tailed Scrub-Robin, Red-breasted Flycatcher, River & Barred Warblers, pipits and wagtails.
Day 8: We catch our return flight to UK.
Tour ref: AA1803
Single Room Supplement: £125
Leaders: Cristian Jensen & Shena Maskell
Max. Group: 12 plus 2 Leaders
Includes: Charter return flights (UK-Mytilini-UK), accommodation based on twin occupancy, all meals, ground transportation in Lesvos and services of leaders.
Excludes: Travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature.