Jun 112018

Our family holiday this year took us to the Greek Island of Lesvos, located just off the coast of west Turkey. It had been many years since we last visited this beautiful island that holds a host of good birds. Although the holiday was not what I call a “Birding Holiday”, there was plenty of local birding sites to keep me occupied for the early mornings and late afternoons. We did hire a car during our stay and this was very beneficial, allowing us to do a little more exploring and made my journeys to the Salt Pans and to the Tsiknias River a whole lot easier than walking.

One of the birds I really wanted to photograph was Bee-eater and I spent rather a lot of time with them, hence such a variety of shots. They are so irresistible. During the two weeks I managed to see 92 species without trying too hard. I did miss out on several of the specialities, but it was more to do with the time of year I was visiting and the very windy conditions. I did however witness a huge migration of Rose-coloured Starlings, which more than made up for some of the disappointments. All being well, I shall definitely be returning to Lesvos at a future date.

Bee-eater – above 9 images – Tony Davison©

Black Stork – above 3 images – Tony Davison©

Black-headed Bunting – Not many about and in my experience, not so easy to photograph – Tony Davison©

Black-headed Wagtail – a couple of these stunning yellow Wagtails were seen around the Christou River mouth area near Skalla Kalloni – Tony Davison©

Black-winged Stilt – above 4 images – Tony Davison©

Corn Bunting – I wish these were as common in UK as they were in Lesvos – Tony Davison©

Crested Lark – above 2 images – Tony Davison©

Cretzschmar’s Bunting – One of the Lesvos specialities – Tony Davison©

Greater Flamingo – approximately 500 on the salt pans at Skalla Kalloni – Tony Davison©

Kentish Plover – above 2 images – Tony Davison©

Little Bittern – Tskinias River Ford – Very elusive – Tony Davison©

Little Stint – small numbers passing through. A state of plumage that we rarely see in the UK, full summer – Tony Davison©

Little Ringed Plover – Above 3 images – Tony Davison©

Nightingale – Lots singing – Tony Davison©

Eastern Olivaceous WarblerTony Davison©


During my time on Lesvos, a huge invasion of Rose-coloured Starlings took place. They are a nomadic species and often erupt in huge numbers from their normal breeding grounds in Eastern most Europe.

Rose-coloured Starling – above 7 images – a huge migration of these birds passed through Lesvos during the time we were there. A fantastic spectacle to witness – Tony Davison©

Rufous Bush ChatTony Davison©

Scops OwlTony Davison©

Short-toed EagleTony Davison©

Spanish Sparrow – Skalla Kalloni village – Tony Davison©

White Stork – Papiana – Tony Davison©

Woodchat ShrikeTony Davison©

European Tree Frog – above 2 images – Tony Davison©


A few of the many butterflies that can be found on the island. These were all taken with a 100-400m lens, as I didn’t take my macro lens.

Balkan Marbled WhiteMelanargia larissa – a form called lesbina is found on Lesvos, Limnos and Greece. Tony Davison©

Common SwallowtailPapilio machaonTony Davison©

Great Banded GraylingBrintesia circeTony Davison©

Lattice Brown Kirinia roxelana – This specimen has lost part of its wing, but the unique underwing pattern can still be seen. Tony Davison©

Lesser Spotted FritillaryMelitaea trivia – Tony Davison©

Southern CommaPolygonia egea – A new species of butterfly for me. Tony Davison©



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