The wide variety of habitats of Lesvos and the position of the island in the Eastern Mediterranean make Lesvos unique because of its variety of birdlife. In recent years more than 300 species of birds have been observed on Lesvos (bird migration, nesting, overwintering, seasonal presence). The ideal period for birdwatching is from March to late May and again from late September to late November.
There are species that are typical of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, such as the Krüper’s Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi) and Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea). The Krüper’s Nuthatch exists only in Lesvos and nowhere else in Europe. It is rare and is mainly found in pine forests, from the sea to the highest peaks, in the area of Mount Olympos, Achladeri and Akrassi. The Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea) is rarer and you can observe it in Eresso, Olympus and Agra.
Other rare species that nest on the island are the following: Rüppell’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Rufous-tailed scrub Robin, Masked Shrike, Sombre tit, Western rock Nuthatch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant sparrowhawk and Alectoris chukar.
Rare waterfowl nest in the Bay of Kalloni such as: Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Stone-Curlew, Little Bittern, Kingfisher, Collared Pratincole, Western Marsh Harrier, Tern, Little Tern, etc.
The ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), which is rare in Greece, also nests in the area of Achladeri.
Some other important species are the black Stork (Ciconia nigra), with a few couples on the island, and the white Stork (Ciconia ciconia), which has decreased in recent years.
The wetlands of Kalloni and Geras are also rich and valuable ecosystems for birds. The following are also important bird watching areas on Lesvos: the area near Mount Olympus, Prinovouni, the area near Akrasi, the area surrounding Vatera, the area near Mount Lepetymnos, Agiassos, Sigri, Eressos, Petra, Skala of Polichnitos, Agra, etc.
Two observatories have been erected in the Bay of Kalloni. The first one next to the rural road Mytilene – Kalloni after a bypass to Polichnitos, and the second one in the area of Alyki in Agia Paraskevi, after the junction to the village of Agia Paraskevi on your left.
The birds can also be observed in the village of Skala Kallonis, just before entering the village, as well as in the wetland of Larsos – Ntipi and in the salt flats of Polichnitos.
The islands opposite Petra, Ai-Giorgis, Glaronisi and Mirmingi, constitute a protected wild bird zone. There is also an ecological bird observatory at Ai – Giorgis
Finally, you can find a Bird Observatory in Nisiopi too, the small islet opposite Sigri, where you can go by a boat, which belongs to the Natural History Museum of Lesvos Petrified Forest.
Lesvos is a very popular destination for birdwatching. Get your personal, local birding guide while on the island during the best time to visit: in Spring (end of March to beginning of May) and Autumn (end of August to October) but also the year round. LESVOS BIRDWATCHING offers birdwatching courses at a regular basis so it doesn’t matter what your level in birding really is!
Lesvos is very close to the Asia Minor coast and is the Aegean Island with the most numerous wetlands that also holds an impressive variety of different and extensive habitats. The usual bird list of a week’s stay in spring could exceed 120, while the island’s list has more than 330 recorded species. The “star” birds of the island are the Kruper’s Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi) and the Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea).
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