Jan van Gastel's Birding and Digiscoping Site


Between September 26 and October 6 in 2014 I visited the Greece Island of Lesbos to observe and digiscope birds. I knew beforehand that there would be less birds to observe in autumn then in spring, but there are also much less birders and other tourists. The weather was very good, with lots of sun almost every day and temperatures between 20 and 26 degrees Celcius. I observed 59 species and possibly two other species, of which I am not sure. The total list is below in .pdf format. Birds with a red colored number, I had not seen before.


I think it is not very difficult to see many more species then I did in 11 days, but I made a compromise betwee digiscoping and birding, so I am sure I have overlooked birds. But not being a 'species hunter' I don't care much. And - with due respect for birders who love it - racing from one known birding spot to the next one all day is not my idea of a vacation, not even of a birding vacation.


I was very pleased to be able to observe the Sombre Tit, the Middle Spotted Woodpecker and the Western Rock Nuthatch. They are not rare, once you know where too look for these species.



Most striking I found the high number of House Sparrows, Corn Buntings and Crested Larks on the Island. I saw and heard them everywhere. I saw groups of more then hundred Corn Buntings and even larger groups of House Sparrows. On the downside: I saw only a few raptors, three Common Buzzards, two Eurasian Hobby's, one Short-toed Eagle and one Sparrowhawk. And there were not many waders and other water loving birds as well, except for the many Flamingo's and for a short period lots of Pied Avocets. Nevertheless I enjoyed my stay at Lesvos.


It is important to have a good road map of the Island, because the small maps in Dudley's great book had too little context for a first time visitor like me. And it's also important to insure the tires and underside of the car, because the mud roads are really bad, rocky roads and many car rental companies do not include that insurance without extra charge.


Album below:

Birds digiscoped on Lesvos (can also be viewed from the album page)