Spring birding – some dos and don’ts


Hundreds of birders and photographers will be sharing the island from mid-April through to mid-May.

Here are some helpful suggestions to help keep the peace and help to avoid problems experienced in the past.

  • Please keep to roads, tracks and paths.
  • If a track is gated then always make sure you close the gate once you have passed through.
  • Do not enter cropped fields or climb fences and gates. If a gate is open and there is no crop or livestock, you may consider entering as long as you are happy you are not entering genuinely private property (e.g. gardens, allotments, etc) or you are not disturbing anything.
  • If you have been given permission to enter a piece of land, consider the consequences of being seen by others who do not know you have permission to enter. They may get upset. They may follow you without permission. It may encourage others to enter other areas without permission. And permission to enter any land does not give you the right to disturb anything in it! Your actions always have consequences.
  • Please do not park in any river ford. View or photograph from the river banks (parking away from the ford and approaching on foot if necessary). River fords are often key crossing areas for all users, including locals.
  • Please do not walk or drive down shallow rivers (e.g. at Faneromeni). This just disturbs the birds, including breeding birds and hungry migrants needing to refuel, and flushes them for other people arriving after you.
  • Please do not harass roosting owls. Keep your distance. Keep noise down. Do not ‘garden’ trees in order to obtain a better photograph.
  • Krüper’s Nuthatch, especially at the very public Achalderi site – please keep your distance from breeding trees, and please keep noise to a minimum.
  • Rüppell’s Warlber at Kavaki – please keep to pavements and tracks – DO NOT ENTER THE SCRUB AREAS. This is a rare breeding species now on Lesvos and we are keen to reduce disturbance at this sole remaining breeding site.
  • Be aware of ground nesting birds, especially along beaches and in the Alykes Wetlands sheepfields (please keep to the tracks and banks in the latter).
  • If you see a photographer staking something out (be this in the field or a lens coming from an open car window) please do not approach unless you know for certain they are not actively trying to photograph something.
  • Beware of snakes and scorpions – see  advice here should you encounter them
  • It is illegal to use ‘playback’ to attract any species on Lesvos (birds or other wildlife).
  • Lets keep the noise down. Groups (my own included) are usually the guiltiest parties here, or when many of us gather at sites such as the Alykes Wetland noise can be a problem. Even if you don’t think its disturbing the birds, it will be impacting on other birders and photographers.
  • Lets keep it polite. If you need to ask someone to move (e.g. they’re blocking a river ford) then ask them politely.
  • Most hotels provide a communal computer for their guests to use and/or wi-fi for you to use your own laptop or mobile device. So please share your bird news – don’t just read what others have shared.
  • Sharing your bird news is easy: tell others in the field, add your records to the Lesvos Birding logs (see here), post on the Lesvos Birders Facebook group, Tweet (using #LVS15) or you can even SMS/text me – 00 44 7 767 787 287, or you cam email me here .
  • Rare breeding birds – think carefully who you tell. If you need help then please contact me by SMS/text – 00 44 7 767 787 287.
  • You can  post images and comments on the Lesvos Birders Facebook group (only imaged from between 16 March and 30 June to be posted on the group between 16 March and 30 June).
  • I will collate  records from the logs, from Facebook and Twitter (and anything sent to me by SMS/text) each day and provide a summary of key sightings each evening here on my Lesvos Birding website.

Steve Dudley


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