In the last years, Lesvos has been one of the most known destinations for birdwatching in Europe, attracting thousands of visitors (scientists & nature lovers). More than 300 migratory and endemic species have been identified in this region, making it a real paradise for the visitors interested in their observation.
Its location in the eastern Aegean provides it with the asset to be on birds’ migratory route. At the same time, the wetlands in the region of Gulf of Kalloni and the rivers flowing into the gulf, the wetland system of the marsh of Ntipi-Larsos together with the river Evergetoulas – which is the largest reed bed on the Aegean – and the saltpans of Polichnitos provide ideal environment for the rest and reproduction of endemic and migratory birds.
Here, as well as in other sites of the island, such as Lepetymnos, Sigri, Eresos, Agra, Petra, Agiasos, Vatera, you can encounter rare and protected species of birds such as Krüper’s nuthatch (Sitta krueperi) which is found only on Lesvos and Cinereous Bunting (Emberiza cineracea) which, in Europe, is found only in the east Aegean. Other distinctive species are Cretzschmar’s Bunting (Emberiza caesia), Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina), Rüppell’s Warbler (Sylvia ruppeli), Rufous-tailed Scrub-robin (Cercotrichas galactotes), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Olive-tree Warbler (Hippolais olivetorum), Western Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer), Chukar (Alectoris chukar), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) etc.
Protected zones of wild avifauna are the islets opposite to Petra – Glaronisi, Myrmigi and Agios Georgios – where an ecological observatory operates, as well as Nissiopi, the islet found opposite to Sigri. Finally in the Gulf of Kalloni there are two more observatories of avifauna.
The best period for birdwatching is spring and autumn. So, grab your binoculars or your cameras, alone or in organised groups, and capture rare bird species which find shelter on the island!