EASTERN SALT PANS – TRANSFER TO MYTILINE AIRPORT
It rained quite heavily for a very short spell this morning as we drove to the airport, ha! Too late!
I couldn’t believe it, we had a full turn out on this very last morning, even after a late night yesterday! As we had nothing to ‘chase’ to add to our list we decided to return to the east side of the Kalloni Salt Pans to try to get a better look at the Broad-billed Sandpipers if they were still there.
It rained a little during the drive to the ‘Pans’ and then a little more whilst we were there but it was a very light shower on both occasions. As we walked along the east track we had great views of the ‘pans’ with improving light as time went by. The cloudy sky cleared somewhat and the rain left us in peace. Three Garganey (two males and a female) flew over us and along the ‘feeder channel’ as well as two Black Storks and two Ruddy Shelducks. The wader scrape on the first pan was packed with birds, the Curlew Sandpipers in their summer plumage looked fantastic, we also found a couple of unexpected Dunlin in summer plumage too.
It wasn’t long before we found the two BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPERS and over the next half-an-hour they steadily got nearer and we were able to see their marking much clearer, I think most of the group were satisfied with their views. Also on view were two Marsh Sandpipers, dozens of Little Stints, Ruff, a few Grey Plover and the Dalmatian Pelican put in an appearance.
view of the salt pans from the east track
Time ran out, our last birding excursion was over, we had to go back to the hotel for breakfast and to pack. We needed to leave the hotel for the airport at 10am.
By 11:30 we were all checked in at the airport and were ready to go, some of us sat outside on the beach instead of going through to the departure lounge. It was very pleasant sitting in the shade or sunshine looking at Yelkouan Shearwaters,gulls and European Shag. There can't be many airports with such a vista after checking in?
the final trip total was 154 with a couple more heard not seen, (Barn Owl and Wren). It had been another great tour of this very special place, the butterflies and wild fields were exceptional this year and the birds weren’t too bad either!