The Western Uplands

We journeyed around the Western Uplands on at least two Occasions. Travelling from Skala Kalloni, west to Eresos, then north towards Andisa. Before reaching Andisa we took the road to Sigri, with a stop off at Ipsilou Monastery before continuing to The Petrified Forest. The return trip was via Andisa, through Vatousa to Skalochori. At Skalochori we turned right off the main road heading south east through Filia back to Kalloni and Skala Kalloni.

Western Uplands

Ipsilou Monastery Petrified Forest This region of Lesvos is very rugged and barren with little in the way of greenery to be seen. Other than spending an hour at Ipsilou Monastery and a couple of hours walking round the Petrified Forest, the only stops were for checking out the birds along the way. Between Skala Kalloni and Eresos we saw numerous Wheatears, mainly Northern and Black-eared, but just the other side of Mesotopos two Isabelline Wheatears were seen on a wall running at right angles from the road.
Rock Nuthatch were common birds of these uplands and Sombre Tits were also plentiful in numbers. Just past Ipsilou Monastery by the roadside was a flock of 20 or more Rock Sparrows.
Several Ravens were in the area and high over the Monastery a single Long-legged Buzzard and Black Stork were seen on one occasion. Close to where the road climbs up to the Monastery Stonechat and a pair of Eleonora's Falcons were seen. A single Lesser Kestrel was seen hunting along the hillside near the wind turbines just before the turnoff to the Petrified Forest. The only birds to be seen here were Linnet, Wheatears and Chukar. We visited the Petrified Forest around mid-day, which was far too hot for us and birds alike.
However, on a later date a pair of Cinereous Buntings were seen in the area by other observers. A male bird accompanied by a juvenile.
We saw similar birds on the journey back to Skala Kalloni plus several Blue Rock Thrush between Skalochori and Filia.

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