The Lesvos Bird Records Committee (LBRC) was established by the Hellenic Rarities Committee in its February 2nd, 2009 session.
The aim of the LBRC is to encourage visiting birders to submit their records, in particular to provide addiitonal details of national Greek rarities, local Lesvos rarities and breeding records of the scarcer breeding species.

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Lesvos rare birds: 2013

This report contains records for 2013 and previous years recently considered by the Lesvos Bird Records Committee (LBRC).

The report contains records for a new species for Lesvos - Red-crested  Pochard Netta rufina and one new subspecies, Steppe Buzzard Buteo buteo vulpinus. It also contains details of only the second record of Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans.

The value of supporting evidence such as photographs cannot be understated. Six of the accepted records (Steppe Buzzards, Eastern Imperial Eagle and Caspian Gull)  contained in this report were identified by others from photos posted online and another (Red-crested Pochard) from a photo shown to a Committee member. In addition, we were able to ascertain that two Griffon Vultures were present in spring 2013, but only from photos posted by observers online. For some species (e.g. Moustached Warbler) photos are vital to determine identification and from 2014 only records with supporting evidence (photos or sound recordings) will be considered for some species.

The Lesvos Bird Records Committee (LBRC) has accepted the following records (not proven and pended records are at the bottom of the report).
Unless otherwise stated, all records refer to 2013. 

Where total number of records are maintained for a species, this is given up to and including the records published here.

FERRUGINOUS DUCK | (Ευρωπαϊκή) Βαλτόπαπια | Aythya 
Total number of records: 23+
One record accepted:
Pair Tsiknias River 25 Apr (P & V Manning, C & L Williams).

RED-CRESTED POCHARD | (Ευρασιατικό) Φερεντίνι | Netta rufina
Total number of records: 1
One record accepted:
Pair Parakila Marsh 17 Apr (photo: T Koufaki.)
This is the first confirmed record for Lesvos, identified by resident birder Eleni Galinou from a photograph taken by a local resident.
Red-crested Pochards, Parakila Marsh, April 2013 © Theano Koufaki

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE | (Ευρωπαϊκός) Θαλασσαετός | Haliaeetus albicilla
Total number of records: 6
One record accepted:
A sub-adult Mesa 13 Jan (photo: F Psarros, E Kakalis).
This is only the sixth record for Lesvos.

White-tailed Eagle, Mesa, January 2013 © Fotis Psarros

EGYPTIAN VULTURE | Ασπροπάρης | Neophron percnopterus
Total number of records: 13
One record accepted:
2004     1 Ipsilou 1 May (S Bot).

GRIFFON VULTURE | Όρνιο | Gyps fulvus
Total number of records: 18+
Three records accepted:
2 birds seen in spring at various sites throughout the west of the island (Lardia Valley westwards) 18 Apr – 7 May (photo: S Wessmer, S P Dudley, R Purser et al) and 14 May
(photo: M & T Sviekutis). One of these birds was also seen on 9 May (G Melchiorri, G
Massetti) but without a photo it is not possible to say which of the two birds it was.
1 Tsichliota Bay (Meladia Valley) 7 Sep (photo: C Zografou, O Alexandrou). 

STEPPE BUZZARD | Στεπογερακίνα | Buteo buteo vulpinus
Total number of records: 4
Four  records accepted:
1 Molivos 8 Jan (photo: P Tsakmakis,  S P Dudley, S Wytema).
1 Dipi Larisos 13 Jan (photo: P Tsakmakis, S P Dudley, S Wytema).
1 Dipi Larisos 28 Jan (photo: P Tsakmakis, S P Dudley, S Wytema).
2012 1 nr Kedro 17 – 21 Nov  (photo: P Tsakmakis, S P Dudley, S Wytema).
These four birds are the first confirmed records for Lesvos. 

Eight birds seen in the 2012/13 winter were tentatively identified as vulpinus from photos posted on the Lesvos Birders Facebook Group. A detailed article reviewing the assessment of all eight records appears in Lesvos Birds 2013.

More records are currently being considered by the LBRC.

Steppe Buzzard, near Kedro, November 2012 © Petros Tsakmakis

Golden Eagle | Χρυσαετός | Aquila chrysaetos                
Total number of records: 23+
One record accepted:
1998  1 between Eressos and Antissa 23 Dec (E Lam).

EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE | (Ανατολικός) Βασιλαετός | Aquila heliaca                  
Total number of records: 14 (15)
One record accepted:
Subadult between Antissa and Ipsilou 5 May (photo: T Binks, S P Dudley)

JACK SNIPE | Κουφομπεκάτσινο | Limnocryptes minimus
Two records accepted:
2006 2 Kalloni Saltpans 21 Oct (P Boone).
2001 3 Alykes Wetlands 1 May (H Sieben).

GREAT SNIPE | Διπλομπεκάτσινο | Gallinago media
Total number of records: 19+
Four records accepted:
1 Faneromeni 2 – 8 May (photo: D Copewell et al).
1 Farmakies Marsh 3 May (photo: A & P Thompson).

1 Kalami Marsh 9 – 14 May (photo: J Gronning, R Edvardsen, A & P Stromski).
2001 1 Tsiknias River 4 May (photo: D Ferguson).

Great Snipe, Farmakies Marsh, May 2013 © Anna Thompson

Terek Sandpiper | Ρωσότρυγγας | Xenus cinereus            
Total number of records: 10
One record accepted:
1 Sigri inlet 8 Aug (photo: W Heylen).

Red-necked Phalarope | Ερυθρόλαιμος Φαλαρόποδας | Phalaropus lobatus              
Total number of records: 13
One record accepted:
2 Kalloni Saltpans 28 Sep (T Swann et al).

CASPIAN GULL | Ασημόγλαρος της Κασπίας | Larus cachinnans
Total number of records: 2
One record accepted:
2CY Alikoudi Pool 17 Mar (photo: P Tsakmakis).
This is the second record for Lesvos.

One other record from 2013 is under consideration by LBRC.

Caspian Gull, Alikoudi Pool, March 2013 © Petros Tsakmakis

STOCK DOVE | Φασσοπερίστερο | Columba oenas
Total number of records: 9
Two records accepted:
1 nr Kalloni Saltpans 7 Dec (L Katerinopoulos).
2001 1 Kalloni Saltpans 25 Oct (H Buckx).
Great Grey Shrike | Διπλοκεφαλάς | Lanius excubitor              
Total number of records: 11+
One record accepted:
2011excubitor x homeyeri integrade nr Vouvaris River mouth 3 May (photo: S P Dudley, I Ford, K Mullarney, C Townend et al) (Lesvos Birds 2011).

Great Shrike Lanius e. excubitor x L. e homeyeri, integrade, nr Vouvaris River mouth, May 11 © Steve P Dudley
This image shows the high homeyeri influence with the extensive white wing markings, white tail base and sides.

CALANDRA LARK | (Κοινή) Γαλιάντρα | Melanocorypha calandra
Total number of records: 13
Three records accepted:
1 Meladia Valley 26 Apr (F Brierley, A Hill).
1 Kalloni Saltpans 2 May (B Buckler, P & V Manning et al).
2006 1 Kalloni Saltpans 10 May (P Boone).

MOUSTACHED WARBLER | Ψαθοποταμίδα | Acrocephalus melanopogon 
One record: 
1 Almyropotamos River (Lisvorio) 28 Mar (J Bowers, W Kappes).

This record was narrowly accepted reflecting the difficulty in assessing records of this species, especially when the bird in question is both out of the expected season of occurrence and in an unexpected location. 

The Committee will now only consider any future records of this species outside the expected winter period (Nov – Feb) and away from Dipi Larisos (the only known wintering site on the island) that are supported by additional evidence (e.g. photo or sound recording). Most birders now have a field camera (DSLR, bridge/super-zoom, digiscope) or smartphone (which can be used for phonescoping and recording bird calls/song without any additional equipment) so the expectation of receiving supporting evidence must be regarded as high.

COMMON FIRECREST | Πυροβασιλίσκος | Regulus ignicapilla
Total number of records: 5+
One record accepted by LBRC:
1998 1 Skala Sikaminias 27 Dec (E Lam).

TREE SPARROW | Δεντροσπουργίτης | Passer montanus
Total number of records: 7
One record accepted:
2001 4 Anaxos 23 Oct (H Buckx).

Brambling | Χειμωνόσπινος | Fringilla montifringilla              
Two records accepted:
1998  4 Agiasos 21 Dec (E Lam).
1998  1 Petra 24 Dec (E Lam).

COMMON CROSSBILL  | (Κοινός) Σταυρομύτης | Loxia curvirostra
Total number of records: 8
Two records accepted:
5 Skala Kallonis 5 Oct (R Thorpe et al).
1998 2 Mytilini 29 Dec (E Lam).

ROCK BUNTING | Βουνοτσίχλονο | Emberiza cia
One record accepted:
1998 2 nr Agiasos 29 Apr (P Cools).

RECORDS pending and still under consideration

Steppe Buzzard | Στεπογερακίνα | Buteo buteo vulpinus
     1 Molivos 5 Jan
     1 Dipi Larisos 18 Mar
     1 nr Mandamados 26 Apr
     1 Korakas Headland 29 Apr
     1 Makara 1 May
     1 Mt Olympos 10 Aug
     1 nr Mithymna 11 Aug

Steppe Buzzard | Στεπογερακίνα | Buteo buteo vulpinus
      1 Petra 26 Apr.

Pied Wheatear | Παρδαλοπετρόκλης | Oenanthe pleschanka
      1 Polichnitos 11 Apr.               

Pied Wheatear | Παρδαλοπετρόκλης | Oenanthe pleschanka
     1 Sigri 22 Oct.               


Steppe Buzzard | Στεπογερακίνα | Buteo buteo vulpinus
     1 Nifida 2 Jan – considered to be a buteo buteo or buteo x vulpinus hybrid
     1 nr Kedro 3 Jan – considered to be a buteo x vulpinus hybrid
     1 nr Kedro 10 Jan – considered to be a buteo buteo or buteo x vulpinus hybrid

Steppe Buzzard | Στεπογερακίνα | Buteo buteo vulpinus
     1 Pappados 29 Nov – considered to be a buteo buteo or buteo x vulpinus hybrid

Common Gull | Θυελλόγλαρος | Larus canus
      2 Kalloni Saltpans 27 Dec             

All these records are included in Lesvos Birds 2013