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Monday, 1 October 2012

Samos Day 3 & 4, an excursion to Ephesus, Turkey

On Saturday 22nd September, a visit to the Archaelogical site near Pythagorian revealed several butterflies including Blues, Lang's Short- tailed Blue and Southern Meadow Brown. At the Ampitheatre half way up the mountain overlooking Pythagorian, a spectacular view from up here amongst the restored wooden seating area a couple of Samos Grayling types (? I think) flew about and eventually gave themselves up to the camera. There was no doubt however about the birds, a Red- rumped Swallow flew past and a superb Long- legged Buzzard was mobbed by a female Red- footed Falcon. At Kokari beach layby, I stopped suddenly as I saw a mystery bright orange butterfly that recalled a small Monarch, it wasn't that but when I got home the photo's proved it was a Plain Tiger, another new butterfly species, it flew around settled for seconds and then it was off flying down the road and out of sight despite me going in hot pursuit after it. A Raven flew past here. Also here were a Lang's Short- tailed Blue and a magnificent Scarce Swallowtail that put in an all too brief appearance. back in the afternoon, at Potaki Beach, 2 Bee- eater flew off the wires and south. A female Marsh harrier quartered the marsh type habitat at the end, 1 Flava Wagtail was on the road by the Army medical camp, where I dare not stop! Whilst several Spotted Darters, 3 females and 1 male seen also. Finally, 2 male Red- backed Shrike, including 1 reasonably obliging individual perched on vegetation in a field overhead wires and a nearby fence, definately worth putting some time in to get some shots (photo) of this bird, me thinks! Saturday night, and a very pleasant stroll down to Pythagorian for Jenny & I in the fading light for an evening meal at the excellent Aphrodite garden restaurant (Greek food is a favourite of mine, especially Mousakka and Chicken Souvlaki!) revealed 3 Little Owls singles perched on a tree, a post and finally a telegraph pole, 2 of their number were calling. Very sadly, a Bush Cricket was stuck to the path on the walk back as someone had inadvertently trodden on the rear of its abdomen on the walk back (ID to follow as I have a pic) plus a buzzing Cicada by the side of the road, quickly crept underneath the kerb nearby. On Sunday 23rd September, a quick check of the local pool only revealed 1 Little Egret and a Grey Heron. On the Boat trip to Turkey, taken from samos town, I saw 2 individual Mediterranean Shags, 2 were seen perched on the end of the rock on the way back. On the way out, several YL Herring Gulls seen plus near Turkey, 2 large Shearwaters which showed more extensive white on the inner edge of the underparts of the primaries proved to be absolutely superb 2 Scopoli's Shearwaters, given the geography, flew (only my second ever sighting of this species), past the boat, at reasonably close quarters. In Turkey itself, 30 House Martin seen flying over an arable field, 3 Swallow and most memorably on the journey back from the magnificent Ephesus ancient Site to Kusadasi, a superb Black Stork flew right over some fields near a wooded slope.

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