Greece - Lesvos

The small Greek island of Lesvos has become famous as a naturalists paradise and a hotspot for European bird migration and home to a wide variety of wonderful creatures.

Lesvos is situated just a short distance from the coast of Turkey and even though it is the third largest island in Greece it has luckily missed the mass tourism of some of its nieghbour islands. Lesvos is still full of quiet and quaint fishing villages, small towns with narrow streets and lovely friendly local people. This beautiful island is dominated by Olive groves and patches of forest, fields full of poppies, and barren rocky hillsides with stone farms, lush green fields and numerous wild flowers. The whole island is a nature lovers dream with thousands of birds passing through on migration every spring and autumn, and super opportunities to observe a wide variety of butterflies, dragonflies, reptiles and even a long list of orchids. Many wildlife photographers and birdwatchers return year after year and with easy short distances to travel, lots of nice hotels and restaurants, and very few tourists this island has become one of Europe’s premier wildlife destinations. The small fishing village of Skala Kalloni and the Kalloni Bay Hotel offer an information center during April and May when migration is in full swing.

Hotspots & Wildlife: 

Kalloni Area: .The Kalloni area just one hours drive from Mytilini Airport is the center for most visiting birdwatchers and naturalist during the famous spring migration. Using Skala Kalloni as a base it is easy to visit the nearby salt pans which host thousands of shorebirds, herons and flamingos as well as a good selection of passerines passing through with several also nesting. The fields that surround the salt pans attract shrikes, warblers, colourful bee-eaters, hoopoes, Collared Pratincoles, Red-throated Pipits and a wide variety of butterflies and even wild tortoises. Birds of prey regularly fly over and if weather conditions are right then its possible to see harriers, eagles, hawks and falcons in good numbers. Two shallow rivers attract Little Bitterns, Black Storks, up to three species of crake and many other birds plus a few interesting reptiles. There are always surprises, and information on rarities or specific species is readily available via a “Whats App” group, information boards in the Kalloni Bay Hotel, plus sightings books in several other hotels. There is also the excellent guide book by Steve Dudley which provides maps and lots of info.
Sigri: Another small fishing village on the west coast of the island, Sigri is set in a beautiful lush green valley where migrating birds gather in huge numbers if the weather conditions are right. Small Olive groves, a shallow stream, a beach pond and lots of grassy fields surrounded buy hedgerows and bushes play host to a huge variety of birds during spring and autumn. Gorgeous Golden Orioles and European Rollers, plus Bee-eaters, Red-footed Falcons, Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins, Black-headed Buntings, flycatchers and four species of shrike can all be seen. From the beach it is possible to watch Yelkouan and Scopoli’s Shearwaters and Eleanora’s Falcon and Lesser Kestrels are regular. Butterflies can be found in good numbers and a good variety and several species of snake, scorpion and spider could be found if you looked hard enough for them. 
Ipsolu: The Ipsolu Monastery is set high on a rocky hill and allows a fantastic view down to the coast of Sigri and inland across the endless hills. This spot has attracts many birdwatchers as its not only a beautiful site it is also a magnet for migrants and a perfect place to look for birds of prey passing by at eye-level. Harriers, eagles,Honey Buzzard, Golden Eagle and even Levant Sparrowhawks have been seen while the small patches of woodland attract warblers, flycatchers and Golden Orioles. The monastery holds Sombre Tit, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch, Caucasian Squirrel, and Inky Skipper butterfly. The nearby surrounding barren rocky hillsides play host to wheatears, Sombre Tit, Rock Nuthatch and the sought after Cinereous Bunting plus more reptiles, butterflies and wild flowers.

For accommodations in Lesvos – Click here>  


SPECIES of interest

Lodges in Lesvos

Click interactive map

Places To Stay

European Bee-eaters

  • Species – 333

European Bee-eaters


Krüper’s Nuthatch
Eurasian Scops Owl
Chukar Partridge
Scopoli’s Shearwater
Greater Flamingo
Black Stork
Dalmatian Pelican
Great Snipe
Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin
Little Crake
Spur-winged Plover
Collared Pratincole
Audouin’s Gull
Cinereous Bunting
Little Owl
European Roller
European Bee-eater
Eurasian Hoopoe

Middle-spotted Woodpecker
Red-footed Falcon
Eurasian Golden Oriole
Cetti’s Warbler
Ruppell’s Warbler
Rufous Bush-robin
Citrine Wagtail
Black-headed Bunting
Sombre Tit
Sardinian Warbler
Olive-tree Warbler
Eleonora’s Falcon
Temminck’s Stint
Masked Shrike
Baillon’s Crake
Levant Sparrowhawk
Short-toed Eagle
Little Bittern

Full List – Click here  
  • Species – 37

Caucasian Squirrel


Eastern European Hedgehog
Bicoloured Shrew
Lesser White-toothed Shrew
Etruscan Shrew
European Free-tailed Bat
Greater Horseshoe Bat
Mehely’s Horseshoe Bat
Schreiber’s Bent-winged Bat
Long-fingered Bat
Greater Mouse-eared Bat
Lesser Noctule Bat
Nathusius Pipistrelle
European Hare
European Rabbit
Caucasian Squirrel
Lesser Mole Rat
Gunther’s Vole
Yellow-necked Field Mouse

Eastern Broad-toothed Field Mouse
Long-tailed Field Mouse
House Mouse
Brown Rat
House Rat
Red Fox
Least Weasel
Stone Martin
Eurasian Otter
Mediterranean Monk Seal
Short-beaked Common Dolphin
Striped Dolphin
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
Blasius’ Horseshoe Bat
Serotine Bat
Noctule Bat
Lesser Mouse-eared Myotis Bat
Lesser Horseshoe Bat

Full List – Click here  
  • Reptile Species – 22
  • Amphibian Species – 4

Starred Agama


Ottoman’s Viper
Spur-thighed Tortoise
Turkish Gecko
Snake-eyed Lizard
European Pond Terrapin
Sand Boa
Balkan Terrapin
Starred Agama
Balkan Green Lizard
Common Tree Frog
European Cat Snake
Moorish Gecko
Eastern Spadefoot
European Glass Lizard
Dice Snake
Snake-eyed Skink
Green Toad
Grass Snake

Bedriaga’s Marsh Frog
Worm Snake
Leopard Snake
Dwarf Snake
Eastern Montpellier Snake
Large Whip Snake
Dahl’s Whip Snake
Coin-marked Snake
Levant Water Frog
Kotschy’s Gecko

Full Reptile List Full Amphibian List
  • Species – 44



Beautiful Demoiselle
Dainty Bluet
Blue-eyed Hawker
Lesser Emperor
Eastern Spectre
Turkish Clubtail
Turkish Goldenring
Small Skimmer
Black Pennant
Violet Dropwing
Robust Spreadwing
Blue Featherleg
Yellow-spotted Emerald
Common Winter Damselfly
Small Pincertail
Broad Scarlet
Dark Spreadwing

Small Red-eye Damselfly
Green-eyed Hawker
Blue-eyed Goldenring
Blue Chaser
Epaulet Skimmer
Southern Skimmer
Banded Demoiselle
Small Bluetail
Goblet-marked Damselfly
Southern Darter
Black-tailed Skimmer
Migrant Spreadwing
Blue Emperor
Ruddy Darter
Keeled Skimmer
Broad-bodied Chaser
Eastern Willow Spreadwing
Small Red Damselfly

Full List – Click here  
  • Species – 77

Orbed Red-underwing Skipper


Scarce Swallowtail
Eastern Festoon
Falso Apollo
Green-veined White
Krueper’s Small White
Orange Tip
Plain Tiger
Sloe Hairstreak
Small Copper
Long-tailed Blue
Holly Blue
Brown Argus
Southern White Admiral
Queen of Spain Fratillary
Eastern Rock Grayling
Turkish Meadow Brown

Small Heath
Wall Brown
Grizzled Skipper
Mallow Skipper
Levantine Skipper
Southern Swallowtail
Balkan Green-veined White
Eastern Dappled White
Purple-shot Copper
Amanda’s Blue
Camberwell Beauty
Southern Comma
Lattice Brown
Inky Skipper
Aegean Grayling
Two-tailed Pasha
Ilex Hairstreak

Full List – Click here