A rewarding trip to one of the best preserved and prime birdingareas in Europe with outstanding scenery, great habitatsand more than 200 species of birds to see.
Kerkini Lake, scenically the most impressive wetland in NorthernGreece, is the first nature site to explore on this trip. We will visit allthe key birdwatching parts of the lake and in one of the morningswe can do a boat trip to the heron and cormorant nesting colony,which provides very good opportunities for bird photographyas well. Some of the fabulous species we target here include theWhite Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Purple Heron,Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Bittern, GlossyIbis, Black Stork, Black Kite, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warbler,Cetti’s Warbler and others. In the broad-leaved forests andshrubs, steppes and arid areas in the countryside surrounding thelake we can see various breeding birds, such as theLong-leggedBuzzard, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker,Masked Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black-headedBunting, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting.
Leaving back for the Aegean coast we will make a long stop in themountains on the way, searching for some special birds like theRufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Water Pipit, Alpine Chough. Then we willreach the Nestos river valley with its impressive gorge, where weexpect to find the Rock Partridge, Alpine Swift, Red-rumpedSwallow, Eurasian Crag Martin, Eastern Orphean Warbler,Blue Rock Thrush, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Western Rock Nuthatch, Rock Bunting.
Travelling further east we will make a long stop at the complex ofwetlands and grasslands around Porto Lagos and Lake Ismarida, where we can see theEurasian Shag (ssp. desmarestii), White-tailed Eagle, Montagu’s Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Stone Curlew,Zitting Cisticola and a lot of breeding and migrating waders. The evening and the whole next day we will spend in the area of Maronia, which holds big variety of Mediterranean and Balkan species like Scopoli’s Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, Audouin’s Gull, Golden Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Eleonora’s Falcon, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Masked Shrike, Rufous Bush Robin, Barred Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, etc.
Then we will settle for three days in the easternmost part of mainlandGreece. One of the major sites to visit here is the Dadya ForestNational Park. This is another scenically splendid and wildlife richarea of Greece, especially noted for the fact that 36 of Europe’s 39species of raptors can be found here. While in the area, we will besearching for the Eurasian Black Vulture, Eurasian Griffon Vulture,Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, SardinianWarbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’sWarbler, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear and Masked Shrike.
At the end of our trip we will focus on the famous Evros Delta– one of the most important wetlands in Europe and a magnet forbirders. Among the big variety of birds that find shelter and foodthere, we can expect to see the Ferruginous Duck, Spur-wingedLapwing, Marsh Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Collared Pratincole, other migrating and breeding waders,terns and shore birds. In the dry habitats we will be looking forthe European Roller, European Bee-eater, CalandraLark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabelline Wheater, Tawny Pipit, OlivaceousWarbler. Earlier in spring we could have good chances tosee Red-footed Falcons and Levant Sparrowhawks passing over.
Finally we will travel back to Thessaloniki, in the vicinity of which wewill visit the Axios Delta National Park, providing good opportunities for furtherbirdwatching encounters, especially waders – Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew, Spur-winged Plover, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper. Other target species here will be the Greater Flamingo, Short-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Slender-billed Gull, Little Tern, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark and Black-headed Bunting.
The price includes: – The ground transport by van or small bus (depending on the group-size), including the transfers from / to Thessaloniki Airport; – Accommodation in family-run 2/3* hotels in twin-bedded en-suite rooms; – All breakfasts, lunches and 3-course dinners; – English speaking expert guide during the whole trip;