Finding Birds in  northern greece update

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Lake Prespa

Aug 1996 Site 3 - Rock Nuthatch, Crag Martin and Goosander  Site 4- Great White Egret and Bittern. Track opposite Plati - Barred Warbler  (William Oliver)

Mount Olympus

May 2007 No sign of any woodpeckers, let alone White-backed, in over 3 hours in the forests (Bill Shepherd)

Axios-Loudias-Aliakmon deltas

August 1996 'Thousands' of waders from site 12 including over 1000 Avocet The lagoon at site 11 was completely dry (William Oliver)

May 2018 At site 1 ‘Hundreds of waders, mostly Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff, Green and Wood Sandpiper, plus Common and Spotted Redshank, Dunlin, Greenshank, BW Stilt, Avocet, Kentish, Ringed and Grey Plover, Collared Pratincole, and Common, Sandwich, Gull-billed, White-winged and Little Tern, and Flamingos of course. Colony of Tree Sparrows at the parking place. No rarer waders though!’ At site 2 ‘close views of waders, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant & Black-necked Grebe’. Site 6 was ‘great for the first 2km, with large numbers of herons (Night, Squacco & Purple), Glossy Ibis and egrets in the flooded woodland, plus Roller, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole and Red-backed Shrike. After about 5km I found a pair of Spur-winged Plovers on the flats.’ The track to site 10 was too rutted to allow access. (Chris Barfield)


Aug 1996 Site 1 2 Red-necked Phalarope and a Marsh Sandpiper Site 3 1 Broad-billed Sandpiper Epanomi Lagoon was completely dry (William Oliver)

Aug 1999 Marsh Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, 12 Stone Curlew, 34 Dalmatian Pelicans and over 40 Black-necked grebes offshore (Ken Musgrove)

May 2018 The access track to the lagoon from the north end was padlocked and fenced, you could get across to it from the beach but there were staff working on site. The road along the SE side gives unlimited access though, and has conservation signboards (all in Greek!) showing the paths and viewpoints. There is a hide by the farm at the SE corner (locked!) and a watchpoint nearby giving good views over the lagoon, where there were several Slender-billed Gulls, plus LL Buzzard overhead, Black-headed Wagtail & RR Swallow. (Chris Barfield)

Lake Koronia

Aug 1996 The mobil garage no longer exists but over 30 Dalmatian pelicans could be seen from the track (William Oliver). [The track begins at 40.6736N, 23.0882E].

Nestos delta

Aug 1996 7 Spur-winged Plover and 16 Dalmatian Pelicans at site 2

May 2018 The track at site 4 I found unproductive and difficult to work, and I didn’t go far along it, but site 5 was much better, I made two visits here. The woodland path south of the café was absolutely alive with woodpeckers in just the first kilometre, I got close views of Black, Middle, Lesser and Great Spotted, and heard Grey-headed. Also Levant Sparrowhawk & Collared Flycatcher here. At site 6 the winding road into the hills produced Black-eared Wheatear and Griffon Vulture (Chris Barfield)

Lake Kerkini

Aug 1996 Sites 5 and  11 were 'awesome' with literally hundreds of Night Herons, Spoonbills, Squacco Herons, Little Egrets, Little Stints and Black-tailed Godwits plus 94 Dalmatian Pelicans, 70 White Pelicans, 14 Great White Egrets, 2 Glossy Ibis, 2 Caspian Terns, 10 Ferruginous Duck, 2 Red-throated Pipits and a Levant Sparrowhawk. There were also hundreds of Pygmy Cormorants and thousands of Great Cormorants at Sites 3 and 12 (W Oliver).

May 2018 Another site for Olive-tree Warbler and Masked Shrike. At site 2, from the village... ‘Just before the viewing tower going north, there’s a sandy track on the left which leads uphill past a pinewood and play area to a carpark at the top by a chapel. There were several OTW singing along the track just to the north of the carpark, and Masked Shrike in the pinewood, plus Serin and other finches.’ (Chris Barfield)

9th October 2018  Today, in the riparian forest, 86 Lesser White-fronted Geese were observed with 66 Greylags and 1 White-fronted Goose. At the mouth of the river, in the riverside forest and in the wider area of the lake, more than 8,000 Flamingos, 3000 White Pelicans, 400 Dalmatian Pelicans, 4000 Pochards, 1300 Avocets, more than 100 Spoonbills, a crane at the Mandraki harbor, and 8 other cranes flew to the eastern embankment . There are also several Lapwings, a few  Black-tailed Godwits, and various waders & waterfowl. Also two White-tailed Eagles, at least 9 Spotted Eagles, 3-5 Peregrines, 16 Marsh Harriers  and 21 Common Buzzards  have already appeared and a family of 4 Golden Eagles can be seen (Kostas Papadopoulos).

Porto Lagos

Aug 1999 Site 4 had only a few waders but 2 Broad-billed Sandpipers were amongst them. Site 3 was predictably dry by August. Site 9 was excellent with birds such as 12 Great White Egret, 101 Spoonbill, 14 Marsh Sandpipers and a White-winged Black Tern. Daliani lagoon was again superb for pelicans, with over 300 Dalmatians and 4 Whites. (William Oliver)

May 2018 Site 7 was ‘A fantastic site, lots of water, I went there several times. There’s no caravan in the garden at the turn off to the track, but it’s 2.7km from where the road reaches the sea. I had 7 Ferruginous Duck, LL Buzzard, Black Kite, Bittern, GS Cuckoo, another pair of SW Plover, Pochard, Garganey, Lapwing, and many Glossy Ibis, herons, egrets, Spoonbills, Stilts and waders. I recommend parking up and walking the circuit round the marsh.’ (Chris Barfield)

Lake Ismarida

1995 Little Crake in spring and Rose-coloured Starlings in late summer. Birds on the main pool in September included Dalmatian Pelicans and Broad-billed Sandpiper. (M A Reynolds)

Aug 1996 Little Crake at site 1 and site 3 was still wet enough to support 18 Broad-billed Sandpipers, 80 Marsh Sandpipers, 20 Spotted Redshanks, 2 Glossy Ibis, etc. (W Oliver).

May 2018 ‘The eastern track was completely undriveable, but I walked along it for a way and got good views of Collared Pratincole and reedbed species.There’s a hide on top of a hill on the western side (locked) which could be a good vantage point in winter. Lesser Kestrels still present at Kalamocastro.’ (Chris Barfield)


Evros delta

May 2007 Masked Shrike again at site 4 (Bill Shepherd)

May 2018

At site 4 ‘I parked halfway up and walked the rest of the way. Couldn’t find Sombre Tit, Masked Shrike or Rock Nuthatch despite a good search, but got good views of Alpine Swift, BE Wheatear, BH and Ortolan Bunting.’ At site 7 ‘No Isabellines, despite a long time searching, but had a dark phase Eleonora’s Falcon, a Montagu’s Harrier and Calandra and Short-toed Larks.’ (Chris Barfield)

May 2023

Richard May reports that permits for the Evros delta are now through the Evros Delta management body - contacts at Bob Croxton suggests that you should check to what extent access is possible – in 2019 he was unable to cross the ford at site 9 due to high water levels.

Forest of Dadia

May 2004 Site 1 - a pair of Masked Shrike bred in the fields just east of Dadia village. Site  7 - superb views of Lanner Falcon plus 6 Black Vultures and a Levant's Sparrowhawk. Apparently it's OK for birders to ignore the 'no entry' signs and go all the way to the tower (William Oliver)

Nea Fokea marsh

An important marsh for passage birds, especially in spring, though it may dry out by late summer. Just north of the Sani Beach hotel on the west coast of the Kassandra peninsula, Halkidiki (40.1089N, 23.3178E). From the entrance to the hotel walk about 1 km north along a track until the wetland comes into view on the right.

August 1999 The many waders, terns, herons, shrikes, warblers and raptors included Caspian Tern, Purple Heron and Levant Sparrowhawk (Ken Musgrove).


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