birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

I recently returned from a wonderful birdwatching trip in Northern Greece that i co-led for Wingspan bird tours.

We spent a total of 7 days visiting the habitats around lake Kerkini which vary from quarries, grasslands, scrub, mountainous meadows, broad-leaved and conifer forests and of course wetlands. We had a total of 140 bird species with some of the highlights being Levant Sparrowhawk, Rock Partridge, Dalmatian Pelican, Black-headed Bunting, Masked Shrike and many more. The title “bird of the trip” goes to Rose-couloured Starling which were in their hundreds. What an amazing bird that is!

The butterflies we saw during the birdwatching trip in Northern Greece were over 40 species. Some of the highlights were Southern White Admiral, Large Tortoiseshell, and millions of Nettle-tree Butterflies.

We had three different species of Orchids: Lizard Orchid, Woodcock Bee-orchid ssp.cornuta and Ophrys mammosa.

It is important to forget that not the number of species is what matters but the experience we had. We were a group of 12 people and the atmosphere and laughter we had were what is it was all about. Sharing the pleasure of birding with friends makes the experience of seeing good birds even better. The majority of the people on the trip were on previous birding trips with me around Bulgaria, so we knew each other.

The trip proved very productive for photographers who had their wonderful moments and good proximity to birds. The highlight experience of the trip that was voted by the group was the boat trip that took us right into the breeding birds. We had a Spoonbill sitting right by us at 5 m. All the birds were very calm which was a good sign that we didn’t scare them. There were hundreds of Sand Martins, Dalmatian Pelicans, and a nest of Cattle Egret which started nesting here only from a couple of years now.

The other greatest experience were literary the clouds of millions of Nettle-tree Butterflies. What an experience that was even for non-butterfliers.

The hotel was at an amazing location giving us the greatest view of the surrounding area. On the garden list we had a Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser-spotted Eagle, Cirl Bunting and many more. The food was mainly local and included lots of vegetables and buffalo meet.

All was highly appreciated and we had high scores on the evaluations. Thank you everyone for coming! Hope to see  you again.

Here are a few images from the trip:

Birds

birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Masked Shrike was pretty much everywhere and we get to see it every day © Iordan Hristov

birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Rose-coloured Starling © Iordan Hristov

birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Levant Sparrowhawk © Iordan Hristov

birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

Night Heron © Iordan Hristov

Large colony of Great Cormorant © Iordan Hristov

birdwatching trip in Northern Greece

White Pelicans © Iordan Hristov

White pelicans © Iordan Hristov

Spoonbill © Iordan Hristov

Great Cormorant © Iordan Hristov

Butterflies, Dragonflies and insects

butterfly in northern greece

Nettle-tree Butterfly Libythea celtis © Iordan Hristov

Balkan Spoon-winged-lacewing (Nemoptera-sinuata) © Iordan Hristov

Blue chaser Libellula fulva female

Orchids

Lizard Orchid

Woodcock Bee-orchid ssp.cornuta

Ophrys mammosa

 

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