Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trip to North- Greece (Evros Deltas, Porto Lagos, Rodopi Lagoons)

I recently took a 3 day trip (Jan 3-5th) at the North-East part of Greece. Evros Delta, Porto Lagos and Rodopi Lagoons are some of the most important bird areas o Southern Europe.
I used Steve Mills book, which I find mostly useful for spring and autumn migrations, however several hints about wintering species were extremely helpful.
Road conditions were superb, very few spots with mud terrain. I had 88 species overall. Highlight of the trip, a female Little Bustard, a rare winter visitor in Greece. I saw the bird in Porto Lagos beach, close to the Bird Information Center.

Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) at Porto Lagos, Jan 4th 2012

Food was cheap, gas consumption was super high with a Hyundai Tucson 4x4 (665 km, needed 90 lt of unleaded gasoline!), but the overall experience was unforgettable. The temperature was from -10 to +3 degrees Celcius. The days were sunny and sometimes fuggy over Evros Delta. Porto Lagos lagoonwas full of birds, more than anywhere else, Drana Lagoon is huge and difficult for bird observation since birds are very far away.

Things I enjoyed the most:
1. Little Bustard at Porto Lagos
2. Raptors (Goshawk, Merlin, Buzzards), Dalmatian Pelicans and Pygmy Cormorants at Evros Delta
3. White-tailed Eagles at Ismarida Lake
4. The landscape at Evros river, close to Ferres
5. Hen Harriers soaring low over ground, often at dusk
6. Hundreds of waterfowl at Porto Lagos Lagoon

I will be posting several pics from the trip during the next weeks...
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