Saturday, August 27, 2016

Birding in Greece: Mesolonghi full day, August 14th 2016

This year is definitely "dedicated" to this great wetland of Western Greece. We have already run quite a few birding trips and more will follow. This time, Lori Pivonka, an american birder, wanted to explore the birdlife of the area.

The weather was great, not too hot and not too windy and that predisposed us for a great time and it really was!

By the time we entered the lagoon, hundreds of terns and gulls welcomed us: Gull-billed, Caspian, Whiskered, Black, Little and Common Terns were the most common, while Slender-billed Gulls were also present.



Gull-billed Tern with a freshly caught frog
A very nice surprise was the presence of more than 10 Pygmy Cormorants. Very common nowadays in the north, the Pygmy Cormorant steadily expands its range and it will soon establish itself in the area of Messologhi. 
Pygmy Cormorant
Dalmatian Pelicans, Flamingos and Avocets were also there as these species are common and widespread. Herons were also common: hundreds of Little Egrets along with Great Egrets, Grey, Squacco and Herons. A few Purple Herons were also present

Purple Heron

Other birds of interest included dozens of Garganeys, hundreds of Dunlins and a few Marsh Sandpipers and, of course, Kentish Plovers and Collared Pratincoles

A Dunlin retaining its summer plumage

But it's not just the lagoon. The surrounding area is also very productive as the last remaining Griffon Vulture colony of the region is found very close; the birds can be easily seen flying in and out of their nests. 

Griffon Vulture

But the day was not over, in terms of active birding, even when we headed our way home. Instead of using the state-of-the-art bridge that connects western Greece with the Peloponnese, we used the ferry because we wanted to find the Scopoli's Shearwater. And there it was, soaring just above the waves!

Scopoli's Shearwater

Lori and Lefteris in action, watching a Wood Warbler

Another fine day was over. The total list of birds seen and/or heard is more than 80 species! An impressive count for August, don't you think?

CHECKLIST 

Mallard
Garganey
Ferruginous Duck
Little Grebe
Great Cormorant
Pygmy Cormorant
Dalmatian Pelican
Litte Bittern
Night Heron
Squacco Heron
Little Egret
Great Egret
Grey Heron
Purple Heron
Glossy Ibis
Flamingo
Griffon Vulture
Short-toed Eagle
Marsh Harrier
Buzzard
Kestrel
Water Rail
Moorhen
Coot
Black-winged Stilt
Avocet
Collared Pratincole
Little Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Grey Plover
Little Stint
Dunlin
Curlew
Redshank
Marsh Sandpiper
Greenshank
Common Sandpiper
Black-headed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Little Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Moustached Tern
Black Tern
White-winged Tern
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Collared Dove
Kingfisher
Bee-eater
Hoopoe
Crested Lark
Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
Red-rumped Swallow
Yellow Wagtail
Northern Wheatear
Blue Rock Thrush
Cetti's Warbler
Zitting Cisticola
Reed Warbler
Sardinian Warbler
Wood Warbler
Spotted Flycatcher
Collared Flycatcher
Blue Tit
Rock Nuthatch
Penduline Tit
Red-backed Shrike
Lesser Grey Shrike
Woodchat Shrike
Jay
Magpie
Raven
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Chaffinch
Greenfinch










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