Birding and Wildlife photography at Limneo Lodge, Kerkini Lake, Greece

10,000 Birds

I was born and bred by the banks of the Lake Kerkini National Park in the north of Greece, one hour from the country’s second largest city Thessaloniki. The post Birding and Wildlife photography at Limneo Lodge, Kerkini Lake, Greece appeared first on 10,000 Birds.

The Lake of Beasts: Kerkini, Greece

10,000 Birds

This will be the first time I find myself in Greece in winter. During the last decade, the numbers in Greece were “mostly stable”, fluctuating from 35 up to 75 birds – representing the total European Fennoscandian population. Both: “The Lesser White-fronted Goose in Greece” by Demertzi et al., Organised bird-tours are offered by Natural Greece. For additional info, the BirdLife Greece has recently published Birding in Greece.

Saving the Drowning Cormorant, or the Kerkini Lake, Greece

10,000 Birds

I was driving along the legendary eastern levee of the Kerkini Lake in northern Greece ( Google Map ) and, listening to the first Golden Oriole flute, was slowly getting closer to a wooded Mt. Asian water buffaloes were brought to Greece by Ottoman Turks centuries ago and by now, they have developed into a separate race, the Greek buffalo, which is protected as an old domestic breed. Out of some 4000 buffaloes still being kept in Greece, about 3000 are at this lake.

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Birding in Greece – birdfinder book review

10,000 Birds

Since I live not very far from Greece, I have often combined my vacation there with birding. I have a handful of Greece travel guides (not that I am happy with any of them), but what I always missed was a specialised bird-finding guide. Greece is visited by millions of tourists every year (over 19.5 Yet, as far as I know, there was no birdfinder guide for Greece. Have I already mentioned that Birding in Greece is a luxurious book?

Pelican Lake (Greece): Magic Revisited

10,000 Birds

The sun rises over the village of Chrysochorafa, by Kerkini Lake in the north of Greece, not far from the triple border with Bulgaria and FYRO Macedonia. Before this trip, I asked Steve Mills, the author of ‘ Birdwatching in Northern Greece ’, which sites would he recommend at this time of the year. Lake Kerkini is not just one of the best birding spots of Greece – it is most definitively among the very best in the whole of Balkans. Trips Europe Greece pelicans

Birding Greece: Black and white world

10,000 Birds

One simply has to love Greece. I told you – one simply has to love Greece. Trips Europe falcons Greece gulls raptorsWinding between the old Olives, the road ahead of me veers into the hills of the Pelion Peninsula, near the harbour town of Volos. A movement in the corner of my eye… a buzzard.

The Kerkini Lake, Greece: Dipped One, Got One

10,000 Birds

While crossing Gramos Mountain in northern Greece, a Dendrocopos woodpecker flew over the road and landed in a pine tree. The next morning is for the Kerkini Lake, one of the youngest national parks of Greece, protected only ten years ago, in 2006 and inhabited by 11 amphibian, 27 reptilian, 44 mammal and 312 bird species. Trips eagles Europe geese Greece Kerkini Lake woodpeckersI dipped a bird recently – possibly a lifer.

What is killing birds at Karla Lake (Greece)?

10,000 Birds

Located in Thessaly province in central Greece, what is now left of the lake where the god Apollo was married and where the Argonauts built their kingdom is officially called the reservoirs of the former Lake Karla. Trips Europe Greece wetlandsThere should be thousands of birds at this time of the year, Dimitris Michalakis from the Karla Lake management authority told me.

Only for Dogs and Birders – Kalamas Delta, Greece

10,000 Birds

“The estuary and the delta of the River Kalamas form the most important wetland of northwest Greece”, so the “ Birding in Greece ” guidebook claims for the area where I am heading, a bit late since I overslept this morning. This species is still uncommon in the Balkans and despite the recent spread, Kalamas is the most reliable site for it in Greece (and this made my only second ever observation of them in Europe). Trips Car birding Europe Greece wetlands

Greece: Pelicans galore at Lake Kerkini

10,000 Birds

It is an early April morning and we are in the hills surrounding Lake Kerkini in the north of Greece. I was on a new birding tour well organised by Natural Greece and accompanied by their nature guide Georgos Spiridakis, who lives on the shore of this lake and specialises in this area, as well as wider northern Greece. BirdLife Greece has recently published the Greek bird finder, available online as pdf and downloadable as an android smartphone application.

Prespa Lakes National Park, Greece: the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world

10,000 Birds

The Prespa Lakes National Park in Greece is well hidden among the mountains at the triple border with Albania in the west and the FYRO Macedonia in the north. One of them has a satellite transmitter around its neck and quite a few have white collars marked with the letter “G” (for Greece?) In FYROM, take the motorway exit for Prilep, go to Bitola, cross the border to Greece at Niki, head towards Florina and take the main road afterwards (better marked and easier to find).

Blinded Turtle Finds New Home in Aquarium

Critter News

The Archelon rescue centre in Greece previously looking after Homer believes this is what happened to him. Fishermen in Greece deliberately blinding turtles? Tags: UK greece animal rescue turtles I'm not posting this because of the rescue (which is a good thing), but because of HOW this turtle was blinded. From the BBC. The aquarium said it hoped Homer would help raise awareness about the plight of his species.

There’s a bear! There’s a bear!

10,000 Birds

This September I found myself on a bear tracking tour organised by Natural Greece in the prime bear habitat of the Pindos range – the southernmost bear country in Europe, heading for the 2,520 m / 8,270 ft high Gramos Mountain along the border with Albania. Draped in dense forests of black pine, beech, fir, spruce and Scot’s pine, this is one of the least populated areas of Greece, with merely 0.47 Trips bears Europe Greece Mammals mountains

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The Greek Strategy

10,000 Birds

Have you read my blogs on birding Greece ? Presuming that you live somewhere in Europe and plan a car trip to Greece, let me suggest a couple of routes that will increase your tour list. Driving from France or Germany to Greece, you are likely to pass through my hometown of Belgrade and continue south following the E75 through the FYRO Macedonia. By now you have crossed into Greece – what is next? Trips Balkans birdfinder Europe Greece Kerkini Lake wetlands

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Birding on Steroids or the Kerkini Lake in 10 Pictures

10,000 Birds

This time I was lucky enough to join a fam trip organised by Natural Greece, an ecotourism company from Athens, and spend a few days at my favourite Kerkini Lake, which you already birded through my bins ( April and September ). Beside Andrea Bonetti, the guide from Natural Greece, there were four more bird guides coming from some of the leading tour operators in the industry. I travelled with: Natural Greece ( www.natural-greece.gr/en

2015 81

I screamed: Ural Owl!

10,000 Birds

More productive areas of the Balkans have January eBird lists from 105 to 115 species (but I combined several areas in two countries, Greece and Serbia), so I have every reason to be satisfied. The best birds so far were two rare geese, Lesser White-fronted and Red-breasted Goose (both my second observations ever), plus Bewick’s Swan and Red-crested Pochard – all in Greece. Birding 2018 Greece Serbia Ural Owl year listI screamed “UralOwlUralOwlUralOwl!!!”,

2018 46

Birding the Cyclades: My my, how can I resist you?

10,000 Birds

We are in the village of Finikas on the island of Syros in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece. Tha dropping numbers are suspected in Greece and Croatia, and confirmed in Italy, France and Malta. I was on a new sailing birdwatch tour well organised by Natural Greece and accompanied by their bird guide Andrea Bonetti. The BirdLife Greece has recently published the Greek bird finder, available online as pdf and downloadable as an android smartphone application.

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The top-5 birds of 2018

10,000 Birds

The year 2018 started with the rare Lesser White-fronted Goose , closely followed by Red-breasted Goose , Red-crested Pochard and Greater Flamingo , all at the incredible Lake Kerkini National Park in northern Greece: “Seeing a parked 4×4 and a national park biologist Kostas Papadopoulos scoping the flats… What is he looking at? Birds 2018 Greece SerbiaWhat qualifies a bird to be included in the top-5? My first criterion was that I observed it only once during the year 2018.

2018 48

Photograph Wildlife Worldwide with Wildlife Explorers!

10,000 Birds

The company works with the best guides of Greece, who are also excellent experts in their subject and its photography. Furthermore, the company has two boat-hides, at the most popular lakes of Greece.

The Beach Falcon

10,000 Birds

An afternoon is already growing old while I am driving downhill to the Livadi marsh at the island of Kefallonia, Greece. Trips falcons Greece Behind the marsh is a quarry, in front of it the Gulf of Argostoli, a small pine wood to the right and some eucalyptus trees to the left. I am watching from the main coastal road and do not see much – several Little Egrets and Grey Herons , one Common Kingfisher … is he going to be my best bird here?

BIRDING ACHERON: Hell is closed for renovation

10,000 Birds

And here I am now, avoiding the two barking dogs trying to bite my tires while I am driving through pre-dawn darkness towards the delta of the river Styx, or Acheron, as it is known today at the Ionian Sea coast of Greece. These birds have already left my native Serbia, further north, and this is not just the only one I have seen in Greece, but my last bee-eater of the season. Trips Greece wetlands

2013 76

Rock Partridges and Hollywood mandolins

10,000 Birds

And here I am on vacation in Greece, turning off the alarm at 5.30 Trips Greece partridges I don’t like to wake up if it’s still dark outside – I hate it! am – too early, as it will turn out, but I had no clue when the sun rises. At the crack of dawn, I am driving along sharp curves through the olive groves. I define the “crack of dawn” as that time when it’s already (almost) light, although the sun is nowhere to be seen.

2013 78

Wrapping Up Birding Tourism February

10,000 Birds

It was a fun month with posts from places as varied as Greece and Uganda, Costa Rica and India. Greece. We here at 10,000 Birds dedicated the month of February to highlighting a variety of birding tourism companies, destinations, and guides.

Planning and executing birding plans in the times of corona-virus

10,000 Birds

Like many of you, I had plans for this year’s spring migration: to bird the very best tour of the Balkans, heading for northeastern Greece. Yet, instead of sweeping off the target birds in Greece, I found myself under a police curfew in Belgrade.

2020 95

Rats help save humans.

4 The Love Of Animals

In ancient Greece and China, if you were suspected to have tuberculosis, doctors would burn your spit with a stone or hot flame and interpret the fume’s odor.). Long before CAT scans, X-rays, blood samples and colonoscopies, physicians used the good sense they were born with: their sense of smell. That’s because bacterias, cancers and infections create unique smells. Sweet, fruity breath could mean diabetes. A foul-smelling wound might spell an infection. Liver disease?

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Packing for a birding trip

10,000 Birds

When was the last time you travelled for birding? Since the Covid-19 era, I have become a patch birder. On rare occasions I do visit some other areas, but when I hang binoculars around my neck, even without a second thought I head for Beljarica backwaters.

Birding without a phone

10,000 Birds

Out of my total of 15 observations ever, this is only the third within Serbia (the rest were half in India, the other half in Greece). If you are old enough, you will remember birding without a phone? Not too long ago, it was the norm.

2020 95

Foreign Languages on a Birding Trip

10,000 Birds

While tracking brown bears in Greece some time ago, B. The story goes, after the coffee at the first homestead, he visited the neighbour’s, where he had a tsipouro (or two – in itself, a reason enough to travel to Greece). Don’t you hate it when you cannot communicate while birding overseas? Having mobility issues, I still remember birding from a van along a rather productive dirt road in Costa Rica ( Broad-billed Motmot , Lineated Woodpecker , Cocoa Woodcreeper , etc.),

2019 63

We are Just Money Grubbers

10,000 Birds

I dipped it once before and only this autumn found them in Greece. They do breed in the Balkans, in Montenegro and Greece where I observed them, as well as in Bulgaria and Romania. Yet, while I observed them previously in Gujarat, I found my first Western Palearctic one this year in Greece. Out of just under 200 bird species I observed this year in SE Europe, there are 6 threatened species.

2016 67

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

Several countries, including Austria, Bolivia, Colombia, Greece, Peru, Britain and Paraguay, have already imposed or approved bans. To the Editor: Re “ Worry Under the Big Top as Mexico City Moves to Ban Circus Animals ” (news article, June 15): Mexico City joins the growing list of cities that have banned the exploitation of animals in circuses. Why is the United States lagging so far behind?

Analogue vs. digital birding

10,000 Birds

Cover photo: birding Greece. Looking at a photo of a dozen birders on a Colombia tour, it stroke me that they were either using binoculars or cameras. Not a single one was using a scope. Okay, this was a shorter distance observation, but even in such situations I love to see birds through the scope. Probably some of them did carry a scope, but the majority clearly ditched scope for a camera (and expected their guides to provide scopes, of course).

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Bringing Griffon Vultures into Cyprus

10,000 Birds

I had written then that… There are rumors of a plan to capture Griffon Vultures breeding in Greece and release them here in Cyprus, to rescue the population. A few months ago I shared with the 10,000 Birds community the plight of Griffon Vultures in Cyprus , and it has only been getting worse. A census conducted on March 31 indicated that there are in fact only only 6-8 Griffon Vultures left in Cyprus. But there is cause for hope on the horizon.

Brewery Ommegang: Idyll Days Pilsner

10,000 Birds

Of course, there may very well have been fowl-inspired weathervanes in ancient Greece and Rome.

2020 63

The Six Good Birds of Christmas

10,000 Birds

I observed my first GS eagles in India some 8 years ago, then the first for Europe in Greece only last December , and finally I have them in my home country list. 2018 is about to end. Checking my annual list, I am where I usually am at this time of year: several species short of 200. And although half of them are within reach, I don’t really have the time to pursue them. Still, this way or another, the year is ending with some glorious species, e.g. a rare Greater Spotted Eagle.

2018 50

15 expat-friendly countries for a birder to move to

10,000 Birds

Greece (346 / 411 – just to give you a clue, the Greek-published checklist I have has 449 species). What are the best countries for a passionate birder to move to? And why? I discovered this map a while ago, hidden somewhere at the not so easy to navigate BirdLife International’s website, and I have used it as my computer wallpaper ever since. Usually, I interchange some birdy wallpapers several times per month, but this one has stayed for several months already.

2015 81

What makes a good bird guide – your saying

10,000 Birds

Here we go: Guest-authors: Deborah Jean Cohen, Eric DeFonso, James Wolstencroft, Joshua Stuart Rose, Marcel van Driel, Mike Black, Natural Greece, Paul Oliver, Rockjumper – Worldwide Birding Adventures, Sandra Paci, Susan Soloyanis, WorldBirders. Natural Greece: “Empathy is important too. My last blog has created quite a discussion among the readers, mostly from US, but also southern and eastern Africa and Europe (apologies if I forgot some region).

2014 79

I Remember Elephants

10,000 Birds

Late last month, while searching for bears , woodpeckers and spirits of Greece, I deliberately avoided checking any news, especially from my home country. Every now and then, I need to cut the world off and clear my mind. Nevertheless, only the most important news I did follow, those about the decision-making process on future sales of elephants and their ivory at a global wildlife summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first such meeting since 2013.

Definitively the Egyptians!

10,000 Birds

And so, I was driving from Greece to Serbia… in central Macedonia, two birds were circling not far from the motorway… black and white (above)… perhaps White Storks on migration? Scientific papers are simply boring. That is why they have sections Abstract and Summary, to allow you to read the digested versions and skip the rest.

2013 80

The true “Mediterranean” Gull

10,000 Birds

The coast of the Mediterranean Sea is used mostly as a wintering ground, with just a handful of breeding colonies between Greece, northern Italy and eastern Spain (and recently through central Europe all the way to Ireland). It has come to my attention that this blog needs more gulls.

2016 58

Spotting scope review: Swarovski 25-60×65 STX

10,000 Birds

I bought my first 20 years ago from some Russian on the seashore in Greece, but have not used it much because of rather dark images (I even took it to India with me – and didn’t use it even once). And this year I carried it to Greece twice, both by plane and by car. My best bird of the weekend was a Great Black-backed Gull , a rarity in a land-locked Serbia, with less than 10 observations so far. Could it be the same individual that I observed here last winter ?

2014 60

Beaten by an Angry Bird

10,000 Birds

A few years back, I birded northern Greece with a couple from Namibia. Noisy wing beats, heavy landing behind the stern, water splashing everywhere and then, a hit of a heavy wing on my upper arm…. It had been a while since I saw Greater Flamingoes and was thrilled to see them again. Nicolaas, who can see them back home any day commented that they are the most numerous wading birds in the world (the “most numerous” equaling “the least interesting”).

2017 58

Highs and Lows from the Champions of the Flyway Bird Race in Eilat, Israel

10,000 Birds

This year’s recipient was the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) in Greece. For those who happen to be faithful followers of posts about birding in Costa Rica, no, you haven’t accidentally browsed to the wrong place. Today, I am writing about another very birdy place and an event that I was very fortunate to have experienced, the Champions of the Flyway Bird Race in Eilat, Israel.

2016 63

My Top 12 Wildlife Watching Moments

10,000 Birds

Here go those moments of curiosity, in no particular order: Europe: And so, I was driving from Greece to Serbia… in central FYRO Macedonia, two birds were circling not far from the motorway… black and white… perhaps White Storks on migration? Today is the United Nations World Wildlife Day, a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the living world around us.

2016 63