This relaxing holiday takes place in one of the best birdwatching locations in Europe and will provide magical views of a wide range of birds and other flora and fauna in Northern Greece. Based at the enchanting Lake Kerkini, but exploring a wider variety of habitats including mountains, woods and coastal lagoons, nature-lovers will enjoy the opportunity to spend quality time watching birdlife and discovering a wide range of species.
You will also be helping birds as we will donate 10% of the proceeds of this trip to the charity Birdwing (Birdwatching in Northern Greece www.birdwing.eu), for their valuable conservation work in the area. The founders, Steve and Hilary, have written the birding guide to Northern Greece, and have over 25-years’ experience of the area.
Lake Kerkini is a magical place. A spring morning by the shore, watching pelicans (Dalmatian and White), egrets and herons whilst being serenaded by Nightingale, Golden Oriole and Turtle Dove as the sun rises above nearby mountains reflected in a still lake is simply stunning! It is a place you will want to go back to again and again.
It is an excellent area for raptors with Golden, Lesser Spotted, Short-toed, Booted and White-tailed Eagles all likely, with a supporting cast of Levant Sparrowhawk, Black Kite, Honey Buzzard, Red-footed and possible Eleanoras Falcons. Imperial Eagles turn up occasionally too! Eagle Owls can often put in an appearance whilst Little Owls are right outside the hotel. We may also see Black Storks gliding effortlessly into their forest homes behind the lake and there are breeding White Storks in the village.
One highlight of our visit will be a boat trip on the lake where we will drift between the trees of the drowned forest getting close to the many waterbirds that breed here including Pygmy Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Cattle Egret, Whiskered Tern, Squacco and Night Herons, Black-necked Grebe and hundreds of Great-crested Grebes in their breeding finery. We will also see the Dalmatian and White Pelican breeding colonies on the nesting islands and platforms.
There is also a rich variety of passerines to be found including Lesser Grey, Woodchat and Masked Shrikes, Rock Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater, Blue Rock Thrush, Penduline Tit, Hoopoe, Cirl and Rock Bunting and Sombre Tit. A large cast list of warblers can include Eastern Orphean, Subalpine, Great Reed and Eastern Olivaceous. The area holds eight woodpeckers, including Grey-headed, Black, Syrian, Lesser and Middle Spotted.
We will also spend some time away from the excitement of the lake, to explore other habitats and increase the range of possible species! A trip to the coast will provide waders that might include Terek, Marsh and Broad-billed Sandpipers, Little and Temminck’s Stints and other coastal species. We’ll visit a mixture of habitats at different altitudes; from wet woodland through beech, oak and pine woods, montane forest and grassland meadows above the tree line. In the latter we would hope to find Horned Lark, Rock Thrush, Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough and Rock Partridge.
Our home for the holiday will be less than a mile from the lake shore, at the very welcoming and environmentally aware Hotel Limneo, on the eastern side of the lake. Our host, Nikos, will look after us in the charming village of Chrysohorafa (meaning golden fields) where you will experience traditional rural life and Greece’s famous hospitality.