Friday, 29 April 2016

Birding around Thessalonika

Whilst based at Kerkini we made a few trips to the coast, twice to Angelochori near Peraia, which is salt pans and a lagoon and once to Kalochori.
Angelochori didn't have much on the saltpans, around 20 Mediterranean Gulls and a handful of Avocet and Black-winged Stilt with a single Sanderling and a few Kentish Plover. There were Fan-tailed Warblers calling which for some reason don't appear to be at Kerkini.
Mediterranean Gull
Around the lagoon there were both Calandra and Short-toed Larks and the former gave very good views as they displayed over the heathy area. 
Calandra Lark
This area was also good for birds of prey, primarily Kestrel but I also had my first male Red-footed Falcon and Honey Buzzard of the trip and a single Hobby.
Red-footed Falcon - male
There were a lot of Pallid Swifts which appeared to be moving inland from the coast, in a strong wind this provided a good opportunity to get some photos of these fast flyers and with the sunshine the pale feather edgings to the body showed up a treat.
Pallid Swift
Kalochori also had a plenty of Mediterranean Gulls, around 100, and a few Slender-billed (20) but there were also more waders here with a mixed flock of around 70 Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff.
Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff with Black-headed Gulls
We also saw several Stone Curlew here and got good views of one bird. These are the first I have seen since Spain so it was good to see them reasonably close.
Stone Curlew
I'm writing this in Thessalonika Airport, dropping Pam off for her return flight to the UK. From here I am going East towards Porto Lago and the Evros Delta.

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