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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Tripreport mainland Greece, June 14th - 20th 2001,Tommy Pedersen
Tommy Pedersen, Havreveien 28,
N-0680 Oslo, Norway firstname.lastname@example.org
Odd Bruce Hansen, Ĺmotvn. 36, N-0880 Oslo, Norway, email@example.com
Delphi, June 20th 2001
Dadia Forest birdhide, June 17th 2001
All photos are video-grabs from our Canon MV200i
We arrived in the new Athens International Airport at 11:00 in the morning, and picked up our AVIS rented car. We found AVIS to be the least expensive agency. The car had air-condition.
It was a bit difficult to navigate our way out from the airport area onto the road towards Thessaloniki and Mount Olympus, as the airport is new, and a lot of the offramps from the highway was closed. Signposting was also inadequate.
After driving throughout Greece we also found that a basic knowledge of Greek letters will greatly help reading road signs in less touristy areas.
Hotels were fairly cheap, clean double-rooms (with two separate beds) running at 8.000 - 12.000 dr. The most expensive hotel was in Loutsa (Artemis) on our last night, which was 24.000 dr.
Some of the species we were looking for, but did not find was; Ruddy Shelduck, Rock Partridge and Semi-collared Flycatcher.
Great walk up to the summit from the car park. 10+ kilometres walk each way, fairly steep some places, but not too difficult. Bring plenty of drinking water and some biscuits/chocolate-bars, and there is a superb "café" (called refuge A in Gosney) halfway up that serves cold sodas and hot dinner.
We had Alpine Accentors from just above the café to the summit. Snowfinch was seen halfway between the café and summit, and Wallcreeper approximately 75-100 meters to the left of where the path ends, towards Skolio summit. The Lammergeiers that were seen here feeding, have been absent the last few years.
Pretty much as outlined in Gosney. Gadwall with chicks was a surprise.
No Little Crakes heard from the Flamingo taverna ( a place we found expensive, but seeing so many species from ones lunchtable is rather unique). We spent the night in a hotel at the western entrance to Porto Lagos, clearly signposted from the main road. It had a taverna nearby had excellent fish. Don't expect to eat anything but seafood here. Any moussaka you might want simply is not available....
Lake Mitrikou is now called Lake Ismarida, and if you can find Pagouri village, there is a sign from there that will lead you to the lake. We had plenty of difficulties locating Pagouri, but in the end we succeeded. Basically, after Hotel Fanari, you will drive for quite a number of kilometres before reaching Pagouri. Ask friendly local chaps underway. The lake itself was great!
A very cultivated landscape, with channels and dirt roads. Gosneys map gives some idea of the area. Along the road paralleling the railway we had Collared Pratincoles and Isabelline Wheatear.
Great eco-hotel with a mediocre restaurant (sandwiches only). We used the minibus up to the hide in the afternoon, and walked up and down the next morning. Eastern Bonelli's Warbler were seen and heard along the track to the birdhide. There were a lot more vultures present in the morning, but more raptors soaring in the evening.
We never found the small chapel and the scrubby hillside as mentioned in Gosney under Evros Delta. We tried hard. There are a few dirt roads that leads east into the hills, well worth exploring. We had one Masked Shrike close to the main road, and Levant Sparrowhawk hunting along the hillside there.
A dirty place. Spur-winged Lapwings were seen where Gosney indicates; below the "double warehouses". Walk onto the ground here, and the birds will start calling.
Delphi and Mount Parnassos:
The hill above the fenced in archeological site was great for Rueppell's Warblers. Drive past the police-station and beautiful church in town, and park the car at the (normally) closed back entrance to the archeological site. From here, there is a track up the hillside.
We had Olive-tree Warbler in the olive-trees immediately west of the Tholos archeological site, which is right below the entrance to the main archeological site. Open 24 hours and free entrance, just walk down the steps.
Mount Parnassos was reached from the village of Kalivia. Follow the sign to the ski-resort. We birded the hills south of the resort, the resort itself, the forest towards the summit, and spent only a few minutes above the treeline. (this might be a good place for Rock Partridge). We never saw Cretzchmar's Buntings in this area.
Reached from the town of Avlona, close to the Delphi - Athens main highway.
The best birding was appx. 5 kilometers after passing the railway-track, around the small water-pump where the road forks to the right and left. This is where we had a singing Cretzchmar's Bunting, easily seen in the hillside.
The road into the national park is the dirt road that forks to the left, and not the paved road to the right. We tried to drive across Mount Parnitha, but the road forked into so many dead ends, and roadcondition degraded too much, so we eventually gave up. The best birding was between the first roadfork and the first monastery anyway. At the monastety we saw a female Rueppell's Warbler as well.
Rueppell's Warbler - female
Corinth, June 20th 2001
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