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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
North East Greece, May 8-15th 2003,
This trip was organised at very short notice, because our trip to Beidaihe, China was cancelled due to the SARS outbreak.
Five birders made the trip, Chris Johnson, Des Parkin, Alan Marshall, Jim Hickson, and Ray Thorneycroft. Chris and Des had birded this area some ten years earlier to the same week. Then the weather had been damp and cool but this time it was dawn till dusk sunshine every day.
Flights were booked with Thomas Cook at £120 each to Thessalonika Airport, where two hire cars were awaiting us when we landed at 11.30am local time.
The itinerary was as follows.
Day 1 Thessalonika Airport-Lake Koronia-Asprovalta
2. Asprovalta -Kavala (Hospital)-Nestos -Porto Lagos -Fanari
3. Lake Ismarida- Evros Delta- Dadia
4. Dadia- Loutros Hill- Evros Delta-Avas Gorge-Alexandroupolis
5. Alexandroupolis- Sidirokastro (via Xanthi, Drama, and Serres) - Lake Kerkini - Sidirokastro
6. Sidirokastro - Lake Kerkini -Lake Doirani (Macedonian Border) -Akritochori -Sidirokastro
7. Sidirokastro - War Memorial, (near Bulgarian Border) - Promachonas (Bulgarian Border) - Agkistro - Sidirokastro back road, towards Fea Petra Village - Lake Kerkini - Sidirokastro
8. Sidirokastro - Thessalonika Airport.
Guides used were Collins Bird Guide, Britain & Europe and the "Finding Birds in Greece" booklet by Dave Gosney which was 10 years old and needs serious updating. We photo-copied a road map to take with us. This turned out not to be much good, so we used a road map given by the car hire company. As the map had English pronunciations for the places and the road signs were in Greek and Cyrillic, this resulted in quite a few wrong turns. Some marked roads never even existed. Make sure you get a good road map.
Accommodation was easy to find and very reasonable. The most we paid was 18 euros (£13) in a good hotel down to 12 euros (£8.50) for ordinary rooms. Food was also good, plentiful, and reasonably priced.
The trip got off to a bad start in the airport when one of our party had his rucksack stolen. It contained his binoculars, traveller's cheques and all his medication. The airport police were not very helpful and seemed to take the line "your luggage, your responsibility". While waiting for him in the car compound, we started picking up a few birds. Kestrel, Red-rumped Swallows, Common and Pallid Swifts, 10 Collared Pratincoles and a Steppe Buzzard.
We finally got on our way heading for Lake Koronia, stopping at pharmacists to try and replace the medicines which Des must have within the next two days. We did not have any luck.
At the lake we started to pick up birds. Black-headed Buntings, Spanish Sparrows, Bee-eater, Corn Buntings, Crested Lark, Turtle Doves, White Storks, Nightingales. Disaster struck again. While trying to find a track down to the lakeside, the two cars somehow lost each other and after a fruitless two hours hanging around the road, I decided to head for the pre planned overnight stop, where on entering Asprovalta we were flagged down by Chris who had waited by the roadside there for a couple of hours. We had lost the best part of 4 hours on the first day.
The next morning we birded the hillside behind Asprovolta where a new road is now being built. Cirl Bunting was the first bird, followed by a pair of Subalpine Warblers, Sardinian Warbler, Turtle Doves, Kestrel, Jay, and Hooded Crows.
We then set off to Kavala, having an Eleanora's Falcon en route, and headed for the hospital to try and sort Des's medication problem out. Whereas the airport police had been unhelpful, the Doctors and nurses here were extremely helpful. Overall this took over 3 hours. Fortunately the hospital was the highest building up the side of a hill and during this time we were able to bird from the car park. Nightingales were singing and a pair of Olivacious Warblers were carrying nest material. There was a group of over twenty Bee-eaters flying above the ridge and a Golden Eagle appeared twice. A pair of Black-eared Wheatears, Hoopoe, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Common Buzzard and Cuckoo were also seen.
After a hair raising drive down near vertical back streets to get the medicine needed to see Des survive through the week (we'd considered the possibility of using him as vulture bait if unsuccessful) at last once again we were on the road, heading for the Nestos Delta. Ill advisedly, we decided to follow tracks for about 10 miles which were signposted to Nestos Visitor Centre instead of using other info we had. All this was for nothing as we never found the centre and we never found any marshes, pools or even the river. The only birds we saw were a Black-headed Wagtail, a Bee-eater, a Roller, and a Red-backed Shrike. This was all very disappointing, again we had lost more time and as this was now passing we decided to cut our losses.
We motored on to Porto Lagos and found the salt pans, wader lagoon, and the coastal lagoon. At last we were amongst the birds. Little Egrets, Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints, Kentish Plovers, Ruff, Oystercatchers, Grey Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Turnstones, Sandwich Terns, and Little Terns. We drove round the wader lagoon, picking up Marsh Harriers and Calandra Lark along with the regular Black-headed Buntings and Corn Buntings. Four Slender-billed Gulls were seen along with Common Terns, a Stone Curlew, and a host of forty-two Greater Flamingo's. Most of them were young birds. It looked like a nursery.
We drove through the village of Porto Lagos and after passing the Byzantine Church on the right we pulled over to park up as the air over the lake on the left hand side of the road was full of White-winged Black Terns. Amongst them were one Black Tern and a few Whiskered Terns. We climbed a locked gate to walk up the track between the Church Marshes and the Pelican Pool. No Pelicans today, but a second year Audouin's Gull flew slowly by. There was a colony of Mediterranean Gulls about five hundred strong, all resplendent in their contrasting summer plumage. Spoonbills and a Great White Egret were feeding along with Little Egrets. Two more Rollers were seen, as well as Red-backed Shrikes, Mallard, Wigeon and Shelducks.
We drove back to the causeway bridge to the Byzantine church where three Pygmy Cormorants were resting on the bridge piles. The White-winged Black Terns were starting to roost up and about a hundred were perched around the causeway fencing. We then drove into Fanari village for the night finding seafront accommodation with views of Thassos.
The next morning we headed for Lake Ismarida. This was about 30 minutes drive east. On driving out of Fanari, turn right, indicated by a hotel sign. Drive past the hotel, past some biggish lakes, and follow the road through a couple of villages until you eventually come to Pagouria. (There are no road signs anywhere in this area.) Here we managed to find a signpost "Lake Ismarida, Molivoli Beach". Follow this signpost. We drove along a track for a couple of miles and the habitat on the left developed into pasture, scrub, and some mature trees. We walked this area and the first bird we picked up was a Masked Shrike under some overhanging branches. Red-backed shrikes were sat up everywhere, with Olivacious Warblers and Nightingales in full song. A large raptor was spotted sitting in a dead tree but as the sun was directly behind it was hard to get anything on it and as we moved in closer it dropped out of site.
Carrying on along the track the habitat changed to reed bed and scrub. Marsh Harriers were quartering the reed beds, Great Reed and Cettis Warblers were plentiful, two Bearded Tits flew by and a Woodchat Shrike was atop a bush, not far away from a Black-headed Wagtail. A large raptor was seen above the lake. This turned out to be a White-tailed Eagle which performed his party piece for us by going into a stoop, dropping his legs and catching a fish. This was a fantastic sight to see. Could this have been the bird we saw earlier with the sun behind it?
There was a building by the lake which we thought was a field centre. We drove up to it and the cars were immediately surrounded by seven barking dogs, of the Heinz variety. Definitely not a field centre
We followed the track round the lake picking up Gull-billed, White-winged Black, Whiskered, Common and Little Terns and a few Little Gulls. Thirty Collared Pratincoles flew around the car. On the marshy area were Ruff, Black-winged Stilts, Little Stints, two Temminck Stints, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers and Wood Sandpipers. There were Little Egrets, Squacco's, Grey Herons, three Night Herons, and a Purple Heron along with White Storks. On the pools were Garganey and Shelduck, with a Pygmy Cormorant in attendance. A Tawny Pipit was on the track, three Rollers were seen, Bee-eaters, Red-rumped Swallows, Barn Swallows and House Martins were everywhere. A flight of twenty-one Glossy Ibis dropped in as we were leaving to add the final touches
We drove to the main road and headed east to the Evros Delta, via Alexandroupoli. As we drove down the track towards the delta we had our first Levant Sparrowhawk, pretty close above the car with its black tipped underwings. As well as the usual hirundines, a few Sand Martins were working the shallow dyke.
We followed the track until we came to a building that may have at one time been a field centre. This didn't look very old, but it had been completely trashed. We scoped the Drana Lagoon from here picking up two Northern Lapwings, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Little Ringed Plovers, Little Egrets, Squacco's, Purple Heron, Grey Heron and Garganey. There was a flock of some forty plus Little Stints, Wood Sandpipers and Curlew Sandpipers, one of which looked very resplendent in full breeding plumage. Over in the shimmering distance was a huge flock of Greater Flamingos. We motored on along the track to some open water. This revealed many Mute Swans, four Pintails, some Shovelers, Shelduck and Mallard. A little farther along were four White-fronted Geese and out on the water five Dalmatian Pelicans, to be joined later by a further seven which circled above. Birds seen along the track were Black-headed Wagtails, Tawny Pipits, Crested and Short-toed Larks. Corn Buntings were everywhere. A large warbler seen close by in a scrubby area turned out to be a Barred Warbler on closer investigation.
(We returned to the Evros Delta the next afternoon, covering much the same area. New birds seen then were two Red-necked Phalaropes, some Little Gulls and six Sanderlings along with a Suslik which ran across the track.)
We departed the Evros and headed north to the Ecotourist Centre of Dadia. This was the only place we booked in advance on the internet. You can get this on http://ecoclub.com/dadia/lodge.html
Since 1986, they have been running a conservation programme for European Vultures. You can either walk the two miles up hill and down dale, through the forest to the viewing area, or take a mini bus. After checking in we decided to walk. There are different opinions as to the best time to view - either morning or evening. It was now about 17.30hrs, and we started walking.
On reaching the hide, we had a panoramic view over all the hills. About 200m in front was the feeding area. Stood and perched around this place were two Black Vultures, two Griffons, and five Egyptian Vultures picking at bits like chickens. Over to the left was a cow carcass to which they all appeared indifferent to. It looked rather like a scene from a zoo and with a constant flow of tourists through the hide I wasn't impressed. Three Black Storks were seen in the air. We managed to return to the centre on the last minibus and arranged for the driver to take us back at 07.45hrs the next morning.
The next morning however, it was an entirely different picture that greeted us. Along with having the hide to ourselves for two hours there were many more Vultures. In a two hour period till 10am we had some 25 Black Vultures, 25 Griffons, 12 Egyptians, 2 Black Storks, several Lesser Spotted Eagles, 2 Short-toed Eagles, 2 Booted Eagles, Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard and Goshawk. The morning watch had been much better, especially watching the Vultures coming in from afar to land, bounding about, and greeting each other.
We departed Dadia on a back road heading towards Loutros. Along the way we had good views of Eastern Bonnellis Warbler, Hobby, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, and my best ever view of a Hawfinch. This was from about 25m.
On reaching Loutros we drove up a track to the top of Loutros Hill. There is a little church on top and it is worth the drive for the view over the Evros Delta. It was fantastic. It was also great for raptors with 4 Honey Buzzards, 5 Common Buzzard, 3 Short-toed Eagles, an Eastern Imperial Eagle and a possible Lanner passing. We reckon they must have just arrived. We also had Black-eared Wheatear, Cirl Bunting and Golden Oriole.
After another couple of hours on the Evros Delta (which was mentioned earlier), we drove into Alexandroupolis to find accommodation for the night. We settled for the Hotel Park for 17 euros each.
In the evening we drove up to the Avas Gorge area. Round the old railway station were Black-headed Buntings, Common Buzzard and a Woodchat Shrike. An Olive-tree Warbler had been briefly seen on the previous trip and one gave a brief burst of song from the same area but was not seen. We moved into the Gorge about 20.30hrs, prior to dusk. We were hoping for a sight of Eagle Owl. During the waiting time good views were had of a Long-legged Buzzard, with the light shining through his orange tail. We also had Blue Rock Thrush and an eastern race Black-eared Wheatear.
The light faded and then the call of the Eagle Owl resounded several times from high up in the gorge. We eventually picked out his silhouette on the skyline. It was massive. A minute later he launched himself into the gorge, giving the briefest glimpse of brown wings against the grey rock. This was exactly 10 years to the week that Chris and Des had Eagle Owl here - and we had had no updated info since then. We raced back into Alexandroupolis, had a slap up meal on the seafront and then had a laugh as Des attempted to get some money from a Greek cash machine.
The next morning we headed west for Sidirokastro, via Xanthi, and Drama, where we intended to be based for the next three nights while we birded the Lake Kerkini area and local hillsides. We thrashed it along the roads till we got past Xanthi and then started birding. While stopped for a coffee at Neochori we sat outside and a Lanner Falcon flew across to the left of us. We watched it making height in small circles above us. Further along the road we had four Levant Sparrowhawks, one Short-toed Eagle, two Honey Buzzards and a Common Buzzard. We stopped by the Nestos river and walked the bank, finding a Syrian Woodpeckers nest with the females head sticking out the hole. The male was in a tree nearby. We also had Common and Pallid Swift, Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches, and Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker calling. We reached Sidirokastro in the late afternoon and checked into the Olympic Hotel for three nights at 18 euros per night.
After sorting ourselves out we headed for Lake Kerkini, following the road to Bulgaria for a while, then turning left to Vironeia village and following the directions on the Gosney map. We travelled the track along the floodbank until we reached the lake proper. During this time we were picking up Night Herons, Little Egrets, Squaccos, three Great White Egret, Grey Herons and loads of Great Crested Grebes. As the lake opened up we saw in excess of some 350 Pygmy Cormorants fishing together and amongst them were 60 White Pelicans which appeared to be working with them. A White-tailed Eagle flew across the lake with purposeful wingbeats. Other birds seen this evening were Mallard, Moorhen, Black-headed Wagtail, Marsh Harrier, Syrian Woodpecker, Roller, and a Raven with a never ending backdrop of singing Nightingales and Olivaceous, Great Reed and Cettis Warblers.
Back at Sidirokastro, across the road from the hotel, walk down the main street, and this opens up into the town square. On the right hand side beyond a fruit and veg shop is what you might call a café/bar with a loudspeaker on the wall. The owner is a big man weighing about 18 stones and his café is called O'Volinsis or suchlike (it was spelt in Greek!). The food served here is good, plentiful and reasonably priced and we went here every night.
The next morning we headed back to the lake and proceeded to drive round it clockwise from northeast to northwest from the same starting point. Driving on we spotted 3 Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Cuckoo, and while sitting on the bank Alan had a Penduline Tit. As per yesterday 200+ Little Egrets, 200+ Grey Heron, 30+ Squaccos, 20+ Night Herons and Great Crested Grebe numbers were estimated at 600+. We also had 5 Black Kite. Pygmy Cormorants totaled 200+ and an amazing fishing party of Great Cormorants were estimated at 2500. There were 20 White Pelican, a Spoonbill, and 3 Great White Egrets. We also had 3 Lesser Grey Shrikes and a Lesser Spotted Eagle.
At the northwest corner of the lake we headed off to Lake Doirani, about 20k westwards on the Macedonian border. Here there was a sort of leisure camp with lots of children and we did not stop long. Birds seen were Great Reed Warblers, Olivacious Warbler, Black Tern, Honey Buzzard, and 3 Ravens.
We headed back along the road towards Lake Kerkini we turned left in the village of Akritochori and up a track towards a church high on the hillside with a red roof. On getting out the car we had a party of Long-tailed Tits which were of the tephronotus race. As we walked up the track we could here goat bells coming down it. Goat herds are usually accompanied by dogs - vicious dogs. Chris and Alan went back for the larger car to enable us to drive further on. In the meantime the goat bells were getting louder and the pack of dogs spotted us. We retreated back down the track with the dogs after us. Fortunately the car appeared just at the right moment and it was like a silent movie with all three of us trying to get in the car at once. We just made it, with Chris and Alan rolling in hysterics at our antics. I noticed one of the dogs had no ears on. They had been chewed off.
Putting a bit of distance between ourselves and the goat herd, we finally stopped on a scrubby slope by the track up to the church. We started picking up the usual birds, Cirl, Black-headed and Corn Bunting, Crested Larks, Red backed Shrike,etc when Chris heard an Olive-tree Warbler singing. The bird was in full song and eventually gave us all excellent close views of this elusive warbler. Other birds seen here were Woodchat Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike. That concluded the penultimate days birding.
For the last day we picked out what we thought would be a circular route through the mountains. This would take us up to the Bulgarian border; turn right at the village called Promahonas, up to the village of Agkistro, over the mountains and back to Sidirokastro.
Heading north through the pass alongside the Strymon river towards Bulgaria, we stopped at a memorial set back on the right side of the road. There had been a lot of fighting here in 1913. White Storks, Grey Herons, and Great Cormorants were using this pass to go south to the lake. By the river we had 5 Little Ringed Plovers. By the memorial we had Lesser Grey Shrike, Golden Oriole and a Northern Wheatear. In the air Common Buzzard, Kestrel, and Eurasian Sparrowhawk were seen.
We carried on up towards the border, taking a right towards the village of Promahonas. After passing through the village, we pulled in and had a panoramic view into Bulgaria. This consisted of barbed wire fences and watch towers. Up to the border on the Greek side it was trees. On the Bulgarian side it was all scrub pasture, giving us the impression that all the trees had been felled to make open ground to stop people escaping. Maybe this was a relic of how it used to be a few years ago.
About a kilometre beyond the village on the right hand side is a small quarry face. This was riddled with holes where birds had burrowed into it. We had eight Rollers sitting outside individual holes. Their mates could be inside them. There was also colony of Bee-eaters, Jackdaws, and a pair of Kestrels, Starlings, and Red-rumped Swallows. Sitting on top of the Quarry was a Little Owl. This was a little oasis.
Motoring on, a couple of kilometers up the road on the left hand side just past the Procom complex was a small wood consisting of mature trees which ran alongside a little fast flowing river. A track ran from the road over a small field into the wood. (In the field, by the track was a raised manhole about 400mm high.) We walked into the wood (which probably had never been birded before) and in a 30 minute period the following birds were seen. Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, female Grey-headed Woodpecker, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, calling Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Kingfisher, 5 Jays, Spotted Flycatcher, Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Blackbird, Long-tailed Tits, Great Tits, and Blue Tits. There was also a Red Squirrel jumping about in the canopy.
We motored on up to the village of Agkistro, had a coffee and found out from the locals that there was no road over the mountains. We then had to retrace our steps all the way back to Sidirokastro, managing to avoid several Hermanns Tortoises whilst doing so, but unfortunately a Montpelier Snake was not so lucky.
Back at Sidirokastro we took the first left in the village. This put us on the road we originally had hoped to come down. A few kilometres on we stopped where the road went through a very craggy area with high rocks all around. This would be a good place to look for Eagle Owl at night. We set the scopes up and were looking at some Crag Martins, when we had a visit from the military. A soldier in a camouflage uniform, carrying a radio, stepped off his motorcycle and came over to us. He must have been 70 years old. We showed him the field guide and told him where we were staying and off he went away satisfied. Probably another relic of the Cold War.
Just after he went 3 Alpine Swifts came over flying pretty low. The other birds we had here were Red-rumped Swallow, Raven, Hoopoe, Black-headed Bunting and Blue Rock Thrush.
We drove a few more kilometers up the road before turning round and returning. We stopped by the side of the road with a stream running alongside. Chris heard two Blackbirds giving out their alarm call and went to investigate. Through the foliage, across the stream was a dead tree with an old woodpecker's hole half way up the trunk. Climbing steadily up the tree towards the hole was a snake about two metres long. Pale yellow underparts and greeny-brown back. (Later identified as an Aescupalian Snake). The Blackbirds were having a go at it. Also there was a Cirl Bunting, then a pair of Sombre Tits put in an appearance, then a Hawfinch turned up. By this time the snake was disappearing into the hole. The Blackbirds were still agitated and a Great Tit turned up to have a look. The snake came out of the hole totally unconcerned and the Blackbirds returned to the attack. A Chaffinch then turned up. The snake just slid away. There were no obvious bulges in the snake so we assumed the hole was empty.
We drove a little farther down the road and stopped by some piles of trees which had been cut down and stacked. At the base of a tree in the woodland gloom across a stream I saw something flitting about. It turned out to be a Middle Spotted Woodpecker, which started feeding on the ground. Another one turned up and they had a bit of a battle. We put this down to a territory dispute. Driving back to Sidirokastro, we also had another Woodchat Shrike, Northern Wheatear and a Whitethroat.
As we still had a couple of hours left, we decided to drive back to Lake Kerkini and try for the Penduline Tit again. On arrival we spread out along the bank looking down into the reeds and the Willow scrub. Only one was seen and that was again by Alan, who also saw the first one.
That was the end of our birding. The next morning we headed south to Thessalonika Airport.
Considering this was a consolation trip after our trip to China was cancelled, and the short time we had to put it together, we all concluded that it had been a very good trip. We got off to a poor start, what with a bag stolen, and losing time after getting lost. 166 birds had been seen or heard. Not everything was seen by everyone, but everyone did get new birds.
Highlights were the White-tailed Eagle catching a fish, the Pygmy Cormorants fishing with the White Pelicans, the massive party of Great Cormorants, the Rollers at the quarry, the Woodpecker wood and the Blackbirds with the snake.
If you do make the trip, watch out for the dogs!!!
Little Grebe: A single on a pond by Lake Kerkini
Great Crested Grebe: c600 on Lake Kerkini
Black necked Grebe: 1 at Evros
Great Cormorant: At least 2000 at Lake Kerkini, fishing in vast groups.
Pygmy Cormorant: 350+ fishing together at Lake Kerkini and small numbers at Lake Ismarida and Porto Lagos
White Pelican: c60 at Lake Kerkini
Dalmatian Pelican: 5 down and a further 7 circling over at Evros
Night Heron: c30 at Lake Kerkini and also at Lake Ismarida
Squacco Heron: Small numbers at Lake Ismarida, Lake Kerkini and other suitable sites
Little Egret: Lake Ismarida and common elsewhere
Great White Egret: 3 at Lake Kerkini
Grey Heron: Common
Purple Heron: Seen only sparsely
Black Stork: Up to 5 seen at Dadia
White Stork: Common throughout with several on nests
Glossy Ibis: 21 at Lake Ismarida and 2 at Lake Kerkini
Spoonbill: Porto Lagos and Lake Kerkini
Greater Flamingo: 42 Porto Lago saltpans and many in the distance at Evros
Mute Swan: 50+ Evros and Porto Lagos and also seen at Lake Kerkini
White fronted Goose: 2 adults and with 2 young, presumed a late staying family party at Evros
Shelduck: Plentiful at all wetlands
Wigeon: c20 at Porto Lagos and 1 at Evros
Gadwall: Small numbers at Porto Lagos and Lake Ismarida
Mallard: Regular in small numbers
Pintail: 4 at Evros
Garganey: Recorded on all waters in small numbers
Shoveler: 10+ at Evros
Ferruginous Duck: 4 distant birds flew by at Lake Ismarida
Honey Buzzard: 4 over Loutros, 5 near Neochori and 2 by Lake Kerkini
Black Kite: 5 around Lake Kerkini
White tailed Eagle: 1 at Lake Ismarida and 1 at Lake Kerkini
Egyptian Vulture: 12+ at Dadia
Griffon Vulture: 25+ at Dadia
Black Vulture: 25+ at Dadia
Short toed Eagle: 3 at Dadia, 3 at Loutros and odd singles whilst travelling
Marsh Harrier: Plentiful in all suitable areas
Goshawk: 1 at Dadia
Sparrowhawk: Singles seen occasionally
Levant Sparrowhawk: 4 near Neochori and singles at Evros and Dadia
Common Buzzard: Seen regularly throughout
Steppe Buzzard: a single seen over Salonica
Long legged Buzzard: 1 at Avas Gorge
Lesser-Spotted Eagle: Pairs displaying at Dadia, with others seen over woodland areas.
Eastern Imperial Eagle: An adult over Loutros and an immature at Dadia
Golden Eagle: 1 seen from the car park at Kavala Hospital.
Booted Eagle: 2 at Dadia
Osprey: 1 flew over the road near Aspravolta
Kestrel: Seen occasionally
Hobby: A single en route from Dadia to Loutros
Lanner: One watched well as it circled over Neochori and also a probable at Loutros
Eleanora's Falcon: 1 from the car near Kavala
Moorhen: Regular in small numbers
Coot: Recorded at all wetlands
Oystercatcher: Odd birds seen along the coast
Black winged Stilt: Seen at Porto Lagos, Lake Ismarida and Evros
Avocet: c20 at Evros
Stone Curlew: Singles on the beach at Porto Lagos and calling at Lake Kerkini
Collared Pratincole: 10+ over Salonica and 30+ at Lake Ismarida
Little Ringed Plover: 2 at Asprovolta and 5 at Promochonas
Ringed Plover: 2 at Lake Ismarida
Kentish Plover: Regular in small numbers
Grey Plover: 6+ at Porto Lagos
Lapwing: 2 at Evros
Sanderling: 6 at Evros
Little Stint: 10+ at Porto Lagos, Lake Ismarida and Evros
Temmincks Stint: 4 at Lake Ismarida
Curlew Sandpiper: 50+ at both Porto Lagos and Evros and c20 at Lake Ismarida
Dunlin: Odd birds at Porto Lagos, Evros and Lake Ismarida
Ruff: 20+ Porto Lago and 20+ at Lake Ismarida
Bar tailed Godwit: 2 at Porto Lagos
Wood Sandpiper: c10 at Lake Ismarida
Turnstone: 3 at Porto Lagos
Red necked Phalarope: 2 summer plumaged birds at Evros
Mediterranean Gull: Several hundred in colonies at Porto Lagos and seen along the coast
Little Gull: Several seen at Lake Ismarida
Black headed Gull: Several at Porto Lagos
Slender billed Gull: 4 at Porto Lagos
Audouins Gull: A second year bird seen at Porto Lagos
Yellow legged Gull: Common
Gull billed Tern: c6 at Lake Ismarida
Sandwich Tern: 3 at Porto Lagos
Common Tern: 20+ at Porto Lagos
Little Tern: c6 at Porto Lagos
Whiskered Tern: Porto Lagos and Lake Ismarida
Black Tern: Small numbers at Porto Lagos and Lake Ismarida
White winged Black Tern: 200+ at Porto Lagos and c50 at Lake Ismarida
Feral Pigeon/Rock Dove: Only seen around habitation
Collared Dove: Common
Turtle Dove: Common
Cuckoo: 4 seen at Lake Kerkini and heard occasionally elsewhere
Eagle Owl: 1 called several times before showing on the skyline at Avas Gorge on 11/5
Little Owl: 1 at Promachonas
Common Swift: Seen regularly
Pallid Swift: Seen regularly
Alpine Swift: 5 near Sidirokastro
Kingfisher: 1 at Promachonas
Bee Eater: Common and regular throughout
European Roller: 8+ at Promachonas and seen regularly whilst travelling.
Hoopoe: Singles seen regularly
Grey headed Woodpecker: 1 seen at Promachonas
Green Woodpecker: Singles heard calling at Nestos and Promachonas
Great Spotted Woodpecker: A pair at Promachonas
Syrian Woodpecker: Seen at several sites throughout
Middle Spotted Woodpecker: 1 at Promachonas and 2 near Sidirokastro
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker: 1 near at Promachonas
Calandra Lark: A few at seen at Porto Lagos
Short toed Lark: 2 on Evros
Crested Lark: Common throughout
Sand Martin: Occasional small colonies noted
Crag Martin: Small numbers near Sidirokastro
Barn Swallow: Common
Red rumped Swallow: Common
House Martin: Common
Tawny Pipit: Seen regularly in drier areas with 10+ at Evros
Black headed Wagtail: Regular
Grey Wagtail: A single near Sidirokastro
White Wagtail: Only singles seen were on Nestos River and at Sidirokastro
Robin: A few heard singing in hilly woodlands.
Nightingale: Numerous throughout
Northern Wheatear: A few singles seen
Black eared Wheatear: Seen regularly throughout
Blue Rock Thrush: Seen in all mountainous areas
Blackbird: c20 seen in various areas woodland areas
Cettis Warbler: Common in suitable areas.
Reed Warbler: Regular
Great Reed Warbler: Common
Olivaceous Warbler: Common and numerous
Olive-tree Warbler: 1 singing and seen well at Akritochoro
Subalpine Warbler: Seen at Aspravolta
Sardinian Warbler: Seen at Aspravolta and Kavala
Barred Warbler: 1 seen at Evros
Whitethroat: Regularly heard singing.
Garden Warbler: 1 singing at Akritochoro
Blackcap: Regularly heard singing.
Eastern Bonellis Warbler: Recorded en route from Dadia to Loutros
Chiffchaff: Several calling at Dadia
Spotted Flycatcher: Seen near Dadia
Bearded Tit: 2 seen and one heard at Lake Ismarida
Long tailed Tit: Small numbers at Akritochoro and Promachonas
Sombre Tit: 2 near Sidirokastro
Blue Tit: Only odd birds seen
Great Tit: Seen regularly throughout
Nuthatch: Singles recorded at Promachonas and near Sidirokastro
Penduline Tit: A single seen on two occasions by Lake Kerkini
Golden Oriole: Heard at most sites and occasionally seen
Red backed Shrike: Numerous at Lake Ismarida and many seen throughout
Lesser Grey Shrike: 3 at Lake Kerkini, 3 near Promachonas and 1 at Akritochori
Woodchat Shrike: Seen regularly
Masked Shrike: A single seen well at Lake Ismarida
Jay: 5 near Promachonas and seen in other forest areas.
Magpie: Common and numerous at Lake Kerkini
Jackdaw: Seen both along coast and in mountains
Hooded Crow: Common
Raven: A few seen in areas around Sidirokastro
House Sparrow: Common
Spanish Sparrow: Common
Tree Sparrow: Seen at Dadia
Serin: A pair at Dadia
Linnet: 2 near Promachonas
Hawfinch: Singles seen near Dadia and near Sidirokastro
Cirl Bunting: Seen regularly throughout
Ortolan Bunting: Several heard singing en route from Dadia to Loutros
Corn Bunting: Common