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November Lake Kerkini

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Old Wednesday 13th November 2019, 17:00   #1
Gladiator96
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November Lake Kerkini

Didn't get any feedback from the Greece sub-forum, so I am repeating my queries here. Unfortunately I didn't find any detailed trip reports for the area in late autumn.

I will be in the lake kerkini area at the end of November for 3 days.

I have saved the ebird hotspots in the area in my GPS, are there any other sites I should check out?

The main targets are obviously the area's specialities, mainly Lesser White-fronted Goose and Dalmatian Pelican. Has there been any news yet on the LWFGs this year? According to the reports I have read, the best area to look for them is usually east of the lake. Any other tips to spot them?

I would also appreciate any tips on the best areas near the lake to look for woodpeckers, which form a huge gap in my WP list (only seen 3 species).

Eagle Owl and Western Rock Nuthatch are also apparently regular in the lake area, any tips for these? Feel free to send a PM if certain locations are sensitive.

Thanks
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Old Wednesday 13th November 2019, 17:32   #2
wolfbirder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladiator96 View Post
Didn't get any feedback from the Greece sub-forum, so I am repeating my queries here. Unfortunately I didn't find any detailed trip reports for the area in late autumn.

I will be in the lake kerkini area at the end of November for 3 days.

I have saved the ebird hotspots in the area in my GPS, are there any other sites I should check out?

The main targets are obviously the area's specialities, mainly Lesser White-fronted Goose and Dalmatian Pelican. Has there been any news yet on the LWFGs this year? According to the reports I have read, the best area to look for them is usually east of the lake. Any other tips to spot them?

I would also appreciate any tips on the best areas near the lake to look for woodpeckers, which form a huge gap in my WP list (only seen 3 species).

Eagle Owl and Western Rock Nuthatch are also apparently regular in the lake area, any tips for these? Feel free to send a PM if certain locations are sensitive.

Thanks
Hi mate

I went in January last year when it was virtually frozen.

But it was winter birding. You can drive more or less around its perimeter, either end was great but I liked the NE embankment where there were lots of Buzzards and a wintering Greater Spotted Eagle (there are usually a few). Study googlemaps so you can work out how to access it via Megalochori - it is straightforward. The geese do wander about a bit but over 3 days you should find the ones you want either on the lake or in the adjacent fields.

Vironia (Vyroneia) is the best place for woodpeckers I would say - park up just south of the village (just a few hundred metres outside/south of it), best in the morning. And listen and look, the trees on either side surround a reedbed and small lake & are bare in winter, so its easier to see woodies. The more common Green Woodpecker and less common but definitely present Grey-Headed Woodpecker (learn the difference between their yaffling calls - Green is coarser and Grey is more flutey yaffle) are here, plus occasional Lesser Spotted, and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. You may see Syrian Woodpecker in the villages all around the lake. Eagle Owl apparently up in the quarry behind Vironia but I never got that far and I don't think they are easy. Little Owl in Megalochori on rooftops if its sunny. Dalmation Pelican should be very easy.

My report may help a bit.

https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=372258
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Last edited by wolfbirder : Thursday 14th November 2019 at 07:27.
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Old Thursday 14th November 2019, 00:51   #3
Deb Burhinus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladiator96 View Post
Didn't get any feedback from the Greece sub-forum, so I am repeating my queries here. Unfortunately I didn't find any detailed trip reports for the area in late autumn.

I will be in the lake kerkini area at the end of November for 3 days.

I have saved the ebird hotspots in the area in my GPS, are there any other sites I should check out?

The main targets are obviously the area's specialities, mainly Lesser White-fronted Goose and Dalmatian Pelican. Has there been any news yet on the LWFGs this year? According to the reports I have read, the best area to look for them is usually east of the lake. Any other tips to spot them?

I would also appreciate any tips on the best areas near the lake to look for woodpeckers, which form a huge gap in my WP list (only seen 3 species).

Eagle Owl and Western Rock Nuthatch are also apparently regular in the lake area, any tips for these? Feel free to send a PM if certain locations are sensitive.

Thanks
Try contacting Hillary/Steve at BirdWING they could probably help you out with latest sightings and arrival times for geese etc https://birdwing.eu/contact-us (may even be more helpful if you make a small donation for their conservation work )

Eagle Owl - I had one swoop into Megalochori one night predating a collared dove roost - so maybe a stake out? Scops Owls iand plenty of Little Owls in the village too.

Dalmations anywhere on the lake but they feed in frenzied mixed flocks so are hard to miss! Some of the fisherman feed them near Limnochori.

Woodpeckers, Syrian should be easy in any of the villages round the lake so check the orchard trees in peoples gardens - for Black - I cant remember where we saw these but it was a drive up into the forests near the Bulgarian border - Lesser Spots and Great spots anywhere in the Popular and birch plantations round the lake - Grey Headed you should get in Veronia just hanging around the town (there’s a fantastic bakery there too if you fancy tucking into the local pastries!). Middle and White-backed also possible on the wooded slopes around Korifoudi.

I know the area quite well having done survey work there some years back for the local ornithology group so PM me if you want further contacts/local info and I’ll see if I can dig out some old notes for more detail but do try emailing Hillary and Steve.

Megalochori gives you excellent access to the lake with a good perimeter footpath - I would certainly recommend you do at least half a day from this spot. Driving cars onto the track lakeside at Kerkini from Megalochori was noted to be causing erosion issues when I was working there as many of the tracks are on raised banks to control flooding so if you have the option, walking may be better.

Megalochori- just outside the village on the Vironia road is a good raptor spot (overlooking the Kerkini floodplain)

Keep you eyes open for Wildcat - we had one cross the road in front of us on the way home one evening heading back to Megalochori from Petritsio Dimou Petritsiou!

One note of caution, there are semi feral dogs around Megalochori and a few loose dogs around town - they are rather vocal but just ignore them.

The taverna in Megalochori does cheep and cheerful stakes, mousaka’s and great greek salads if its still going (this was quite a few years back!)

yearning to return myself!
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Last edited by Deb Burhinus : Thursday 14th November 2019 at 14:03. Reason: more info
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Old Thursday 14th November 2019, 07:20   #4
wolfbirder
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Just to add, you can drive up onto the heavily potted perimeter track from Megalochori, for a few miles, with care of course even in an ordinary car. Though assess the track - if it is muddy due to extensive rain it may not be wise to do so, but everyone I know who has been there has done. There is a main tarmac road all the way round the western side with several stops possible where you can pull off, to view the lake. At the northern end you have to drive down to the lake at Mandraki where you get a panoramic view. The fields to the east may hold the wintering ducks and geese such as LWFG, so you may have to navigate the country lanes if they are not on the lake. The inlet in the NE channel viewable from the track from Megalochori affords great views of wildfowl on the one side, raptors and passerines on the other.

EDIT - Just seen Debs word of caution about driving the NE embankment. When I went it was hard-baked but heavily potted. But sturdy. though about half-way down the eastern side it leads down to a country lane & away from the lake.
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Favourite birds:- Pallid Harrier, Hen Harrier, Gyrfalcon, Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Wryneck, Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater, Sib Rubythroat, Firecrest, Redstart, Hawfinch, Bearded Tit, Smew, GN & BT Diver, Pom Skua, Warblers especially colourful American ones.

Last edited by wolfbirder : Friday 15th November 2019 at 06:48.
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Old Thursday 14th November 2019, 17:39   #5
Gladiator96
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thanks both, extremely helpful :)
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