A weekend at Lake Kerkini (Day 1)

Last Weekend we had the chance to visit Lake Kerkini. Actually it was more than a weekend since we stayed there till Monday. I have visited the lake many times in the past and every time the lake has something new and different to offer. This time everything was covered in snow when we arrived. The water level was somewhat higher than usual for this time of year and I believe that there were less ducks than last year. We tried first the west bank of the lake. Common Buzzards and Eurasian Sparrowhawks were everywhere. You could easily spot many Common Teals, Mallards, Common Pochards and even some Common Goldeneyes but it was not easy to come close to them for some decent photos. Then we tried to move near the west bank of the Strymonas River just before his water meets the lake. We found many waders there feeding near the icy lake waters or in the snow. A large flock of Yellowhammers together with some Starlings and Corn Buntings was feeding on hay. It was left there for the feeding of the water Buffalos who are living beside the lake. Just before the sunset I made a short visit to the east bank of the lake and apart from the many common duck species (Mallards, Common Teals, Common Pochards, Northern Shovelers and some Gadwalls) the most notable findings were a Cattle Egret and a Brambling feeding in the snow together with some Common Chaffinches. It was getting quite dark and we quickly retired to the Villa Belles, a nice hotel near Akritochori village which offers not only nice clean rooms and good cuisine but also a spectacular view of the lake.

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