A new lake!

It was a few days ago when I went for another visit to the "Loutros" area at Spata (Athens). I am participating in a Hellenic Ornithological Society program and I am visiting the place at least every two months. A big surprise was waiting for me there. I have heard many stories about a wetland created from the rain water there, but I had never seen anything like that in the last 3 years that I am visiting the place. However this time, at the same spot that it was farmland just two months ago, a small lake has been created! It seems that the heavy rains during the last two months have created a very useful habitat for the migrating birds. I have already seen many migrating bird species there including Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Black-headed Gull, Yellow Wagtail, Water Pipit, Common and Green Sandpiper, even a small group of 3 Pochards feeding in the middle of the lake! One of the highlights of this area during this time of year is the large number of Yellow Wagtails. They make a short stop for feeding and then most of them are continuing their journey to the North. That is the reason one can see many subspecies that are quite rare for Greece, beside the one that breeds in our area (Motacilla flava feldegg), which is quite common. It is strange that it is much easier for someone to see many different Yellow Wagtail subspecies at the Spata area, than it is at other similar habitats in the area near Athens (e.g. Schinias) I will try to visit the area more often during the next weeks. It seems that this small, temporary lake will be very interesting this spring.

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