A Weekend at mount Vardousia

Mount Vardousia is one of the less famous mountains of central Greece. I have never been there although it is quite close to my father's hometown. So when Giorgos and Michalis suggested that we should make a visit there, I accepted immediately. Although our goal was to find and photograph some of the alpine bird species, our most significant findings were at the Fir forest which was below the alpine zone of the mountain. We have found more than 12 Red Squirrels and at least six Black Woodpeckers. However the most significant finding was at least three Ring Ouzels that we saw at the end of the forest just below the alpine zone. On Sunday we managed to approach a young bird and get some decent pictures of it. Other interesting observations include a group of Rock Partridges, a bigger group of Alpine Choughs, a Brambling and a very short encounter with an Alpine Accentor. We didn't find any Horned Larks or Snowfinches even though these species have been spotted there one day before our arrival. Another nice incident during the excursion was a short encounter with a Sparrowhawk which came out of nowhere to attack a flock of Chaffinches. In total we saw 30 different bird species but as is the case in such habitats, we didn't manage to get top quality photos for most of them. Remember that in Greece there are no hides installed for nature photographers. It is very difficult to get some decent pictures of animals in the forest. It is much more difficult than taking pictures of waders in wetlands for example. This is what makes every decent picture taken in this type of excursions precious.

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