Winter at Kalamas River Delta

I visited Kalamas River Delta during Christmas holidays. Although I am a regular visitor there, it has been two years since my last winter visit. Kalamas is not the best place in Greece to spot really rare bird species (although this is possible), but it is one of the best places for nature photography. For example the Kingfisher picture below was selected as photo of the month in the recently founded Greek monthly wildlife photography contest here. The most significant findings this time were a female Merlin and five Spotted Eagles. There were also many Cattle Egrets that although in the rest of the country are rare; at Kalamas River Delta one can see them all year round. All other Egret species found in Greece during winter were also there in great numbers (Grey Heron, Little and Great Egrets). Great and Pigmy cormorants were also present. I also spotted all the usual wildfowl species in great numbers. Mallards, Gadwalls, Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Eurasian Wigeons, Common Teals and Pochards were all over the place, since hunting is banned in the area for some years now. You can also find Ferruginous and Tufted Ducks but there are only a few of them present and it is difficult to spot them. Passerines were everywhere from the more common Corn Buntings to the somewhat rarer Penduline Tits that you can always find in the same place. Other observations include Spoonbills, Flamingos, Dalmatian Pelicans plus almost all common waders although in small numbers, the most notable sighting being a group of 14 Golden Plovers that I saw from a great distance. In summary I find that Kalamas River Delta even though it's not as famous as Lake Kerkini or Evros River Delta, definitely deserves a visit during winter.

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