An autumn visit to Messolonghi

It is a well known fact that the wetlands surrounding the city of Messolonghi at western Greece is one of the best places for watching and photographing migration. Having that in mind I went there a few days ago. I left Athens at five o’clock in the morning and I was at the Kleisova lagoon just before eight. I spend the whole day around the lagoon till I left the place late in the afternoon, when the sun was setting. As it turned out once again, one day is not enough time to visit all the hotspots of the area.

I spend most of the time in just two spots. The first was the one that I have discovered last year. It seems that it is one of the favorite spots for the small number of Greater Sand Plovers when they pass through the area during migration or when they choose to spend the winter there. I spend more than two hours there lying on the wet ground and even though I managed to get nice images of Bar-tailed Godwits, Sanderlings, Dunlins, Oystercatchers, Curlews and other wader species, I didn’t manage to get very good pictures of the only Greater Sand Plover that came close to me. Perhaps I will be luckier next year. I left that spot when the light has become quite harsh and my water resistant clothes could not gather any more mud…

The second spot was just before the completion of the walk around the lagoon. It was there that in some concrete poles I saw an Osprey! which didn’t seem to be bothered with my presence. After getting some nice images a second Osprey!! appeared and the two birds left together. I spend the next few hours at that area observing the two Ospreys fishing (from a distance) and eating their prey (from quite close).

I returned to my home in Athens with my mind (and my memory cards :-)) full of nice pictures.

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