Birdwatching in Greece: 1st post-lockdown trip in Prespa Lakes, May 29-30, 2021 Part I

 After a long period of no birding trips due to lockdown measures, the first birding trip for 2021 is a fact! 

The destination was Prespes Lakes, in Western Macedonia, at the borders with Albania and Northern Macedonia. An amazing National Park, the only place in Greece and the southernmost limit in Europe, where Goosanders breed and a haven for Dalmatian and Great White Pelicans, several herons and Pygmy Cormorants, among many other birds. 

The target birds of the trip were the Goosander, the Marsh Warbler and the Barred Warbler. They were all seen pretty good, and the first two were also photographed. The Marsh Warblers were seen in the riparian forest, in reedbed patches; other species seen were the Red-backed Shrike, the Nightingale, the Golden Oriole, the Turtle Dove and the Honey Buzzard. 

Marsh Warbler

Red-backed Shrike

In Lake Megali Prespa, we got to see 20 Goosanders, an amazing figure given it is a rare species after all. Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans were very common, as were Great and Pygmy Cormorants. 

White Pelicans

Female Goosander with chicks

More than 65 species were seen during that day, a great number given the circumstances as we arrived at noon.


Greylag Goose - Anser anser

Mute Swan - Cygnus olor

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos

Goosander - Mergus merganser

Little Grebe - Tachybaptus ruficollis

Great Crested Grebe - Podiceps cristatus

Rock Dove - Columba livia

European Turtle Dove - Streptopelia turtur

Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto

Common Cuckoo - Cuculus canorus

Alpine Swift - Apus melba

Common Swift - Apus apus

Pallid Swift - Apus pallidus

Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius dubius

Yellow-legged Gull - Larus michahellis

White Stork - Ciconia ciconia

Pygmy Cormorant - Microcarbo pygmaeus

Great Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo

Great White Pelican - Pelecanus onocrotalus

Dalmatian Pelican - Pelecanus crispus

Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea

Great White Egret - Ardea alba

Little Egret - Egretta garzetta

European Honey-buzzard - Pernis apivorus

Common Buzzard - Buteo buteo

Eurasian Hoopoe - Upupa epops

European Bee-eater - Merops apiaster

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major

Common Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus

Eurasian Golden Oriole - Oriolus oriolus

Red-backed Shrike - Lanius collurio

Eurasian Jay - Garrulus glandarius

Common Magpie - Pica pica

Eurasian Jackdaw - Corvus monedula

Hooded Crow - Corvus cornix

Common Raven - Corvus corax

Eurasian Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus

Great Tit - Parus major

Eurasian Penduline Tit - Remiz pendulinus

Woodlark - Lullula arborea

Crested Lark - Galerida cristata

Marsh Warbler - Acrocephalus palustris

Great Reed Warbler - Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Sand Martin - Riparia riparia

Eurasian Crag Martin - Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped Swallow - Cecropis daurica

Common House Martin - Delichon urbicum

Cetti's Warbler - Cettia cetti

Eurasian Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla

Barred Warbler - Sylvia nisoria

Subalpine Warbler - Sylvia cantillans

Common Whitethroat - Sylvia communis

Eurasian Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes

Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris

Eurasian Blackbird - Turdus merula

Common Nightingale - Luscinia megarhynchos

Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros

House Sparrow - Passer domesticus

Eurasian Tree Sparrow - Passer montanus

Western Yellow Wagtail - Motacilla flava

Pied Wagtail/White Wagtail - Motacilla alba

Common Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs

European Greenfinch - Chloris chloris

Common Linnet - Linaria cannabina

European Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis

Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandra

Cirl Bunting - Emberiza cirlus