I used to be drained, as if it have been my shoulders that held the sky suspended… A lot in order that I made no birding plans for this trip. Oh, I introduced the binoculars, all proper, which birder in his/her sane thoughts leaves dwelling with out them, however we have been going to a peninsula with no apparent birding spots, and most birding can be accomplished by chance, from the roadside.
After which, a number of days forward of our journey, a British birder Clive Mason left a remark underneath my previous weblog on birding Lake Karla, simply north of the Pelion Peninsula in central Greece, saying that he wouuld be within the space subsequent week.
If it weren’t for Clive, I’d in all probability miss the chance, however per week later we have been there collectively. Shaped in a tectonic despair at first of the Quaternary interval, 2.58 million years in the past, this wetland occupied many of the japanese a part of the Thessaly Plains. It was shallow, with depths not exceeding 2 m / 6.5 ft, and relying on the season, its floor space fluctuated from 40 km2/15 mi2 to 180 km2/70 mi2.
In Sixties, underneath the wheels of misguided progress, it was drained. It was solely then that the native farmers realized the soil was too salty for good yields. And all that water and the environmental companies coming with it, have been misplaced.
With EU funds, the restoration began in 2009 when embankments have been constructed to create one massive and 6 extra small reservoirs. What’s now recreated of the lake the place the god Apollo was married and the place the Argonauts constructed their kingdom is formally referred to as the Reservoirs of the previous Lake Karla. The lake IBA has about 230 to this point eBirded species. It was an odd feeling to be again on the “former lake” which I birded in 2017, approach earlier than the pandemic.
We began on the southernmost nook, birding all the way in which to its northern finish (all however the western embankment). The day began with one of many perfect birds, a juvenile Masked Shrike nicely seen a number of meters away (later we’ll see one other juvenile, do adults begin migrating earlier?). A Pregnant Circla number of of many Northern Wheatears of the day, a Blue Rock Thrush (that solely Clive noticed!), Crimson-rumped Swallowsa Crested Larka number of Crimson-backed Shrikes (each adults and juveniles), Eurasian Golden Oriolea number of Lesser Kestrels, Syrian Woodpecker, Brief-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Spoonbills you Squaco Hero, Pygmy Cormorants (a lifer for Clive), one Mediterranean Gull, Redshank, Greenshank, European Turtle Dove…
From the south, we moved to the japanese embankment, driving alongside the dust monitor beneath it: Whinchat, European Bee-eatertwo Brief-toed Eaglesone posing on an electrical energy pylon simply forward of us (proper), then a useless, electrocuted White Stork hanging from the subsequent one, Frequent Ringed Plover…
And from there, we tried to search out some tavern to refresh ourselves within the close by village of Kanalia, however there have been none to be observed, so we headed north. A center of the highway cease inside (almond?) orchards for Black Redstart, Noticed Flycatchera number of Willow Warblers and one Eurasian Reed Warblerthree Sombre Tits. At Pirgos Level, farther north, there have been a Black Stork, Collared Pratincolea number of immature Higher Flamingos, Dunlins and Little Stints. And on our approach again, one other Lesser Kestrel and a Levant Sparrowhawk.
An incredible day, due to Clive. Checking the eBird now, a bunch of native birders visited the lake a dozen days later, to search out 200 Spanish Sparrows, Japanese Black-eared Wheatear, Western Rock Nuthatch, Sardinian and Cetti’s Warblers, Zitting Cisticolas and Calandra Larks, Woodchat Shrike, Caspian Tern, Temminck’s Stint – that we dipped! Now I really feel like going again!!