Back trip report

Parga area of North western Greece

A trip report, From John Jennings, to cover our Birdwatching holiday in the Parga area of North western Greece. 21/09/02 to 05/10/02 including instructions on how to find most of these sites.

Introduction.

First let me start with the biggest disappointment I have had from a holiday. This disappointment only came to light two weeks after we got home when our photos were returned to us. I took over 250 photo's including shots of the Slender billed gull, Squacco Heron, Marsh harriers and Long legged buzzards as well as quite a few butterflies that I couldn't ID. Also there were shots of many of the sites we had visited. Apparently my SLR camera had developed a fault and not one photo came out only blackness with smudges of white. What a bummer!!! Anyway, back to the holiday.

For me this was my first visit to mainland Greece, although I have been to quite a few Greek islands, and one I will never forget. It was Ros' 2nd trip abroad (her first was earlier this year in Spain). We stayed at the Theodora Studios, which is on the highest part of Parga and is overlooked by the Venetian Fort. Almost directly beneath us was the Valtos beach.

Firstly our visit coincided with, what we were reliably informed by the locals, was the worst weather that area of Greece had experienced for over 150 years. We endured thunder, lightning, torrential rain, gale force winds and some days were very cold. I must admit that I love watching these continental lightning storms but after 9 days you begin to tire of them. On our travels we came across mud slides, rock slides, trees down, telegraph poles down, floods and at one point we had the whole side of a hill collapse over the main road we were travelling over. This lasted on and off from 21/09/02 until 01/10/02. After that the weather was great. In-between the earlier dates we had a few hours of sunshine but mainly it was very dark and cloudy. Still we had some brilliant birds culminating in both Slender billed Curlew (how's that for a lifer) and Slender billed Gull, 2 of the 4 Lifers I achieved. I have added a complete site location finder to this report to help those that, like me, have the time to put in to go that bit extra to find the birds. In the end we saw 145 species, missing quite a few birds that I expected to get but finding birds that, even in my wildest dreams, I didn't think I would see.

I would not hesitate in recommending this area to visit for all types of holidays, including birdwatching. One thing this area doesn't have are theme parks but if it's a relaxed holiday or a holiday visiting historical sites etc then Parga and the surrounding area could be just right for you. The food is good and cheap and the local vegetables and salads (especially the local grown tomatoes) are superb and there are some good beaches for the sun lovers. Also close by you have the islands of Corfu, Paxos, Anti Paxos, Lefkas and Kefalonia and all can be visited for a day out.

I did well to hire a car for 13 days for just £184 and I achieved this by checking out both teletext and internet sites that did car hire. The hire costs ranged wildly from almost £300 down to the figure I settled on. We used the car, a Suzuki Swift, every day except the day we did a boat trip to Anti Paxos and Paxos and covered a distance of 2,162 km (1,351 miles) travelling over many miles of tracks that were not on maps and finding some brilliant sites. Hopefully the site location finder that I have done will help some birders find some excellent birding sites for next spring, which I think would bring even better birds than we saw. Over the period of the two weeks many birds went unidentified, especially warblers and raptors but over the period of our stay I think that in the end I connected with a lot of what went unidentified.

Highlights.

I had two target birds only and connected with one of them. Pygmy Cormorant, which I got at Ioanini Lake, and Penduline Tit, which I never saw or heard, although we did see a number of their old nests. This did disappoint me, as I was more than hopeful of connecting with this bogey bird of mine. I got 3 other lifers, all totally unexpected. One totally gobsmacked me and that was Slender billed Curlew, surprisingly easy to call when it is with a party of Curlews but I wonder how I would have reacted if I had seen the bird on its own? That was in the Sagadia Wetland area very close to the Albanian border. 3rd lifer was a Slender-billed Gull (Rodia Lagoon)and the 4th was a Rock Thrush (just outside Tsgari on the Souli villages road). Other highlights were an Imperial Eagle flying low over our heads at the Rodia lagoon, also the memorable sighting, near Kesterini, of thousands of Alpine Swifts in the skies above us. Watching a pair of Golden Eagles dipping and diving and talon locking at the Souli junction of the Souli villages road followed by a low flying Golden Eagle juvenile. 5 White Pelicans at the wetlands near Kesterini and 50 plus Dalmatian Pelicans at both the Sagadia wetlands and the Lagarou lagoon area of the Amvrakikos Gulf. Also I was totally surprised when I came across 4 juvenile Greater Flamingo's at Rodia lagoon and 20+ Cattle Egrets as I drove along the dirt roads beyond Igoumenitsa. As far as I am aware Cattle Egrets are not supposed to be in Greece. Also one surprise was at Morfi Marshes. We were driving past and I heard a Great spotted Woodpecker (I never found it). We stopped and whilst I was searching the tree, I thought it was in, noticed a few birds in a nearby tree. Not finding the woodpecker I went to investigate the other birds. All took flight as I approached, bar one. The sun was low and strong and the bird was in silhouette so I shouted for Ros to bring my scope. By the time Ros had brought it to me it had moved and I thought it had gone but a movement on the other side of the tree caught my attention. I got the scope onto it, zoomed in at 60 mag, and found myself looking at a Wryneck. Only the 2nd time I have seen one.

Other highlights were, almost running down a Tortoise that was crossing a road in the middle of nowhere up high on a mountainside, Otters at both Acheron marshes and Sagadia wetland, some brilliant butterflies that included Two-tailed Pasha at a few sites including Rodia Lagoon, Sagaida wetlands etc, Camberwell Beauties, Southern Swallowtail, Southern Festoon plus a few that I couldn't ID. We also had up to 3 Blue Rock Thrush males and 1 female outside our studio every day, waking us up with their beautiful song.

General Information.

Get yourself a good map. I bought the Road Editions series map for the whole of Greece taking in all the islands, which I thought might be useful for later years. It is a 1-500,000 edition. You can buy the more localised version at 1-250,000. Mine cost 9 Euros, about £6. Ask at any travel agencies for any environmental and wildlife literature. We did and I got some excellent information doing just that. Some of the literature you should ask for is: The river Acheron, the narrows & the Delta (a guide for the Eco-Tourism). This booklet deals with everything regarding the river Acheron from its source through to the Delta, including the Acheron marshes. There is also a smashing booklet entitled Amvrakikos the Ecotourist Guide. An excellent booklet about the Amvrakikos Gulf and it details 50 different sites around the Gulf area. There is also a brochure type folder, containing a map called Amvrakikos Gulf Wetlands. A small booklet, given to us by chance by Gail, at the Ephirus travel agency in Parga, was for the Grigoris Tsogas footpath and it covers an area from Igoumenitsa to Sagiada. This is only a very small booklet but it made me aware that there was more to the area than I first thought. There will probably be more available but if you don't ask you don't get.

Most of the garages didn't take plastic and a lot of the shops didn't either. Petrol prices ranged wildly. We were using unleaded and those prices ranged from a high of 0.843 euros per litre down to 0.736. The cheapest was on a stretch that came off the Parga to Preveza road that went across to join the Arta road (on the way to the Rodia Lagoon area of the Amvrakikos Gulf). The next cheapest was in Glyki just before the Souli villages road at 0.746 and the next two were on the way to Igoumenitsa at 0.75. If, like me, you travel over these dirt track roads your car gets very dirty. The garage that was the cheapest also supplies free air for the tyres and a hosepipe that allows you to wash your car down for free. Worth bearing in mind when you are about to return the car.

If you go to Meteora beware of the road that goes from Igoumenitsa across to Meteora. It is mountainous and bendy with very few passing places (we went via Morfi and Paramythia which cut out a bit). It is also a national road connecting Greece with Turkey, Bulgaria etc. This means convoys of Arctics and some of the stunts these drivers, and coach and car drivers pulled to overtake each other were beyond belief. I lost count of the times I braked hard and swerved to the right to miss being hit by a car that had misjudged it's overtaking space. We also witnessed 2 pieces of the most manic driving I have ever witnessed. A coach, whose driver must have had no brain, literally overtook an Artic on a blind bend and for two blind bends they were going side by side. If anything had been coming the other way I dread to think what would have happened especially with a few thousand feet drop below us. The other was a car driver who thought that he could drive past a half a dozen Arctics, a coach and a few cars before reaching a blind bend. Wrong!! He just was about to pass the last Arctic when two Arctics came the other way. The first had to brake sharply, the 2nd almost ran into him and everything on our side had to slam their brakes on. I don't know how an accident didn't happen; then again perhaps a few pairs of trousers became slightly stained?? You are also stuck for ages behind these Artics and coaches as they crawl up these roads at about 15-20mph. This particular day we caught the most horrendous weather on the way back with thunder, lightning, torrential rain and floods. We almost ran into a flood by Morfi where a VW Beetle was stuck with water above its windows. Luckily the camber on the left hand side of the road was at an acute angle and I managed to get through.

Meteora is a bit of an experience with monasteries perched on rocks. It's a photographers dream. It's a shame it started to rain almost as soon as we got there. I am still glad I went there but I would have rather done without the driving bit getting there and back.

Itineries.

21/09/02 Didn't go anywhere as we arrived at our studio at just past 7pm.
22/09/02 Picked up the car at 11am. Acheron marshes, near Ammoudia.
23/09/02 Acheron marshes also the north side of Acheron marshes on the Valanidirach road.
24/09/02 Kalamas Wetlands in the Kestrini area.
25/09/02 Morfi marshes, Acheron marshes, Kypseli and the Souli villages road.
26/09/02 Amvrakikos Gulf,.
27/09/02 Parga Venetian Fort, Morfi, Souli villages road.
28/09/02 Meteora via Paramythia and Ionina Lake.
29/09/02 Lefkas, Acheron marshes.
30/09/02 Igoumenitsa Lagoons, Kalamas Wetlands near Kestrini.
01/10/02 Valtos, Souli villages road, Acheron marshes.
02/10/02 Boat trip to Anti Paxos and Paxos.
03/10/02 Morfi marshes, Sagiada Wetlands.
04/10/02 Amvrakikos Gulf.
05/10/02 Journey home.

Following are the site Instructions for places we visited whilst on holiday in Parga (North West Greece). Parga is on the mainland just south east of Corfu and lies approximately about 50 miles south of the Albanian border.

Rodia lagoon and onward to Salaora information centre and to Koronissia. (This is only a small part of the Amvrakikos Gulf area).

From Parga travel towards Preveza. Take the first turning to Arta (there is a cheap petrol station within a couple of miles along this road). Follow this to a 'T' junction and turn right for Arta. You will eventually go through Louros and keep on going until you see a right turn signposted for Petra and Strongili. There will also be a small sign for the Rodia Lagoon Wetland information centre there. (This road doesn't actually show on any of the maps we had as joining the two villages but it does) At this junction we stopped and to your left is a rock face where we saw our only western Rock Nuthatch. Take the road to your right here. Eventually you will come to a bend going right with a road going left. There is a stop sign here and on the wall facing you are 4 red arrows pointing right. Go right and follow this road until you reach Strongili village. As you approach the village there is a football pitch on your left. Just past it turn left and the wetland centre is on your left. Just past the centre turn right and stay on that road. It becomes a very good dirt track road that goes for miles and is a perfectly safe drive. You will go past a wetland area to your right and towards the end of that area you will come to a small picnic area where you can sit on benches with a table you can use under shade. After perhaps a meal you can carry on and eventually you will come to a second wetland area. It was here that I had my only Slender Billed Gull and had quite a few waders as well. After this you can continue and eventually you will come to a village with an area just before it that could produce. The road is now a tarmac road. Go through village to a 'T' junction and turn right. Carry on to cross roads (BP garage over to your right). Turn left (into a short dual carriageway with a red and white post in the middle of it) and follow to another 'T' junction (the road comes across you from the left at an acute angle). Turn right here and follow to 'T' junction. Turn right here. This is the main Arta to Koronissia road. Follow this to the Salaora centre (which will be on your right) and beyond to Koronissia. You can drive past Koronissia along good tracks. This latter part is on the Lagarou Lagoon. All along from the Strongoli area there is plenty for you to look at. It is well worth spending the day here. We also went over on the eastern side of the Gulf but I found my way more by instinct than direction. If you are brave enough you should try it, as there are some brilliant areas to look at. We found some excellent birding spots with bags of potential. These were reached from the roads on the western side of Arta. Give yourself plenty of time to explore this area, if you do go there, as some of these tracks just end and you find yourself back tracking. I would still recommend trying it though.

Igoumenitsa to Sagiada area.

You must give this area a good look at. I spent three separate days looking over this area and extended my boundaries on each day. All of these sites can be linked together but you will have to use good tracks to do it. I found my way around okay and if you are sensible and have a good sense of direction it is relatively easy. I will describe directions to each site independently.

Igoumenitsa lagoons.

Coming from Parga you will go under a bridge just before the outskirts of Igoumenitsa. They are building a new port road here. If that is open you will turn left here. If it isn't take a left a bit further on (signposted for Paxos etc) and follow the road that skirts the ports. Stay on this road and ignore the Thessalonika signs etc and keep on going. This allows you to miss out driving through the centre of the town, which is very busy. The road eventually goes right, up a hill, and you will see a turn to your left for the beach. The beach name starts with a D but I can't remember the name. Turn left here and this eventually goes alongside some lagoons. This area can turn up anything and is well worth looking at, we had some Spoonbills here as well as some Wigeon and Teal. Carry on from here and you will come along a reed-fringed road, we saw our only Night Heron here. At the beginning of this stretch we found a flock of about 20 Spanish Sparrows. Once the reeds start watch out for the noise. There must be over a million Spanish / House sparrow hybrids and the noise is really deafening here. There were also plenty of other birds around as well (we also saw the totally unexpected sight of 20+ Cattle Egrets along here). After a while the tarmac ends and becomes a track going left. Follow this until you come to a 'T' junction. Turn left here and follow this road past a couple of houses. Keep going and eventually you will see an abandoned factory on your left. You need to go to the back of this factory and to do it you will have to carry on until there is a track to your left. Take the left turn to a 'T' junction and turn left. This goes to the back of the factory at a distance of about 200/300 yards away. There are some small lagoons there that might be old fish farm lagoons. There were plenty of birds here and we also saw our only Black Tern and Knot here. Come back on yourself and you can either turn right at the track where you came up or carry on. The track only goes a further 300 yards or so and turns right and joins the other track you came on. There is water all around here. At the end of this, or the other track, turn right and go back the way you came. You will come to the right turn you arrived on (there are some rusty metal things on the corner which you should notice when you first came on that road). Here you can either turn right and go back to Igoumenitsa via the lagoons or carry on. This part you will have to take a bit of a chance on.

Kestrini Wetland area

You are making for a village called Kestrini, which lies on a hill on your left hand side. I found my way okay but you might want to go back to Igoumenitsa and start from there with directions I am about to give. (If you want to carry on past the right turn to Igoumenitsa you have to go left somewhere along this track and you will eventually come to a 'T' junction that has a white small Greek memorial box on it. You turn left here. Along this track you will come to two forks and you take a left at each fork. This track comes to a huge wetland area with an old pump house in the middle. We had White and Dalmatian Pelicans here and this area looks superb, especially for possibly a spring visit). If you don't want to take a chance on the tracks go back to Igoumenitsa. You will eventually reach the 'T' junction, where you first turned left to take the beach road. Turn left here and within a few yards turn left. There is a large supermarket on the right hand side of this corner. Also a brick wall ends at the corner you will turn left on. Go down here for 100 yards or so and you will see a right turn. Turn right here, just past where the brick wall ends. Follow this road and eventually it reaches a 'T' junction. This 'T' junction is where a road comes across you and bends making it look as though it becomes a continuation of your road. Carry onto this road, going straight ahead. You will go past a Skoda showroom, on you're left, and then after a little while a factory on your right with an ETEM sign on it. Just past here there will be another small factory, on your left, with DOORS on it and after a little while you will pass a Shell garage on your left. After passing here you will eventually see a sign for Kestrini. You need to turn left here, (they were building a small bridge here) and park up. The noise is deafening, as there is another colony of Sparrow hybrids here. The fields irrupted here every time a gun went off and the sky became filled with birds. There is a small stream that runs through here. We had a few raptors here and also the largest amount of Alpine Swifts I have ever witnessed. There were literally thousands and thousands in the sky above us and they appeared to be all Alpine Swifts and nothing else, as I couldn't see a Common Swift, Swallow or Martin of any sort amongst them. After scanning the surrounding area carry on along this road towards Kestrini and just before the village there is a right hand bend with a small reddy brown monument (with a greyish centre) on the left hand side of the bend. There is a track that goes off to the left that you take. This is the track mentioned earlier that has two forks on it. As I said earlier take the left hand track of each fork and you will reach the Wetland area. (If you find you have reached Kestrini not to worry, turn back on yourself and the first bend in the road you come to is the bend you want. The track you want will be on the right hand side if you do this)

Sagiada Wetland area

This is potentially the best area we visited and you will find it hard to believe but we connected with a Slender Billed Curlew here that was on the edge of a party of 20+ Curlews. Again there is two ways to do this. If you want to link it to the Kestrini area you can. To do this back track until you come back onto the road, where the memorial is, and turn left. Just at the edge of the village there is a right hand turn going into a road that is reed fringed. Turn right here and keep on this road. You will eventually come across signs for Sagiada. If you want the instructions from Igoumenitsa all you do is follow the Kestrini instructions I gave earlier with the exception that you keep going past the Kestrini sign. Follow this road all the way and eventually you will go over a long bridge that spans a wide river. The river rushes over it like a mini waterfall. After the bridge you go left and this road takes you straight to Sagiada. Whether you go straight there from Igoumenitsa or via Kestrini you end up doing the same thing. First of all go into the village and you will come to a point on a bend where you can go straight on towards the sea. Go on the road to the sea and there is a lagoon on your right worth exploring. Once you have done this go back but take the road past the port police. It ends shortly at the waters edge where the boats are moored. We had a black necked Grebe here. When you have looked at everything here then go for the best area. To do this back track to the village and take the road as if you are going back towards Kestrini / Igoumenitsa. After a short distance on the main road you will come to a track on your right. Take it and it goes over a bridge straight away to a 'T' junction. Turn right here and you shortly join the wetland area. You again come to a bridge with a left and a right track. Go right and this track goes very straight for some way and skirts a huge area. There are birds of all sorts everywhere here and it was here, at the earlier part of the drive where we had the Slender billed Curlew. Eventually you will come to another bridge where the road goes to the left. The road beyond here is well worth looking at if you have the time. We followed it for a couple of miles past a farmhouse, where we had a very cooperative Squacco Heron.

That is the end of the Igoumenitsa / Sagiada / Kestrini area. If you did this area in the spring then I would think that it could produce an amazing array of birds, as the potential of this area looks absolutely brilliant. You have everything here. Mountains, plains, grassland, lagoons, ditches all manner of habitats.

Lefkada Salt Pans

I was given a cheap map from the car hire company that was for Lefkada. On it it indicated salt pans which I have found in the past can be magnets for birds in Greece & Spain. There were two indicated just outside of Lefkada. The first was supposedly behind a primary school but we could only find a small amount of water and a large amount of building going on leading me to presume that they have built on the first one. The second one we found and it does look full of potential. We had our first Great white Egret here and also our only Gull billed Tern. To find it follow these instructions. After coming out of Lefkada follow the Nidri signs. After a little while you will pass a large pylon on your right. On your left is the Metpa stoneworks and just past this on the same side is a new store that sells furniture and light fittings. Just past this there is a small sign saying Anesis village and not far past this, on the left, is the road you want. It is an obvious road as it is wider than most and is a black tarmac surface. The Villa Olga is on the corner. This road goes around a bend to the right and you follow it all around the large lagoon area. It becomes an ordinary track that is in very good condition and this track goes for some way and almost comes back on itself, but not quite. It eventually reaches a dead end after about a couple of kilometres and you have to come back on yourself to go back onto the main road.

Also checkout the area on the causeway approaching Lefkada. There is an area on your left, going to Lefkada, that was full of mainly Little Egrets and a couple of Great White Egrets. Give a good look at it as it could produce anything.

Acheron marshes (Ammoudia)

I used reports from Birdtours.co.uk from both Chris Cameron and Maurice Berry and I thank them both for at least alerting me to areas that gave me a head start. Acheron marshes was one of them. I visited this area 5 times and it is well worth visiting as it could, and did, throw up anything. I found that visiting it about three hours before dusk was very good for raptors and we had some excellent birds here. Both Maurice and Chris have directions for this area and you should print out their reports as well.

Souli Villages road

Souli Villages road is mentioned in one of the reports as well and this is excellent for raptors especially on the junction that is signposted for Souli. It is easy to get to. You must get to Glyki (there is a smashing bakery there just as you are coming out of the village on your left before the 'T' junction). When you reach the 'T' junction at Glyki turn left and drive for half a mile. The Souli villages road is on your right and you turn into it onto a very tight right hand hill climb (also a very cheap garage is just before your right hand turn turn, also on the right hand side).

Morfi Marsh

Morfi Marsh is where the Parga road meets the Preveza to Igoumenitsa road. You turn left here and Morfi Marsh extends on your left for a few kilometres.

Ioanina Lake

If you have a map it is easy to find at least I got a lifer here in the shape of a Pygmy Cormorant, (again one of the reports mentions how to find the car park for this lake).

Anti Paxos & Paxos

These two islands are serviced from both Parga and Igoumenitsa. The problem we had was that the weather was so bad that for the first few days all boats were stopped from going out so we left going there until the bad weather settled down. Unfortunately that coincided with the stopping of the daily services to these islands from the end of September until the new season next year. We had to take an excursion to get there but that only gave us an hour on Anti Paxos and 3 hours on Paxos giving us no time to really look at the islands.

Anti Paxos

This is a very small island. There is a smashing small beach with white sand and turquoise water and has two restaurants on the beach. At the side of the first restaurant there is a track that goes inland. Virtually every inch is covered in trees, bushes, brambles or anything that grows. There are plenty of birds but they are hard to see, as they just appear to disappear into the undergrowth as soon as you look at them. If you could spend a few hours here it might pay handsome dividends. We only saw Sparrows, Greenfinch, Spotted Flycatcher and our only Subalpine Warbler of the trip. I did meet a couple of English woman that were on the same track as me and they had come in from Corfu. They had 6 hours on the island. I don't think anything from Parga allows you to have that sort of time here but if you ask you might find out that there is a way to spend more time here.

Paxos

We can't give any indication what this island is like as we had a meal as soon as we arrived and by the time that was consumed we only had just under two hours on the island, no time to go anywhere. I did a spot of seawatching from here and saw both Cory's and Balearic Shearwater and that was from a spot just outside of Gaios.

Birds seen and where seen.

Species
Alpine Swift - Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Balearic Shearwater - Boat from Paxos to Parga
Black Redstart - Nr Metsovo
Black Stork - Nr Petra
Black Tern - Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni
Black Vulture Souli Villages road (at jnct to Souli)
Blackbird Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Blackcap Souli Villages road
Black-eared Wheatear Nr Karteri
Black-headed Gull Common around water
Black-winged Stilt Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Blue Rock Thrush Studio in Parga, fairly common in localised areas.
Blue Tit Fairly common.
Bonelli's Eagle Souli Villages road (at jnct to Souli)
Booted Eagle Venetian Fort (Parga)
Calandra Lark Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Cattle Egret Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni (20+ of them)
Cetti's Warbler Morfi marshes, only seen one, heard many.
Chaffinch Common but localised.
Chiffchaff Acheron North marshes (Nr Valanidirachi)
Cirl Bunting Morfi marshes
Collared Dove Studio in Parga, very common all over populated areas
Common Buzzard Very common
Common Kestrel A few seen at various sites.
Common Kingfisher Everywhere were there is water, and in large numbers.
Common Redshank Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf), Sagadia.
Common Redstart Souli Villages road
Common Sandpiper Acheron marshes, Rodia Lagoon, Sagadia, Lagarou lagoons.
Common Swift Studio in Parga
Common Tern Wetlands near Sagiada (Nr Albanian border)
Common Whitethroat Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni
Coot Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini), Lagoons near to Igoumenitsa where there was over 500.)
Cormorant Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini), Rodia lagoon.
Corn Bunting Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia) Rodia lagoon
Cory's Shearwater Boat from Paxos to Parga
Crag Martin Acheron marshes, Meteora
Crested Lark Fairly common
Curlew Wetlands near Sagiada (Nr Albanian border)
Curlew Sandpiper Unknown area on Amvrakikos Gulf
Dalmatian Pelican Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini), Sagiada, Rodia Lagoon, Lagarou lagoon)
Egyptian Vulture Souli Villages road (at jnct to Souli)
Eleonora's Falcon Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
European Bee-eater Acheron marshes also heard on one day at same site.
Fan-tailed Warbler Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Gadwall Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Golden Eagle Souli Villages road (at jnct to Souli)
Golden Plover Wetlands near Sagiada (Nr Albanian border)
Goldfinch common
Goshawk Sagiada (Nr Albanian border), Nr Petra.
Great Crested Grebe Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf), Ioanina lake.
Great Reed Warbler Acheron marshes, dirt tracks beyond the Igoumenitsa lagoons.
Great Tit Fairly common
Great White Egret Lefkas Salt pans, Lefkas Causeway, Acheron marshes,
Sagadia(the latter over 100 of them)
Greater Flamingo Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Greenfinch Fairly common.
Grey Heron Everywhere, in large numbers, where water is.
Grey Wagtail Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Griffon Vulture Souli Villages road (at jnct to Souli)
Gull-billed Tern Lefkas Salt pans
Hen Harrier Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Hobby Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Hooded Crow Very common
House Martin Studio in Parga, Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
House Sparrow Very common, plus quite a few hybrids.
Icterine Warbler Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Imperial Eagle Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Jackdaw Acheron marshes, Nr Glyki.
Jay Common.
Kentish Plover Unknown area on Amvrakikos Gulf, Koronissia.
Knot Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni
Lesser Black-backed Gull Ioanina Lake
Lesser Grey Shrike Meteora (Nr Great Meteora Monastery)
Lesser Whitethroat Souli Villages road
Levant Sparrowhawk Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Little Egret Everywhere, in large numbers, where water is.
Little Grebe Acheron marshes, Lefkas, Ioanina lake, Rodia lagoon.
Little Ringed Plover Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini), Koronissia.)
Little Stint Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Long-legged Buzzard Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia), Nr Kesterini, Souli villages road
Morfi marshes, Nr Glyki, Nr Kastroyskia, Nr Metsovo. Lefkas
Salt pans
Magpie Very common.
Mallard Ioanina Lake
Marsh Harrier Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf), Sagadia,Nr Kestrini, Nr Salaora, Acheron marshes.
Marsh Tit Kartraki
Marsh Warbler Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Masked Shrike Acheron North marshes (Nr Valanidirachi)
Meadow Pipit Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Mediterranean Gull Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Moorhen Fairly common
Mute Swan Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf) seen twice at the picnic area.
Night Heron Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni
Nightingale Acheron marshes, seen two days on the trot.
Northern Wheatear Fairly common but localised.
Olivaceous Warbler Nr Morfi
Olive-tree Warbler Acheron marshes on 3 different occasions, Rodia lagoon.
Orphean Warbler Venetian Fort (Parga), Rodia laggon.
Oystercatcher Koronissia (Logarou Lagoon Amvrakikos Gu
Peregrine Falcon Nr Kastroyskia, dirt tracks beyond Igoumenitsa lagoons, Acheron marshes, Nr Petra, Souli villages.
Pied Wagtail Studio in Parga, Acheron marshes
Pochard Morfi marshes
Purple Heron Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Pygmy Cormorant Ioanina Lake
Raven Meteora (Nr Great Meteora Monastery), Souli villages & Nr Glyki.
Red-backed Shrike Many sites on nearly every day, Singles only.
Red-rumped Swallow Acheron marshes, Glyki, Studio at Parga.
Reed Warbler Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Robin Seemed to increase in numbers as the holiday went on.
Rock Thrush Tsgari (on Souli Villages road)
Sand Martin Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Sandwich Tern Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Sardinian Warbler Acheron marshes plus many other sites. Heard often, seen few times.
Shag Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Short-toed Eagle Nr Kypseli plus the ridge overlooking Parga.
Short-toed Lark Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Slender-billed Curlew Wetlands near Sagiada (Nr Albanian border)
Slender-billed Gull Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Sombre Tit Souli Villages road, nr the Great Meteora monastery.
Spanish Sparrow Dirt tracks beyond Lagoons near Igoumeni
Sparrowhawk Acheron marshes, Sagadia
Spoonbill Lagoons near Igoumenitsa, Sagadia (50 plus here)
Spotted Flycatcher Very common
Spotted Redshank Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Squacco Heron Nr Salaora, Salgadia.
Starling Parga, Nr Salaora
Stonechat Acheron marshes, Lefkas, Sagiada, Nr Koronissia
Subalpine Warbler Island of Anti Paxos
Swallow Common although numbers depleting rapidly each day.
Tawny Pipit Nr Kypseli
Teal Lagoons near Igoumeni, Morfi marshes.
Tree Pipit Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
Tree Sparrow Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Twite Nr Metsovo
Western Rock Nuthatch Jnct of Arta/Petra & Strongoli Road
Whinchat Fairly common.
White Pelican Kalamas Wetlands (Nr Kesterini)
White Wagtail Acheron marshes, outside studio at Parga
Wigeon Acheron marshes, Lagoons near to Igoumenitsa.
Willow Warbler Rodia Lagoon (Amvrakikos Gulf)
Wood Pigeon Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Wood Warbler Acheron marshes (Nr Ammoudia)
Woodchat Shrike Acheron marshes, Messopotamo (both Juveniles)
Wryneck Morfi marshes
Yelkouan Shearwater Boat to Anti Paxos & also coming back from Paxos.
Yellow Wagtail Fairly common especially Acheron marshes where there were flocks of up to 100.
Yellow-legged Gull Everywhere.

I hope this is of help to you but if you want more info you can reach me on 07764 609121 or e-mail me on john.jenngings99@ntlworld.com
John Jennings.
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