Winter Birding Tour in Northern Greece


The lagoons and lakes of Northern Greece hold huge amounts of birds that have escaped the harsh winter weather in Central and Eastern Europe. A highlight is the Lesser White-fronted Goose, the whole European population of which comes to spend the winter here. Join us on this tour for a great birding experience with thousands of birds to see each day!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
The tour starts in early afternoon from Tessaloniki, as the tour participants will be picked up from their hotels in the area or from Thessaloniki Airport until 14.00 h (2pm). If time allows we will visit Kalohori Lagoon in the vicinity of Thessaloniki, which is very good for Greater Flamingo, gulls and waterfowl in winter.
Transfer to Lake Kerkini (~1 hour and a half). Accommodation there for 3 nights.

Days 2 & 3
The next couple of days we will explore the area of Kerkini Lake National Park, which hosts in winter big flocks of waterfowl and waders, among the target species that we are expected to see here are the Dalmatian Pelican, White Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Whooper Swan, Tundra Swan (ssp. bewickii), Greater White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Smew, Greater Flamingo, Greater Spotted Eagle, Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Moustached Warbler, as well as many waders and gulls. The forests around hold Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Short-toed Treecreeper, Sombre Tit, Hawfinch, etc. The Wallcreeper is another highlight in the area, as this magnificent bird can be found wintering on some of the local cliffs. One of the days if weather allows we can make a boat trip in the lake and get closer to pelicans and flamingos.

Day 4
Transfer to the Nestos Delta (~3 hours). The site is very good for wintering gulls, including Audouin’s and Caspian Gull. Other target species here include Mediterranean Gull, Black-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Greater Spotted Eagle, White-tailed Eagle.
Accommodation at Toxotes for one night.

Day 5
In the morning we will check the Nestos Gorge for Rock Partridge, Rock Bunting, Cirl Bunting and Sombre Tit. From here we will head southeast to Vistonida Lake, which is the main wintering area for the White-headed Duck in Greece. Other target species here include Whooper and Tundra Swan (ssp. bewickii), Greater Flamingo, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Greater Scaup, Short-eared Owl, Mediterranean Gull, Slender-billed Gull, etc.
In the afternoon we will visit Ismarida Lake, where we will look for White-tailed Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Great Bittern, Calandra Lark, etc.
Transfer to the Evros Delta (~2 hours). Accommodation in Dadia area for three nights.

Day 6
In the morning we will visit the Dadia Forest National Park, where is the only population of the Eurasian Black Vulture in Greece. At the feeding station we can also see the Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Black Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle. Other interesting species of birds in the area includes the Syrian Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker and Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Sombre Tit, Rock Bunting and Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Treecreeper, etc. In the afternoon we can visit some parts of Evros Delta.

Day 7
We will spend the whole day at the Evros Delta National Park, which is the major wintering site for the European population of the Lesser White-fronted Goose, which numbers usually exceeds 100 individuals. Other target species of birds here include the Greater Flamingo, Great Bittern, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Whooper Swan, Tundra Swan (ssp. bewickii), Ruddy Shelduck, Greater Scaup, Smew, White-tailed Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, Red Kite, as well as plenty of ducks, gulls and waders. In cold winters some big numbers of geese come in the area, including Red-breasted Goose and Tundra Bean Goose.

Day 8
Transfer to Thessaloniki Airport (~5 hours driving) for departure. In case the departure is earlier in the day we can leave Evros Delta area in the previous day and stay overnight on the way to Thessaloniki.

Download the check-list of birds likely to be seen on this tour.

Greater Spotted Eagle by Mladen Vasilev

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