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 could be performed by chance, from the roadside.
After which, a couple of days forward of our journey, a British birder Clive Mason left a remark below my outdated weblog on birding Lake Karla, simply north of the Pelion Peninsula in central Greece, saying that he wouuld be within the space subsequent week.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 might in all probability miss the chance, however every week later we have been there collectively. Fashioned in a tectonic despair in the beginning of the Quaternary interval, 2.58 million years in the past, this wetland occupied a lot of the jap 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, below the wheels of misguided progress, it was drained. It was solely then that the native farmers discovered the soil was too salty for good yields. And all that water and the environmental providers 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 up to now eBirded species. It was an odd feeling to be again on the “former lake” which I birded in 2017, means 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 highest birds, a juvenile Masked Shrike effectively seen a number of metres away (later we’ll see one other juvenile, do adults begin migrating earlier?). A Cirl Bunting, a number of of many Northern Wheatears of the day, a Blue Rock Thrush (that solely Clive noticed!), Pink-rumped Swallows, a Crested Lark, a number of Pink-backed Shrikes (each adults and juveniles), Eurasian Golden Oriole, a number of Lesser Kestrels, Syrian Woodpecker, Brief-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Spoonbills and a Squacco Heron, Pygmy Cormorants (a lifer for Clive), one Mediterranean Gull, Redshank, Greenshank, European Turtle Dove…
From the south, we moved to the jap embankment, driving alongside the filth monitor beneath it: Whinchat, European Bee-eater, two Brief-toed Eagles, one posing on an electrical energy pylon simply forward of us (proper), then a useless, electrocuted White Stork hanging from the following one, Frequent Ringed Plover…
And from there, we tried to seek out some tavern to refresh ourselves within the close by village of Kanalia, however there have been none to be seen, so we headed north. A center of the highway cease inside (almond?) orchards for Black Redstart, Noticed Flycatcher, a number of Willow Warblers and one Eurasian Reed Warbler, three Sombre Tits. At Pirgos Level, farther north, there have been a Black Stork, Collared Pratincole, a number of immature Higher Flamingos, Dunlins and Little Stints. And on our means again, one other Lesser Kestrel and a Levant Sparrowhawk.
An awesome day, due to Clive. Checking the eBird now, a bunch of native birders visited the lake a dozen days later, to seek 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!!