Thursday, 25 May 2017

Northern Greece - Butterflies.

Throughout our seven day birding holiday in Greek Macedonia our group recorded sightings of 34 species of butterflies plus a few moths and various other insects. I certainly didn't see them all but many of those I did see were lifers.

Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea). Photographed during a drive along the eastern embankment of Lake Kerniki.

Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia) was the most common species seen throughout our trip.

Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) [above] with its distinctive under-wing pattern of large pearly-silver spots photographed in the Strimonas valley.

A number of 'blue' species where seen but the rare Iolas Blue (Iolana iolas) [above left] that is so much larger than the Common Blue [above right] was a special treat as this upland species often roams several kilometers rarely stopping long in one place.

I saw Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisyi) flying close to some dried out Carp ponds near Vironia on day two and finally grabbed a shot of this faded individual on a revisit to this area two days later.

A very tatty Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius).

This Eastern Wood White (Leptidea duponcheli) was seen along a track on the slopes of Mount Vrondous.

Eastern Bath White (Pontia edusa). One of the most frequently seen white species during our holiday.

One species that has been extinct in the UK since the 1920's is the striking Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi). The male [above] and female with an  attendant Transparent Burnet [below] were seen at various localities. A strong flyer that didn't appear to rest anywhere until these individuals were spotted nectaring on two separate cooler mornings at totally different altitudes.

Other species photographed [clockwise from top left below] were Small Heath, Duke of Bergundy, Sooty Copper and Lattice Brown.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Northern Greece - Dragons And Damsels.

During our birding trip to Northern Greece I recorded eleven species of Odonata but only managed to get images of the following varieties.

Scarlet [Broad] Darter (Crocothemis erythraea). Above is the brightly coloured male and below is the female.

Common [Club-tailed] Clubtail (Gomphus vulgatissimus). This individual was soaking up the sunshine  at the roadside.

White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes).

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa).

Male (above) and female (below) of Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Both seen during a woodland walk close to a river.

Blue [Scarce] Chaser (Libellula fulva)..Above and below are shots of the male.

Above and below are images of the teneral or immature male Blue [Scarce] Chaser with its very distinctive wing markings.

Linking to:
Nature Notes

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Wildlife around Lake Kerniki, Greece.

A few days ago we returned from a wildlife watching holiday in northern Greece.

About 100km from Thessaloniki our base for the week was the family run Limneo Guest House situated in the rural village of Hrisohorafa (Chryssohorafa) on the south east side of Lake Kerkini where the inhabitants are mainly employed in fishing, farming and breeding buffalo.

Very close to the Bulgarian border Lake Kerniki, an irrigation reservoir, is contained by the natural barriers of the Kerkini (Belles) Mountains to the north and the Mavrovouni Mountains in the south and is an important Ramsar wetland site for its breeding Dalmatian Pelicans and Pygmy Cormorants plus host to many other diverse species. I will explain more about the lakes' history in a future post

Our week here was mainly centered around the wildlife on and around Lake Kerniki plus an excursion into the mountains and further afield.

So here are some images as a introduction for follow up posts.

Water Buffalo feeding on the spring grasses. During our stay we enjoyed various culinary delights including their meat cooked in the traditional way.

Our first foray during the afternoon on day one with a visit to two areas around the dam produced a taster for the week ahead. Large flocks of Pelicans, White Stock (also a very local nester in the village), Blue Chaser, the first of many Odonata and the delicately woven nest of a Penduline Tit.

One of the numerous sub-adult Dalmatian Pelican (above) encountered during the week.

A Squacco Heron (above) and a [Black-crowned] Night Heron (below).

Linking to:
Nature Notes
Wild Bird Wednesday


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