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Porto Lagos, Nestos and Ismarida

Porto Lagos

This area consists of a wide range of habitats, including saltpans, pools, woods, farmland, a large lake and shoreline offering a wide range of species. Dalmatian Pelican can often be seen on Lake Vistonida, particularly in winter when White-headed Duck can also be found.

Wader numbers can be high but depend on water levels in the lagoons and saltpans and over 10 000 Flamingoes use the Thracian lagoons.

Nestos area

The Nestos River rises in Bulgaria and flows for 234km before reaching the sea. There are four areas worth a visit: the gorge, the Chrissoupoli lakes, the delta lagoons and the riverine forest leading to the river mouth. A pair of White-tailed and around five pairs of Lesser Spotted Eagle breed, and the gorge has traditionally held a population of between 15 and 20 pairs of Griffon Vultures and several pairs of Spur-wing Plovers cling on in the delta.

The area is important for wildlife in general, supporting the highest density of Golden Jackal in Greece, increasing numbers of Wild Boar and a healthy otter population. A small wolf population still survives between here and the mountains to the north. Continued efforts by local farmers to poison these is having a detrimental effect on the local vulture population.


This is a shallow freshwater lake with seasonally flooded areas surrounding it. The nearby fields are full of Corn Buntings in winter, with visits from Lesser Kestrel and Red-footed Falcon in spring and Lesser Grey Shrike, Bee-eater and Roller in summer. A good day on the lake in May might produce Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Little Bittern, Squacco and Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, White-tailed Eagle, Collared Pratincole, Gull-billed, Whiskered, Black and White-winged Black Terns and Roller.

In addition, there is a nearby colony of Lesser Kestrel, one of the few remaining in this part of Greece.

Lake Ismarida Feb '17

The difficulty of finding food in their more regular haunts in the prolonged cold snap has led to many geese appearing  in areas where they are less usually found. The area around Ismarida played host to some 2000 Greater White-fronts, 3 Red-breasted, one Greylag and a single - and unusual - Bean Goose. In addition up to 11 Little Bustard have been around the lake. Nearby Vistonida held 6 Long-tailed ducks, several Smew and small numbers of Scaup and White-headed Duck.

Porto Lagos May 2012

Terek Sandpiper at Saltworks on 19th, along with several dozen Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Dunlin, Avocet and Stone Curlew.

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