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Thessaloniki Area

West of Thessaloniki

Aliakmon, Axios and Gallikos Deltas and Alikes Kitrous saltworks and lagoon.

This vast area lies south-west of Thessaloniki. Now largely agricultural, it is punctuated by several rivers running between embankments to the sea. The area includes a colony of 25 pairs of Purple Heron, up to 10 pairs of Glossy Ibis, a pair of White-tailed Eagle and a large colony of Mediterranean Gulls. Kalohori often turns up good waders and Wilson’s Phalarope and Pectoral Sandpiper were surprise visitors in 2007 and, in 2010, 7 Terek and 3 Broad-billed Sandpipers were there together. A few km south is a large, purpose-built observation tower provides an excellent view across marshland. Nearby are the Alikes Kitrous saltworks and lagoon which hold passage waders and plenty of winter duck.

East of Thessaloniki

Angelohori Lagoon

This area of saltpans and lagoon, can hold good numbers of passage waders. this was the case during a visit in September ’10 with more than 400 particularly around the western and southern shores. Most numerous were Kentish Plover, with Black-tailed Godwit, good numbers of Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint and several Marsh and Common Sandpipers, Avocet and 7 Stone Curlew. Plenty of Mediterranean Gull were accompanied by a few Slender-billed and Sandwich, Little and Common Terns, with 300 Flamingo and a dozen Spoonbill.

It seems that entry by car has been curtailed but it is still possible to walk along the track between the pans and the sea.


Epanomi Lagoon

Further south lies Epanomi Lagoon which, although having deteriorated somewhat in recent years, can also hold passage waders.


Thanks to the Axios - Loudias - Aliakmonos Management Authority for their data

Axios/Aliakmon area May 2013

May highlights include an unseasonal Red-necked Phalarope, 4 Black Storks, 21 Dalmatian Pelicans, 30 Night Heron, 39 Squaccos, 17 Purple and 170 Little Egret. An impressive 762 Flamingos were still around with 322 Black-winged Stilt, 5 Stone Curlew, 3 Spur-wings and around 800 mixed Dunlin and Little Stint. A single Osprey passed through.

Axios/Aliakmon area April 2013

April saw a few lingering winter birds, such as Golden Plover and a couple of Spotted Eagles but the arrival of summer birds was in full swing with 22 Garganey, 67 Night Heron, 68 Squaccos, 15 Purple and 72 Glossy Ibis. With breeding Dalmatian Pelicans having left for Kerkini and Prespa only 18 birds remained. Wader numbers grew, with 529 Ruff, 573 Black-winged Stilt, 241 Avocet, 15 Stone Curlew, 33 Collared Pratincole and 3 Spur-winged Plover.

Axios/Aliakmon area March 2013

March is 'changeover month' in Greece as winter visitors leave and the pioneers for the summer begin to arrive. This March proved no different. The continuation of winter sightings included 35 Black-necked Grebes, 34 Dalmatian Pelicans, 137 Little Egrets, 585 Flamingos, 432 Avocet and 940 Shelduck. Raptors included 36 Buzzard, 4 Hen and 22 Marsh Harriers. Waders included 432 Avocet and 112 Black-winged Stilt.

Evidence of the chaging seasons came in the shape of 6 Garganey, 368 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Spur-winged Plover, 4 Stone Curlew, 2 Calandra Larks, 9 Hoopoe and 5 White Storks.

Axios/Aliakmon area February 2013

Waterbird counts include 43 Black-necked Grebes, 58 Dalmatian Pelicans, 984 Flamingos, a single Glossy Ibis, 25 Great White and 39 Little Egrets - the latter highlighting the westward bias of this species in the winter.

Raptors were represented by 17 Marsh Harriers, 2 early Ospreys, 52 Common Buzzard and one Long-legged, a Peregrine, 2 Spotted Eagles and a single Golden. Waders present included 2 Stone Curlews and 146 Curlews.

Axios/Aliakmon area January 2013

The new year opened with a count of 57 Black-necked Grebes, 88 Dalmatian Pelicans, 64 Great White Egrets, 1400 Flamingos, 14 Whooper and over 200 Mute Swans. Raptor interest included 3 Spotted Eagles, a wintering Osprey, 23 Marsh and 2 Hen Harriers and 2 Long-legged Buzzards amongst 65 Common.