This is a photography tour focusing on the wintering pelicans at Lake Kerkini in Greece and the resident species of vultures in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria.
On this tour we visit two different locations. The first one is Lake Kerkini in northern Greece, just across the Bulgarian- Greek border. It lies in a wonderful natural area along the Struma (Strimonas) river and forms one of Europe’s richest bird areas. Here we take photos of Dalmatian Pelicans and Great White Pelicans. Traditionally hundreds of Dalmatian Pelicans winter in the lake. In the recent years a small number of Great White Pelicans also remain here in winter and mix with the Dalmatians. As the pelicans are foraging and resting close to the shore, they are extremely tame and easy to approach. They have learned to follow fishermen, who willingly share with them part of their catch. This symbiosis makes the wildlife photographers and birders really happy.
Besides the two species of pelican, the lake offers good opportunities to take photos of Greater Flamingo, Pygmy Cormorant, Great White Egret, Tundra (Bewick’s) Swan, Eurasian Spoonbill and many other wintering water birds.
The second place, which we visit on this tour is the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in Southern Bulgaria, where we manage several fixed (permanent) hides. The Eastern Rhodopes is an area of exceptional biodiversity in all seasons. Here we support the local vulture populations by regularly bringing carcass to feeding sites. To take photos of the action of feeding we use the adjacent hides. Our targets for photography here are the resident Griffon Vulture and Cinereous (Eurasian Black) Vulture. Apart from them, we have good opportunities to capture from the hides White-tailed Eagle, Common Buzzard and Common Raven as well. It sometimes happens a Red Fox, Wild Cat, Golden Jackal or a Wolf to turn up in front of the hides too.
During times when there is less activity at the hides we can go off to explore the region looking for other wildlife. We will be sure to visit a nearby reserve where reintroduced populations of European Bison and Red Deer roam in the wild – another setting that makes for good wildlife photography.
If you wish to join one of our scheduled Winter Photography Tours, please check the availability.