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P E L I C A N S    O F    K E R K I N I

2 7    F E B R U A R Y    ---    2    M A R C H    2 0 2 4

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Photograph the charismatic Dalmatian Pelican and other Greek wildlife this winter

Thessaloniki, Greece

5 days

4 places 

From £1450

Trip Overview

T R I P    O V E R V I E W

During this workshop, we will focus on photographing the charismatic Dalmatian Pelican that spend the winter on Lake Kerkini in northern Greece. Over 5 days, you'll be able to build a stunning and varied portfolio of these rare and spectacular birds, with the help of local fishermen and guides who have developed an intimate relationship with the pelicans over many years. Exclusive boat trips and shoreline feed sessions offer unparalleled opportunities for flight and close-up portraits from boats and from the shore.  

Winter is the best season to observe these birds, with over 100 birds on the lake sporting their breeding plumage of orange throat pouches. We will capture a range of images including portraits, in flight, feeding, and wide angle in environment, hopefully against snow-capped mountains, mist or glowing sunsets. The diversity of landscapes around Kerkini make this a photographer's dream, and we will track down other spectacular animals such as Greater Flamingos and Pygmy Cormorants on the lake, and search the meadows in the area for Golden Jackals, Woodpeckers and Wild Cats. So start clearing those camera memory cards - you'll need the space! 

H I G H L I G H T S

  • Five private boat trips and shoreline feeds with the Dalmatian and Great White Pelicans, at sunrise and sunset

  • Spectacular birdlife such as Greater Flamingos, Greater Spotted Eagles, Pygmy Cormorants, and the world's critically endangered population of Lesser White-Fronted Goose

  • Develop a diverse and rich portfolio of images

  • Visit to a major wetland near Thessaloniki 

  • Local guides with intimate knowledge of the area

  • Excellent guide to client ratio, with lots of 1-on-1 tuition

  • Optional editing class in between photo sessions

  • Single supplement en-suite rooms in a comfortable guesthouse by Lake Kerkini

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Itinerary

I T I N E R A R Y

 

Day 1: Arriving in Thessaloniki, we'll transfer to our hotel near the shore of Lake Kerkini. Depending on timings, we may do an introductory photography session with the pelicans from the shoreline. Dinner in town. 

Day 2: Early morning photography around Lake Kerkini, where we will photograph Dalmatian Pelican feeding from the shoreline, as well as a handful of Great White Pelican in their pink breeding plumage. We'll take a boat out onto the lake for 2 hours, to capture a variety of feeding, in-flight and portrait shots. Return to the hotel for brunch and to review our photos. A search of the neighbouring fields and woodlands for birdlife such as Greater Spotted Eagle, Black and White Storks, Cranes, and seven species of Woodpecker. Return to the lake in the late afternoon for a 2 hour sunset session with the pelicans. Evening search for Golden Jackal and Wild Cat, which can sometimes be seen out hunting. Dinner in town. 

Day 3: A repeat of Day 2, focussing on getting a rich variety of images of the Pelicans in different light and backdrops. 

Day 4: We'll visit the Axios Delta Wetland near Thessaloniki. One of the most important wetlands in Europe, we will focus on photographing many birds at water level and at close proximity, such as large flocks of Greater Flamingo, Pygmy Cormorant, Black-Necked Grebe, Kingfisher, and various waterfowl. Optional drive for Wild Cat and Golden Jackal, and dinner in town. 

Day 5: Final morning boat session with the pelicans, before heading to the airport at Thessaloniki. 

Photographable Species: Dalmatian Pelican, Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Greater Spotted Eagle, Kingfisher, Black-Necked Grebe, various species of Duck, Black Stork, White Stork, Crane, Middle-Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Grey-Headed Woodpecker, Golden Jackal, Wild Cat

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Practical Info

P R A C T I C A L    I N F O R M A T I O N

Meals       

Breakfast/brunch (included at the guesthouse) will consist of pastries, toast, fresh fruit, omelettes, sausages and eggs, with coffee/tea and juices. If additional lunch is desired, we can make a stop for a picnic sandwich lunch. Dinner will be at a nearby restaurant with local Greek cuisine. Please let me know if you have any dietary requirements. 

Walking       

We consider this light, as we will be reliant on transport between locations. Please contact me beforehand to discuss suitability and if you have any mobility issues. 

Group Size & Tuition      

With a maximum of 4 participants, our small group size ensures everyone has a better personal experience. I will be on hand to answer your questions and help you with observing animals whatever your skillset.  

Photo Gear  

We recommend that you bring a DSLR with a zoom lens in the 100-400mm range; 300mm or less is ideal for flight shots. You will need a wide-angle lens or GoPro, as the pelicans come very close to us when they fight over fish. 

Drones       

If you wish to bring a drone to capture a unique perspective on the pelicans, please contact me in advance to discuss. 

Clothing      

It is important that participants wear appropriate clothing for the variable winter. Please check the recommended kit list, sent upon sign-up. Participants will be advised nearer the time if snow is forecast for our trip. 

Weather      

Ranging from 5C to 15C, but can be below freezing. The wind factor can be felt on boat trips. 

Flights        

We recommend flying to Thessaloniki airport. Please discuss with me so that I can recommend the best flight for you to take. 

What's Included
Make An Enquiry

W H A T ' S    I N C L U D E D

Included

  

  ✓  Services of photography and local nature guides

  ✓  5 boat trips and shoreline feeds with the pelicans

  ✓  Afternoon/Evening image reviews and edit sessions (optional)

  ✓  A welcome presentation on the local fauna and sites 

  ✓  4 nights accommodation at a hotel near Lake Kerkini

  ✓  All meals, taken at the hotel and in town

  ✓  Airport pick-up and drop-off from Thessaloniki airport to our hotel

  ✓  Ground transportation

Not Included

   ✗  Return flights from London to Thessaloniki

       (please contact me so that I can recommend the best flights)

   ✗  Any additional boat trips 

   ✗  Any Visa charges or airport taxes

   ✗  Personal and cancellation insurance*

   ✗  Personal snacks and alcohol

   ✗  Personal expenses

   ✗  Laundry 

   ✗  Any additional overnight stays 

For full terms and conditions, including our cancellation policy and personal travel insurance, please click to see the Terms & Conditions 

* To take part in our trip, you must be covered by adequate insurance for its entire duration. The insurance must cover for cancellation, ​medical and emergency expenses.

We recommend insurance against damage or loss of baggage, camera equipment, instruments and personal items. 

M A K E    A    B O O K I N G    E N Q U I R Y

Contact Paul at paulalistaircollins@gmail.com for further information.

Once your booking has been confirmed, a £300 deposit will be required per person to secure your place.

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