A winter trip to Lake Kerkini

Updated: Jun 24

In January 2021 I did my first trip to Lake Kerkini, Greece. This was my first time in Kerkini as well as the first of (hopefully) 12 photography trips for 2021 - 1 per month - to the most important wetlands of Greece to photograph wildlife and landscapes.

Lake Kerkini is located in Northern Greece near Serres and Thessaloniki. According to the Ramsar Convention, the wetland of Kerkini has been declared a National Park in Greece. Kerkini is an artificial lake and was formed gradually after 1932 with the construction of the first dam to hold the waters of the river Strymon.

The lake is one of the best places in Europe for bird watching with around 300 rare and protected bird species living and breeding here. Every year many scientists and amateurs from all over the world visit the lake for research and observation. For more information visit the official webpage of LAKE KERKINI MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY, www.kerkini.gr

I hope you enjoy my photos and don't hesitate to leave your comments!

Driving north, late afternoon.

Red fox crossing the marsh

The first morning in the lake and while I was looking for a spot to hide and photograph, I had an unexpected meeting with a red fox. By the time I realized its presence the fox was already looking at me, I stood still, slowly picked up my camera, and started shooting. It was a first-time experience for me and it felt amazing!

Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus)

The Pelicans fly all over the lake area for fishing.

Eurasian blue tit - Cyanistes caeruleus

The flooded land fields around the lake (east), a result of the heavy rains of the previous days, created a magic world of reflections that I love to photograph. In some cases, you couldn't say if it was the lake or the land field.

Selfportrait in The Crying Meadow (taken from the homonymous film of the Greek director Theodore Angelopoulos which was shot in the wet meadows of Kerkini)

This is a Golden Jackal with an uncommon phenotype. This could happen in areas with high concentration and density of the species like the lowland livestock breeding areas (lake Kerkini, lake Taka Peloponnese so on). Hybrids and albinos have also been recorded in these areas.

Hawk -(Buteo buteo)

A hawk attacking.

In the heart of the wetland.

Footprints, probably from Jackals, and buffalo bones found deep in the forest,

Reflections - Belles mountain

Reflections of mountain Belles in the lake as it gets dark (and cold!)

The small port of Kerkini village

Aerial photo over the northeast wetland where river Strimonas flows in the lake.

Another day is gone with a beautiful sunset.

Pelicans fly over the port of Lithotopos village (south)

Great egret (Ardea alba)

Reflections - Belles

The reflection of Mt Belles in the marsh presis ented here "upside-down". - What you see is only a reflection. This image is a favorite of mine, it represents the thin line between reality and illusion.

Newborn cow, first day on this planet! So funny, I gave it a hug and it thought I was its mom so it followed me for a few hundred meters trying to get some milk!:)))

Lake Kerkini, North.

Lithotopos village, port.

Nightscape at the port of Mandraki. Mandraki Village is located just on the north side of the lake. I had previously visited the spot and decided to give it a try and spend the night there so I could photograph early in the morning from my car interior without using a hide. The weather was about to deteriorate. I remember I was texting with a friend/photographer and he said: tomorrow you will wake up in white, you gonna love it.

7 a.m., -5 calcium, nothing is moving around, and is absolutely quiet.

Reeds on the bank

I didn't expect to see hawks in the snow but they were hunting all around.

Spanish sparrow (Passer hispaniolensis)

Me on a silent walk through the snowed meadows. For a moment it felt like a trip to Antarctica.