05:30. Τhe alarm clock is going crazy, but it’s not bothering me like it usually does. The reason is that the day ahead of me will reward me as I’ll spend it observing the nature at the lagoon of Kalohori, taking pictures. I’m getting dressed in haste, drink some coffee and I’m soon on the spot.
Waking up early didn’t help me much. The wonderful light of the rising sun is not there. Unfortunately a thick fog covers the entire lagoon. However, this renders the landscape very alluring and the first clicks of my camera are soon to be heard.
As soon as the fog is lifted I follow the dirt road that separates Thermaikos gulf from the lagoon and I start birdwatching. Once more I find that the birds are numerous and of many varieties, despite the constant environmental deterioration of the area. I’m trying to discern the different species of ducks which are very far from me. Their differences are very small. With the passing of the years, the ducks have started to avoid the shores where they know they could be shot.
Τhe first birds I meet at (photo) shooting distance are some Cygnus olor swans. I’m looking for some Cygnus cygnus ones that are rarer in Greece and for some Cygnus columbianus. I’m not lucky in this but at least I can take good pictures of the Cygnus olor swans.
I go on towards a place where some terns are fishing. I turn off the engine of the car and I patiently wait for them to come near. Then they start diving in their impressive way. As soon as they manage to get a fish, they go quickly to their nests to feed their young ones.
Turning my eyes to the lagoon again I see a Tachybaptus ruficollis. It’s very shy, turns its back to me and leaves. A little farther away there is an Alcedo atthis, lurking up high for some fish.
It’s noon and I feel tired. The sun is hitting me strong. Time for a break and some lunch. As soon as I feel ready, I’m on the road again, towards the small lagoons by the river Gallikos. I’m not interested only in the lagoons but also in the small rocks which serve as jetties. After a whille I see on them a Charadrius alexandrinus, and further away an Anthus pratensis. There are surely a lot of birds on the rocks and even more on the wires, like this young Motacilla flava which looks suspiciously at me.
The sun is about to set. Τhis is the best light of the day, along with the one during sunrise. This light makes the Actitis hypoleucos which stands in front of me, glow. As the day is out, the night predators begin to wake. It’s the perfect moment to spot owls and I feel satisfied from a day full of pictures at Kalohori.
My last stop is in front of my computer at home, where I transfer the photos and the birdwatching data. I’m supported for the latter by the birdwatching data base Ορνιθότοπος where for the last few years one can find collected observation data from explorations all over Greece.
The nature is out there and is waiting for you to admire it.. You don’t have to go far. What you see here is at a distance of only 9 kms (15 minutes) from the center of Thessaloniki.