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Majestic Swans Make Kerkini Lake in Greece their Home for Winter

Kerkini lake Greece
Credit: Marek Szczepanek /Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY-SA 3.0

Dozens of migratory swans are arriving from northern Europe to the Kerkini Lake in northern Greece for the winter months.

The majestic birds will make the lake, situated about 50 km (31 miles) from the city of Serres, their home for six months.

Lake Kerkini is an artificial reservoir in Central Macedonia, Greece that was created in 1932, and then redeveloped in 1980, on the site of what was previously an extremely extensive marshland.

It has become one of the premier birdwatching sites in Greece and, as it is situated along the migratory flyway for birds en route to the Aegean Sea, the Balkan region, the Black Sea, the Hungarian steppes, and beyond.

The general coordinator of the management body of the National Park of Kerkini Theodoros Naziridis said recently that three kinds of swans make the lake their home.

Tundra swans, whose population has significantly risen in Greece in the last years in comparison with the previous decades, as well as five whooper swans and seven or eight mute swans.

“These are small populations and we recognize the birds as they have rings or collars with information on their trip to Kerkini Lake,” he told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

Kerkini lake
Flamingoes flying over Lake Kerkini. Credit: Management body of Lake Kerkini

Lake Kerkini is one of the premier birdwatching sites in Greece

The beautiful wetland is a reference point for birdwatchers and bird-photographers in Greece.

Apart from swans, one can spot greater flamingos, Dalmatian pelicans, cormorants, pygmy Cormorants, and cranes.

Kerkini lake Greece
Pelicans at Lake Kerkini. Credit: Vassilios Vescoukis , CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikipedia Commons

Thousands of ducks from the very common to the more difficult to find red-crested pochards, smews, mergansers, and white-headed ducks.

In addition, numerous waders and other birds of prey can be spotted, from the impressive white-tailed to eastern imperial and greater spotted eagles, northern goshawks, sparrow hawks and merlins.

the lake hosts 227 kinds of birds, especially non-migrants, of which 76 are recorded in the National Red Catalogue, while at least 31 of them are protected by EEC’s Directive concerning wildlife.

What makes an exceptional presence is the buffalo’s herd in the area. In the surrounding area of Lake Kerkini there are at least 10 amphibian species (frogs, salamanders, newts, five snail species, 19 reptile species (lizards, snakes, turtles), and a great variety of insects which play an important part in the food chain and contribute towards the biological resources of the lake.

Related: The Ten Most Beautiful Lakes in Greece

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