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Pui Hang’s review of the 2017 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

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One of the pelicans stands in an icy Lake Kerkini image captured during the 2017 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece is situated in the northeast of the district of Serret just 40km from the town of Serres & 100km from Thessaloniki. The lake is one of the most important wetlands in Europe with about 300 bird species having been observed there. Among them, the Dalmatian Pelican, a prehistoric looking but utterly photogenic & charismatic bird.

Our 2017 Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Tours to photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini marked our third year of visiting this beautiful lake & back in January, I had the pleasure of leading the first of our two trips out there with Sean Weekly, the newest member of our guiding team.

I have to admit to being more than a little excited about the trip. Kerkini was experiencing its coldest winter in over a decade with lots of snow & ice, something they had not seen in 15 years & snow was something that we have been hoping for since we started visiting the area.

As we approached our hotel, we could see that the lake was completely frozen over, which meant boat trips were not going to be possible unless there was a big thaw while we were out there.

A frozen Lake Kerkini barely a pelican in sight at our normal locations image captured during the 2017 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tour

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The last of the Dalmatian Pelican images from Sean

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Sitting contentedly, one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird, the Dalmatian Pelican. This is the third and final part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip. All the Dalmatian Pelican images shown here were taken on this spectacular trip. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here or the second part here.

A Dalmatian Pelican lands on Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We had hoped that the lake would thaw sufficiently for a boat trip on our last day. The sun was melting the ice and snow by day but by night the temperatures dropped, freezing the lake again. Ironically, the second group led by Dan were hoping that the lake remained frozen so that they could also have a chance at getting some unique shots too.

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More imagery of the Kerkini Pelicans from Sean

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One of the Dalmatian Pelicans strides across the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holidays, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird – the Kerkini Pelicans. This is the second part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip, with more Dalmatian Pelicans images taken by myself. If you missed the first part, then you can read it here.

A black & white portrait of one of the pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Read more

The 1st of a series of images captured on Lake Kerkini by Sean

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A Dalmatian Pelican captured at sunrise photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

In January I had the pleasure of co-guiding the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday, along with Pui Hang. We took a group out to Greece to capture images of an oft-overlooked bird – the Dalmatian Pelican. This is the first part of a series of three blog posts covering the trip & showcases some of the images that I captured.

It was looking to be a unique trip as Lake Kerkini had its harshest winter in over 16 years. In fact, the weather was so harsh that the whole 17km lake had completely frozen over! This was going to make the trip completely different from any other. In the past, the itinerary was such that we would be heading out onto Lake Kerkini in boats to photograph the pelicans in beautiful morning light. This trip was not to have the same itinerary in any way whatsoever,  but it would offer a whole different experience altogether!

A black & white portrait of one of the Dalmatian Pelicans photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

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Johan’s images of Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans

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With the signature head feathers, one of the Dalmatian Pelicans glides serenely on the icy waters of Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

The ice and snow that covered Lake Kerkini on this year’s Dalmatian Pelican trip facilitated some fantastic & creative images from our guests. Here are some images which were taken by Johan, who was extremely happy with the weather conditions that allowed him to unleash his creativity.
One of the young pelicans stares straight down the lens photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A look throgh at one of the Dalmatian Pelicans of KerkiniOne of the young white pelicans waits for fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Read more

Fancy some Dalmatian Pelican Photography in 2018?

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A Dalmatian Pelican lands with little drama on the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

With both our originally announced Dalmatian Pelican Photography trips full, we have the opportunity for a third set of dates to head to Lake Kerkini to photograph the wonderful & charismatic Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece.

One of the Dalmatian Pelicans strides across the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

As usual, the rooms are all on a non-sharing basis, all food is included in the trip & believe me, there is plenty of food served on these photography holidays – plus there are easy flights into & out of Thessaloniki, with airport transfers from the airport to the hotel & back all included.

A Dalmatian Pelican lands with little drama on the ice of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

We include at least 3 shoreline feeds – if we can fit them in, this increases to 5, we also include 3 boat trips out on the lake in the early morning light – weather allowing, 2017’s trips were unique in that the lake was frozen, but this is not the norm!

You get to stay in a wonderful hotel, that is 500m from the lake, with all rooms on a non-sharing basis, & we don’t levy a single supplement either! Throughout the trip, you will have opportunities to photograph a wide selection of images; both portraits & closeup shots of perched Dalmatian Pelicans, pelicans calling, flying, fighting for fish; plus wider bird in the landscape images to show impressive backdrop to the lake with the snow covered Bulgarian mountain ranges in the distance.

Group numbers are strictly limited to allow everyone to get a great position on the boats that we use during this photography workshop to venture out onto the lake, whilst on the boat & during other activities, general advice will be given before the commencement of each element of the trip.

With a boat trip each morning & a shoreline feed each evening, we certainly hope to capture many facets of the Dalmatian Pelicans personality as they go about life on the lake – hopefully including take-off, landing & in-flight shots of these magnificent birds. The NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday is suitable for mid-level & experienced photographers.

If you would like to join this trip, please view the events page here, from which you can send us a booking enquiry – the trip is priced at £1049 for the all the elements listed above as being included & will be conducted over the dates of January 7th to 11th 2018.

Pelicans of Greece … continued …

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Dalmatian Pelican Trio Detail one of Daniel Trim's images captured on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

As we moved into the second half of our Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday the lake had really started to thaw with larger areas opening up. With an increasing area to fish in the birds started to move around, the sheer number of cormorant fishing in the open areas was astonishing & another reflection on how productive the lake is. Here rafts of them can be seen snorkelling whilst pelicans wait on the peripheries hoping to steal their catch. I shot this with a slower shutter & again high key to try & replicate the effects of a painting.

Creative Dalmatian Pelican Photography one of Daniel Trim's images captured on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday Read more

Events

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

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David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

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David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop. David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more

Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

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David Howse Dalmatian Pelican image photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini Photography Holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday

Join NaturesLens in Greece for their Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday which is to be conducted on & around Lake Kerkini. The lake has impressive snowcapped mountains to the northern edges providing a perfect photographic backdrop.

Please note that this is a slightly extended trip of 4 days of full photography as opposed to 3.

David Howse Dalmatian Pelican Group photographed on a NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Greece Photography Holiday The photographic opportunities on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday will be sublime – with opportunities for shots from both the shoreline & on the water itself. Lake Kerkini, situated in northern Greece, not far from the border with Bulgaria, is the setting for our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Workshop – in winter, Lake Kerkini, is the most important place in Europe for the globally threatened Dalmatian Pelican, additionally the lake is a noted haunt of the rare Spotted Eagle. NaturesLens have arranged for the clients to venture, using boats, out on to the lake itself, it is expected therefore that clients will be able to enjoy incredible close encounters with the magnificent Dalmatian Pelicans, many of which should be sporting full breeding plumage at this time of year. Read more