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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

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

A different angle on Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans

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A truly beautiful scene of the dalmatian pelicans with the mist rising behind them off the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

Derek has been on several photography tours & trips now with NaturesLens – you can see his images of Florida’s Blue Cypress Lake Ospreys elsewhere on our blog – & right now, he is in Calera, photographing some of the best birds that the Spanish Plains have to offer; however, in January, he joined Dan’s group & flew out to Thessaloniki, the intent of the trip, to capture some images to add to his portfolio of Kerkini’s Dalmatian Pelicans.

Like the first group, the second group found Kerkini wrapped in the cold embrace of winter conditions that had not been experienced for years; parts of the lake remained frozen whilst they were there, gradually thawing towards the end of their trip, although the normal boat trip could not head out onto the lake, our local guides took the various group members out on small fishermen’s boats instead.

A truly beautiful scene of the dalmatian pelicans with the mist rising behind them off the lake photographed during the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday Read more