Tag Archives: dalmatian pelican

A frozen Lake Kerkini & the Dalmatian Pelicans

One of the Dalmatian Pelicans comes in to land on an icy stretch of water near Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

David has visited Lake Kerkini & the Dalmatian Pelicans with NaturesLens for the past 2 years. But in his third year, things were very different. The area was experiencing its coldest winter in 60 years with snow & ice on the ground. As for the lake, it was completely frozen!

But all was not lost, quite the opposite in fact, the circumstances meant the group had the opportunity to produce some truly unique images that otherwise would not have been possible.; here are a small selection of images that David has kindly shared with us.

As the sun rose, the pelicans started to move & wake to their frozen environment photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A white Pelican juvenile strides through the snow on the banks of a frozen Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday The flurry that ensues, when one of the Dalmatian Pelicans has caught a thrown fish photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday A Dalmatian Pelican lands on an icy stretch of water near Lake Kerkini photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Continue reading

Dalmatian Pelicans on an icy Lake Kerkini

Pelican Beak photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday

Touching down in Thessaloniki there was some uncertainty about how this particular Dalmatian Pelicans trip would work out. Normally the itinerary is reasonably established for this trip with days of shore-line feeds & boat trips, but there was one factor meaning we had to tear up the rule book; the lake was completely frozen for the first time since 2002. Both this trip, & the one led by Pui Hang, were to be conducted during Greece’s harshest winter for a very long time.

The Landrover Defenders of our local guides made short work of the icy roads & we weaved to our hotel alongside Lake Kerkini; this was  our base for the trip, arriving we found it to be a lovely cosy place with open fires & plenty of sofa space to unwind & review photographs – I could see why this had proved so popular for the all years that NaturesLens had been running the Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Tours to this location.

On the first day we headed to a very small patch of open water near the dam, the birds were congregating here & we had lots of opportunities for close encounters. With overcast skies the conditions were perfect for close up portraits of these charismatic birds. The high key effect is produced by over exposing & the overcast sky behind helps give pure white backgrounds, a style that works well with Dalmatian Pelicans.

The staredown photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Pelican Portrait photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Pelican Abstract photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday Continue reading

Limited places available on our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays for 2018

Almost prehistoric in appearance the dalmatian pelicans of Greece are extremely photoegenic photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Year on year, our Dalmatian Pelican photography holidays produce stunning imagery, with the photogenic Dalmatian Pelicans, a vast lake & the backdrop of the mountain range, it is not hard to see why.

Now only two places remain available for the 1st of our Dalmatian Pelican photography holidays in 2018 – full details of the trip are available here …

In full breeding plummage with their pouch a vibrant orange the dalmatian pelicans make for an entrancing photographic subject photographed on one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican photography holidays

The second set of dates is now full!

Almost prehistoric in appearance the dalmatian pelicans of Greece are extremely photogenic photographed on one of the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican photography holidays

Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays in 2018

a ripple in the surface of lake kerkinis water disrupts the relection of one of the dalamatian pelicans as it drifts serenely on the surface of the lake photographed on the natureslens dalmatian p

If you fancy photographing the Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini in 2018 – we have spaces left in limited numbers on both our Dalmatian Pelican Photography Tours – you can view all the details of the first trip to photograph the Greek Pelicans here or the second trip to photograph the fabulous birds of Kerkini is detailed here.A trio of images of the fabulous Dalmatian Pelican - photographed on the 2017 photography trip in Greece

The first trip has a number of places left, which runs for the dates of January 11, 2018 – January 15, 2018, the second trip, over the dates of January 15, 2018 – January 20, 2018 looks like it might be approaching full capacity, 2018 will be the fourth year of annual visits to the Greek lakes & will follow the format that has evolved over the last few years.

There are travel days either side of the trip, but as a minimum you can expect to experience 3 days filled with Dalmatian Pelican photography opportunities – at least 3 boat trips onto Lake Kerkini included – plus 3 shoreline feeds at sunset – & an extra shoreline feed on the morning that the group leaves for the airport. Our itinerary is not fixed to the above however, if there are opportunities for a feed on the way to the hotel from the airport, on the first afternoon, you will undertake a shoreline feed to capture some initial images.

You will have opportunities to capture a wide selection of images; 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 mountains in the distance.

The timing of the workshop is deliberate to photograph the birds whilst they are in their breeding plumage & looking their most impressive.

Lunch, dinner, bed & breakfast accommodation & transportation within Greece included. Accommodation is in a comfortable hotel on the shores of Lake Kerkini – we dont have single supplements & we don’t have shared rooms.

The dreamy Dalmatian Pelicans of the Greek Lakes

Almost prehistoric in appearance the dalmatian pelicans of Greece are extremely photoegenic photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans are by a small margin the largest of the pelican species & as a whole one of the largest living bird species.

Almost prehistoric in appearance, the dalmatian pelicans of Greece are extremely photoegenic - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

An adult pelican can measure up to 185 cm in length, weigh up to 15 kg in weight & have a wingspan of up to 350cm. A Dalmatian Pelican’s average weight is around 11.5 kg, which makes it amongst the heaviest flying bird species in the world, although the largest individuals among male bustards & swans may be heavier than one of the largest individual Dalmatian pelican.

The focal point of the pelican is often the eye, staring out from underneath the messy hairdo - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans appear to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses & the great white pelican.

One of Greece's Dalamatian Pelicans drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

In winter, adult Dalmatian pelicans go from silvery-grey to a dingier brownish-grey cream colour, whilst the young birds are grey. During the breeding season, adult birds have an orange-red lower mandible & pouch against a yellow upper mandible, additionally their plumage reverts to the silvery-grey. In winter, the whole bill is a somewhat dull yellow.

Dalmatian Pelicans are often silent, as most pelicans tend to be, although during the mating season, it can be fairly vocal, during this period it may engage in a wide range of guttural, deep vocalisations, including barks, hisses & grunts.

In full breeding plummage & with their pouch a vibrant orange, the dalmatian pelicans make for an entrancing photographic subject - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans are generally found in lakes, rivers, deltas & estuaries, as a species, the Dalmatian Pelican is less opportunistic in breeding habitat selection than other pelicans, in general returning to a traditional breeding site year after year unless it becomes completely unsuitable.

A ripple in the water disrupts the relection of one of the Dalamatian Pelicans as it drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

During the season of winter, Dalmatian Pelicans usually stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or seasonal lakes in India.

A ripple in the surface of Lake Kerkini's water disrupts the relection of one of the Dalamatian Pelicans as it drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Dalmatian Pelicans have declined greatly throughout its range, more so than any other of the pelicans. Reportedly, there were once millions of Dalmatian pelicans in Romania alone. During the 20th century, the species’ numbers underwent a dramatic decline for reasons that are not entirely understood. The most likely reason was habitat loss due to human activities such as the drainage of wetlands & land development.

A Dalamatian Pelicans drifts serenely on the surface of the lake - photographed on the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini wildlife photography holiday

Why not photograph the Dalmatian Pelicans for yourself?

Lake Kerkini is one of the most important wetlands in Europe & it is easy to see why. For photographers keen to add more birds to their wildlife portfolio, a sojourn in Lake Kerkini provides an abundance of opportunities. Our focus during our photography holiday is the striking Dalmatian Pelican, which can be seen at Lake Kerkini from mid-January through to March.

Unlike many similar wildlife photography trips, the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans of Lake Kerkini photography trip gives three days at the lake & our accommodation is convenient & comfortable, just five minutes from Lake Kerkini, which allows us to maximise photography time. There are two sessions per day, with boat trips in the morning & shoreline feeding in the afternoon.

Our photography holiday for the dates of January 12, 2017 – January 16, 2017 still has spaces available & costs £949 for the 5 day trip, lead by Dan Tim, the holiday includes all food, accommodation, boat trips, shoreline feeds & airport transfers!

The last of the Dalmatian Pelican client images

A solitary Dalmatian Pelican floats serenely on the milky lake photographed by Richard Coles during the 2016 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

A solitary Dalmatian Pelican floats serenely on the milky lake - photographed by Richard Coles during the 2016 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

This is, I think, the last series of Dalmatian Pelican images captured by clients on the January 2016 Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays, Richard Coles attended the second trip, that was lead by Richard Peters. It appears that Richard & the guests were blessed with mirror-like stillness on the lake for at least one of the mornings – resulting in some great captures as shown below, but first, above you can see one of Richard Coles’ images in the style that I personally like best, the ‘ethereal shot’, executed beautifully with the viewer’s eye being drawn to that flash of orange & the eye of the bird peeking out from it’s ‘crazy hairdo’. Continue reading

Still more client images of the Dalmatian Pelicans

A Dalmatian Pelican at dawn - photographed by Bob Pietrowski during the 2016 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

These came from Bob Pietrowski, who was on the trip that I had the pleasure of leading.

The way that the pelicans appear to waterski upon landing never ceases to amuse me & Bob caught the moment superbly.

A Dalmatian Pelican coming in to land on the lake in Greece - photographed by Bob Pietrowski during the 2016 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday Continue reading

Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holidays client images

A gorgeous rear view of a Dalmatian Pelican - photographed by Jayne Bond during the 2016 NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday

The photo above was taken by Jayne Bond during this year’s Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday.

A number of the participants on the tour have contributed in some of the images that they captured, if you were wondering what kind of images our guests capture on this trip, then the below should show you the high quality of the captures. Continue reading

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