Karen joined our Pelicans of Lake Kerkini trip in 2018, having missed out in 2017. She may not have gotten the snow, but she got some awesome light, coupled with fantastic opportunities for reflection shots.
With three boat trips and three shoreline feeds, there were plenty of opportunities to get some classic shots “in the bag” before trying some more creative photography.
Richard joined our Pelicans of Lake Kerkini tour for the third time in as many years. One of the reasons he joined the trip was to capture a reflection of a Dalmatian Pelican in flight. He didn’t quite manage this in year one or year two, but as the saying goes, “third time lucky!” Continue reading →
John wanted to spend more time photographing the Dalmatian Pelican, so he booked onto two consecutive trips. During his time in Lake Kerkini, he was blessed with fabulous lighting conditions and perfected his reflection shots.
Rosamund was one of our guests on the last of our three trips to photograph Lake Kerkini’s Pelicans in Greece. She wanted to capture some stunning reflection shots, and I think it would be fair to say that she succeeded! Take a look at the colours in the image below – gorgeous. Continue reading →
Steen enjoyed his first trip to the Pelicans of Lake Kerkini so much that he decided to join us again in 2018. Having attended the tour before, Steen had a list of images that he hoped to capture on his return trip. Continue reading →
As soon as I had set eyes on some photographs of Dalmatian Pelicans on the internet I knew that I was going to visit them, I was so profoundly enchanted by them. It didn’t take me long to find the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelican Photography Holiday & I booked it right away!
Six months later I found myself standing on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kerkini in Northern Greece, adjacent to the Bulgarian border, & I discovered that these majestic birds are even more charming than I had first imagined. Each morning & evening for four fully-packed days we went out for lengthy sessions of Dalmatian Pelican photography & I never got tired of doing so. We started off with a gorgeous sunrise on the first morning out on the lake with our avian models following in the wake of the boat. Our fabulous boatman & Dalmatian Pelican expert kept them entertained & happy so that we could catch wonderful moments. These early morning boat trips were a treat by themselves; the colourful sunrises with these gorgeous birds in front is something you will never forget as well as the sight of the lake that lies calmly like a perfect mirror for the flying Pelicans. What a beautiful experience … after a 3 hours boat trip in the mornings & a nice break in our comfortable hotel for lunch & warming up we went out a second time to photograph the Pelicans from ashore in the afternoon. I was amazed at the sheer abundance of dalmatian pelican photography opportunities; flying, landing, portraits, close-ups, details, panning, long exposures, reflections, wide-angle shots, single birds, pairs, groups vying for fish & many more. The cloudy days provided for capturing calm pictures with perfect reflections & vibrant colours, the sunny days golden light. & if you ran out of ideas all you had to do was ask Sean, our excellent guide; so easy going, knowledgeable, always helpful & encouraging. The workshop was perfectly organised, the hotel comfortable, providing piles of delicious Greek food & thanks to a friendly group of NaturesLens guests, we also had a lot of fun & laughter … what more would you want? You are welcome to view more images of these beautiful birds on my homepage. To photograph the charismatic Dalmatian Pelicans yourself, join Sean Weekly, one of the most active members of the NaturesLens guiding team, in Kerkini, Greece during January 2018 for a trip lasting 4 nights; this photography holiday will offer you the opportunity to capture images of the Dalmatian Pelican; the NaturesLens Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday is offered on a full board, non-shared room basis, & costs £1099 per participant. All the details of the Dalmatian Pelicans Photography Holiday are available on the dedicated event page.
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.
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.
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.
Dalmatian Pelicans are by a small margin the largest of the pelican species & as a whole one of the largest living bird species.
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.
Dalmatian Pelicans appear to have one of the largest wingspans of any living bird, rivaling those of the great albatrosses & the great white pelican.
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.
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.
During the season of winter, Dalmatian Pelicans usually stay on ice-free lakes in Europe or seasonal lakes in India.
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.
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 holiday 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.
This month Pui Hang & I have a wonderful multi-page feature containing a new selection of Dalmatian Pelican images from out photographic trip in January in Wildlife Photographic Magazine – it has some new images in there that we have not published before. Continue reading →