Birdwatching in Aitolo-akarnania

Aitoloakarnania is probably the best place for bird-watching in central and western Greece! There are some Ramsar-protected wetlands and lagoons that harbour many species of birds, the top five being the Dalmatian Pelican, Griffon Vulture, Imperial Eagle, Isabelline Wheatear and Spur-winged Plover.

The area around Mesolongi is truly considered one of the most important wetlands in Southern Europe. The Mesolongi lagoon, which is 11,600 hectares large, is the focal point of the wetland, although there are many smaller lagoons, marshes and ponds that are home to over 40,000 ducks. A whopping 32 out of 38 European kinds of raptors can be seen at one point or another around Mesolongi, with a healthy variety of other birds. Depending on the season, bird species that could be seen, above and beyond the top five mentioned earlier, include the White Stork, Greater Flamingo, Black Vulture, Osprey, Botted Eagle, Spotted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Goshawk, Oystercatcher, Collared Pratincole and more.

Also very interesting for birdwatching is the oak woodland of Xeromero. It boasts 127 species of birds, 26 of which are protected species. This includes four interesting species of woodpecker, as well as the abundant Middlespotted Woodpecker. Some of the important breeding birds are the Short-toed Eagle, Honey Buzzard and Lesser Kestrel among other Balkan species. The woodland is very close to Lake Ozeros and the Aheloos or Acheloos Delta, both wetlands of significant ornithological importance.

To go on a birdwatching tour:

Contact Spyros Skareas and his birding colleagues on +30 6978180387

Around 290 bird species have been observed in the region of Mesolongi Lagoon. Some 60 species of these are considered protected species.

More specifically:

Wintering birds and wading birds
  • Shanks (Tringa)
  • Migratory wading birds (Calidris)
  • Eurasian curlews (Numenius arquata)
  • Plovers (Pluvialis)
  • Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
  • Slender-billed gulls (Chroicocephalus genei)
  • Great Egret (Ardea alba)
  • Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
Rare endangered bird species:
  • Eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca)
  • Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus)                                                                                                       • Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

Migrating Birds
Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Black tern (Chlidonias niger)
Plovers (Charadrius)
Nesting birds
Collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola)
Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)
Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Redshank (Tringa totanus)
Little tern (Sterna albifrons)
Common tern (Sterna hirundo) 

The climate and morphology of this area, including soil conditions and abundant water, has given rise to incredible flora. Forests of beech, cedar, chestnut, fir, oak and plane trees dominate these mountains, boasting 190 mushroom species (out of which 70 are edible).
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Spyros Skareas and his birding colleagues will take you on amazing birdwatching trips around the Mesolongi Lagoons, Parnassos Mountains and even in Athens. Ideal for novice birders and fanatics. Their goal is to protect wildlife in Greece and promote ecotourism!
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