Birds & Ancient Lakes
Rare Bird Club - Birdlife
© G. Spiridakis
A Rare Bird Club trip to one of Europe's least-visited countries - North Macedonia.
Surrounded by Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo and Serbia, many a nature lover has passed by North Macedonia's lakes, forests and mountains, missing out on its Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants, Western Rock Nuthatch and Egyptian Vultures.
Yet the country shares the same climate and topography as its more famous neighbours and is home to the same natural wonders.
The region is also a crossroads of European cultural heritage and has seen the rise and fall of the Macedon, Roman/Byzantine, Bulgarian, Serbian and Ottoman empires. En route, there will be Roman ruins and Byzantine chapels, with their phenomenal wall paintings and mosaics.
Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Imperial, Golden and Booted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Kestrel and Long-legged Buzzard, maybe even a Lanner Falcon.
Barred, Olivaceous, Olive-tree, Orphean, Sardinian, and Subalpine Warblers.
European Roller, Bee-eater and Hoopoe.
Red-backed, Woodchat and Lesser Grey Shrike... & with a bit of luck Masked too.
Penduline Tits. Pallid Swift. Stone curlew. Ortolan Bunting. Pygmy Cormorants & the world's largest breeding colony of Dalmatian Pelican.
E. Subalpine Warbler
200+ butterfly species
Tsar Samuel's basilica
Mosaics at Heraclea
Byzantine wall paintings
© G. Spiridakis
The Tours at a Glance
North Macedonia and Greek Prespa
6-13 June 2022 - 8 days
£2,700 (sgl. supp. £130) with £800 to Birdlife
Day 1. Arrival in Thessaloniki, northern Greece
- Dinner and Introduction
Day 2. Axios and Prespa
- Axios Delta Nat. Park – sea birds and waders
- Greek Prespa
Day 3. Prespa
- Boat onto Lake Great Prespa
- Isthmus and former agricultural lands
Day 4. Pelagonia & mosaics of Ancient Heraclea
- Pelagonia plains and Heraclea (Bitola)
- Pelister National Park (Bitola)
Day 5. Mariovo
- A day in a near-abandoned landscape
Day 6. Tikves & the Vardar River
- Low hills in the morning, steppe in the afternoon
Full Itinerary - PDF
Kings, Wine and More Birds
14-18 June 2022 - 5 days
£1,650 (sg. supp. £130) - £200 to BLI
End of Main Tour: Thessaloniki
Optional Dinner and Walk
Day 1 (9). Ancient Macedons
- Morning birding at coast
- Burial complex of Phillip II
Day 2 (10). Lake Kerkini
Day 3 (11). Lake Kerkini
Embankments and Quarry
Day 4 (12). Region of Kerkini
Iron Castle and Wine Tasting
Day 5 (13). Return to Thessaloniki
Day 7. Vultures and Lake Tikves
- Vulture feeding station and lakeshore
Day 8. The Iron Gates
- Return to Thessaloniki via Demir Kapija gorge
- Lunch together
Optional activity between main tour & extension
Day 8. Dinner and history walk in Thessaloniki