Bird Watching in Sarande Albania

We went on a fall cruise from Venice, Italy to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2017. Our first stop was in Sarande, Albania where we elected to go on a bird watching tour. Our guide was Taulant Bino who has a PhD in Ornithology and is a lecturer in Ecology at the University. He kept a log of all the birds we saw and it is at the end of this blog. He could identify the birds by their calls.

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Guide: Taulant Bino

We disembarked the cruise ship in Sarande about twenty kilometers north of Butrinti. It is a world heritage archaeology site with a series of ruins, Greek, Roman and Venetian. On the Google map below is a nature preserve shown in green. Our first stop was along the shore of the main lake. There were a series of aquaculture stations raising oysters and fish. Then we took a ferry to the South end of the park and walked out to the shore. We then went to a marshy area and finally to the archaeological site. We finished the day with a snack and a cold beverage.

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Google Map of Area Visited
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First Stop – Lakeshore
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Lake

Aquaculture

Little Egret catching a fish

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Gadwall
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Great Cormorant
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Whinchat
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Hooded Crows
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Moorhen
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Common Sandpiper
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Fish

We only spent a short time on the lake front and we moved on to the canal. The land on the far side of the canal is drained and used for agriculture most of the year. During bird migration season it is allowed to flood to provide habitat for the birds.

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Canal

We took a quaint ferry across the canal and walked to the shore along the canal.

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Ferry
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Bird Watching Crew

Wheatear

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Wood Warbler

There were cattle grazing on the drained fields.

Cattle

There were a lot of people either fishing or gathering bait to fish. The bait were small sand shrimp that lived in the mud along the side of the canal. They either fished with fishing poles or hand lines. I did not see a fish caught.

Fishing Bait

Common Sandpiper

Cormorant

Stonechat

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House Sparrow

Spoonbills

So we walked down to the shore and there were many birds there.

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Shore with island of  Corfu in the distance

Great White Egret Catching a Fish

Shore Birds

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Black Headed Gull

Grasshopper and Butterfly

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Merlin

We left the shore and went to a swampy area.

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Park Sign

Swampy Area

Spider Webs

Dragonfly

After the swamp we went to the archaeological site. The earliest ruins were Greek, followed by Roman followed by Venetian.

 

Greek Theatre

Roman Additions (Note aqueduct and town on other side)

Current Inhabitants

Yellow Wagtail

Eurasian Robin

Venetian Cathedral

Grey Heron

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Refreshments and shade at the End of the tour at Lidia’s

It was a very successful day bird watching. Taulant Bino was an excellent guide. He was most knowledgeable.

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Table of Bird Sightings

More later.

Mark, Wink and Meg

 

 

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