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.
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.
Little Egret catching a 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.
We took a quaint ferry across the canal and walked to the shore along the canal.
There were cattle grazing on the drained fields.
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.
So we walked down to the shore and there were many birds there.
Great White Egret Catching a Fish
Grasshopper and Butterfly
We left the shore and went to a swampy area.
After the swamp we went to the archaeological site. The earliest ruins were Greek, followed by Roman followed by Venetian.
Roman Additions (Note aqueduct and town on other side)
It was a very successful day bird watching. Taulant Bino was an excellent guide. He was most knowledgeable.
Table of Bird Sightings
Mark, Wink and Meg
Thanks,I enjoyed your trip. Looked like a great vacation.
Excellent posting about birds in the Sarande region. We are traveling there (also via cruise ship) in May 2018. Do you have a contact for your wonderful guide? (my email = firstname.lastname@example.org)
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