Monday, May 20, 2013

Sites: HCMR backyard, Alyki Anavissos & Agios Nikolaos (Attika)

Google earth delineation showing the immediate marine and coastal zone at our work-place; HCMR is labeled ΕΛΚΕΘΕ in the top left hand corner. This delineation sketches out some really fantastic landscapes and marine areas right next to our research facility headquarters. Some of us are intent on spending some time outside in this "backyard". We are thinking of pursuing some mini-researches, education and awareness action here - when and if time allows us.

Today, Roula, Maria, Dora and I went on a foray  focusing on the Alyki Anavissou (a former salina) and the beautiful mini-lagoon at Ag. Nikolaos. We spent very little time away from our offices and labs-  all using binoculars and field guides - it was great! I post some snapshots, just to give a quick impression that summer in southern Greece is here!!!

First some snapshots from Alyki Anavissou (explored from 11:33 to 12:28). No water, all totally dried-out. The flora is interesting, the feeling of a summer wetland plain dominates. Open pseudo-steppe habitats with Limonium and some scattered glassworts and small patches of green rushbeds lit-up with bright yellow oats. It was rather quiet with a light wind; crested larks singing softly. Only 6 species of birds spotted.

Now the really wonderful surprise of a place: Agios Nikolaos in the Bay of Anavissos (explored from 12:34 to 13:06). A natural tombolo formation and tiny lagoon enclosed by beach-rock barrier. On the shore rushbeds and scattered shingle and dune beaches; this is backed by dry oat fields and hills. The lagoon waters were really warm and a light green colour - Cymodocea growing like thick meadows in the clear water. Grey-mullets rippled the surface everywhere. A Crocothemis dragonfly darted around. We found a lagoon crab I have seen before in other bigger coastal marshes. Birds were sparse; 9 species. We'll be back soon...

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