Memoir from past notes: Phaleron Delta, Athens, Attika.
It was 7:10 am, February 15th 1985; I had walked down to the Ilissos river-mouth in Kalithea Athens to have a look for birds. I spotted a small goose on the beach - a rare Red-breasted! Then a flock of White-fronted Geese flew over. I was a fifteen year-old manic birder and these were fantastic birds amazing for me - and for southern Greece, let alone Athens! Anyway I ran back home and brought a camera - taking 11 pics of the goose. The good pics are not in my hands anymore, but today I post four of the ones I have kept from that time. The Yellow-legged Gulls chased the goose away at 9:25 am. I cherish the notes that bring me back to those days three decades ago.
The finding of such a rare bird boosted the area's importance as a potential site for conservation - and after that we begun a campaign to protect Phaleron (what we then called the Ilissos Delta). Many birders considered the site their home turf and they assembled really important finds. The Athens Olympics 2004, which were announced to take place in September 1997, did away with the dream of a nature park. Sadly, no one listened to the idea of a nature park - it was a good idea and would tie in well with the after-Olympics era. Perhaps the idea is still useful.