Dalmatian Pelicans in Greece

2019 Photo Tour

January, 2019. 5 Days, 4 nights: $2700. Deposit $1000.

Maximum 4 photographers + leader: Robert O’Toole and co-leader. Single supplement $150.

This workshops will offer morning and afternoon in the field instructional photography sessions from shore and from a boat. For the best experience possible will be a limit to two participants per boat. During the afternoon's we will be spending time on image optimization and friendly helpful critique sessions as a group and one on one.

My Promise

Each and every day I will strive to put you in the right place to make the very best images possible. Your image making will always be a priority over my own. My second goal is to make sure you return home safe and sound with images that are better than expected.

Tour size is limited to 4 participants so there will always be plenty of time for personal assistance and instruction from the leader.

Workshop highlights include:

  • Our location in Northern Greece offers the finest opportunities for Dalmatian Pelican photography in the world and has had more than a few BBC wildlife photographer of the year category winning images made here.
  • n January and February the dalmatian pelicans feed on small bait fish to fatten up before they nest on the lake in spring.  
  • The tour starts and ends in Greece's second largest city which is a short flight from London or other large cities in Europe.
  • Plenty of photography time in-the-field with two photography sessions per day out on a lake from a boat and shooting from shore when the conditions are right.
  • Indoor instructional session each day.
  • The small group size of 4 will give each participant plenty of one-on-one time with the leader for instruction and assistance.
  • The tour leader has more than 10 years of professional level experience with both Canon and Nikon DSLR systems.
  • The workshop headquarters will be located at a family owned hotel with Wifi and great restaurants close by.
  • Opportunities to Photograph other species such as Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), pygmy cormorant, Eurasian spoonbill, great cormorant in breeding plumage and others.

Why Should you Choose this Tour?

  • Photographers of all levels are welcome.
  • This is a multiple camera system tour and we welcome owners of all brands.
  • The tour leader uses both Canon and Nikon systems and can offer help and advice for owners of either system.
  • 2018 will be the leader’s 4th year leading this tour.
  • We will be spending the largest part of our time making images in the field but will have free time for group and one on one image review and instruction.
  • The small group size of 4 with a leader and co-leader means more time and guidance for each participant, and questions are always encouraged.
  • You will receive a daily briefing and specific suggestions on the subject that is being targeted.
  • The tour pacing will suit everyone’s needs and skill level.


Airport transfer, double accommodations, in-the-field Instruction, all meals, ground transportation, charter boats.

Not included:

Air fare. tips. Beer, wine, cocktails, or special soft drinks, Diet coke. Travel Insurance. Meals or accommodation before or after the tour.

Why the Dalmatian pelican?

These birds are just amazing to photograph, they have some of the most beautiful plumage and colors during the breeding season and their the huge size and interesting feeding behaviors makes them superb subjects for the nature photographer. These birds have been the subject of many BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award category winning images for a reason!

Its important to know that these birds are very special since they once numbered in the millions but the worldwide population has declined to only about 3,000-5,000 breeding pairs. The birds have been very successful here with over 200 fledglings in 2016 thanks to the efforts of the management authority of the lake. 

So just how big are the pelicans? The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is largest of the pelicans and they are the world's heaviest flying species on average and have more than 10 foot wingspan. To give you an idea of just how enormous these birds are lets compare them to the Brown pelican that is so common here in the US. The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard they range from 3.5 - 4.5 feet in length and weigh from 6.1 to 12 lb and have a wingspan from 6.0 to 8.2 ft . The Dalmatian pelicans, average5.5 - 6.25 feet in length and a whopping 24-33 lbs in weight and have a huge 10 ft plus wingspan.

These birds have the most amazing breeding coloration,  a black bill with a bright red bill pouch and a bright orange lore and large white eyes.  They are most well known for the curly nape feathers, and gray/silver-white (rather than pure white) plumage.

During the breeding season from sunrise to sunset these huge birds spend an enormous amount of time hunting and fishing so the photographic opportunities are just superb. Beach shooting of near shore feeding and territorial disputes is excellent. Photography from out on the lake on chartered boats is even better

Registration information

If you would like to join me for the experience of a lifetime, please let us know immediately via e-mail or by phone that you will be sending a deposit as I expect this trip to sell out.

Deposit: $1000. (Non-refundable unless the tour fills with 4.) A pre tour PDF with advice and equipment recommendations will be available on registration.

Final payment of $1700 is due November 2018.

If you are unable to attend the workshop, after paying the balance, the balance payment will be refunded ONLY if your spot can be filled, on short notice, from the waiting list. Please email for more information.

Tour Accommodations

The tour headquarters is a comfortable family owned hotel with great english speaking support staff and a 3-5 Mbps WiFi. The hotel is located close to restaurants and a convienence store. Rooms are sharing with single accommodations available on request for a small additional fee.

Please contact Robert at robert@robertotoolephotography.com to register or for more information.

Dalmatian Pelican banking in Greece

Dalmatian Pelican in breeding colors, Greece

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