What a day! Another superb birding day in Bulgaria. We started in a woodland and ended by the coast.
The day started at about 6.30 a.m. when some members of the group were already out taking pictures of Lesser-spotted and Middle spotted Woodpeckers. Semi-collared Flycatcher was pretty abundant in the area and it was our main bird to see. We enjoyed its song for a long time when a member of our group noticed an unusual behaviour of a bird. It was a dark bird that was hopping on the track without paying attention to 10 birders about 5 m away from it. It was a Thrush Nightingale. Superb views. Never seen it this well for so long. It’s always been in a bush and rather skulking. In the woodland we also added Wood Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Wood Lark and Black Woodpecker.
After a nice breakfast with grilled sandwitches with ham and cheese we left our hotel. At our first encounter with water we stopped for 5 min and saw our first White and Dalmatian Pelicans. It was great to see them together for bird id training purposes. A distant group of White Pelicans showed their id features to be remembered when seen from a distance.
About 10 min later driving along the road I noticed that there is intense bird migration and decided to stop the van. Well, this was one of the most superb moments in the last months that I have been birding. One after the other birds started flying overhead. A group of 50+ Black Storks, was accompanied by 50+ Lesser-spotted Eagles, 20+ Honey Buzzards, 10+ Common Buzzards, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, and Steppe Buzzard. An adult White tailed Eagle made a show with fish in its talons. Short toed eagles also didn’t want to stay behind and joined a group. At certain point we had a flock of more than five species at the same time. What an experience. “I have never seen anything like this in my whole life”, said one of the participants in the group with the longest experience. In a while the bird migration stopped so we decided to go to a planned stop for some waterfowl.
Around the lakes we noted our first 30+ Glossy Ibises, Purple Herons, Night Heron, and more migrating birds of prey. Later on the bird migration continued with more Lesser-spotted Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, Honey Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, and Levant sparrowhawks. What a day!
After lunch we took a walk around the Poda reserve, managed by the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. We enjoyed two pairs of Red-crested Pochards and the very desired Pygmy Cormorants. A Long-eared Owl had a nest next to a heronry with Spoonbills, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Night Heron and Pygmy Cormorants.
What a fantastic day. We listed 115 species just today. Everybody in the group was rather excited by the great success of the day. We had more than 200 Lesser spotted Eagles and 11 species of raptor.
Here is the full checklist of birds seen today:
11.Great Crested Grebe
16.Great White Pelican
28.Lesser Spotted Eagle
41.Little Ringed Plover
49.White-winged Black Tern
61.Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
62.Middle Spotted Woodpecker
63.Great Spotted Woodpecker
69.Lesser Gray Shrike
70.urasian Golden Oriole