Little Tern © Iordan Hristov

BirdID course in Bulgaria 2015: wetlands

After the exciting day yesterday, the participants in the group were rather excited. The day started with a pre-breakfast walk around the hotel grounds. The day was going to be devoted to birds of wetlands.

Before breakfast my colleague noted a flock of 16 Black-throated Diver and later on we added the Black necked Grebe. Some of the other species include Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Syrian Woodpecker. Quite a start of the day.

At our first stop we had an exciting meeting with Penduline Tit. This was the first encounter with the bird for many people so everybody rather excited. We had distant White Pelicans, White-winged and Black Terns. An intimate moment with nature revealed displaying games of Little terns that were passing fish. This was a great experience. At another stop we had a group of 40+ Whiskered Terns which made a pretty good list of marsh terns for the day. At the same location we also had a Great White Egret and a Water Rail. Bird migration for the day has also started and we had our first Black Storks for the day.

Little Tern © Iordan Hristov

Little Tern © Iordan Hristov

The next place was on the bank of the local salt pans. Here we added quite a few new birds to the trip list: Slender-billed Gull, Whimbrel, Avocet and Spotted Redshank. The place seemed suitable for lunch so we used a table in the shade for a nice picnic. Shortly after that we were looking at birds again. This time they were Collared Pratincoles. Two birds flied not far from us. Then we spotted a nest of Penduline Tit which brought additional excitement to the group.

The wetlands further north were full with terns and waders. All three marsh terns and thousands of Curlew Sandpipers, Ruff and Little Stint. Amongst these numbers of birds we spotted two Teminck’s Stints and a few Ruddy Turnstones. “I have never seen so many waders in my whole life” suggested one of the group members.

Once we were done with the saltpans we had a look at the sea where I was hoping to see some divers and I was not disappointed. Two Black-thriated Divers were waiting for us there. At the end of the day around Bourgas wetlands was marked by the star bird for me: Red-necked Grebe. I hadn’t seen this bird for at least five years. A distant but rather diagnostic bird was sitting on the sea for our joy. What an afternoon! Thus we called it a day. It was time to go home.

Day 6 of the 10 day trip resulted with a total of 102 species for the day and 190 for the trip. Here is a checklist of the species seen today:

1.Mute Swan
2.Ruddy Shelduck
3.Common Shelduck
4.Gadwall
5.Mallard
6.Garganey
7.Common Pochard
8.Black-throated Diver
9.Great Crested Grebe
10.Black-necked Grebe
11.Black Stork
12.White Stork
13.Great Cormorant
14.Pygmy Cormorant
15.Great White Pelican
16.Great Bittern
17.Little Bittern
18.Gray Heron
19.Purple Heron
20.Great Egret
21.Little Egret
22.Black-crowned Night-Heron
23.Eurasian Spoonbill
24.European Honey-buzzard
25.Lesser Spotted Eagle
26.Eurasian Marsh-Harrier
27.Common Buzzard
28.Water Rail
29.Eurasian Moorhen
30.Eurasian Coot
31.Black-winged Stilt
32.Pied Avocet
33.Eurasian Oystercatcher
34.Grey Plover
35.Kentish Plover
36.Common Ringed Plover
37.Little Ringed Plover
38.Common Sandpiper
39.Spotted Redshank
40.Common Greenshank
41.Whimbrel
42.Ruddy Turnstone
43.Ruff
44.Curlew Sandpiper
45.Temminck’s Stint
46.Sanderling
47.Dunlin
48.Little Stint
49.Collared Pratincole
50.Slender-billed Gull
51.Black-headed Gull
52.Mediterranean Gull
53.Yellow-legged Gull
54.Little Tern
55.Black Tern
56.White-winged Black Tern
57.Whiskered Tern
58.Common Tern
59.Sandwich Tern
60.Rock Pigeon
61.Stock Dove
62.Common Wood-Pigeon
63.Eurasian Collared-Dove
64.Common Cuckoo
65.Common Swift
66.Syrian Woodpecker
67.Eurasian Kestrel
68.Red-backed Shrike
69.Lesser Gray Shrike
70.Eurasian Golden Oriole
71.EurasianPenduline-Tit
72.Cetti’sWarbler
73.Eastern Olivaceous Warbler
74.Eurasian Reed-Warbler
75.Great Reed-Warbler
76.Blackcap
77.Greater Whitethroat
78.Common Nightingale
79.EuropeanStarling
80.White Wagtail
81.Corn Bunting
82.Common Chaffinch
83.European Greenfinch
84.Eurasian Siskin
85.European Goldfinch
86.Eurasian Linnet
87.Hawfinch
88.House Sparrow
89.Spanish Sparrow
90.Eurasian Tree Sparrow
91.Barn swallow
92.Red-rumped Swallow
93.Houses martin
94.Jackdaw
95.Hooded Crow
96.Crested Lark
97.Skylark
98.Great Tit
99.Magpie
100.Sand martin
101.Red-necked Grebe
102.Penduline Tit

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