We woke up in pouring rain. It was pretty dark and cloudy out there. Luckily, we didn’t have any particular aims for the morning. We had breakfast and off we started our trip to the North. Shortly after that we stopped at some salt pans where Sandwich Terns breed. We added Common Ringed Plover and Greenshank to the species list. Luckily we had a shelter so pretty cozy regardless of the rain.
After a few more additions to the list we continued our journey across a mountain pass to the North of Bourgas. The rain hadn’t stopped so we couldn’t see more but once we descended from the mountains we were back to an oak woodland. Participants in the group wanted to see some more Semi-collared Flycatchers and so we did. Males were singing at several sites. A nice surprise was a Wryneck which called in the forest. It is most probably a migrating bird but still nice to see.
Lunch was in a small family run restaurant not far from this Semi-collared Flycatcher place. We had chicken stew with boiled potatoes. After a refreshing coffee we opened our eyes and the results followed. Just as we were talking about Steppe Buzzard, a migrating bird came and showed its diagnostic tale to all the participants. The bird was fairly dark resembling an ordinary Common Buzzard but the tail was definitely different. Then at least a dozen Honey Buzzard and over 50 White Pelicans came together with two Black Storks and a Sparrowhawk. This was only within 15 minutes. Not too bad, is it.
We continued our trip to the next place where we wanted to see an Eagle Owl. Upon arrival, before we got off the van people already saw the bird in its niche. They proved to be two birds. This is a pretty good addition to the list. That’s especially true for my Bulgarian friends who have been trying to see it for quite some time.
The next target was Stone Curlew. We changed the habitat drastically and already were in the pseudo steppe. There was the Stone Curlew. Two birds came around to see us. Ticked! Off we go.
On the way to our hotel 5 Grey Partridges stayed out in the open fields only about 30 m from the road posing for some shots. While struggling to see them on the first day, here they are showing off nicely. A Roller, Red-footed Falcon and a pale Booted Eagle were the other highlights along the road.
Once we arrived at the hotel, everyone was inpatient to go out. The area of the hotel is superb with its pseudo steppe habitat with birds like Calandra Larks and Tawny Pipits. For an hour walk we managed to see Pied Wheatear (a highlight for most people in the group), male and female Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-footed Falcon, Spotted Flycatcher, Woodchat Shrike, Black-throated Diver to name but a few. We ended up with 112 species for the day and 213 for the trip so far.
Tomorrow morning before breakfast we expect to see more of them and hope for some Yelkouan Shearwaters.
Looking forward to tomorrow!