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Birding trip: day 4

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Batak – Sofia – Slivnitsa

We spent the day mostly traveling. We met at 7,30 for a pre-breakfast walk. Right outside the hotel car park i heard a familiar call. I could not believe it was the bird i could hear so waited for a few more repetitions and then the bird showed for a few seconds. This was enough to nail it….A young Common Rosefinch. Wow, This would make my day. I haven’t seen one for over 10 years. My guests got only a glimpse of it and could not see well all its features. Moreover it was not in its most typical plumage. For me that did not matter that much but i still wanted to see a nice male and would have been very nice to have the guests looking at it for a while. The bird disappeared in a short while and we couldn’t get any more views of it.

In the meantime while waiting we had wonderful views of a Little Owl which was nicely sitting on the balcony of the nearby hotel. The mild morning light gave it a fantastic look. After we spent over 20 min waiting for the Rosefinch we decided to take a walk and so we did. Along the road we had a few Firecrests, Crested tit, and i heard a few Crossbills and Lesser Whitethroat. Soon it was time for breakfast and we headed our way.

We had to pack and leave the hotel as soon as possible because we had a long way to travel. We did stop in a broad leaved forest but not much to mention. It was fairly quiet. We drove along a picturesque road around Batak reservoir and stopped for a few pictures. We realised it was getting late so we hit the road.

We drove for a few hours with a few stops for lunch and arrived by some wetlands west of Sofia at around 3 p.m. The first bird we saw was a nice Black Tern. It was high time to change the habitat. We also noted a few families of Coots, and Little Grebe. Quite a few Yellow Wagtails were feeding around us. A distant Little Grebe and a couple of Squacco Herons also turned up.

We were eager for more birding so we went somewhere else. We were greeted by a booming Bittern which we couldn’t see but we saw a Purple Heron and a few Marsh Harriers instead. A few Lapwings and a family of Great crested Grebe called it a day. It was 4,30 and all of us were tired from the long day. We headed to our hotel for our last night.

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