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New survey on breeding birds in two Important Bird Areas in Bulgaria

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New survey for distribution and abundance of breeding birds started couple of days ago in two Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Western Bulgaria. The areas are called Meshtitsa and Kocherinovo. Some of the species used for nominating the areas as IBAs are Corncrake, Red-backed Shrike and White Stork.

wildlife photography
copyright Iordan Hristov

For three days in a row we had to survey the whole territory of the IBAs. I was hired to mainly take part in surveying the birds of Meshtitsa. What a scenery. Early morning start was rewarded by an suite of bird calls: Black-headed Buntings, Ortolan Buntings, Hoopoes, Golden Orioles, a single Lesser-spotted Eagle and lots of Whinchats, hundreds of Skylarks and Yellow wagtails. Absolutely superb meadows and pastures rich with wild flowers.

wildlife photography in Bulgaria
copyright Iordan Hristov

wildlife photography in Bulgaria
copyright Iordan Hristov

mountain meadows at Meshtitsa IBA, Bulgaria

The most rewarding bit weer the observation of rather intimate moments of nature: displaying Whinchat was actively moving its cocked tail from side to side with a head raised upright. The other superb observation was of a young Common Cuckoo which was fed by Yellow Wagtail. Never seen that before 🙂 Unprecedented mimicking calls of loads of Marsh Warbler which were displaying with calls of Linnet, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting, Nightingale and what not. It was worth getting up at 4 a.m 😉

hillsides at Meshtitsa

Whereas my main responsibilities for Meshtitsa were to conduct a survey of all the breeding birds, I was also asked to survey the Corncrakes of Kocherinovo. Last night I managed to find 8 displaying males. If you haven’t been in the field in the middle of the night, believe me there is a reason for you to experience this adventure at least once.

copyright Iordan Hristov

Here is a list of the birds seen or heard during the survey:
1. White Stork
2. Lesser-spotted Eagle
3. Marsh Harrier
4. Common Buzzard
5. Eurasian Sparrowhawk
6. Kestrel
7. Quail
8. Corncrake
9. Feral Pigeon
10. Wood Pigeon
11. Collared Dove
12. Turtle Dove
13. Cuckoo
14. Little Owl
15. Common Swift
16. Hoopoe
17. Bee-eater
18. Green Woodpecker
19. Great Spotted Woodpecker
20. Syrian Woodpecker
21. Middle Spotted Woodpecker
22. Skylark
23. Woodlark
24. Crested Lark
25. Barn Swallow
26. Red-rumped Swallow
27. House Martin
28. White Wagtail
29. Yellow Wagtail
30. Robin
31. Nightingale
32. Whinchat
33. Song Thrush
34. Black Bird
35. Barred Warbler
36. Black cap
37. Whitethroat
38. Lesser Whitethroat
39. Marsh Warbler
40. Great Reed Warbler
41. Great Tit
42. Blue Tit
43. Sombre Tit
44. Red-backed Shrike
45. Woodchat Shrike
46. Lesser Grey Shrike
47. Magpie
48. Jay
49. Jackdow
50. Hooded Crow
51. Raven
52. Starling
53. Golden Oriole
54. House Sparrow
55. Spanish Sparrow
56. Tree Sparrow
57. Chaffinch
58. Goldfinch
59. Greenfinch
60. Hawfinch
61. Ortolan Bunting
62. Yellowhammer
63. Black-headed Bunting
64. Corn Bunting

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