Red-footed Falcon © Iordan Hristov

september birding trip: day 2 – Red-footed Falcon

What an exciting day. I really needed to do some birding lately and here i go. I finally had the chance to do some proper all day birding.

We started with a bre breakfast walk around Krumovgrad which took us down to the river. We enjoyed a fock of about 20 Bee eaters, a Syrian Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Grey Wagtail and a few other common birds. This was a nice start.

After breakfast we headed north to Potochnitsa where we logged quite a few birds but en route we had a flock of 20 Corn Buntings, a Hoopoe and a sigle Little owl. Once we arrived at our first planned stop we started noting Hawfinches, Woodlark, Red rumped Swallow, and the first Griffon Vulture turned up. It didn’t take us long to find a well wanted Black Vulture. Right at our backs wss the third species of vulture in the country: Egyptian Vulture. Well we have a full house there. Three out of three. Marvelous. It was rather exciting to see that the Egyptian Vulture had a satellite transmitter attached to its back. That’s an interesting observation.

Spurge hawk moth © Iordan Hristov

Spurge hawk moth © Iordan Hristov

Further along the track we kept adding new birds: Tree Pipit, Whinchat, Cirl Bunting, Northern Wheatearand the odd Isabelline Wheatear. Did was quite a site. It was nearly lunch time so we decided to head down towards the river and find a nice shady place.

At the moment we came out of the village we had to stop suddenly. A male Red footed Falcon was sitting right there only about 30m away from us. What a little cracker. Absolutely fantastic bird. It was quite relaxed and let us all get off the coach, put only one telescope on it and have us all looking at it one by one. This was the calmest and closest red footed falcon i have ever seen.

Red-footed Falcon © Iordan Hristov

Red-footed Falcon © Iordan Hristov

After all this excitement we carried along to our picnic place on the side of a very quiet road overlooking Arda river and the volcanic rocks around. We had a distant view of Blue Rock Thrush and yet another Black Stork. By this time i thouht people would be tired of seeing them but no, they kept looking at every single one. They were so graceful.

After lunch we watched one Black Stork feeding in the river for some time. Later on another three were further along the same river but in the neighboring valley.

This area is favourite to many birders. Fantastic place. We arrived in the late afternoon and kept walking along a road. There were quite a few good birds here. We started with a few Sombre Tits, distant Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Chukar, Golden Eagle, Hobby and the rarest bird for the day a young Eastern Imperial Eagle. Wow what a day this was. The highlight for some of us would be a very little Hermann ‘s tortoise which one a few cm long. Lovely little creature. This place made the day really full. We ended up with over 70 species for the day with some really good highlights.

Fantastic day.

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