What a day! We started from the mountains and we ended in a Mediterranean landscape. This must be a precondition for some good diversity of birds. Indeed, the final checklist suggested 77 for the day. Although it was a traveling day we still managed to see quite a few of our target birds.
The pre-breakfast walk produced a few well appreciated birds: Serin, Black Stork, Peregrine Falcon, Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Lesser Whitethroat to name but a few. We walk just for an hour but managed to make most of it.
After a lovely breakfast we headed to the Wallcreeper site. It was the main target bird for the day and perhaps for the trip. What a bird this is! Shortly after we were out of the van we heard the lovely whistling call of the marvelous bird and started looking around. There it was, just at the opposite site of the gorge and only about 30m away. We scoped it quickly and we heard my favourite exciting “calls” of all the group members. It was the first encounter with this bird for some of the participants so it was really exciting to them. In a while the bird just came towards us and landed about 8 m away. Well this is already photography distance regardless of the small size of the bird.
In the whole excitement everyone forgot about all the other birds around. We didn’t really turned around at all. In half an hour at the site we decided to go up to a small village to enjoy Pallid Swifts. The birds were just there. We got off the can and the birds were there. About 20 of them patrolled the air. Lovely success.
We headed east to our next destination. Before lunch we stopped at a mountain pass to enjoy Ring ouzels, Dunnock and Firecrest. Lovely birds. Lovely pork stew for lunch made the morning. Further east the landscape started changing dramatically and so did the species seen. Right after Kardzhali we started seeing more storks, buntings and shrikes. The highlights must have been the Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Short-toed Eagle and a Honey Buzzard.
At the last stop for the day we logged our first Ortolan Bunting and Lesser spotted Eagle. The other birds worth mentioning were Isabelline Wheatear, Crested Lark and Woodchat Shrike. En route to our hotel we added Whinchat and more Lesser grey Shrikes.
Once we arrived at the hotel we had time for a nice cold drink looking at Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Alpine Swift, Peregrine Falcon and Black Storks. Well I think It was a nice day and so do the group think. We recorded 77 species for the day. Here is the checklist:
1. Black Stork
9.Lesser Spotted Eagle
27.Lesser Gray Shrike
29.Eurasian Golden Oriole
36.Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler
64.Eurasian Tree Sparrow