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BirdID course in Bulgaria 2015: wallcreeper

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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.


Wallcreeper © Iordan Hristov

Wallcreeper photo

Wallcreeper © Iordan Hristov

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.


Dunnock © Iordan Hristov

Firecrest © Iordan Hristov

Firecrest © Iordan Hristov

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
2.White Stork
3.Great Cormorant
4.Pygmy Cormorant
5.Gray Heron
6.European Honey-buzzard
7.Eurasian Griffon
8.Short-toed Eagle
9.Lesser Spotted Eagle
10.Eurasian Sparrowhawk
11.Common Buzzard
12.Eurasian Moorhen
13.Yellow-legged Gull
14.Rock Pigeon
15.Common Wood-Pigeon
16.European Turtle-Dove
17.Eurasian Collared-Dove
18.Common Cuckoo
19.Alpine Swift
20.Common Swift
21.Pallid Swift
22.Common Kingfisher
23.Eurasian Hoopoe
24.Eurasian Kestrel
25.Peregrine Falcon
26.Red-backed Shrike
27.Lesser Gray Shrike
28.Woodchat Shrike
29.Eurasian Golden Oriole
32.White-throated Dipper
35.Common Chiffchaff
36.Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler
38.Lesser Whitethroat
39.Greater Whitethroat
40.European Robin
41.Common Nightingale
42.Black Redstart
44.Northern Wheatear
45.Isabelline Wheatear
46.Ring Ouzel
47.Eurasian Blackbird
48.Song Thrush
49.Mistle Thrush
52.Gray Wagtail
53.White Wagtail
54.Cirl Bunting
55.Ortolan Bunting
56.Corn Bunting
57.Common Chaffinch
58.Eurasian Bullfinch
59.European Goldfinch
60.Eurasian Linnet
61.European Serin
62.House Sparrow
63.Spanish Sparrow
64.Eurasian Tree Sparrow
65.Barn swallow
66.Red-rumped Swallow
67.Houses Martin
68.Crag Martin
72.Hooded Crow
73.Crested Lark
74.Tengmalm’s Owl
75.Great Tit
76.Coal Tit
77.Blue Tit

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