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Bird ID training course: day 5

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birding around Burgas wetlands

Route: birding around Burgas wetlands

Before lunch birding around Burgas wetlands

We started the day with our usual pre-breakfast walk birding around burgas wetlands. We drove for 10 min to the northern side of the local saltpans to look for Collared Pratincoles. The weather was absolutely beautiful with sunshine and no wind. We stopped by a fantastic grassland and scanned the area but there were no Pratincoles. Instead, we got fantastic views of Penduline Tit. Two birds were singing from either side of the bridge and one came just a few metres away.

Penduline Tit, image: Nikolina Bukovic

In the distance, we saw 3 Red-footed Falcons! Hooray! These are our first. Initially, we were looking at them against the light but then we drove to a good viewpoint and had great views.

In the fields around a pair of Montagu’s Harriers were displaying with their buoyant flight. What a view!

After breakfast, we continued our birding around the wetlands with a stop at one of the reservoirs. There were hundreds of White Pelicans and a few Dalmatians. Great stuff! They were the first for many people in the group. A distant flock of Black Terns was hunting and several Little Gulls were floating on the water.

We continued with a stop to the furthest lake and a river estuary. Our target birds here were Little Crake and Common Kingfisher but instead, we got beautiful views of Little Bittern. We added another Penduline Tit, Lesser spotted Eagle, more Pelicans and 3 Hobbies.

After lunch

Our birding around Burgas wetlands continued with a visit to Poda Nature Reserve where we spent the whole afternoon. For four hours, we managed to see about 40 species. The view from the terrace of the visitor centre reveals the whole protected area and we spent a considerable part of our time there overlooking the place. A stop in a small hide was very productive for the photographers in the group. About 20 Little Terns were flying right in front of us.

Little Tern, image: Iordan Hristov

A walk in the protected area got us closer to a colony of herons and cormorants and we had great views of Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Spoonbill, Little Egret and a pair of Cattle Egrets. Further down the path we managed to reach the sea where we had fantastic views of a Black-necked Grebe in full summer plumage. Absolutely brilliant!

Everybody felt really tired after this intense day and got to the hotel shortly after 6 o’clock.

We finished the day with 95 species.

Oystercatcher, image: Iordan Hristov

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