Sunday, 22 January 2017

Bulgaria - A Mixed Bag! - Day 4

I had two target birds for the day a Saker Falcon which is resident along road 901 and a Pallas’s Gull which had been seen at the old lighthouse at Shabla the previous evening. I also wanted to photograph Rough Legged and Long Legged Buzzard as these species had been very skilled at avoiding my lens.

I stopped off at Ezerets to see the Long Eared Owls and then began the first part of the days gull watch. The Owls were very obliging the gulls were scattered along the coastline. But I saw a Grey Plover with a group of Sanderling at the beach at Krapets.

By mid morning I was fully into gull mode popping in to every village that had access to a beach. I had forgotten about the first part of my intended quarry but saw a falcon moving parallel to road 901. The bird sat on top of a bush giving me good views I got out the car which is a big mistake during hunting season as birds are very flighty even at distance and the Saker was off. The pale belly was clear in flight as I kept pace with it in the car. As the race reached Tyulenovo the bird disappeared behind the buildings. Wow that was some race!

Rough legged Buzzard was the next species to make the SD card but again of the three birds I saw all were very flighty and kept their distance from the car.

I continued to Cape Kaliakra taking the E87 back to Shabla so that I could maximise gull watching time. This proved to be a good move as I passed a Long Legged Buzzard by the roadside and the bird did not move. I turned the car around and made my way back towards the perched bird. Needless to say the bird flew but I did manage a couple of pictures. I finished the day gull watching but was not successful on the Pallas’s Gull front.

The end of the day concluded my brief trip to Bulgaria. I am certain I will return and thank Pavel and his wife for their hospitality at The Branta Birding Lodge in Durakulak. This lodge is a perfect place to stay with excellent home cooked food and packed lunches for crazy people like me who stay out all day! Thank you both I hope to see you again soon!

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