Wednesday 30 May 2012

Bulgaria - day 2 continued

Okey-doke, I have no idea where I was (literally, in most cases), but this was the day that we drove up and over the Balkan range and plateau, and onwards towards Kavarna, our base for the next two days. One of my very favourite places was a streambed just as we hit the hills on the way up - again, a place where I could have stayed for days, if not weeks. I forget exactly what we were looking for - I let Dancho go off and find whatever it was (Sombre Tit perhaps?) - and I got to chasing the birds that were readily and immediately visible - Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, LRP, White Wagtail and Red-rumped Swallow, for which there is just time for one more image. Image is of course a fancy term for photo. Just humour me.

From here we carried on up onto the plateau, and near a small village complete with a loudspeaker advertising chickens, had a few looks for something-or-other. Again I wasn't really paying attention. I was just so delighted to be out in storming habitat that I just got on with birding and snapping. Highlights here were some great butterflies, including this Queen of Spain Fritillary.

A fabulous piece of Woodland near a place called Gorica yielded the much sought-after Semicollared Flycatcher, as well as singing Yellowhammer, somewhat of an atypical location for us Brits, but Dancho said it was perfectly normal. The BSPB has made a point of putting up lots of nestboxes, just as the RSPB does at places like Nag's Head, and so it didn't take long for us to find a pair on territory. Very smart, everyone likes a black-and-white Flycatcher, even if they have to travel to Yorkshire to see one.....

There was quite a bit of driving to get up to our destination, and it's possible I may have fallen asleep in the van. Our final stop was a place near Cape Kaliakra which looked the business. A deep valley right next to the Cape, leading right down to the sea. A mega migrant trap if ever I saw one. Alpine Swifts cruised by, and on the cliffs themselves both Pied and Black-eared Wheatears nested. I'd wanted to see an adult male Pied for a long time, but the views were difficult. Dancho assured me we would see them better the next day. OK then.

Oh, I nearly forgot Pygmy Cormorant. How on earth did I manage that? We saw a bunch of them at a place called Poda around lunchtime. Wouldn't want you to miss out, they were a highlight of the trip....ahem.

Runty. And crappy.

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