Monday, 5 January 2009

Bulgaria- Sofia to Shipka

On the way to Shipka, had to stop along the main road after noticing hundreds to thousands of passerines in trees with Buzzards mowing through them. Mixed flocks of Corn Bunting, Tree Sparrow and Yellowhammer- I think I may have found where all the British ones have gone:-)

The Common Buzzard (below) is a juvenile- it has a pale iris, streaking on the breast as opposed to barring and a diffuse tail band. Forsman says that intermediate birds from the contact zone in Scandanavia between vulpinus (Steppe Buzzard) and nominate buteo, winter in the Balkans and in Turkey. Along a one mile section of road there must have been 50-70 birds. Also a couple of Hen Harriers.

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