Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Bulgaria January 2020, Wild Goose Chase

I'm currently in Bulgaria finalising some paperwork to complete the sale of our private nature reserve. Today I joined Dimiter in doing a recce for wild geese. The weather has been mild this winter so the geese haven't arrived in Bulgaria so we set off across the border to Romania to find some geese- mission successful! 
 We started the morning at Lake Durankulak - about 50 Marsh Harriers and 10 Hen Harrier came out the reed bed roost. We also had an immature White-tailed Eagle. Also about 200+ Pygmy Cormorant, 2 Smew,  20 Red-breasted Mergansers and Black-necked Grebes.
 These five Whooper Swans flew over calling at dawn- a magical evocative sight and sound. By the end of the day we had seen about 1500 on our journey. 
 It wasn't until we arrived at the Danube Delta biosphere reserve that we found some geese- over 300 Red-breasted Geese (above). The Branta jizz and flock shape and movements were very distinctive amongst the 20,000 White-fronted Geese, even at considerable distance.
 Whooper and one Bewick's Swan
 White-fronts and Red-breasted Geese
 White-fronted Goose
 More Bewicks Swans
 Whoopers in the mist
This adult Snow Goose was amongst the White-fronts found by Dimiter. There had been a Snow Goose seen in Romania to the north so presumably the same bird. The provenance of this bird is in question but obviously if it is a genuine vagrant which has come over the top of the melting north pole it will be an absolute local mega. 
Highlight of the day was this single vagrant Great Bustard 

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