Saturday 31 August 2019

Eurotrip 2019, Day 15, Cape Kaliakra

Did the morning shift at Cape Kaliakra and also popped back in the evening, Ebird list HERE. Bumped into Dawn Balmer and family again who tipped me off on a Marsh Warbler by the fortress wall which I luckily connected with but no photo unfortunately.

Been working through some noctural migration recordings (from the guesthouse) and also some flight call recording this morning. A couple of mystery calls from a couple of nights ago were confirmed by the Noc Mig Whatsapp group and Sound Approach as being Ortolan Buntings.

I've got the recording equipment at the Cape tonight and pretty excited to go through it tomorrow to see what flies over tonight.

There are now more guests in the guesthouse so I couldn't have the moth trap in my favourite spot so the catch was reduced last night.

 Red-breasted Flycatcher
 Common Redstart 
 Pied Wheatear (male above, female below) 

Spotted Fritillary. Lots of Small Coppers on the Cape and also lots of Hummingbird Hawkmoths. Also Wall Brown, Red Admiral, Painted Ladys and some Blues. 

 This Wryneck decided to roost in this statue crack this evening 

This distinctive noctuid moth was the highlight of the trap last night Probably Luperina dumerilii. (Thanks Martin!)  (Lappet again, Pale Shoulders, Nutmeg, Diamond-backed Moths, Ephestia sp, Scarce Bordered Straws, Little Emerald and a few others) 

Ortolan Bunting from the noc mig recordings 

 Mixed fly over migrants from this morning at the Cape (above and belows) 

Friday 30 August 2019

Eurotrip 2019, Day 14- Cape Kaliakra

I was up at 6am and back at the Cape by 630 after sorting out the moth trap quickly. There were good numbers of circling passerines at dawn (mainly Tree Pipits and Yellow Wagtails). Plenty of migrants around again: Cape Kaliakra Ebird list.

Bumped into Dawn Balmer (BTO) and family on the Cape. So far the only other birders I have bumped into- bliss!

Spent the afternoon doing family stuff (at Bolata Beach) and in the evening I walked the local steppe area (Kaliakra Steppe Ebird list) and finished off at the Golden Oriole roost (43 tonight).

 Male Black-headed Bunting 
 Female Black-headed Wagtail 
 First-winter Isabelline Wheatear
 First-winter Northern Wheatear
 Adult male winter Northern Wheatear
 Adult winter male Pied Wheatear
 Juvenile Red-backed Shrike 
 Common Whitethroat
Juvenile Montagu's Harrier
 Golden Orioles (above and below)- I located the actual trees where the Golden Orioles are roosting- I counted 43 tonight

 A migrating Short-toed Lark (the dark median covert bar is noticeable even in this poor flight shot)
 Female Lesser Emperor 
 Skipper to id- I think its a Mallow Skipper 
 Essex Emerald
 Mullein Wave
Spotted Sulphur

Thursday 29 August 2019

Eurotrip 2019- Day Thirteen, Bolata

Spent this morning at Bolata wetlands and gorge. Ebird list HERE. It seemed a bit quieter migrant wise today which seemed to be confirmed by lower numbers in the fields by the guesthouse too in the evening. 

There was a nice little haul in the moth trap this morning. I also trawled the night recording tracks- a few mystery calls and a Tree Pipit and Spotted Flycatcher. 

Lesser Whitethroat
 Another Pied/Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. The ill defined supercilium and rather pale mantle suggests this might be an EBE candidate. 
 Turtle Doves 
 Montagu's Harrier vs wind turbine 
Golden Oriole- only 10+ going into the Pine roost this evening 
Pale Shoulder (above and below) 

 Ancylolomia tentaculella (?) A relatively speaking huge beast. 
 Heliomata glarearia and Pale Shoulder 
Fig Leaf Roller 
 Pygmy Footman (?)
 Hecatera cappa (thanks Martin!)
Four spotted
Lythria purpuaria (thanks Martin!)
 Bolata Gorge
The imposing and sinister wind farm on the Bulgarian Steppe 

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Eurotrip 2019- Day Twelve: Cape Kaliakra

Clear skies again with a north-east wind. I started the day off at Cape Kaliakra (Ebird list HERE), then I went with the family and had lunch there before driving to Shabla and then spent the evening local to the guest house (Ebird list HERE).

There were migrants everywhere again. The 20 mile drive to Shabla revealed Bee-eater flocks, the odd Roller, a couple of Montagu's Harriers, Common Buzzards and Lesser Grey Shrikes and other migrants all the way along the coastline. The total number of birds in this region must be enormous.

Highlight of the day were the Pied Wheatears at Cape Kaliakra, Alpine Swifts at head height over the cliffs, Red-backed Shrikes literally everywhere, 45 Golden Orioles coming into roost again in the Pine avenue along the main road, a dusk movement of Yellow Wagtails and simply the good number of migrants at the Cape including Black-headed Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatchers and flocks of Bee-eaters overhead.

I've got the moth trap and the sound recorder on tonight at the guesthouse so should be interesting what they pick up over night.

 I'm going for an adult male winter Pied Wheatear on this one. The black on scapulars and mantle is extensive , there is black in the crown and the throat patch is extensive too. 
This adult winter male looked more like an Eastern Black-eared Wheatear but in less contrasting light there was extensive dark centres to the mantle and scapulars so I'm going for another Pied but happy to be corrected 
 Presumed first-winter male Pied Wheatear 
 Presumed first-winter female Pied Wheatear 
 Presumed first-winter male Pied Wheatear 
 Alpine Swifts (above and below). Moulting the outer primaries with inners already replaced- a state of moult that we noticed on Alpine Swifts in Uganda recently. Presumably the Uganda birds were either first-summers that didn't migrate, non-breeding adults or part of a resident population. 

 Tawny Pipit and first-winter Black-headed Bunting (right and below) 

 A cracking male Red-backed Shrike. 
 A very juvenile, juvenile Red-backed Shrike 
 This shrike stood out as being rather uniform brown and aroused my hopes for a Brown Shrike- however it looks like there is some grey on the nape, the underparts are rather white and there's no sign of a graduated tail. The primaries also look quite long compared to the tertials. Presumably just an adult female Red-backed Shrike but a rather dark and uniform one. 
 Adult female Montagu's Harrier 
 Sand Martin and Swallows, classic autumn migration sight
 A couple of classics, Hoopoe (above) and Bee-eater (juvenile below) 

Cape Kaliakra