Sunday 1 October 2023

Bulgaria Day Fourteen - Final Day

A nice end to a great trip with Arjun finding a Dusky Warbler at Kamen Bryag on the final morning, a mega for Bulgaria (only the second national record) and the first found in the field (as opposed to caught in nets). Ebird list from Kamen Bryag HERE

Before we headed to the airport we visited Cape Kaliakra again and had some nice bits on the move including White Pelican, Pintails, Purple Heron, Golden Plover, European Sparrowhawks and Red-throated Pipits . Ebird list HERE

Final trip list was 179 species. Ebird Trip Report HERE. Highlights include River Warbler (lifer), Ring Ouzels in Dobrich, Dusky Warbler, Caspian Stonechat and Red-necked Phalarope. Some impressive counts in there too despite the unfavourable easterly winds (west winds are the best in Bulgaria for autumn vis-mig and we have had two weeks of solid easterlies) including nearly 5000 Med Gulls, 16 Ospreys, nearly 17000 Barn Swallows, over 10000 White Wags, 163 Red-breasted Flycatchers and 70 Spotted Flycatchers, 2000 Spanish Sparrows and 62 Red-throated Pipits.  

The Kamen Bryag Ebird Hotspot is now on 165 species although by the looks of it that does not include any of the rarities that we have found (which are presumably awaiting ratification). Hotspot data HERE

Yet another absolutely fantastic trip to Bulgaria and looking forward to returning next year to complete the pond, start building the lodge, planting out the garden, doing more recording/rarity hunting, the first Eastern BirdFair (which Arjun and I have been helping Pavel arrange)  and also looking forward to see Arjun's Cambridge University dissertation on the project too. Thanks to Arjun, Roger, Dylan, Pavel & Tatyana, Dimiter and the Mimoza Guesthouse for the great company and all the help as always. 

Dusky Warbler- superb! Since we started this project in 2021 we've now found Desert Wheatear, Little Bunting, Caspian Stonechat and Dusky Warbler in the neighbourhood. 
Juvenile White Pelican 
Pintails on the move
Juvenile Hobby
Lesser Whitethroat. Arjun has spent the last two weeks getting his ear in on all the ticks and tacks of the various migrants and picked the Dusky Warbler up on it's distinctive sharp and slightly wet tack call. 
Spotted Clover (above). Some epic insect migration today with well over 100 Scarce Bordered Straws and Silver Ys on a single shrub and 100s of Ruddy Darters everywhere with Painted Ladies, Clouded Yellows and Red Admirals around and Rush Veneers coming out of the grass everywhere we walked. Yesterday evening we had over 10 Convolvulus Hawkmoths feeding on flowers by the road and there have been plenty of moths in the trap too- will do a separate post about that but I think we've had 250 species of moths over the last two weeks with presumably some rarities in there too (once we identify the photo specimens).  
One of the many Convolvulus Hawkmoths around 

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