вторник, 11 юни 2013 г.

Breeding birds survey in Bulgaria

I just realised that the deadline for conducting the breeding birds survey in my local patches approaches rather soon. I plan to be away in the coming days for more birding stories and the forecast for the coming days is not promising either, so I decided to just go and do the survey. 

Waking up was rather difficult. After a couple of days in a row getting up at 4.30 a.m. was a bit of a pain. Nevertheless I managed to start just on time and 6.20 I was already at the field. Lovely. Now I do not regretting getting up this early. Lovely meadows rich in birds and butterflies. All wet though :) My wellington boots couldn't cope with this. Water started coming in because the grass were pretty high. The rain from last night didn't help either but anyway. This is the only chance to do my survey. I kept on walking through the fields. 
copyright Iordan Hristov
Since today was the only time I had before the rain and my other duties, I had to count the birds in both of my survey plots. Never done that before and I probably shouldn't but never mind. I managed to do it before 10.30 a.m. which is a good time.

Birds were not as active as I expected. Do not know if it was from the rain last night or from the late season. Generally they should be pretty vocal although it is the beginning of June. A pair of Roe Deer showed right at the beginning of my first survey plot.

copyright Iordan Hristov
Some of the birds seen include:

1. Honey Buzzard - the highlight of the survey. Never seen it in either of the plot before. 
2. Golden Oriole
3. Skylark
4. Tree Pipit
5. Cuckoos - loads
6. Wryneck
7. Barred Warbler
8. Lesser spotted Woodpecker
9. Yellow Wagtail
10. Mistle Thrush
11. Hawfinch
12. Red-backed Shrike
13. Bee-eater
14. Ortolan Bunting
15. Hawfinch
16. Chaffinch
17. Nightingale
18. Chiffchaff
19. Wood Pigeon
20. Jay
21. Corn Bunting
22. Blackbird
23. Song Thrush
24. Great Tit
25. Blue Tit
26. Wood Nuthatch
27. Blackcap
28. Yellowhammer
29. Raven
30. Quail (heard only)
31. Common Buzzard
32. Barn Swallow
33. House Martin
34. Greenfinch
35. Kestrel
36. Common Starling
37. Great-spotted Woodpecker
38. Syrian Woodpecker
39. Alpine Swift
40. Common Swift
41. Robin
42. Tree Sparrow
43. House Sparrow
44. Woodlark
45. Long-tailed Tit
46. Common Whitethroat
47. Goldfinch

.. and a few more..
not too bad for a common birds survey. In just of the plots I had 40 species for about 1,5 hours. In total it would be about 50 species for a couple of hours birding from 6 to 10 a.m. That is what the general countryside of Bulgaria is like. I love it :)

Unfortunately, the trends of some bird species are negative and birds are rapidly decreasing. Some of them with over 60 % for the last 7 years...