неделя, 23 февруари 2014 г.

Birdwatching around Sofia

The rainy weather this Sunday put me off from my intentional plan to go out photographing a Red Fox. However, I had already prepared for a trip so didn't really feel like staying at home. That's why I decided to do a road trip around some wetlands around Sofia. Whatever the weather was I safe in the car so it wouldn't be a problem even if it rains. Off I went.

My first stop was at Aldomirovsko marsh where a singing Corn Bunting and a "stone" welcomed me on the road to the marsh. After enjoying the first singing Corn Bunting suggesting the coming spring, I continues along the road. The "stone" turned out to be this Grey Partridge which was sitting still on the road hoping I won't see it.

What a sight it is. I don't think I have seen a Partridge sitting still for this long time. I was only a couple of meters away from it. In a while it sneaked into the grass where another Partridge was pretending it wasn't there as they do always do.

bird photography in Bulgaria
Grey Partirdge © Iordan Hristov
Further along the road a female Hen Harrier was flying low above the fields. Small groups of passerines were loudly announcing the coming spring. Dozens of Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows, and Corn Bunting were just everywhere. A rather pleasant surprise were at least half of dozen Stonechats that were singing their song. Well this should be suggesting that spring is near. A pair of Ravens were also croaking loudly and flying up and down in full harmony. What a sight this is. I remember the words of a tourist I guided some time ago saying that "Ravens always show how much they like flying". After these bits of excitement, we carried on to the second place.

We arrived at Dragoman marsh where it started raining. Corn Bunting were absolutely everywhere singing their song out. A female Marsh Harrier maneuvered above the reeds chasing the small birds. Another pair of Ravens was displaying further along the road. Another big party of several dozens of Yellowhammers, Corn Buntings and Chaffinches turned up in the rain. The rain became heavier and we decided to go home.

Well this was a rather pleasant Sunday walk or should I say drive.

Here is a list of some of the birds we saw in no order:

1. Raven Corvus corax
2. Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
3. Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra
4. Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
5. Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
6. Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
7. Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
8. Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
10. Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
11. Magpie Pica pica
12. Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
13. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
14. European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola