петък, 11 юли 2014 г.

Second national BirdID training: day 2

We woke up at 6 a.m. After the intense survey last week in Norway it was time to search for birds again. This time i wanted to show them to the participants in the BirdId training that I lead for the Bulgarian Society for the protection of birds and the Nord-Trondelag University college.

We wanted to make the route from Maliovitsa chalet to the peak with the same name. This was going to be the direction with no necessity to reach the peak. What I wanted most is to see and show some alpine birds.

Before breakfast we enjoyed the first sunlight and the Crossbills which were still around the chalet before people have started moving about.

Crossbill, copyright Iordan Hristov
Crossbill, copyright Iordan Hristov
The trail followed a picturesque valley surrounded by peaks. Lush meadows were home of the endemic Rila primrose Primula deorum. This pretty flower was everywhere.

Rila Primrose Primula deorum photography
Rila Primrose Primula deorum, copyright Iordan Hristov
Rila Primrose Primula deorum, copyright Iordan Hristov
Rila Primrose Primula deorum, copyright Iordan Hristov
Other than it we enjoyed at least five Balkan chamois that were calmly grazing on the top of the hills on the edge of the valley.

Balkan Chamois, copyright Iordan Hristov
Balkan Chamois, copyright Iordan Hristov
The scenery was superb.

landscape photography
Rila mountains, copyright Iordan Hristov
Soon we had one of our target birds: Alpine Accentor. It is in severe decline and I am really worried about the fortune of this bird. Together with all the other alpine species it is understudied and we don't know why is the species disappearing.

bird photography in Bulgaria
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris, copyright Iordan Hristov
bird photography in Bulgaria
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris, copyright Iordan Hristov
bird photography in Bulgaria
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris, copyright Iordan Hristov
We managed to reach the hill top but a gust of winds and dark clouds took over. Heavy rain was coming and we decided to go back to the chalet. Some of the group members really regretted that they couldn't climb up to the peak but our choice was wiser. A tourist passing by told us a site for the superb Wallcreeper but we had to give it up.

As it usually happens, once we got to the chalet Sun came out. Never mind, an hour later the heavy rain was back we managed to stay dry. That's the weather like in the mountains.