Sunday, 6 May 2012

Day seven

Day seven, we were down at the Burgas lakes soon after dawn with a slight mist rising, unfortunately the boat we were promised was not as large as it ws supposed to be, so the group was split into two with myself the two Johns and Mladen on the first trip, and, as seen above, from the left, Paul, Harry, (in one of his famous hats) Janos and Mladen with the navigator in the camouflage coat on the second. The 'jetty' was a perilous Heath Robinson construction of old pallets and bits of tree trunk on top of the old metal pilings, but we all managed to get aboard without mishap. We had hoped for pelicans but the spring passage had been held up and there were none on the lake but there were plenty of other birds to keep us interested.
 Squacco herons were plentiful, sitting posing in the reeds until their nerve gave out and they flew off to where they felt safer.
There were lots of mute swans and I caught the one above nicely with its progress marked with the splashes behind it.
 The juvenile night heron pictured (image 4) was the only one that I got close enough to to do it justice, they must have bred early here.
The Great reed warblers were very common and kicked up quite a din, and are always a pleasure to see, this was the 'show off' above calling from a reed in the early morning light with its huge gape.
I tried hard to capture an image of the golden oriole that was singing in the boat keepers compound but it refused to show but it was more than compensated for by the Savi's warbler that emerged from the reeds after I was made aware of it's presence by its 'reeling' song, my only other view of this difficult bird was a glimpse of one in the Lee valley some years before through someone elses scope 100 meters distant, so I was elated to get a series of images the best two are above.
We spent the next four hours driving back to Sofia, for our final night and did some birding at a marsh nearby but a dry spring had left it difficult to get close enough to the waterbirds which were plentiful. We did however get reasonable images of the 'black headed' Feldegg subspecies of yellow wagtail and a first year Ortolan bunting, annoyingly marred by a branch across it but that is part and parcel of nature photography and it was a very smart bird apart from that.

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