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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:15 am
Posts: 1137
Location: Marton
A week-long family holiday staying in Sinemorets in the far southeast corner of Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast, not too far from the Turkish border. A total of 123 bird species were noted which is the highest total for recent family trips to Europe. Temperature about 28 C most days but up to 34 C one day. No rain at all. Biting insects not too bad (compared to Algarve, etc) apart from in shaded wooded areas.

Main area where birding was done was around Sinemorets itself due to not having a hire car but there were loads of different walks to do (coast, river valley and woodland). It is a relatively small beach resort with just few hotels at present (compared to larger resorts such as Sunny Beach further north) and has the Strandja National Park (a vast area of mainly deciduous woodland) right on the doorstep. This woodland was very good for woodpeckers included grey headed, middle spotted and lesser spotted. Golden orioles, red-backed shrikes and turtle doves were frequent with occasional lesser grey and woodchat shrikes and black stork. There was a small bunded river behind the beach near the hotel which held a pygmy cormorant on two early morning visits and also had the only ferruginous duck of the trip. The sea itself was fairly quiet apart from yellow-legged gulls, cormorants and sandwich terns. Dolphins were occasionally seen.

The Veleka river valley is just to the north of Sinemorets and has some good wetland habitat (with hides) behind a sandy spit at its mouth. Here we saw penduline tits, great reed warbler, purple heron, little bittern, lesser spotted eagle and black-headed bunting. Otter was here also.
The hotel grounds themselves held breeding nightingales and Eastern Olivaceous warbler plus alpine swifts occasionally overhead. White storks nested in the village nearby with both Spanish and house sparrows often sharing the storks nests.

We hired a bird guide from Neophron Tours for one day up to the Burgas wetlands. The guide was Dimiter Georgiev and lasted about 12 hours! This was excellent with highlights being four eagle species (booted, short-toed, lesser spotted and white-tailed) plus a breeding colony of collared pratincoles, 20+ marsh sandpipers, pygmy cormorants, 2000+ white pelicans, 200+ Dalmatian pelicans, 150 little gulls, rollers, gull-billed terns, slender-billed gulls and 50+ wood sandpipers. On another day we also hired a taxi to Rezovo next to the Turkish border which produced the only shags of the trip.

Reptiles included both Eastern green lizard, Hermann's tortoise, Kotschy's gecko, Balkan terrapin, European pond terrapin, dice snake (seen swimming in Black Sea once), grass snake and wall lizard. Marsh frogs were abundant and very vocal.
At least 36 butterfly species were noted including lesser spotted fritillary, spotted fritillary, cardinal fritillary, knapweed fritillary, lattice brown, Oberthuer's grizzled skipper and both scarce and common swallowtails.
Dragonflies included white-tailed skimmer, Balkan emerald, lesser emperor, scarlet darter, southern skimmer and lots of red-veined darters.
Moths included spotted sulphur and lots of hummingbird hawks. Other insects included praying mantis, migratory locusts (lots), striped shieldbug, wasp spider, ant-lion, violet carpenter bee and a huge hornet species. More flowers still out than expected which was good.


Cheers
Brian


Last edited by Brian Hedley on Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:14 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:21 am 
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 11:10 am
Posts: 986
Location: humberston
nice trip brian good birds =D>
terry whalin


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