First record of Sub-alpine Warbler in north-east Bulgaria

Today, April 21, 2012, during a routine birding survey around Lake Durankulak (only two kilometers away from Branta Birding Lodge), I had fabulous views of an adult Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia albistriata) feeding in a tree in the northern part of Durankulak Lake, the extreme north Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. The plumage was noticeably characteristic, brick-red underparts abruptly clearing to white just below the breast, (see photographs, which unfortunately, can barely be called record shots).

According to the Atlas of the breeding birds in Bulgaria, the northernmost breeding locality of this species in the country is Cape Emine, on the southern Black sea coast, which is about 125 kms. southwards from Durankulak as the crow flies.

To the best of my knowledge and experience, this is the only record of this species in northern Bulgaria. Considering the timing of the sighting, and due to the lack of suitable habitat in the local area, it is reasonable to suggest that this individual may well have continued its spring migration further north into Romania.

Pavel Simeonov - Branta-Tours

Sub-alpine Warbler

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