Day 4: Monday 8th February was our last day and the weather was again bitterly cold, but dryer. First we went to the Pomorie salt pans, (even the saline pools here were frozen this winter!), providing more views of Caspian and Slender-billed Gulls.
We then made a short trip inland to Poroy reservoir in the hope of the first returning Ruddy Shelduck, but unfortunately no birds were found, though several Hen Harriers, 5 Rough-legged and 3 Long-legged Buzzards and a Goshawk were seen in the fields on the journey. A short walk into the oak woods here produced the only Sombre Tit of the trip watched at close range with 2 Short-toed Treecreepers, a Firecrest, and some Long-tailed Tits, at least one of which sported a white head. "Spotted" woodpeckers were represented by 2 Lesser, 4 Middle and 3 Greater, with a Green thrown in for good measure.
We then made our way back to the coast having a coffee break in the old Greek village of Nessebar, where offshore more Black-necked Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers were seen, and displaced Fieldfare and Skylarks were coming in off the sea.
As dusk fell we returned to the airport seeing a Great White Egret en route.
Overall the trip produced some 105 species, but it was the quality rather than the quantity that mattered. Despite the weather, which seemed to be against us throughout, we will take away great memories of Red-breasted Geese and the other wintering birds of this part of Bulgaria, as well as the usual camaraderie of a group of birders enjoying another great trip, which could not have been so successful without the great expertise of our co-leader Pavel Simeonov from Branta-Tours and the excellent services provided by his wife Tatyana from Branta Birding Lodge.