Day 4; Wed. 3 February
We just had a morning for day four with our flight due at one and made an early start to try and call out a Moustached Warbler that is sedentary here. It was very cold and very windy and they weren´t responding. Pavel´s view was they go into a sort of hibernation in these conditions akin to Wallcreepers, you can understand they would not want to use any unnecessary energy with food so clearly hard to come by.
Driving then to Varna we stopped for a magnificent flock of up to 2000 Redbreasts now some 10% of the world population. Last stop was the Batava Riverine Forest and with no player we picked up five woodpeckers in less than an hour. Pavel whistled out a Grey Headed, Green called and flew, Middle Spotted was seen well and Great Spotted flew through. Black drummed hard and was seen fleetingly by John and Chris. If we´d only had the tape then it would have come in as would a Lesser Spotted that was clearly around.
A 102 species in all and a cracking trip, great food and great hospitality in a country that has so much to offer the birder. Durnakulak is an ideal base especially with Romania so close. I´m sure more birders will be visiting with Pallas´s Gull now more certainly on the menu. Another day and we would have gone for the Spotted Eagle, it does occur in Bulgaria but only sporadically and unreliably. The other option would be the long 200km+ drive to Bourgas for Dalmatian Pelican, Ferruginous and White-headed Ducks and perhaps some waders, we saw none in the wintry conditions.
We flew home happy with a couple of us thinking about a trip again in March for the Greater Spotted Eagle.
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