Tuesday 26 April 2011

Spring at home

Armed with my new replacement camera, required because of my mugging in Windhoek, Namibia, I went for a short birding walk in my village today.

It's my first birding near my adopted home in a Bulgarian village north of Varna since Christmas (see blogs) and much has changed.

For a start its now spring, albeit a very late one. The weather this year has been very cool and bird movements have been delayed.

Three or four days ago I heard a cuckoo for the first time this year. Today when I went on an early morning birding walk it was one of the first birds I saw barely 40 metres from my house.

local cuckoo, 40 metres from my home

Other signs of spring were plentiful. I glimpsed a nightingale and heard it continually in a near-by wood.

near-by wood graced by a nightingale

Nightingales are very common here in summer. Somethings haven't changed since Christmas. The wood still contained jay , blackbird, great tit and blue tit. 

local corn bunting

Another summer breeder which has come back and was present in numbers was corn bunting. I saw several on top of individual trees singing their hearts out.

locol ortolan bunting

I think I got more pleasure seeing an ortolan bunting than the cuckoo. This was the first time since I left Azerbaijan three years ago. It is supposed to migrate through Libya but I never saw it there.

In the same field there was a sylvia warbler, probably a garden warbler, though I didn't see it for long enough and I have very little experience with them.

local starling

There are definitely more starling around in winter. This time most birds are paired off and in breeding plumage.

local tree sparrow

Tree sparrow are numerous but house sparrow numbers are very large indeed. Most of the village houses have nooks and crannies which make excellent nesting sites.

house sparrow on my house

The house sparrow above was on my roof in the company of many house sparrows around the house.

tree pipit on passage

Although I didn't see any of the wintering birds still around, I did see a tree pipit which is on passage. It's possible the ortolan bunting was on passage too but it is a known local bird. I'll keep a eye on it.  

Good to be back blogging with pictures!  

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