On Saturday and Monday (but not Sunday which was very foggy) we finally had some sunny weather. I decided to re-visit the Klimentovo to Albena valley with expectations that there would be more birds out and that I would be able to photograph them better.
I was not disappointed.
local yellow wagtail
First, I'd like to report back on that yellow wagtail I saw last week. I had supposed it was a local breeder. This time I saw it with a female looking very comfortable down by the valley's main stream so my hunch that it was not on passage was confirmed.
looking up the valley away from the sea
I met some new birds as hoped. I had been surprised last week at seeing a crested lark in such a lush area. Now I was equally surprised to see a tawny pipit which also normally likes drier, more steppe like land. I know both birds well from my Libyan observations where crested lark is an extremely common resident and tawny pipit is an easily seen passage bird.
On Saturday,. I added greenfinch to the list of finches found in the valley - joining goldfinch and linnet on the list. There was an obvious pair so I suspect they will breed locally soon.
I finally got a half decent picture of a common whitethroat of which I have seen several here. Like other sylvia warblers I know it seems that it likes to sing from tree (or bush top for some types) in the spring. The rest of the year they are very difficult to snap. Even then it doesn't keep still.
The second picture of the whitethroat above shows him in song. There was a second warbler which I tracked in the valley on Monday. It was not as bold, and preferred lower bushes. It's pictured below.
I am fairly confident it is a lesser whitethroat. Look how short its tail is. It was small and quite uniformly coloured on its chest and belly. The picture is a little over-exposed but you can see a hint of its darker eye and ear area.
I finally got a snap of one of the magpie which frequent the valley particularly near a sheltered cliff face. There are jay and cuckoo near-by too.
singing corn bunting
I had no intention of showing another picture of a corn bunting but this one allowed me close and was caught in full song so I relented. In the more wooded area it was out sung by nightingale. They are obviously common here. I managed to see one in full view this time too. Its easy to hear them but they are masters at hiding themselves (except on passage - in Libya they were very common in spring and autumn - however they lacked cover so ironically I have had my best views by far there).
As the sun was out I managed to get a (slightly) better photograph of an ortolan bunting too. It's above.
Birds were not the only wildlife in the valley. I came across three or four lake frogs on Saturday.
Not to be outdone I saw an Aesculapian snake on Monday. I don't pretend to know anything about amphibians but I have got an English language copy of "Amphibians and Reptiles in Bulgaria by Valdimar Beshkov and Krustyo Nanev.
Assuming I have identified the species right then it would appear I was not in danger. That's re-assuring!