Friday 13 May 2011

Suddenly they are all here

Apologies for the lateness of this blog. Google blogger made some emergency maintenance on their worldwide system which took all day and which lost my draft. Can't complain really since the service is free!

I was really keen to blog quickly as well. This is because I was excited at what I saw when I walked from my village of Klimentovo to the next one of General Kandardjievo yesterday. I also walked back! a total of 9 kilometres. The weather was fine, the light was excellent for spotting birds, for their activity and for photos, and what's more I got some much needed exercise. 

You may recall in a previous blog that I was surprised to see woodchat shrike but hadn't seen red-backed shrike or lesser grey shrike which are supposed to be more common in my area.

red backed shrike seen near General Kandardjievo

Well that soon changed as on my journey I saw both red-backed shrike and lesser grey shrike. These were my first sightings this summer of both birds.

lesser grey shrike near General Kanardjievo

Not to be out done I also saw another pair of woodchat shrike although the photo below was taken two days before in another area some 30 kilometres west of my village near a private lake. It's fairly obvious to me that the bird is a lot more common in my general area than the maps in major bird books give credit.

woodchat shrike taken two days earlier near Vaglen

Of course many of the birds I had seen before on this walk were still about. The noise of the local corn bunting and skylark was almost deafening. Barn swallow and swift were darting all around. House sparrow and great tit were in the trees which form an avenue along the road. Nightingale and ortolan bunting were in the small woodland  on the edge of General Kandardjievo village. Jay and magpie were in another woodland on the edge of my own village.

However it was two waves of migrants which caught my eye. I was really pleased to see six roller on wires and on trees slowly drifting north. These were my first roller of the summer too.

roller near General Kandardjievo

It seems that Thursday 12th May was the day when suddenly most of the summer birds were back.

two roller near General Kandardjievo

There were also more bee-eater. I saw two waves resting on the avenue of trees along the road once on my way out and another flock on my way back hours later.

this tree held about 12 bee-eaters (not all on camera)

As far as possible I try to vary the birds I show each time I blog. I have shown whitethroat before but the light was so good yesterday I got a better snaps. One is shown below.

whitethroat in small wood on the edge of General Kanardjievo

There is good news about the weather forecast. It looks like the bad weather is now behind us -all the better for birding.

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