Sunday, 4 September 2011

A glimpse of the passage

I'm back in birding mode again following my enforced break for most of late August. Today I strolled around the Rogachevo area near the Black Sea regretting among other birding things  that I had missed part of the migration season.

However, even from my two hour stroll (a glimpse) of the action, I could tell there is plenty more migration left to do.

There is no doubt that the swallows and martins are here later this year in bigger numbers. Last year they had pretty much all disappeared from my locality by September 5th. Many have left this year too but a fair few still remain. These include a nest full of house martin at Elbarr, Rogachevo where I normally take my Sunday lunch.

house martin still in nest in Rogachevo

More than half the barn swallow and house martin on Elbarr had a second brood this year and the house martin family is the last one still nesting.

barn swallow and house martin which are still here

In Rogachevo I saw local house martin, barn swallow and red rumped swallow still here. The summer may have started late but it is lingering longer than last year.

two marsh harrier - left is male, right is female or juvenile

Although I didn't see any eagles, to my great satisfaction there was a steady stream of birds of prey moving south. To my considerable surprise there was a very loose flock of marsh harrier. The big majority were male. This delighted me because when I was in Libya I saw nearly totally females and juveniles. I have not heard about it or read about it but my own experience is the sexes do different things at different times outside the breeding season. 

The loose flock as I have described it flew over the village in ones, twos and threes over the whole period I was watching often with tenor fifteen minute gaps. Does this count as a flock?     I have seen this sort of behaviour before with Eleanora's falcon on spring return in north west Libya.

one of the male marsh harrier

Another picture of the same bird is shown below, It has lost a couple of tail feathers, possibly due to shooting.

second picture of the same marsh harrier

There were other birds of prey making their way south. One that caught my eye is the bird below which I believe is a steppe buzzard. These are only really seen in Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast which is the western extremity worldwide of their passages routes. I used to see this bird on passage when I was birding in Azerbaijan too.

probable steppe buzzard

As for other passage birds there are still huge numbers of bee-eater passing though although my favourite spot of a passage today was a single thrush nightingale in the bushes alongside my walk track. Unfortunately it beat the camera but was a pleasure nevertheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment