Tuesday 24 May 2011

Black stork is latest sighting

There are still different birds to be seen in my local patch. Before venturing wider in Bulgaria, I have vowed to keep birding my local area until I don't see anything new. Today I thought I had reached the tipping point. Then just as I was turning for home I saw a big bird in the corner of my eye, high in the air.

black stork over Klimentovo

It is only the second time I have ever seen a black stork. The other one was also in Bulgaria near Bourgas on Autumn migration a couple of years ago. The bird today could easily still be on spring migration as they are apparently one of the last birds to migrate northwards.

female stonechat near Klimentovo

One of my friends has said on facebook that I must have bought a more  expensive camera recently because some of my pictures are high quality (ed: thanks!) Actually I haven't. Its just that the summer light conditions in Bulgaria with sun behind you are near perfect compared with the blazing sun of Libya and the usual cloudiness in the UK. Also we mustn't forget that the birds themselves are at their brightest at the moment. Even the female stonechat above creates a good pose with the correct lighting. I snapped her today just before seeing the black stork.

nightingale near Rogachevo

A couple of days earlier, on Sunday I visited the woods near Rogachevo again. It's a new habit of mine to go for a two or three hour walk into the woods after Sunday lunch at Elbarr (and back this time to watch the last set of English premier league football games).  Once again the nightingales were singing loudly but less usually one exposed it self to view (see above).  I find the thrush family including nightingale are shyer in Bulgaria than in the UK for example.  Mistle thrush and especially blackbird are common in the forests but seriously easily scared off.   

local jay

Jay is also regularly present.  This time I saw my first local chaffinch deep in the forest where two pine trees mixed with the otherwise surrounding broadleaf trees.

chaffinch near Rogachevo

My strangest sighting was not a bird at all. I found a deer ahead of me on a forest path. I stopped dead immediately and to my surprise so did it. I took a photo and as soon as I moved an inch forward it disappeared into the undergrowth.  I felt privileged to share such a moment. 

I cannot identify deer. A quick look at google suggests to me it was a roe deer. Any one know for sure? Could it be a young red deer?

roe deer near Rogachevo

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