It was beautiful morning, so we went on a walk bellow the hotel. A Cetti’s warbler and Common Nightingale were singing from the bushes. I found a flock of Black-throated divers far in the sea. So it was a new species for the trip. Willow warbler, the most common bird in Norway, was spotted on our morning walk as well. We were expecting much more birds, but this spring everything is much more different compare with previous years. Soon we walked back to the hotel and had a breakfast outside, when the fortune turned to us with the desired woodpecker, a male Syrian woodpecker appear just next to the breakfast tables. After this good start of the day we drove to the first site, at the shore of Bourgas lake. We were not alone there, a group from Sweden were already there, and they had great news for us. a flock of 5 Demoiselle’s cranes were observed in the area we were about to visit in next days (But will we gonna see them read more about the Day 8 of our field study).
The Lake was like a mirror, just the rising temperature make the air hazy. This didn’t make any problem for our good equipped group to find more birds we haven’t seen yet on our trip: Eurasian Wigeon, Little Gull, Little Tern and many more that we had seen before. The herons were very active, so we observed Little Bittern, Squacco, Night heron and Little Egrets. A Common Sandpiper flew low over the water. Soon the Swedish group left. Just before we were planning to leave a big flock of the White Pelicans (~57) were taking height just above our group. So one more check for the trip list. We moved to take closer look on the Terns that were roosting at the barge further by the coast. We walked there, but nothing new was found there. So we didn’t waste time and drove to our next stop the South coast of the Vaya lake. Here a usual singers in the bushes and few Marsh harriers were patrolling over the reedbeds. I did spot a male Reed Bunting flying past, another new species for the list. A Sparrowhawk and few Honey Buzzards flew over to the North.
It was time for a short drive to the opposite shore of the lake, where its flooding the land almost to the road. So we stopped there. as is the good spot for waders and other waterfowl. It is the place where the Spur-winged Lapwing is seen, but fortunately we didn’t find it. Big flocks of Ruffs and Wood sandpipers were wading in the flooded area together with the Glossy ibises and Black-winged Stilts. Eirik found a Sanderling. I went to check the inside part of the floods. Until I was away the group had a Bearded reedling and Water rail just few meters away. I heard the Water Rail and the Penduline tit as well. But the area was overgrown with grasses already so it was empty there. So I rush back, because it was time to move to the last site before lunch. As usually we visit the fishermen pier, but fortunately the wind was already stronger, so we haven’t got any luck here. Until the call of the penduline tit was heard. It is always pleasure to observe them. But it was time to think about lunch, so we drove to the center of the Dolno Ezerovo settlement. After some research we stopped at fast food kiosk, just by the street. Students ordered their meals and after a short stop for coffee, we drove to The North-west part of the Atanasovkso lake. At first we had close encounters with Little Owl and Lesser Grey Shrike, a pair of Rollers were sitting on the wires. We drove to the Sheep Farm, where we left the Van and walked towards the shore of the lake. We flushed a pair of Meadow pipits. On our way was the channel where the clearing of it was started by the project of BSPB and other NGOs. So the dam, was the closest point to observe the lake. At first my attention was captured by the Stone Curlew flying away. The birds were at distance, so after short time the group concentrate their attention on the pipits in the area. Except of Tawny pipit, Bard managed to spot a Red-throated pipit as well. This was unexpected for us, but it was nice to see it. After this we had to wash our legs as the mud we had to cross was a bit too much. On the way back the Little Owl was back to its daytime shelter, but this time flew quickly as we try to stop again nearby.
We drove back to the hide and as it was still open we went inside, the wind was strong so everybody goes on the left side of the lake so the wind wouldn’t blow them and the scopes. I found the rarest bird since now, a Terek Sandpiper. Soon it was joined by a Temminck’s Stint and Ruddy Turnstone. It was new species for Bulgaria in my list. I couldn’t be more happy. The group split as some of them wanted to stay by the hide, but the rest moved towards the town. Were there was a better view at the waders. Some of the students managed to spot a Broad-billed Sandpiper. But I couldn’t see it. The most numerous were Little stints and Curlew Sandpipers. A few Spoonbills, Black-winged Stilts and Slender-billed Gulls were present as well. The group try to move towards the town, but the bridge was collapsed so they went back towards me and we sit back in the van and drove back to the hotel. We had some time to relax before dinner and at the end of the day we count the new species and filled up the day logg. So the day 6th we had over 200 species already. Whats happened next read in the post “Day 7…”