Birdwatching at the Black Sea Coast in the Surroundings of Burgas
(Bulgaria)

 

Google Map

(Instructions)


September 26 – October 02, 2003

Excursions

Hans Schick
Contact or comments: schick@asca-berlin.de

No part of this work may be used for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author. © H. Schick.

Trip Reports

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Species List

 
 


Introduction

From September 25 – October 2, 2003 I spent a week in the surroundings of Burgas for birdwatching. After my visit in Andalucía (Spain) in spring 2003 I was especially interested in the autumn migration of birds along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.

Itinerary
September 25, 2003: Flight from Berlin to Burgas. Arrival at 20:00. Transfer to Hotel Amon Ra in Sozopol. Take-over of a rented car.
September 26, 2003: Drive from Sozopol to the Protected Area Poda. Birdwatching up to the evening.
September 27, 2003: Drive to the Protected Area Poda. Birdwatching in the area up to the afternoon. Thereafter drive to Gorno Ezerovo at Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero) and to the southern saltworks of Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero).
September 28, 2003: Drive from Sozopol to Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero) via Burgas. Birdwatching first at the northern, later at the southern saltworks. Raptor migration.
September 29, 2003: Drive from Sozopol to the Protected Area Poda. Birdwatching there and at the beach of the Sozopol Bay (Sozopolski zaliv).
September 30, 2003: Drive from Sozopol via Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero) and Lake Atanasov (Atanasovko ezero) to the saltworks of Pomorie.
October 01, 2003: Drive from Sozopol to the fish ponds near Konstantinovo. Birdwatching at the Reservoir Mandra (Jazovir Mandra), at Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero)and at the fish ponds.
October 02, 2003: Drive from Sozopol to the Protected Area Poda via the Protected Area Chengene Skale and the Protected Area Mouth of the River Izvorska (Ustieto na Reka Izvorska). Birdwatching up to sunset. Flight from Burgas to Berlin at midnight.

Registration of the observations
All ornithological observations were registered in the databank OrniDB97–2.20, developed by Ralf Schirmeister (www.ralf-schirmeister.de for download) and were edited in two different ways. Under the heading "Excursions" one finds the complete records to the different observation places in chronological order. Under the heading "Species List" one finds the date, the place, and the number of observed individuals in systematic order. In the section Excursions some photos give an impression of the visited areas, in the Systematic List one finds some photos of birds taken by a Nikon Coolpix 4500 in combination with a telescope Swarovski AT 80 HD.

Ornithological literature used
Lars Svensson, Peter J. Grant, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström, Der neue Kosmos-Vogelführer, alle Arten Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens, Frankh-Kosmos-Verlags-GmbH & Co., Stuttgart, 1999.
This book corresponds to:
Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterström, Peter J. Grant, Collins Bird Guide, The Most CompleteField Guide to The Birds of Britain and Europe, HarperCollins, London 1999.

Books and maps for the orientation in the area
Freitag & Berndt, Bulgarische Schwarzmeerküste – Burgas (Bulgarian Black Sea Coast – Burgas). Scale 1 : 150 000 (ISBN-3-7079-0323-0).
Kartografija EOOD, Strandzha – Bulgaria. Tourist Map. Scale 1 : 100 000. First edition, Sofia 2003.

Further informations
Philipp Meister, Feuchtgebiete in Bulgarien: Artenvielfalt am Zugweg "via Ponticum", Der Falke 2003, 50, 69–75.
Website of the Protected Area Poda:
http://www.bspb-poda.de

Links to Birding in Bulgaria
http://www.fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/bulgaria.html


Excursions

26.09.2003, 07:30-09:30
Sozopol, surroundings of the Hotel Amon Ra, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
17 °C, overcast.
The following bird species were observed in the surroundings of the Hotel Amon Ra.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
1, flying along the shoreline.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
20, swimming near the beach.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
10, swimming near the beach.
Crested Lark (Galerída cristáta, Haubenlerche):
1, flying off from wasteland.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
10
, on the roofs.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
200, flying off from wasteland.

26.09.2003, 11:30-12:55
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, northern part, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
17 °C, overcast, later 20 °C, fair.
Coming on the dual carriageway E87 from Sozopol I passed the bridge about 750 m past the junction of road 98 to Krajmorie and Malko Tarnovo, because I did not recognize that the direct access to the information centre of the Protected Area Poda is via the narrow old bridge, which crosses the water parallel to the new one. This bridge can be reached by turning right about 100 m in front of the new bridge and looking for the old road parallel to the E87. – Having missed the access to the Information Centre I followed the E87 for about 3 km having the Protected Area Poda always at the right-hand side. Only at the end of the Protected Area I turned right into an unsignposted and untarmacked path leading to the beach. There I stopped and watched the birds on the shoreline. Photos of a Little Egrett and a Black-headed Gull were taken. – The following bird species were observed.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
50 (at least), flying or roosting on a mole.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
1, on the beach (photos).
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenária ínterpres, Steinwälzer):
1, on the beach (photos).
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
10 (at least), on the beach (photos).
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
3, on the beach.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
2, on the beach.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
1, flying.

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The beach of the Protected Area Poda. In the background the Strandzha Mountains (26.09.2003)

26.09.2003, 13:25-13:40
Burgas, Jazovir Mandra (Mandra Reservoir), District Burgas (Bulgaria)
20 °C, fair.
From the northern part of the Protected Area Poda I drove back to the E87. At the first traffic lights of Burgas I turned and drove back on the E87 to the junction of the road 98 for Malko Tarnovo. There I turned again and reached the Information Centre of the Protected Area via the old bridge. – Before I reached the turn-off to Malko Tarnovo I stopped at the E87 on a car park, from where I had a look over the Mandra Reservoir (Jazovir Mandra). There the following bird species were observed.
Little Grebe (Pódiceps ruficóllis, Zwergtaucher):
4, swimming.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
180, roosting on 3 platforms and on the pylons of a high-voltage power line.
Mallard (Anas platyrhýnchos, Stockente):
2 (2,0), swimming.
Black Tern (Chlidónias nigra, Trauerseeschwalbe):
2, flying.

26.09.2003, 13:45-17:45
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, southern part, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
20 °C, later 19 °C, fair.
From the Information Centre of the Protected Area Poda I walked in northern direction through the reserve. Due to the hot summer with little rainfall the areas normally covered by shallow water were dry. Therefore, these areas were now unsuited for roosting waders. – The following bird species were observed.
Great Crested Grebe (Pódiceps cristátus, Haubentaucher):
1, swimming on the sea.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
300 (at least), roosting on moles.
Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrócorax pygmeus, Zwergscharbe):
55, roosting on a platform in the sea near the beach (photos). – First personal observation.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
30, in the shallow water near the Information Centre.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
1, flying.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor, Höckerschwan):
1 ad., swimming.
Common Pochard (Áythya férina, Tafelente):
2 (at least), among 1000 Coots.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 female, flying over the reedbeds.
Black Coot (Fúlica atra, Bleßralle):
1000, swimming on the sea.
Little Ringed Plover (Charádrius dúbius, Flußregenpfeifer):
1, on the beach. The yellow orbital ring was diagnostic. The legs were yellowish but the bill was dark.
Common Snipe (Galinágo gallinágo, Bekassine):
1, landing on marshland at the edge of the shallow water near the Information Centre.
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erýthropus, Dunkler Wasserläufer):
9, in the shallow water near the Information Centre.
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenária ínterpres, Steinwälzer):
1, on the beach (photos).
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
50, flying or on the beach.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
10 (at least), roosting on the beach or on a barrier in the bay. The legs were yellow.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
9, flying along the shore or roosting on the beach. The forehead was already white.
Street Pigeon (Colúmba spec., Haustaube):
25, flying.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
21 (16 + 5), flying or on the beach.
Red-backed Shrike (Lánius collúrio, Rotrückenwürger):
1 female or this year's bird. Pale bill basis, no eye-mask.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
3, flying or on the ground.

DSCN5476
The access to the Protected Area Poda via the old bridge (29.09.2003)

27.09.2003, 10:35-10:50
Sozopol, Sozopolski zaliv, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
18 °C, fair.
From the road connecting Sozopol with the E87 the following bird species were observed on the beach or on posts of fish traps.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
104, roosting on posts of fish traps.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
3, roosting on the beach.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
36, roosting on the beach.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
138, roosting on posts of fish traps or plunge-diving.

27.09.2003, 11:30-13:30
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, roof of the Info Centre, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
18 °C, sunny.
From the roof garden of the Information Centre the following bird species were observed.
Great White Egret (Egrétta alba, Silberreiher):
1, standing in the shallow water of the Mandra Reservoir (Jazovir Mandra).
Sparrowhawk (Accípiter nisus, Sperber):
1
female, singly soaring over the area and migrating southwards. – The Levant Sparrowhawk (Accípiter brevipes, Kurzfangsperber) has black wing tips.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
20, soaring over the area and migrating southwards with at least 3 smaller raptors, probably Sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus, Sperber). – An impressive view!
Long-legged Buzzard (Búteo rúfinus, Adlerbussard):
7, characterized by rufous tail without a dark terminal bar, dark belly and rufous upperparts. Steppe Buzzard (Buteo buteo vulpinus, Falkenbussard) has brown upperparts.
Osprey (Pándion haliáëtus, Fischadler):
1, gliding over the area, especially over the sea.
Goldfinch (Carduélis carduélis, Stieglitz):
1, in a shrub near the Information Centre.

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Shallow water near the Information Centre of the Protected Area Poda (27.09.2003)

27.09.2003, 13:30-15:00
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, southern part, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
20 °C, sunny.
Under the guidance of Božidar Ivanov, an experienced Bulgarian ornithologist and Head of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds, I walked once more through the southern part of the protected area. The following bird species were observed.
Little Grebe (Pódiceps ruficóllis, Zwergtaucher):
5 (at least), swimming on the sea.
Great Crested Grebe (Pódiceps cristátus, Haubentaucher):
35 (at least), swimming on the sea.
Red-necked Grebe (Pódiceps grisegéna, Rothalstaucher):
1, swimming on the sea.
Black-necked Grebe (Pódiceps nigricóllis, Schwarzhalstaucher):
5 (at least), swimming on the sea.
Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrócorax pygmeus, Zwergscharbe):
20 (at least), roosting on a platform or swimming at the edge of the reedbeds.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
10 (at least).
Great White Egret (Egrétta alba, Silberreiher):
3, on a barrier in the bay, with a characteristic yellow bill.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
3, on a barrier in the bay.
Common Pochard (Áythya férina, Tafelente):
2, swimming.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 female, flying over the reedbeds.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
1, flying.
Black Coot (Fúlica atra, Bleßralle):
1000 (at least), swimming on the sea.
Common Snipe (Galinágo gallinágo, Bekassine):
3, in a cutted reedbed.
Curlew (Numénius arquáta, Großer Brachvogel):
1, calling in flight.
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erýthropus, Dunkler Wasserläufer):
8, in shallow water near the Information Centre.
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
1, in shallow water near the Information Centre
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glaréola, Bruchwasserläufer):
5, in a cutted reedbed.
Common Sandpiper (Actítis hypoléucos, Flußuferläufer):
1, on the platform in the shallow water near the Information Centre.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
50 (at least), swimming on the sea.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
20 (at least), on the beach.
Caspian Tern (Sterna cáspia, Raubseeschwalbe):
4, roosting near a barrier in the bay, later flying off. The red bill and the black crown could well be recognized.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
20 (at least), roosting near a barrier in the bay or plunge-diving.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
20, migrating southwards (at 19:00).
Chiffchaff (Phyllóscopus collýbita, Zilpzalp):
1, in a shrub. With dark legs.
Red-backed Shrike (Lánius collúrio, Rotrückenwürger):
1 female or juv., in a shrub.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
2, flying.

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Protected Area Poda. View from the roof of the Information Centre on the reedbeds and the barrier in the Burgas Bay (Burgaski zaliv, 27.09.2003)

27.09.2003, 15:30-17:00
Burgas, Burgasko ezero, southwest side, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
19 °C, sunny.
I followed the bus of the ornithologists of Waschbär-Reisen to the southwest side of the Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero). From the Protected Area Poda we drove along the E87 to the first traffic lights of Burgas. There we turned left into the road 79 to Sredec. After about 750 m we turned right and followed the road to Ravnec. After about 6 km we stopped at an elevated point west of the village Gorno Ezerovo. From the edge of the road we had a good view over the lake. At 16:10 we drove some kilometres in the direction of Dolno Ezerovo in order to have a better look on the roosting Pelicans. – The following bird species were observed.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
2000 (at least), roosting mostly on the northern shore of the lake at the edge of the reedbeds. When we tried to come nearer to this place, many of them flew in long chains to the southwest shore of the lake. In these chains some Dalmatian Pelicans (Pelecanus crispus, Krauskopfpelikan) could be recognized. – At the end of the observation time about 500 additional pelicans arrived in 5 flocks from north and came down on the water of the lake. That was an overwhelming view! – First personal observation.
Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecánus crispus, Krauskopfpelikan):
5 (at least). One of these birds was swimming singly at the edge of the reedbeds nearby. The much paler underwings could be recognized. [The underwings of the White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalus, Rosapelikan) are contrasting black and white due to the black primaries and secondaries and the white underwing coverts]. – First personal observation.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
20, flying off, when a White-tailed Eagle appeared.
Purple Heron (Árdea purpúrea, Purpurreiher):
1, flying.
White Stork (Cicónia cicónia, Weißstorch):
4, gliding southwards.
Common Spoonbill (Platálea leucoródia, Löffler):
30, flying off, when a White-tailed Eagle appeared (photo).
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor, Höckerschwan):
2 ad., swimming.
Gadwall (Anas strepéra, Schnatterente):
15, swimming.
Common Teal (Anas crecca, Krickente):
8, swimming.
Mallard (Anas platyrhýnchos, Stockente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Northern Pintail (Anas acúta, Spießente):
5, swimming.
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeáta, Löffelente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Common Pochard (Áythya férina, Tafelente):
100 (at least), swimming.
White-tailed Eagle (Haliáeëtus albicílla, Seeadler):
1, flying over the lake.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 female, flying.
Little Gull (Larus minútus, Zwergmöwe):
15 (at least), over the water of the lake.
Black Tern (Chlidónias nigra, Trauerseeschwalbe):
3, among Little Gulls, over the water of the lake.
Green Woodpecker (Picus víridis, Grünspecht):
1, calling in woodland.
Barn Swallow (Hirúndo rústica, Rauchschwalbe):
20, flying over the reedbeds.
Jay (Gárrulus glandárius, Eichelhäher):
2, flying.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
2, calling in flight.

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Burgas Lake (Burgasko ezero) with roosting White Pelicans (27.09.2003)

27.09.2003, 17:35-18:20
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Southern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
18 °C, sunny.
From the southwestern edge of the Lake Burgas I followed the group of Waschbär-Reisen to the hide at the west side of the Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero). – The following bird species were observed.
Shelduck (Tadórna tadórna, Brandgans):
50 (at least), swimming.
Black-winged Stilt (Himántopus himántopus, Stelzenläufer):
3, in shallow water of the salt works.
Eurasian Avocet (Recurviróstra avosétta, Säbelschnäbler):
250, flying over the salt works.
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
6 (at least), foraging on the edge of a small island.
Grey Plover (Pluviális squataróla, Kiebitzregenpfeifer):
2, in shallow water.
Little Stint (Calídris minúta, Zwergstrandläufer):
2 (at least), foraging on the edge of a small island.
Temminck’s Stint (Calídris temmínckii, Temminckstrandläufer):
1 (at least), foraging on the edge of a small island.
Dunlin (Calídris alpína, Alpenstrandläufer):
5, foraging in shallow water. In flight they displayed the black middle part of the tail.
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
1, flying.

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Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero). Southern saltworks (27.09.2003)

28.09.2003, 11:55
Burgas, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, sunny.
The following bird species were observed from the car during the passage through the town.
Jay (Gárrulus glandárius, Eichelhäher):
1, flying.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
2, flying.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
100
(at least), in a large flock at the edge of a road.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
100 (at least), in a large flock at the edge of a road.

28.09.2003, 12:15-15:00
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Northern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, sunny.
From Burgas I drove on the E87 towards Varna. Immediately after the passage of the bridge over the Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero) I followed the signpost to Kableškovo and after another 50 m the signpost to Solnica Sever (Saltworks North). This road underruns the E87 and leads northwards. After about 500 m I reached a few huts and saw several birdwatchers on the dyke of a basin. From this point the bird migration is monitored by Bulgarian ornithologists. When I arrived 7 English and Scandinavian birdwatchers were scanning the northern horizons with their telescopes. – From this point and later from the northern edge of this basin the following bird species were observed. Due to the high stand of the sun the air shimmered and the visibility of details over long distances was severely diminished.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
750 (at least), at the northern edge of the saltworks. About 500 were roosting. During the observation time about 250 arrived in flocks of about 50 individuals.
Honey-Buzzard (Pernis apívorus, Wespenbussard):
1, southwards migrating. This bird with a small head and a slender neck was attacked by 30 Jackdaws.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 female, gliding over the basins of the saltworks.
Sparrowhawk (Accípiter nisus, Sperber):
1
female, southwards migrating. This bird did not display black wingtips. Therefore, Levant Sparrowhawk (Accípiter brevipes, Kurzfangsperber) was excluded.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
7, 1 on a pylon of a power line, 6 migrating southwards.
Long-legged Buzzard (Búteo rúfinus, Adlerbussard):
1, migrating southwards.
Lesser Spotted Eagle (Áquila pomarína, Schreiadler):
4, first a single bird, later three birds southwards gliding. The Lesser Spotted Eagle (Aquila pomarina, Schreiadler) is a great dark raptor. The underwing coverts are paler brown than the primaries and secondaries. The undertail coverts are also paler than the dark brown tail feathers. On the upperparts the shoulders are paler than primaries, secondaries, and tail feathers.
Kestrel (Falco tinínculus, Turmfalke):
2, hunting, near the E87.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
20 (at least), on barriers in the saltworks.
Bee-eater (Merops apiaster, Bienenfresser):
12, roosting on a power line.
Crested Lark (Galerída cristáta, Haubenlerche):
2, at the car park.
Barn Swallow (Hirúndo rústica, Rauchschwalbe):
50 (at least), migrating southwards.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
2, calling in flight.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
30 (at least), attacking a Honey-Buzzard (Pernis apívorus, Wespenbussard).
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
200
, in 2 groups.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
15, flying.
Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolénsis, Weidensperling):
20, as a flock landing in a reedbed. The crown of the males was brown, not grey.

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Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero). Northern saltworks (28.09.2003)

28.09.2003, 15:20-15:50
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Southern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, sunny.
From the northern saltworks I drove to the eastside of the southern saltworks. The road was drivable with care and ended near the sluice, which connects the saltworks with the sea. – The following bird species were observed.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
20, on the road.
Northern Wheatear (Oenánthe oenánthe, Steinschmätzer):
1, at the edge of the road.
Red-backed Shrike (Lánius collúrio, Rotrückenwürger):
1 female, at the edge of the road.
Great Grey Shrike (Lánius excubítor, Raubwürger):
1, at the edge of the road.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
5, at the edge of the road.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
35, near the beach.

28.09.2003, 16:10-17:00
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Southern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
I drove back to Burgas on the E87 and stopped once more at the hide at the west side of the saltworks. The following bird species were observed.
Eurasian Avocet (Recurviróstra avosétta, Säbelschnäbler):
300 (at least), in the shallow water of the basins.
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
8, on a sandbank.
Grey Plover (Pluviális squataróla, Kiebitzregenpfeifer):
71 (11 + 60), roosting in shallow water.
Little Gull (Larus minútus, Zwergmöwe):
3, flying.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
10, roosting on a sandbank.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
1000
, flying in large flocks.

28.09.2003, 17:00-19:10
Burgas, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
During a walk through the town, which I last visited privately in 1984, the following bird species were observed.
Collared Turtle Dove (Streptopélia decaócto, Türkentaube):
2, 1 calling in the Ulica Pop Gruju 27, 1 calling in the Ulica Car Kalojan 18.
Great Tit (Parus major, Kohlmeise):
1, calling in the park near the hotel Primorec.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
5, flying, near the Park Hotel.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
5, 3 flying, near the Park Hotel, 2 calling in the Ulica Zar Kalojan18.

29.09.2003, 10:55-12:15
Sozopol, Sozopolski zaliv, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
19 °C, sunny.
On the route to the Protected Area Poda I stopped at the Sozopol Bay and took photos of Yellow-legged Gulls, which roosted on the beach in a distance of about 100 m. – There the following bird species were observed.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
142, roosting on posts of fish traps.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
80, roosting on the beach (photos).
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
34, roosting on posts of fish traps.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
1, calling.

DSCN5471-2-50
Beach of the Sozopol Bay (Sozopolski zaliv) with roosting Yellow-legged Gulls (29.09.2003)

29.09.2003, 12:30-14:50
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, roof of the Info Centre, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
19 °C, sunny.
I stopped at the Information Centre of the Protected Area Poda. From the roof garden I observed the birds in the shallow water and took photos of the foraging waders.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
1, among several hundreds of Great Cormorants, on a barrier in the bay. I tried to make photos of this bird from the roof garden of the Information Centre. The distance was about 1000 m. The wind was strong. The photos allowed to recognize that this bird was a White Pelican and not a Dalmatian one. Its leg were red, not grey as with Dalmatian Pelican. Otherwise the quality of these photos was bad.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
500 (at least), on a barrier in the bay.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
5, in the shallow water near the information centre (photos) and at the edge of the reedbeds.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
1, flying.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor, Höckerschwan):
2 ad., swimming on the bay.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 female, gliding over the reedbeds and the bay.
Osprey (Pándion haliáëtus, Fischadler):
1, flying over the reedbeds and the bay.
Common Snipe (Galinágo gallinágo, Bekassine):
3, in the shallow water near the information centre (photos).
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
7, in the shallow water near the information centre (photos).
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnátilis, Teichwasserläufer):
1, in the shallow water near the information centre (photos).
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glaréola, Bruchwasserläufer):
3, in the shallow water near the information centre.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
20 (at least), over the bay.

DSCN5736-2-50
Information Centre of the Protected Area Poda (29.09.2003)

29.09.2003, 15:00-18:00
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, southern part, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
19 °C, sunny.
I walked again through the southern part of the protected area and along the beach. – The following bird species were observed.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
1, swimming in the bay, later roosting among several hundreds of Great Cormorants (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran) (photos from a distance of about 500 m).
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
500 (at least), on the barrier and in the bay.
Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrócorax pygmeus, Zwergscharbe):
15, on a platform in the bay.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
30, roosting in shallow water.
Little Ringed Plover (Charádrius dúbius, Flußregenpfeifer):
6, on the beach. The birds did not display a white wing bar in flight.
Caspian Tern (Sterna cáspia, Raubseeschwalbe):
2, swimming or roosting near the barrier in the bay (photos).
Yellow Wagtail (Motacílla flava, Schafstelze):
28, 18 of them roosting near the beach in the dunes, 10 flying southwards.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
5, flying.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
50
, flying.

30.09.2003, 11:00
Sozopol, Sozopolski zaliv, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
Jay (Gárrulus glandárius, Eichelhäher):
1, flying over the road.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
2, flying.

30.09.2003, 12:00-14:15
Burgas, Burgasko ezero, southeastern side, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
I parked my car at the edge of the E87, crossed the road, and looked for a gap in the reedbeds in order to have a look on the lake. This was no problem, because fishermen had access to the shore at many places. From such a place the following bird species were observed.
Great Crested Grebe (Pódiceps cristátus, Haubentaucher):
5, swimming.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
500 (at least), swimming on the lake, later 150 of them soaring over the lake (photos).
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
200 (at least), swimming or roosting on the pylons of a power line (photos).
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
10 (at least), swimming.

30.09.2003, 13:45-14:40
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Northern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
On the route to the saltworks of Pomorie I stopped once more at the vantage point for the observation of raptor migration at the northern saltwork of Lake Atanasov (Atanasovsko ezero). The following bird species were observed.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
500 (estimated), in an incalculable crowd on a dyke in the saltworks. During the observation period about 200 birds newly arrived in the saltworks.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
5 (1 + 3 + 1), migrating southwards.
Long-legged Buzzard (Búteo rúfinus, Adlerbussard):
1 of the dark morph, characterized by a white tail with a dark end bar.
Crested Lark (Galerída cristáta, Haubenlerche):
3, on the dam.
Barn Swallow (Hirúndo rústica, Rauchschwalbe):
3, migrating southwards.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
1, near the houses.

30.09.2003, 15:00-15:20
Pomorie, farmland west of the E87, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
23 °C, sunny.
I stopped about 2 km south of Pomorie on the E87, because I saw several raptors gliding over the farmland. There were also hundreds of small passerines migrating southwards.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
5, gliding over the farmland.
Long-legged Buzzard (Búteo rúfinus, Adlerbussard):
2, with red tail without terminal bar.

30.09.2003, 15:30-17:00
Pomorie, saltworks east of the E87, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
23 °C, sunny.
At the first possible access I turned from the E87 into the road at the southern end of the saltworks. I parked the car and walked along the saltpans. The following bird species were observed.
Little Grebe (Pódiceps ruficóllis, Zwergtaucher):
2, swimming.
Great Crested Grebe (Pódiceps cristátus, Haubentaucher):
2, swimming.
Black-necked Grebe (Pódiceps nigricóllis, Schwarzhalstaucher):
7, swimming in a basin.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
24, roosting on posts in a basin.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
2, at the edge of a basin.
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
4, on mud.
Ruff (Philomáchus pugnax, Kampfläufer):
4, in shallow water, with short bill, yellow legs.
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
40, in shallow water. The flying birds were characterized by a broad white trailing edge of the wings. The Spotted Redshank (Tringa erýthropus, Dunkler Wasserläufer) has no white wing bar, only a white back.
Little Gull (Larus minútus, Zwergmöwe):
8, 1 of them still in full breeding plumage with black head, roosting on mud. This bird was much smaller than Black-headed Gulls in the vicinity.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
15, in shallow water.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
7, roosting on posts in a basin or plunge-diving.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
2, flying.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
2, flying.
Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolénsis, Weidensperling):
50 (at least), in the dense vegetation at the edge of the saltworks. The males with brown head and coarsely black-spotted flanks.
Hedgehog (Erináceus europáeus, Igel):
1, run dead on the E87.

DSCN5915-2-50
Saltworks of Pomorie (30.09.2003)

30.09.2003, 17:05-17:30
Pomorie, saltworks west of the E87, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
23 °C, sunny.
The following bird species were observed in the saltworks west of the E87.
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
6, on mud.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
250, migrating southwards. Many of them bathing in the water of one of the basins.
Spanish Sparrow (Passer hispaniolénsis, Weidensperling):
40, bathing in the water of one of the basins or roosting in the dense vegetation.

30.09.2003, 17:55-18:15
Burgas, Atanasovsko ezero, Southern Saltworks, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
18 °C, dusk.
The following bird species were observed from the hide at the west side of the southern saltworks.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
1, on a barrier.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
1, on a barrier.
Shelduck (Tadórna tadórna, Brandgans):
250, swimming.
Eurasian Avocet (Recurviróstra avosétta, Säbelschnäbler):
200 (at least), in shallow water.
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
6, in the vegetation of a small sandbar.
Grey Plover (Pluviális squataróla, Kiebitzregenpfeifer):
60, on mud.
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
25, on a barrier.
Unidentified Wader (unbestimmte Limikole):
50, small waders, probably Dunlins (Calídris alpína, Alpenstrandläufer), flying off.

01.10.2003, 10:50
Burgas, Jazovir Mandra (Mandra Reservoir), District Burgas (Bulgaria)
23 °C, sunny.
On the route from Sozopol towards Burgas on the E87 the following observation was made.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
1000 (at least), soaring over the reservoir. It was not clear, whether they intended to continue their migration to the Maritza Delta in Greece, their next station on the route to Africa.

01.10.2003, 11:00-12:05
Burgas, Burgasko ezero, southeastern side, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
23 °C, sunny.
In order to stop at the southeastern side of the lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero) it is best to park the car on the edge of the E87 in the vicinity of one of the high pylons of the high-voltage power line. The southern pylons stand at the ends of accessible moles, which rise up to 50 m into the lake. From there one has a better view than from the free places in the reedbeds parallel to the E87.
Great Crested Grebe (Pódiceps cristátus, Haubentaucher):
2 (at least), swimming.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
500 (at least), swimming at the northern side of the lake.
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticórax nycticórax, Nachtreiher):
7, flying southwards over the lake. The adults were grey, one juvenile bird was still brown and displayed white spotting on the upperwings.
Unidentified Raptor (unbestimmter Greifvogel):
2, migrating southwards in great height. They could not be identified.
Common Morhen (Gallínula chlóropus, Teichralle):
1, swimming at the edge of the reedbeds.
Black Coot (Fúlica atra, Bleßralle):
500 (at least), swimming.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
300 (at least), swimming.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
20
, roosting on one of the pylons.

01.10.2003, 12:30
Burgas, Meden Rudnik, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, sunny.
On the route from the Lake Burgas to the fish ponds near Konstantinovo I passed Meden Rudnik.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
100 (at least), at the edge of the street. The males with grey crown. It seems to be necessary to check flocks of sparrows carefully, in order to identify them correctly.

01.10.2003, 13:00
Konstantinovo, Fish ponds, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, sunny.
I reached the fish ponds northeast of Konstantinovo by driving along the road 79 from Burgas towards Sredec. After about 10 km the road comes very close to the Mandra Reservoir. At this point one can see the fish ponds to the right hand. I parked the car at the edge of the road and walked about 2 km to the upper fish ponds. I visited these lakes first in July 1984. At that time I was impressed by the diversity of herons standing at the edge of these ponds (Great and Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Little Egrett, Grey Heron). Today only the lowest lake was filled with water. The upper lakes were dry. The diversity did not exist any more. – Today the following bird species were observed in the area.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
12, soaring northwards to Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero, photos).
Sparrowhawk (Accípiter nisus, Sperber):
1
female, flying low over a stubble-field.
Common Buzzard (Búteo búteo, Mäusebussard):
3, 2 gliding over farmland, 1 roosting on a post.
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
1, flying over the greater lake.
Yellow Wagtail (Motacílla flava, Schafstelze):
1, flying.
Red-backed Shrike (Lánius collúrio, Rotrückenwürger):
1 female, in shrubs.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
10 (at least), on farm- and wasteland.
House Sparrow (Passer domésticus, Haussperling):
50, on a farm.

01.10.2003, 14:30-15:00
Konstantinovo, Rusokastrenska reka, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, fair.
South of Konstantinovo the Road 79 crosses a river (Rusokastrenska reka). I drove about 3 km on the dyke at the south bank of this river. South of the dyke was marshland with huge reedbeds. The riverbed was reinforced with concrete plates. It seemed that the river was higher than the surroundings. – The following bird species were observed.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
1 male, gliding over the reedbeds.
Kestrel (Falco tinínculus, Turmfalke):
1, hovering, over the marshland.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
2, at the riverbank.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
2, near the river.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
25
, flying.

01.10.2003, 15:30-17:30
Burgas, Burgasko ezero, southwest side, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, fair.
I drove once more to the vantage point west of Gorno Ezerovo, in order to look from this side on the Lake Burgas (Burgasko ezero). – The following bird species were observed.
Little Grebe (Pódiceps ruficóllis, Zwergtaucher):
1, swimming, near the edge of the reedbeds.
White Pelican (Pelecánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan):
500 (at least). The distance was to large to count them. Still more birds arrived in long chains.
Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecánus crispus, Krauskopfpelikan):
5, swimming near the reedbeds at the vantage point. The pale iris was surrounded only by a very small area of pale bare skin. When they flew off, it could be recognized that their underwings were grey, not contrasting black and white as with White Pelicans (Pelicánus onocrotalos, Rosapelikan).
Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrócorax pygmeus, Zwergscharbe):
4, roosting or diving, near the edge of the reedbeds.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
5, near the edge of the reedbeds.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
2, near the edge of the reedbeds.
Cattle Egret (Bubúlcus ibis, Kuhreiher):
1, at the edge of the reedbeds in front of the vantage point. This bird was identified only from the photos, which I took there. Small white egret with a short yellow bill.
Common Spoonbill (Platálea leucoródia, Löffler):
1, near the edge of the reedbeds (photo).
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor, Höckerschwan):
5, 4 of them adults, 1 juvenile.
Common Teal (Anas crecca, Krickente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Mallard (Anas platyrhýnchos, Stockente):
50 (at least), swimming.
Northern Pintail (Anas acúta, Spießente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeáta, Löffelente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Common Pochard (Áythya férina, Tafelente):
100 (at least), swimming.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
2 females, at the same time, gliding over the reedbeds.
Sparrowhawk (Accípiter nisus, Sperber):
1
, in flight attacked by Starlings and Jackdaws.
Common Morhen (Gallínula chlóropus, Teichralle):
1, swimming, near the edge of the reedbeds.
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erýthropus, Dunkler Wasserläufer):
15, in shallow water.
Green Sandpiper (Tringa óchropus, Waldwasserläufer):
2, on mud. Displaying black underwings in flight.
Little Gull (Larus minútus, Zwergmöwe):
4, flying.
Common Kingfisher (Alcédo atthis, Eisvogel):
1, plunge-diving from the reed.
Barn Swallow (Hirúndo rústica, Rauchschwalbe):
25 (at least), flying over the reedbeds.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
6, flying.
Jackdaw (Corvus monédula, Dohle):
6, flying.
Hooded Crow (Corvus coróne cornix, Nebelkrähe):
1, flying, over marshland.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
100
, flying.
Chaffinch (Fringílla coelebs, Buchfink):
2, flying.

DSCN5982-2-50
View from the vantage point near Gorno Ezerovo over the Burgas Lake (Burgasko ezero) with many birds at the edge of the reedbeds (01.10.2003)

01.10.2003, 17:30-17:45
Burgas, Gorno Ezerovo, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
22 °C, fair.
On a stubble-field east of Gorno Ezerovo the following bird species were observed.
Yellow Wagtail (Motacílla flava, Schafstelze):
15 (at least), feeding on a stubble-field during their migration to the south. These birds were among about 250 White Wagtails (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze). They belonged to the subspecies M. f. flava. They had a whitish supercilium and no black marks. The upperparts were greyish-green.
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
250 (at least), feeding on a stubble-field during their migration to the south.
Jay (Gárrulus glandárius, Eichelhäher):
3, flying.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
1000
, on a stubble-field.

02.10.2003, 10:55-12:00
Sozopol, Sozopolski zaliv, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
At a protected beach in the Sozopol Bay (Sozopolski zaliv) I took once more photos of roosting Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe).
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
100, roosting on the beach.

02.10.2003, 12:35-14:00
Chengene skale, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
21 °C, sunny.
Chengene skale is a protected area at the Black Sea coast about four kilometres east of the Protected Area Poda. Coming from Sozopol on the E87 I turned right at a notice board announcing this area. On a bad track I crossed an old bridge parallel to the E87 and parked my car. From the old bridge I scanned the sands and the shallow water of the bay. – The following bird species were observed.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
39, on posts of fish traps.
Little Egret (Egrétta garzétta, Seidenreiher):
7, on mud.
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
1, in shallow water.
Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnátilis, Teichwasserläufer):
4, feeding or roosting on mud (photos).
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibúndus, Lachmöwe):
43, roosting on mud.
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis, Mittelmeermöwe):
7, roosting on mud.
Common Kingfisher (Alcédo atthis, Eisvogel):
1, hunting in the river mouth.
Blackbird (Turdus mérula, Amsel):
1, warning.
Chaffinch (Fringílla coelebs, Buchfink):
13 (10 and 3), in shrubs.

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Protected Area Chengene Skale (02.10.2003)

02.10.2003, 14:20-15:30
Dimcevo, Izvorska, District Burgas (Bulgaria)
24 °C, sunny, later overcast.
On the road 79 towards Malko Tarnovo I drove to Marinka and than to Dimcevo. Before I reached the village I arrived in the Protected Area Ustieto na Reka Izvorska (Mouth of the River Izvorska). The following bird species were observed.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrócorax carbo, Kormoran):
25, roosting on the shore of the Mandra Reservoir (Jazovir Mandra).
Common Heron (Árdea cinérea, Graureiher):
15, standing along the shore of the Mandra Reservoir (Jazovir Mandra).
Common Morhen (Gallínula chlóropus, Teichralle):
2, swimming.
Green Sandpiper (Tringa óchropus, Waldwasserläufer):
1, roosting on the shore of the Mandra Reservoir (Jazovir Mandra). Dark upperparts, white rump, underwings and upperwings black without wingbar.
Grey Wagtail (Motacílla cinérea, Gebirgsstelze):
1, at the bank of the river.
Blackbird (Turdus mérula, Amsel):
2, warning. One of the birds was also seen.
Jay (Gárrulus glandárius, Eichelhäher):
1, flying.

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Old bridge at the point where the River Izvorska flows into the Mandra Reservoir (02.10.2003)

02.10.2003, 15:50-18:50
Burgas, Protected Area Poda, southern part, District Burgas (Bulgaria) <Google Map>
24 °C, overcast, later fair.
From the roof of the information centre and during a walk in the area the following bird species were observed.
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginósus, Rohrweihe):
2 female, at the same time soaring over the reedbeds.
Osprey (Pándion haliáëtus, Fischadler):
1, roosting on a barrier in the bay (photos).
Ringed Plover (Charádrius hiatícula, Sandregenpfeifer):
5, on the beach.
Common Snipe (Galinágo gallinágo, Bekassine):
5, in cutted reed.
Redshank (Tringa tótanus, Rotschenkel):
1, in shallow water.
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glaréola, Bruchwasserläufer):
7, in shallow water.
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenária ínterpres, Steinwälzer):
1, on the beach.
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicénsis, Brandseeschwalbe):
15, roosting in shallow water (photos).
Little Tern (Sterna álbifrons, Zwergseeschwalbe):
1, roosting in shallow water, among Sandwich Terns. The difference in size is very large (photos).
White Wagtail (Motacílla alba, Bachstelze):
30 (20 + 10), migrating southwards.
Red-backed Shrike (Lánius collúrio, Rotrückenwürger):
1, in a shrub.
Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica, Elster):
7, on a post.
Starling (Sturnus vulgáris, Star):
140
(40 + 100), flying.
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calándra, Grauammer):
2, in a shrub.

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Barrier in the Burgas Bay near the beach of the Protected Area Poda (02.10.2003).

 
     
 

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