|Little Ringed Plover|
The next day we rose to the very cold but impressive scenery of the Western Rhodoropes. First thing a couple of Sand Martins battled their way down the valley as we prepared to move into the forest. Passing a large open area we picked up a male Ring Ouzel and large numbers of Fieldfares before arriving at the Tchervenata Stena Reserve. Our task here was to try and see Hazel Grouse a notoriously difficult species to find. We stomped the forest for hours finding small numbers of birds like Willow Tit, Goldcrest and Treecreeper but none of our quarry. We also had good views of the local Red Squirrels which have no red at all but are grey and white and even black and white.
|Red Squirrel from Bulgaria|
|Tree Sparrow - a common species throughout Bulgaria|
The next morning we had a three hour drive back to Sofia Airport. We were not expecting many birds but were pleasantly surprised. Driving along a great flat plain we were heading into a gale force and very cold wind with snow showers too. We were able to pick out 3 Great White Egrets huddling with a number of Grey Herons, note one or two White Storks and Lapwings but best of all get good views of 4 Pygmy Cormorants flying alongside our minibus.