Bulgaria Travel Diary - p 3
1 June 2012
A slow day in a valley below the Balkans, with
no luck photographing a Wryneck, cousin to woodpeckers, or Isabelline Wheatear, abundant
in the pastures where cattle graze.
As the day ends, we trek up a hillside to poplars where Great-spotted
Woodpeckers are nesting. Both the male and female are diligently feeding chicks.
We photograph in dull light until finally chased back to our van by rainshowers.
We have had a downpour every day except one, so the woodpeckers are to be commended
for having the foresight to chisel out their nest hole on the underside of the tree trunk.
|2 June 2012
But today brings a sunny morning. Duncan
and I are ending the tour as we began, photographing bee-eaters from a hide. This
time we're in a pasture above the clay bank where the birds are nesting. By the
greatest of good fortune, a bare limb hangs out over the top of the bank, providing an
ideal perch some 12 m from our blind.
This seems to be the courtship period for our Bulgarian birds.
The male lands on the limb with a tasty bee for the female.
||Among bee-eaters, nothing
seems to fan the flames of amour so much as an insect affectionately presented by
the male. According to Mike, this love offering was a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.
|We finish our last day of
photography at the garden hide. The Great Tit is widespread in Britain and Europe
and so not eagerly sought by our group. Except for me. I have a fondness for
all the parids, including our chickadees and titmice in the US.
||3 June 2012
My last shot of the photo tour
yesterday was a Greenfinch posing of course on a stick.
Today we returned to Ruse, where driver Atanas Rusev took us across the
Danube and on to Bucharest. He delivered Elizabeth, MIke, and Duncan to the airport;
then, drove me to the comtemporary, you might even say avant-garde Hotel
Christina, rated as the top hotel in Bucharest by Tripadvisor. Here I will spend the
night before my long flights home. I relax on their private patio, enjoying
complimentary wine and cheese as I look over my bird photos, proof positive that Bulgaria