RBG_22 Jan 2016_cropped

THE RED-BREASTED GEESE IN NORTHEASTERN BULGARIA: update

23 January 2016

The Red-breasted Geese maintain steady numbers in their traditional wintering grounds in NE Bulgaria. During the goose monitoring on January 23, 2016, carried out by a team of the Wildlife Conservation Society and Neophron Tours, we established 24 430 Red-breasted Geese, of which 12 760 had roosted in Durankulak Lake and 11 760 – in Shabla lake. This is the highest number of Red-breasts recorded in the last three winter seasons in the area of the two lakes. Some 56 990 White-fronted Geese were also counted during the census. These high numbers followed a cold spell in northeastern Bulgaria prior to the count. Most of the geese were grazing in the winter crop fields not far from the two lakes providing very good conditions for field observations.

The two lakes currently host large numbers of other water birds, including Whooper Swans, Tundra Swans, Common Pochards, Red-crested Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Goldeneyes, Smew, Black-necked Grebes, Pallas’s Gulls, Caspian Gulls, Common Gulls, Great Bittern, etc.

The numbers of raptors in the area of the two lakes has also increased, following the cold spell. During the count we recorded about 30 Rough-legged Buzzards, 2 Long-legged Buzzards and more than 100 Common Buzzards, plus 5 White-tailed Eagles, 55 Marsh harriers, 18 Hen Harriers and 3 Merlins.

20160123_160323 Rough-legged Buzzard_22 Jan 2016_croppedTundra Swans_22 Jan 2016_cropped

P1140160 m

SUMMING-UP OF THE 2015 FIELD SURVEY OF THE BREEDING BIOLOGY AND MORPHOLOGY OF THE SEMI-COLLARED FLYCTACHER

By Johan Träff
This year (2015) the field research season lasted from March 20 to mid-June. During this period 220 nest-boxes allocated in five plots were used in the Goritsa Forest area in the region of Varna. The results are as follows:

  • Nestboxes – 218 boxes were used during the season (during the winter 12 had disappeared but they were replaced with new ones before the breeding started – Another two (empty) boxes disappeared during the season).

Continue Reading →

RBG_2 Jan 2016 [2]

THE COLD SPELL BROUGHT THE REDBREASTED GEESE TO THEIR TRADITIONAL WINTERING GROUNDS

After the unusually warm weather at the end of 2015, the cold spells finally reached Bulgaria with the New Year. A large number of waterfowl and other birds arrived from the north to find refuge in the northern Bulgarian Black Sea lakes Durankulak and Shabla.

During the bird census carried out by a team of the Wildlife Conservation Society on January 2, 2016, we established 6980 Red-breasted Geese (of which 5830 in Durankulak and 1150 in Shabla lake) and 2025 White-fronted geese ( 1205 in the Shabla lakes and 820 in Durankulak). We also observed 11 Greylag geese, traditionally wintering in small numbers in the two lakes. All of the observed geese had roosted on the lakes.

Continue Reading →