Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Raptors were one of the main reasons for the survey as the SAKAR IBA is one of the best places in BG to see Imperial Eagle (which I was lucky enough to see on the April visit) and Saker Falcon - which I didn't see!!

Unfortunately no pics of the Imperial Eagle which we saw miles and miles away from site. All the books say - find European Ground Squirrel and you will find the Eagle. We only found one colony of Ground Squirrel and we only found one Imperial Eagle - its nice when nature actually reads the book!!

Both visits were very raptor-tastic with 11 raptors seen over the two visits. All were seen on both visits with the exception of Imperial Eagle (Visit 1 only) and Honey Buzzard (Visit 2 only).

Raptors seen included -
  • European Honey Buzzard
  • Black Kite
  • Hen Harrier (passage only - very rare breeding bird in BG)
  • Montagu's Harrier
  • Common Buzzard
  • Long-legged Buzzard
  • Lesser-spotted Eagle
  • Booted Eagle
  • Short-toed (Snake) Eagle
  • Red-footed Falcon
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Common Kestrel (on way from Sofia to the site - number 12!!!)

Montagu's Harrier definitely breed locally - we had one male fly very close to the vehicle when away from the survey area. Adult male with carrying nesting material and he landed about 10 metres away from the 4x4. Amazing views which were followed by cries of 'Quick get the cameras out!!' Frantic scrabbling ensued however to no avail. Once we were all set up ready to go a Black Kite came through spotted Monsieur Monti's and mobbed him - this was brilliant! Male Monti's being attacked by Black Kite - both in the air having a go. Well no photos but got some great images in my head! Here's a Black Kite from Visit 2 -

Best BOP of the two trips (well apart from the adult Imperial Eagle) has to have been these -

Honey Buzzard - which embarrassingly was a lifer for me - always been in the wrong place at the wrong time in the UK for these. Have even been to know breeding locations in the UK - Norfolk but before spotting them someones pager has always gone off and we were away to go twitching! Best was for Blue Rock Thrush in Hemel Hempsted which of course turned out to be an escaped cage bird. From Norfolk to the M1 and then ending up at Staines Reservoir - what a day!

Locally breeding we think -pale phase Booted Eagle - seen on both visits.
That's it for raptor pictures however good raptor spotting - need another trip but this time in Autumn migration.

1 comment:

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