Wednesday 21 May 2014

The Republic of Belarus - Part Two

Our second night in Belarus was spent in a hotel in a town called Pruzhany. We had noticed that there was some decent habitat near the hotel, so we arranged to meet outside the hotel at 05:30. As it happened not everyone was on parade at 05:30, but eventually most of the team appeared. The dawn chorus was in full swing although the raucous song of an Icterine Warbler was hardly harmonious. A Thrush Nightingale was singing loudly and un-typically it sang from an exposed branch.

Thrush Nightingale

Several Spotted Flycatchers were showing off in the sunshine and one pair was nest building. It was good to see Fieldfares nesting in the trees near the hotel as well.

Spotted Flycatcher

Our first guided birding of the day was at Sporovo Reserve, where we hoped to find Europe's rarest warbler species. We met up with a rather sun tanned chap who was wearing a modern 'Real Tree' camouflaged jacket, but he lacked binoculars. He lead us through a pine wood and out to a marsh. The marsh was quite dry, so we were able to walk out a good way. About a couple of hundred metres in front lay a reed bed. Scanning the reeds we spotted two maybe three superb Citrine Wagtails and a few Whinchats and Meadow Pipits. A Sedge Warblers keep us on our toes, but eventually our leader spotted an Aquatic Warbler in the grass in front of us. Not all of us managed to see it before it disappeared, but luckily I spotted one perched in a small tree and this one stayed in the open posing for quite a while. Another or the same one showed well in the grass to our right. For me this was one of the star birds of the trip.

Aquatic Warbler

Sporovo Village Lake was our next location and here we saw more Citrine Wagtails, but the highlight for me was watching a White-tailed Eagle pluck a large fish from the surface of the lake. Many Black, White-winged Black and Whiskered Terns were feeding over the lake plus five Little Gulls.

Whiskered Tern
We returned to the aquatic warbler site in the evening and I managed to get some video of one singing although the light was poor as the sun had gone down.

No comments:

Post a Comment