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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Nature

It might have been noticed by some that we are very keen on the natural world. We have both worked with animals for a fair chunk of our lives and like to photograph all sorts of living things. So this post is just that, ramblings and photos of minor wild stuff here in Bulgaria.

The first thing to say is that we now believe the local pine martens are coming into the garden, meaning I am nagging Dave not to let the chickens out if he gets up before me, as he occasionally does. It was one thing letting them out in the dark on a housing estate in North Wales, but they must be more patient here if they don't want to be breakfast for a marten or fox. Those with a weak stomach look away now!
Today we went out early to the river, minus the dogs, to enjoy the wildlife. I know the dogs love to come, but they also want to be in the river all the time so are always having to be watched and called. Obviously they can't be put in the car out of the way either, so are better snoozing at home after a walk in the village.


Little owl in the garden





The first thing we came across was a roller on a wire. The sky was still dull at this time so he was a bit fluffed up and the photo was slightly blurred, but lovely to see just outside the village.
The wild flowers near the river are still doing really well. We expected them to be all but over with the sort of heat we have been having, but I suppose the storms have had one good result.


 Pink thistle
 This little clematis was stunning, I would happily have one in my garden.

 I don't know what this is, but there was a lot of it.
 Yellow thistley thing, lovely
 The smallest daisy I have seen, but tall.
 Egg and bacon
There were some nice spiders, this one, with his dinner, was over a centimetre in body length.
 This one is handsome
Baby snail

 Really cute caterpillar
I have always wanted a robinia tree, they really light up a garden. But good sized ones are expensive. They grow wild here, everywhere.
 Plums in all shades of red, yellow and purple.


Masses of damsel flies. The air was thick with them


There are loads of butterflies in Bulgaria,



I wish they would play ball and pose with their wings open, so we can see their lovely colours. The one above was bright blue.

The birds are diverse, and there are loads of bright yellow orioles, but most are hard to catch on camera. But we will make do with these. First, a heron.
 Woodpecker
 Dave went over the river as there were birds out of range making a heck of a din. His curiosity got the better of him....that and the urge to get in the water again!
 And this is what he found. A breeding colony of beautiful bee-eaters. we have been trying to find theses to photograph for years on Greek holidays. Unfortunately I will never make it across the river, so Dave took lots of pics.

 And a stork.
 Fresh water mussel. Not sure if this means there are otters about.
 And this is what I got when Dave went off to fetch the car, which we had left up river. I have only ever seen them flash past, so this was a real treat. It was a way off so the photo isn't very sharp. But I watched at least three fishing without being able to get photos. Dave was jealous of this, so we are evens now.
Sorry about the picture overload.

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