13 May 2011

All done

The haul: a little over 200 birds (including three ticks), 12 mammals (two 'roadkill only' but also one great big teddy bear-shaped über tick), eight or nine reptiles plus bugs and botany (with particular emphasis placed on trees this time [will Pinus nigra ever fail to raise a snigger?]).

Non-birding highlights included: yoghurt, honey and nut dessert heaven, a little four wheel drift, somebody else showing us how it should be done (and how to stand sheepishly alongside a people carrier once it's on its side in a ditch) and a woman break-dancing on the escalator at Gatwick.

The weather was the only notable downside being pretty hit and miss throughout and varying combinations of fog, rain and cold temperatures causing a few dips; however, it also meant we bumped into a steady stream of delayed migrants struggling northwards. The day before we bowled up at Durankulak and Shabla lakes a tour group had failed to locate any Paddyfield Warblers, we managed single birds at each site, presumably 'just in'.

As confident as I am that every single person on the plane offset their cheap flight to Sofia, and as innocent and blue as the sky appeared, a close look out the window would have revealed CO2 levels at 393.18 parts per million (ppm). The 'safe' upper limit for atmospheric CO2 is 350 ppm, levels have stayed higher than 350 ppm since early 1988,... I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.

And now,... the jarring car-crash of a return to this artificially green and birdless pleasant land,... cue two weeks of blaring Radiohead and snapping at the girlfriend.

PS. Thanks to Dimiter and Simeon from Neophron for putting up with three argumentative, and oftentimes sweary, Brits; whilst we weren't actually on one of their advertised tours, if you click here you can see the sort of thing they do do.

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