Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bulgaria: Sinemoretz to Nessebar to Krapets

June 12th through June 15th, 2011

The drive from Sinemoretz to Krapets, not actually on Google maps probably because Krapets is such a tiny seaside resort, looks something like this. For the sake of identifying our drive, Balchik is near enough and we did go to Balchick as well.  These were, without a doubt, our easiest travel days and our days of greatest leisure - all while continuing to see great birds.     

I am starting to bump up against elapsed time converging on the lapse of memory.  Fortunately, I have my photos, our itinerary and the locations of our overnight stays to remind me of trip events.

Leaving Sinemoretz we drove toward Nessebar birding along the way. We stopped at a BSPB reserve that employed a young German intern for the summer.  He'd only begun to work there and I think he was surprised to see a relatively large group of American birders invade his space.  Of course, the young man spoke flawless English.  The main reason for coming here was to have lunch on the veranda overlooking a large marsh and bay while also being able to bird from the veranda. The German intern had the spotting scope trained on a White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) on nest and he sort of shyly told us this. When Mladen heard this, he replied, "Oh come on man," and rushed to the scope.  We did see the White-tailed Eagle, but the bird on nest was a distant shimmer on the bright sunny day.  Not a great look.  It turned out to be our only White-tailed Eagle of the trip.  Here we also saw our only Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) for the trip.  Veranda birding was leisurely and we invited the German interns, another appeared also, to have lunch with us.

Moving on, we visited a series of salt flats where sea salt is made by a process where salt is extracted from the sea water.  I may be remembering this incorrectly but I believe Mladen said that Bulgaria is the largest producer of sea salt.  We saw a lot of birds at the salt pans, but without leaving the parking lot we stopped to call in a Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus).  A very cute bird that gave me only one brief opportunity for a photo and I missed.  The best I could get was a photo of its elaborate hanging nest (above).

Here is where we had our closest looks at Dalmation Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the largest pelican, size easily noted when sitting side-by-side with Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), also a very large pelican.  Unfortunately, the Dalmation Pelican was not in its spectacular breeding plumage, its intensely red-orange bill pouch having already transitioned to post-breeding yellow.

Amongst many other birds, we saw Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus), and Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei) at this location.

The salt pans were all along this area of the Black Sea coast and we drove from one to the next.  Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus ostralegus) (above) and Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), split from Snowy Plover in 2011, (below) were birds I was able to photograph at our final stop for the day.  The stilts had young and were feeding in one of the retaining ponds.  The plover, still in breeding plumage, was by itself along some sandy dikes of the holding pools where they are known to breed.  It may have arrived too late to breed - or simply was the last to depart post-breeding.  Shorebird breeding occurs much earlier here. 

The Kentish Plover did not flush as I moved closer for my photograph, but it would scuttle away and duck behind sandy mounds in an effort to hide.

We arrived in the beautiful tourist town of ancient Nessebar, a tiny peninsula and world heritage site, and checked into the Hotel Nikola.

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) is the omnipresent gull in Bulgaria.  We saw this bird everyday, even inland.  This was my only chance for a photograph taken from the balcony of my hotel room. The gulls nest on the roofs and chimneys of the houses and businesses.

The Hotel Nikola was our nicest hotel of the trip with our rooms having balconies that opened up to the Nessebar bay.  Outdoor restaurants, cafes and hotels lined the road and the tourists were from Russia, Romania, Germany and other countries nearby.  The streets and buildings of the ancient city were actually preserved behind, or in the center, of the hotels and restaurants occupying the outer ring.

Mladen on Nessebar street below hotel

We had our evening meal in the outdoor cafe and then walked around the old part of the city.  By this time it was dark so not conducive for photographs.  In the morning following breakfast in the same outdoor cafe, much quieter with all the night-reveling tourists still in bed, we loaded up the van and were off again to our next stop.  

For this part of the trip we were making short stops as we traveled up the coast so the traveling was short and we had time to enjoy each stop. The first stop was a very birdy roadside rocky ravine where we had the leisure to see many birds and I had time to photograph some.   

Isabelline Wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina)

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster)

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Booted Eagle (Aquila pennata)

Our real destination in this locale was to visit a not very thick forest with creek, meadow and pasture to call for Grey-headed Woodpecker (Picus canus).  We never did see or hear a Grey-headed Woodpecker.  A comment about woodpeckers in general; they were scarce and somewhat hard to see.  We saw the more common species like Great Spotted (Dendrocopos major), Middle Spotted (Dendrocopos medius), Lesser Spotted (Dendrocopos minor) and Syrian (Dendrocopos syriacus) woodpeckers, but not often and not many.  If only because they are white, black and red these would be most similar to our Picidae woodpeckers.  Yoav and Mladen suggested that we were just a bit too late to see woodpeckers.  They had already bred, fledged and dispersed by the time of our trip.  The link with Grey-headed Woodpecker above is a good link for all of the other woodpeckers as well.    

Our next stop was lunch at a popular cafe along a busy roadside in Goritsa.  When we stopped for lunch at a certain location there was usually a reason.  At this location it was the Semicollared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata).  A pair were feeding young in this birdhouse that was on the restaurant property.  Unfortunately, despite being quite close to these birds, I do not have a good photo to offer.  The combination of dark light beneath the broad leafed tree, movement of the leaves and movement of the birds conspired against me to get a photo that even approximated being in focus.  Earlier in the breeding season, the Semicollared Flycatcher could be seen in the deep woods across the street.  But again, this late in the breeding season, that would not be possible to find.  Of note, the Semicollared Flycatcher is a world endangered species.  We also saw Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla) in the woods across the road from the restaurant.

The 13th was really a whole day of visiting very birdy locations for passerines - my favorite kind of birding.  From here we went to the Hotel Yanitsa in Krapets on the Black Sea.  We were booked to spend three nights in this hotel - complete luxury - and from which we would take day trips after breakfast.  While there was nothing special about the rooms here, the Hotel Yanitsa had a nice restaurant, great outdoor space with tables, umbrellas and a very nice pool.   

The restaurant opened relatively late for breakfast.  Mladen asked them to push up the opening time for us and they did, but we still had time to meet at 6:30 am and bird for an hour or so around the hotel.
The Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) (with Bee-eater) above is a dreadful photo, but I finally saw the bird after only hearing it every day.  The oriole was perched far away, but I had to try - for the memory.

On my trip to England in June, 2010 every photo I attempted of European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) was dreadful.  Here I think I have a passable photo and it occurs to me its because of the bright blue sky background which I did not have for my goldfinch photo attempts in England.  We also had our best views of Linnets (Carduelis cannabina) on these morning walks

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Butterflies seen:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bulgaria: Madzharovo to Sinemoretz

June 11th - 13th, 2011

Madzharovo to Sinemoretz looks like this on Google maps.  Just look at this long drive/day!  By far, day five was our longest and hardest travel day, but it was also a big day for excellent birds.  Because it was such a long travel day, we missed out on seeing much of Sinemoretz which was our first overnight stop on the Black Sea and where we stayed at the Villa Philadelphia, owned by our American organizer, Yoav Chudnoff and his family.

Ending day four in Madzharovo we had excellent looks at Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) as one flew in particularily close to our location on the river and with cliffs behind.

The Egyptian Vulture below decided to perch on the road.

On our first night in Madzharovo, we heard Scops Owls (Otus scops) calling from the trees in the neighborhood.  After dark on our second night, we all walked down the street to call in a Scops Owl.  It took about five minutes to gain the attention of these responsive little owls.  

Starting out day five and leaving Madzharovo we found Blue Rock-Thrush (Monticola solitarius) and Cirl (Emberiza cirlus) and Rock (Emberiza cia) buntings (already described) on the rock faces nicknamed "the flintstones."  Eventually, we saw these birds well as they moved around and sang from a variety of stone perches.

Here we also saw several close perched Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) in excellent light.  Previously we had seen Griffon Vultures only in flight and quite high up.

The sign above, in cyrillic letters of the Bulgarian language, is the name of the spring, Eagles Nest.  In addition to Egyptian and Griffon vultures, this was an important area for other breeding birds of prey.

This charming White (also Pied) Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba) was present on the cliffs the whole time.  Finally it came close enough for me to get a clear photo.   White Wagtail is another bird we saw every day.

The above photo is of the beautiful Arda River gorge adjacent to the Egyptian Vulture cliffs and rock faces near Madzharovo.  

We had to hustle away from Madzharovo to see our next good bird of the trip in an area called Szilengrad about an hour drive from Madzharovo.

After a relatively leisurely walk though beautiful fields with woods scattered throughout we finally saw a bird fly and then land in a tree across a small river from us.  Levant Sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes)!  Through the spotting scope we got great looks at this bird. The manner in which it was perched, unobstructed and cooperative, allowed me to take this distant and heavily cropped, but easily identifiable photo. Mladen commented that he had never seen Levant Sparrowhawk so well as this and he has never photographed one. Though he never let on, I am sure he wished he had his camera.  I wished he had his camera.

We next drove to Shitit (yes, this is the name of the place) to see Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus).  The tiny perched bird in the photo would suggest that we did not see it well.  But, through the spotting scope this was a completely beautiful bird.  We had to chase it around a bit in a forested meadow - habitat the likes of which I have not seen in the states.  In this same location we also worked hard to see an elusive Olive-tree Warbler (Hippolais olivetorum), which we finally did see reasonably well.

Following this it was time for a late lunch and we stopped at a place that Mladen seemed to know well and the owners appeared happy to see him.  We had Bulgarian salad, sausages and french fries.  This was a completely interesting and charming place not far from the border with Turkey.

Mladen had served a tour of duty with the Bulgarian army near here. One of my regrets is that I did not pay enough attention to the places where we stopped for lunch - the names of the restaurants and, like this one, the remote town in which it was located.  Several of us wanted coffee following lunch. but giving attention to the time, we had to move on to the next good bird.

While driving on a road in need of some repair, probably some of us nodding off - especially those in the back of the van - suddenly Mladen shouted, "Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), Imperial Eagle!"  Wake up. A close, low-soaring bird flew right in front of the van and began circling low over an adjacent field.  We all emptied out of the van and this time Mladen had his camera ready.  Even with my point and shoot, I was able to fire off several photos of which the one above is probably the best.  We watched this bird until it was in the clouds.

We left the Imperial Eagle and thus began the long drive to Sinemoretz. How long?  Lloonngg.  It was a drive in which, like a bunch of kids in the backseat, we would ask, "how much longer?"  "Two hours," came the reply.  Two hours later again, "how much longer?"  Again, the reply "two hours."  You guessed it, two hours later, "how long now?"  "Two hours."  At this point, Bob asked his wife, Carli, for some ibuprofen. Carli dug around in her gold day bag and pulled out a ziplock bag of pills to hand her husband two ibuprofen.  She then casually asked if anyone else needed anything.  "Ibuprofen?"  "Antidepressant?" Everyone howled.

It turned out that the problem was really the state of disrepair of the roads requiring the van to travel very slowly.  When it came time to decide if we should take a longer route on better roads, a decision was made to take the shorter route on poor roads.  That was the clincher.

But the long ride took us through the Strandje forest.  At one point we had to stop for the obvious reason.  The forest was deep and dark.  We decided to take this opportunity to call for White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) and Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). We heard both of these birds and some saw them fleetingly.  If I had seen the Black Woodpecker the whole ordeal would have been offset. At least we heard it.  Finally, the mosquitoes began to attack and we made a hasty retreat to the van for the next two hour segment of driving.

We arrived in Sinemoretz at 10:30 pm thoroughly whipped.  We got into our rooms and then walked down the road a short distance to the Afrodite (yes, I believe this was the spelling) restaurant on the Black Sea for something small to eat.

Secondary to the long day we set a more leisurely wake-up time. Everyone woke refreshed.  After a good night's sleep it was easier to reflect upon what great birding we had the previous day despite the many hours of travel. After breakfast the guys and Carol went for a forest walk along a river, again to look for woodpeckers.  Too soon to return to the van for Carli and I, we stayed behind to walk around and explore Sinemoretz.

It was a great morning and we met a charming young couple from Slovakia who, it would not be too much of a stretch to say, spoke English better than we did.

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Butterflies and dragonflies seen:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Praise for a baby robin

Taking a break from birding in Bulgaria for the moment, I am distracted by a drama that is happening in my own backyard.

Prior to my departure for Bulgaria, I noted that a robin was nesting in my pagoda dogwood tree.  On the hottest day of the summer she sat on the nest with her beak open disipating the heat.  Occasionally, she would leave the nest to drink from the bird bath that I was keeping with daily fresh water.

I arranged for Julie Craves to take care of my cats while I was away.  I showed Julie the robin's nest and asked her to keep the bird bath water fresh.

When I returned home Saturday night I received an email from Julie saying that the baby robins had hatched.  But then on Sunday an adult robin was standing in the dogwood near the nest or on the utility wires overhead giving its mournful seep notes for a large part of the day.  On Monday morning, having taken an extra day off to recover from my trip, I awoke to robins singing.  Later in the morning, I was pulling weeds and noticed a fuzzy head move in the nest.  No adult birds were around.

I recalled all of the advice that is inevitably discussed on the birding listserves when someone finds a baby bird.  That is, the parent birds are indeed caring for the hatchling.  And, in this case, the little bird was being cared for.  Shortly after I observed feeding going on.

On Tuesday, I came home from work and checked on the nest.  It was not in the tree.  There had been a storm earlier in the morning.  I heard a baby bird call note and saw the baby robin in the baking sun on the edge of the sidewalk alongside the grass.  Both parents were on the utility wire overhead.  I have no idea how long it may have been out of the nest and in the hot son.  I found the nest on the ground under the tree.  I put the nest upright on the ground at the base of the tree and put the little bird back in the nest in the shade.  Both parents were calling their alarm clucks.

Later I sent an email to Julie Craves to tell her what had happened and what I had done.  As I was getting ready for bed I checked my email one last time and saw a reply from Julie.

"Don't leave the nest on the ground.  Put it back up in the tree with something ... !"

Of course, what was I thinking?  So at 10:00 pm I was outside in the dark tying the nest on to a low limb with some old shoelaces. Unfortunately, in the dark, I could only find a limb about two feet off the ground.  Would this actually be better?  To make matters worse it rained during the night.

This morning I checked on the bird.  I even made myself a little late for work while I took this 39 second video.  The parents are chirping in the background scolding my activities.

The baby robin was curled up in the nest with its tiny body heaving slightly from its respirations and heart beat.  

When I returned home from work this afternoon everything was still status quo.  So far so good with at least one parent nearby.  I've also seen the other parent. 

Now, even as I write this, it's raining hard again.  The nest must be sodden by now.

I've just come back from checking on the nest and the above photo is what I found.  I'll allow myself a little anthropomorphism - robins really are good parents.  If you enlarge the image you will see droplets of water on the adult bird's feathers.

A second downpour just ended and I've checked the nest a second time. Parent is chirping from the utility wire.

The baby robin is a little out of focus because it was moving as I took the photo.  Earlier I had given consideration to getting a ladder and trying to place the nest higher up in the tree.  I've decided to leave the nest where it is and keep my fingers crossed that all will be okay.  I have to work tonight and won't be home to check on it until tomorrow evening.

Thursday evening - have arrived home from work to find the hatchling in its nest.  It may be my imagination, but I think it's getting bigger.

With parent on the utility wire overhead, the nestling was peeking out of the nest at me.  

On Friday morning, before going to work the little bird in the photo below is what I found.  Definitely bigger.

Upon arrival home from work Friday evening, June 24th, the nestling became a fledgling.  Neither parents or baby were in sight. But later in the evening I heard robins in my front yard and saw one carrying food.
The other was hunting food in my next door neighbor's yard.  I think this is a good sign and I hope it's grown enough to make it.  In the photo above, I think it appears to be about the same size as the baby robin I photographed in my neighborhood in April, 2010.

But then, baby robins are tough little creatures.

June 28th update:

I was working on my computer at the table on my back patio when I heard squeaky seep or seet notes of a young robin.  After looking around a little I finally found a fledgling robin in my large maple tree.  I would be very surprised if this is not the nestling that seems to have made it as a fledging.

The bird is on a high perch and it was windy so I had difficulty getting the bird in focus.  Almost certainly, given the location of the nest, the location of where I observed the adult robin carrying food last Friday and now the location of where this bird is perched, this must be the same fledgling robin.

A great outcome that makes me happy.

Bulgaria: Buntings

For the trip we saw six species in the Emberizidae family.  The big miss was Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) which was a surprise since it seems that this bird should be common and well-distributed in many of the habitats we visited.  I saw the Reed Bunting well and often during my visit to England last June.  A key issue for the miss on this trip may be because birds nest much earlier in this southeast corner of Europe. With their nesting completed they may have already dispersed. 

Of the six species seen, three were seen only once.  The Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana) is a beautiful bird with yellow throat, a blue-gray head and rufous-colored breast which Mladen located in a high, rocky meadow.  If you google Ortolan Bunting, as I did for the above link, you will also find links that give instructions on how to prepare this tiny songbird for eating.  Many will not want to be reminded, but I include my blog link reviewing Jonathon Franzen's excellent New Yorker essay titled Emptying the Skies.     

We saw Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) once on the rocky cliffs nicknamed "the flintstones" by Mladen and Yoav near Madzharovo. This was a relatively distant view through the spotting scope in so-so lighting.

The Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) was seen through the spotting scope on our final day of birding in the meadows of another out-of-season ski resort of the Hotel Sima in the Central Balkans.  

The Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus) was seen only twice, but well each time.  The bird above was seen on our morning walk behind the Hotel Paradise in Madzharovo.  I happened upon it singing in the tree when I was actually angling for a better photo of a Turtle Dove. I called everyone else to see it and immediately abandoned my efforts with the Turtle Dove to focus on the Cirl Bunting.  The bird was quite cooperative, but, of course, the light is terrible.  Still, I think it's easy to see how attractive the Cirl Bunting is.     

Perhaps my best photo of the whole trip is of this beautiful, singing Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala).  We saw the Black-headed Bunting well and often.  Such a beautiful bird with its lemon-yellow breast and rufous patchs on the lesser coverts. 

Finally, a word about the Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) - the ubiquitous Corn Bunting.  This bird was seen and heard every day, whether in the mountains or in the lowlands, in grassy areas with scattered trees and bushes.  While traveling along in the van we heard it singing from its roadside perch through the open windows.  Whenever we stopped to look at other birds, the Corn Bunting was singing.  When eating lunch or having dinner, we heard the Corn Bunting sing.  


While I doubt I could ever forget the Corn Bunting or its song; just in case, I decided to record it.  In this 25 second video it gives two vocalizations.  Between the vocalizations you'll also hear the fluted whistle of the Golden Oriole.  At the end you'll hear another Corn Bunting. Of course, what else?

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bulgaria: Arriving in Madzharovo

June 10, 2011

Trigrad to Madzharovo looks like this on Google maps.

After our time with the Wallcreepers, we left Trigrad Gorge and proceeded down the mountain and along the rapidly moving river. We stopped for lunch of fresh trout at a very nice outdoor cafe.  After lunch we had our final chance for dippers and I tried for a view of an adult White-fronted Dipper.  Mladen found one but it was distant and by the time I had moved closer it was out of sight.  

We continued to travel on to Madzharovo driving through small villages.  It was an interesting drive with the villages offering a window into the lives of rural Bulgarians.  This was my first observation of what terrific gardners the Bulgarians are.  This would be confirmed thoughout the rest of the trip.  No matter the house - rich, medium or poor - each has a garden.  If the house is wealthier appearing it might have flowers, vegetables and fruit trees.  A lot of cherries are grown in Bulgaria.  Poor houses seemed to favor vegetable gardens. There was no such thing as wasting space to grow grass.         

Finally, in one of these villages this Little Owl (Athene noctua) was spotted perched on a chimney.  The dark coloring of this bird made it more special as this is much less common for Little Owl.  For the trip we saw two other Little Owls each with the lighter coloring. 

In the early evening we arrived at the Hotel Paradise where we stayed for two nights.  This was a relatively large, very attractive with beautiful gardens, well-maintained hotel in the middle of a completely run down village consisting of the old-style Soviet era apartment blocks.  The outdoor patio was very comfortable and the dining room was inviting. Apparently, it was also quite an expensive hotel.  For our two nights we were the only guests. Clearly the hotel was profitable, but how?

The story goes that the hotel owner's father lived and worked in the United States.  We he returned to Bulgaria with every penny he ever earned in the US, he built this hotel for his family.  In 2004, the owner (daughter) built a small Christian chapel on the hotel property to honor her parents.

We were here because this is a central location for sighting both Griffon Vulture and Egyptian Vulture amongst other birds of prey. Apparently, in April and May the hotel is fully booked with birding groups.  It turned out to be one of my favorite places to stay.     

Sometimes the food was very attractive and I'll always regret not taking a photo of the beautiful cucumber, tomato and Bulgarian cheese salads. For this Paradise Hotel breakfast, I took a photo because the egg yokes were peach colored.  The kind of chicken?  

On the first morning of our stay here we birded around the hotel and found some very nice songbirds.  The above is a Woodlark (Lullula arborea).

Following breakfast we set off for one of my favorite birding locations of the trip.

We saw White Stork every day and it all areas of the country.  Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) was seen for the first time in this remote river valley location and a few other times elsewhere.  Unlike the big, untidy nest of the White Stork stacked on someone's chimney, the Black Stork seemed for favor more remote nest locations.  Mladen later showed us a Black Stork's nest with four nestlings on a rock overhang and tucked beneath a natural ledge.  Both were spectacular birds, but of the two I think I found Black Stork more striking. 

This was our only location to see Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumayer). When we became distracted by all of the other birds we were seeing, like the Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) below, Mladen reminded us to focus on the nuthatch because this was the only place we would see it.  We saw it well.  While my photo is poor, it is still easy to see the nuthatch in the bird.  

I thought the Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispaniica) was a spectacular bird, with it's silvery head, black wings and white breast, and would have liked a better photo.  We never did see another.

Chukar (Alectoris chukar) is an introduced game bird in the United States that has established breeding populations in many western states.  But in Bulgaria it's the real deal native species.  This bird stood on its rock ledge and vocalized, unperturbed, for several minutes.

This area was also a haven for butterflies and dragonflies.  I saw a beautiful white butterfly that I could not photograph and found a large and very beautiful dragonfly which grabbed Mladen's attention as possibly an undocumented species for the area.  He ran back to the van for his camera.  Before I could ready my own camera for a photo, the dragonfly flew and we could not find it again - a disappointment for both of us.

Amongst other raptors, we saw four Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) this morning.  No matter where seen, Golden Eagle is always a thrilling bird; even Mladen gave an excited shout when he saw them.  Here a Hobby is giving chase to one of the Goldens - a dreadful photo for sure, but still an interesting image.

After a picnic lunch, Mladen successfully called out a Wryneck (Jynx torquilla) which thrilled everyone, especially when it perched for prolonged looks through the spotting scope.  The Wryneck is on the right and, though it's difficult to see,  it's sharing the bare branches with Lesser Grey (Lanius minor) and Red-backed (Lanius collurio) shrikes. 

The photo above is cropped to show a better view of the Wryneck.  Such a curious looking little bird. The Wryneck has been stuck with the woodpeckers, but I'm not sure it belongs in the Picidae family.  What do I know?

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Butterflies and other critters found these days: