The sounds of Shipka

This week I have been focussing on bird-sounds. I have been listening to them on previous days but it seems like every day of this week there was something new to hear.

My focus started last Saturday night. We were coming back from a gig in a nearby small city, Stara Zagora. The outing was quite an event in itself, can’t remember the last time I was stuck in a small smoky underground “club”, listening to a band, watching the young (and not so young!) jump around to the songs of Oratnitza (very enjoyable and !). It was 1am when we got back to our house and we could hear the most beautiful song coming from a nearby tree. Yes, it was a Nightingale! A great song to get lulled to sleep.

Then on Sunday we went for a day trip to a nearby lake, Koprinka. From our group of four, two were very keen for a dip so we went round the reservoir to a more “hidden” area as strictly speaking no one is allowed to go for a swim there (but obviously we met quite a few people who were in the water!). It was a hot, sunny day and the air was still. As I sat by the water (not warm enough for me to go for a swim!) I heard this cuckoo call from across the lake and after a while another one reply from the forest behind us. This went on for a while and I tried to record this magic atmosphere with my phone. Unfortunately, my phone is not such a great sound recording device plus I would need to subscribe to wordpress to upload videos anyway so you will have to be contented with the panoramic image above and imagine the cuckoo sounds going across the lake!

When we were about to leave, we heard Hoopoes in the forest and I managed to see one! Very exciting after such a long time since I had seen one in Spain!

The work week was enriched with many spring bird songs. We shovelled manure and mulched the plant beds with hay whilst listening to Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, Corn buntings, Skylarks, Mistle and Song Thrushes, Great tits, Blackcaps, …and  I’m quite sure I also heard some passing Bee-eaters !  (just had a peek at Peter Alfrey’s blog, according to him there are also the following song birds in the area: Cirl buntings, Woodlarks, Tree Pipits and Yellowhammers).

The star addition to this repertoire was the Golden oriole, another long-time-no-see bird! I’ve included below a few videos of my favourite ones. You can hear more great bird-songs on






2 thoughts on “The sounds of Shipka”

  1. Fantastic Ute. The dawn chorus must be amazing there. I’m going on one next weekend. Not looking forward to getting up so early but it’s usually worth it! Great blog xxx


    1. Thanks Marian! I’m trying to organise a dawn chorus for our little group of people here, found a new bird id app to assist me: ornithopedia europe. Hope you get good weather for it! xxx


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