The Russian Black Sea
Map showing the
The job was an inshore survey of two lines crossing the
Black Sea from near Samsun in Turkey over to Russia. We stayed in a
hotel onshore in the Russian holiday town of Arkipo Osipovka
- a couple of hours drive from Krashnodar. We worked days on a small
survey vessel, travelling to and from this vessel in a Rib.
More links to other pages covering birding the Black Sea:
Spring was just
starting as we
arrived - most of the trees turned green during our stay in the area.
Bird migration was obviously well underway.
One of the
commonest birds on the sea was Black-necked Grebe - with flocks of more
than 20 seen at times. They were often quite vocal and were obviously
getting prepared for the breeding season. Other grebe species seen were
Great-crested Grebe (common) and a single Red-necked Grebe.
Grebe were very common
Gargany were the
most numerous duck identified - some large flocks
passed during the first few days of the job. Other duck species
included Mallard and Teal. A party of eight Mute Swans rested on the
sea briefly one day.
flocks of Gargany were seen during the first few days of the job
This picture shows just a small part of a flock of Gargany - obviously
A flock of Little
Egrets flying along the coast - with the cliffs as a spectacular
backdrop, April 2012
chasing Meditteranean Gull, Black Sea, April 2012
on picture for more
Arctic Skua images
For some reason I
had not expected
seabirds such as Black-throated
Diver or Arctic Skua. The former was quite common with several seen on
some days. Arctic Skua showed just twice - and I think this is the
first time I have seen them pursuing Mediterranean Gulls.
Diver taking off beside a Red-necked Grebe, April
were seen in some
numbers on a few occasions but only
a single Caspian Tern was seen.
Gull-billed Terns, Russian
Black Sea, April
Herons and egrets
were a common
sight, both overhead and on the shore.
By far the most numerous was Little Egret with large flocks passing
regularly. The next most numerous was Night Heron - singles or small
flocks were seen pretty much daily. Purple Herons, Grey Heron and
Squacco Heron were less common.
of a flock of migrating Little Egrets, April 2012
on picture for more images of Little Egret
Gulls were common - living up to their
much better suited Norwegian name "svartehavsmåke" which
Black Sea Gull
Flock of migrating