The Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica) became the two hundred and ninetieth bird species of the BSPB Reserve Poda

Rustic Bunting, photo: Dimitar Rusev

It is well known that October is the best month to find vagrants and other rarities in Eastern and Central Europe. This fact was confirmed on 14 October 2017, when the photographer from Burgas Dimitar Rusev pictured a Rustic Bunting (Emberiza rustica) during his another visit to the BSPB Reserve Poda, just few hundred meters from the Poda Nature Centre. Thus the numbers of the bird species of the Poda Protected Site became two hundred and ninety. Record species diversity for a site of just one square kilometer!

Inerestingly, few days before that, another individual has been recorded near Istanbul. It is obvious that an influx took place, probably from North-Eastern Europe, the closest part of the species' range. Such influxes are not unusual for Europe though in Bulgaria the Rustic Bunting has been found 5 times only, mainly in October-December and once - in April.

It is even more interesting, that the Rustic Bunting is one of the few passerine birds in Europe, which are already Globally Threatened. This species has been categorized as Vulnerable as recent data show that the global population is undergoing rapid declines. According to BirdLife international, possible factors include increased logging in the breeding range, and large-scale trapping together with agricultural intensification in the non-breeding range. With the record of this species at Poda Reserve, its Globally Threatened species has increased by one.

Finding the Rustic Bunting at Poda Protected Site is another example about the increasing role of the wildlife photographers for the Bulgarian ornithology. Presence in the Nature of many more than ever bird lovers, possibility for doubtless documentation of the records and for immediate announcement of the findings are great step forward in improving our knowledge about the birds in Bulgaria. With no doubt, the Bulgarian bird list and the bird list of the particular sites will increase much faster in future.

For more information:
BSPB Nature Conservation Centre PODA
Phone: +359 56 / 500 560
Mobile: + 359 878 252 722
E-mail: poda@bspb.org