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Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 16:35   #1
svetzool
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Sliven, Bulgaria

Hi all,
My latest experience was near the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. The region around the town holds one of the densest populations of Sousliks. You can just sit somewhere and enjoy the behavior of the sousliks, how they communicate etc., when you get tired of this just look at the sky. For sure there will be a raptor. My latest experience was getting a gripping view of 7 Eastern Imperial Eagles. Later, I observed from a close distance how an Imperial chased a Peregrine Falcon and succeeded to take its pray ( some kind of rodent). I also observed Long-legged Buzzards in the area and on the top of everything I had the unique luck of spotting a Marbled Polecat chasing and capturing one poor Souslik. If there is life after death I don't want to become a souslik :)
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 16:37   #2
CJW
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Sorry for my ignorance, svetzool, but what is a souslik? I'll keep my eyes open for them in September during my visit to your country.
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 16:53   #3
Steve G
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I think Sousliks are a smallish ground-squirrel, a sort of eurasian Prairie-dog. Their chief function is as "fast-food" for Eastern Imperial & Steppe Eagles & especially Saker.
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2004, 17:00   #4
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Righto, thanks Steve. Found them on 'Google'.
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Old Thursday 27th May 2004, 13:30   #5
Michael Frankis
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But if you are a Souslik, then there's life after death for certain - as an Imperial Eagle, and that's much better!

Steve - they're more like a Chipmunk, than a Prarie-dog (they're much bigger, as big as a Rabbit, but related to Marmots)

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Old Monday 31st May 2004, 06:19   #6
svetzool
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Sousliks are like ground squirrel, they have the size of a rat, live in burrows and hybernate during the winter. The are related to marmots. Chris if you are near Sliven the chances of seeing them is about 99.9%.
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Old Monday 31st May 2004, 11:48   #7
Steve Lister
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We are just back from a birding trip to Bulgaria - only saw one live Souslik though, near Lake Durankulak. One dead on a road too. 217 species of birds in 14 days was good for Europe, and we were too late for much in the way of migration.

A great country for birding, and very generous people: my wife and I came back with three bottles of rakia (local brandy), a bottle of wine, two varieties of the local tobacco, crochet work, cookery books, maps, butterfly guides, herbs, and even a big lump of sea-salt, all given to us as gifts during our trip.

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