We woke up at 6:30 and had a nice breakfast at the hotel in Rize. Then we drove off to Sivrikaya. Our first stop was Genesis Hotel just before Sivrikaya. There we found 5+ Green Warblers, Bullfinch, some Tits and Jays.
We then headed to Sivrikaya. We checked the slopes for Caucasian Black Grouse and rock faces for Wallcreepers, but we didn’t find any.
Then we headed towards the pass. About 1 km before the pass we stopped to check the mountains. Soon we heard a Caspian Snowcock and a little later we located 3 birds on the mountains on the other site of the valley. We even saw them flying at one point.
Suddenly Rasmus shouded “BEAR!!!” He had located a Brown Bear above the snow limit. Wow! Probably the biggest surprise of the trip so far. It was a little distant, but could be seen even with the naked eye. It was probably a big male as it seemed to walk around marking its territory.
We watched the bear for about 30 minutes as it was walking around and really put on a show. This was mammal species nr 15 for the trip – and a mammal tick for all of us.
After enjoying the bear we got something to eat and then we headed towards Samsum. On the way we stopped to look for Shags on two occasions. At the first place we only found Cormorants, Common Dolphins and Harbor Porpoise ssp. relicta, but at the second place we found 106 Shags, Harbor Porpoise and Bottle-nosed Dolphin. So 3 species of cetaceans in 30 minutes is quite ok for the Black Sea.