Thirteen days holiday exploring the prime birds' habitats in Bulgaria and allows you to see over 200 bird species including the South-east European specialties

Bulgaria in Spring

Wednesday 4th - Monday 16th May 2022

This tour is specially prepared to show you the best of the Bulgarian birdlife under an optimal time schedule. You will arrive at Sofia airport and together will visit some of the most emblematic places in Bulgaria пїЅ Black Sea`s coast, deep beech forests in high mountain, amazing gorges, open areas. Our purpose is to see more than 200 species of birds, some butterflies, dragonflies, mammals and flowers.
Our tour will start from the magnificent Rhodopes Mountain. We will star from the deep Trigrad Gorge, an emblematic spot for the Wallcreeper. After that will cross the Rhodopes Mountain for more high mountain species as Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel, Hazel Grouse, Woodlark and more. Follow the Eastern Rhodopes, where we will find ourselves in the kingdom of birds of prey пїЅ vulture (Black, Griffon and Egyptian), Golden Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Booted and Short-toed eagles, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Black Kite, EleonoraпїЅs Falcon and more. Mediterranean influence will bring us observations of southern species пїЅ Chukar, Masked Shrike, Olive-tree Warbler, Bonelli`s Warbler, Common Rock and Blue Rock Thrush and more. After Rhodopes we will move on the Southern Black Sea`s coast. We will explore wetlands and forests along the shore. Salt- and freshwater lakes, lagoons, dams will bring us many rare species as Ruddy Shelduck, Terek and Broad-billed sandpipers, Little Bittern, terns, waders, curlews. The spring migration in this time of the year is really strong. Over this part of Bulgaria passing Via Pontica migration route of the birds. Thousands of birds crossing the area on the road to breeding sites пїЅ Red-footed Falcons, White and Black storks, Dalmatian and White pelicans, Levant Sparrowhawk, Honey Buzzard, Rollers, Common Bee-eater and more. We continue on north along the shore to Kaliankra Cape and Shabla and Durankulak lakes. Here we will see typical steppe species and some marsh species пїЅ Stone Curlew, Eagle Owl, Isabelline and Pied wheatears, Shag, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Black-headed and Corn Bunting, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Paddyfield Warbler. Our holiday will be finish again in the mountain пїЅ vicinities of the village of Ribaritsa in Central Balkan Mountain. There we`ll visit deep and really old-growth beech forests where we`ll found a White-backed and Grey-headed woodpeckers, Ural and Tawny owls, Semi-collared and Red-breasted flycatchers, and more. In all of the days we have opportunities for many other non-bird species пїЅ Golden Jackal, Red Fox, Otter, Souslik, butterflies, dragonflies and flowers.

 
ITINERARY

Day 1
Arrival at Sofia airport. Next long transfer (3 hours) to village of Trigrad, Rhodopes Mountain. We will stop on the Besapari hills (hour and a half driving from Sofia) in steppe-likes and quarry habitats for Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Little Owl, Stone Curlew, Montague`s Harrier, Buntings (Corn, Black-headed, Ortolan), Northern and Isabelline wheatears, Red-backed and Woodchat shrikes, Long-legged Buzzard and more. Accommodation in family hotel in the village of Trigrad for 2 nights.

Day 2 All day we`ll explore the Trigrad Gorge and vicinities. It`s a magnificent area, the best place for watching the Wallcreeper. Late afternoon walk can provide Rock Bunting, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Bulfinch, Serin and Black Redstart, Black Woodpecker, Alpine Swift, Grey Wagtail, Crag Martin, Dipper, Honey Buzzard and Peregrine. Some early orchids are possible - Green-winged Orchid, Three-toothed Orchid, Monkey Orchid, some butterflies. Second night in the village of Trigrad.

Day 3 After early breakfast we drive all day to our next location пїЅ town of Krumovgrad. Along the road we have one main stop on the Pamporovo winter resort. Here will find some species as Nutcracker, Pygmy Owl, Stonechat, Tree Pipit, Woodlark, Ring Ouzel, Crossbill, Serin, Crested Tit and more. Late in the evening we arrive in our hotel near the town of Krumovgrad, where we stay the next three nights.

Days 4 and 5 We will explore the nearby Krumovitsa river valley and here we will enjoy Rock Nuthatch, Orphean, Sardinian and Olive-tree Warblers, Nightingale, Black Stork, Levant Sparrowhawk, Black-eared Wheatear (both western and eastern races), Wryneck, Roller, Rock and Blue Rock Thrushes, Long-legged Buzzard, Chukar, vultures (Egyptian, Black and Griffon), Masked Shrike, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and many others. Great Spotted Cuckoo and Eleonora`s Falcon are also possible. Late in the evening, after dinner we look for the tiny Scops Owl in the poplar trees around our hotel.

Day 6 After breakfast we drive east to Sakar Mountain (2 hours). We will explorer valley of Tundzha River for many species пїЅ Masked Shrike, Cirl Bunting, Woodpecker (Black, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Syrian), Wryneck, Short-toed Lark, Imperial Eagle, Black Stork, Garganey, Ruddy Shelduck, Roller, Common Bee-eater, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Booted Eagle, Montague`s Harrier, Levant Sparrowhawk, Honey Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Hobby, Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Olive-tree Warbler, Eastern Bonelli`s Warbler, Flycatchers (Semi-collared, Collared, Red-breasted, Grey), Golden Oriole, Hoopoe and many more. Overnight for one night in to the town of Topolovgrad. After dinner we can do short drive in the mountain to explorer for singing Tawny Owl and Nightjar.

Days 7 and 8 After early breakfast we drive east to Burgas. Both days we will explore the Burgas wetlands - Ramsar and IBAs sites. Here we can observe Terek, Broad-billed, Wood, Marsh and Curlew Sandpipers, Red-necked Phalarope, Little and Temminck's stints, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Gull-billed, Black, White-winged and Whiskered terns, Mediterranean and Slender-billed Gulls; Ruddy Shelduck, Little Bittern, Penduline Tit and Bearded Reedling, Olivaceous Warbler, Black Stork and many more. Overnight in the town of Pomorie for the next two nights.

Day 9 After breakfast we head north. We will have several stops on the way mainly in forest habitat where we can see several species of woodpeckers as well as Semi-collared Flycatcher, Wood and Boneli's Warblers, Booted and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Short-toed Treecreeper, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch and many more. We devote the afternoon to the area around cape Kaliakra - the last remaining steppe habitat in Bulgaria. It is a place for Pied Wheatear, Roller, Short-toed and Calandra Larks, Black-headed Bunting, Stone Curlew, Long-legged Buzzard and Shag. Here we can enjoy the last migrating Red-footed Falcons, flying just around us. Despite a bit early in the season Rose-colored Starlings and Yelkouan Shearwater are also possible. At the end we will visit the nearby river valley where we have good chance for Eagle owl`s family. Next two nights we will accommodate in family hotel in the village of Balgarevo, excellent location to explore the area.

Day 10 Today we will explore both Durankulak and Shabla lakes at our leisure. Here we can see Paddyfield, Savi's, Great Reed, Marsh, Reed, Cetti's and other Warblers, Caspian, Marsh and Little Terns, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Ferruginous Duck, Squacco Heron, Lesser Grey Shrike, Bearded Reedling, waders, Garganey and many more. Forests around the lakes will provide Lesser Spotted and Syrian Woodpeckers, Spotted and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Hawfinch and Golden Oriole.

Day 11 All day transfer to our last location пїЅ village of Ribaritsa, in the vicinities of пїЅCentral BalkanпїЅ National Park. Some stops along the road. пїЅCentral BalkanпїЅ National Park is a part from UNESCO and is popular with a deep and old-growth beech forests. Many endangered and rare species can be found in the region. After sunset we will visit the best place for Ural Owl in Bulgaria. Accommodation in the village of Ribaritsa for two nights.

Day 12 All day will explore the vicinities of the National Park. Our highlight species are White-backed Woodpecker, Ural Owl, Rock Partridge, Alpine Accentor and Horned Lark. Many other species can be seen here пїЅ Stonechat, Whinchat, Golden Eagle, Hazel Grouse, Wood Warbler, Woodlark, Water Pipit, Tree Pipit, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel and more. Last night in Ribaritsa.

Day 13 Drive to Sofia airport. Departure.

TOUR MAP

Photo and video gallery

Bulgaria in Spring

Bulgaria in Spring

Bulgaria in Spring tour gallery