Twelve 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

Sunday 7th - Thursday 18th May 2017

 
This tour is specially prepared to show you the best of the Bulgarian birdlife under an optimal time schedule. You will arrive at Varna airport and thus our tour will start from the north Black sea coast where we will catch most of the northern migrants, some of them already in full breeding plumage. After it we will drive down to the south sea coast to explore the wetlands here for more migrant and breeding birds.

The second half of our tour will be spend into the mountains of south Bulgaria where the late breeders have already arrived. Our tour will end up at Vitosha Mountain, and your departure flight will be from Sofia airport. We are going to see more than 200 species, including some of the rarest European and Bulgarian specialties - Olive-tree  and Paddyfield warblers, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Isabelline and Pied wheatears, Wallcreeper, Black-headed Bunting, Long-legged Buzzard and the Levant Sparrowhawk. There will be plenty of opportunities to see butterflies, plants and magnificent scenery.
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1  
   Arrival  at  Varna  airport  and  transfer  to Shabla  lake.  Next  three  nights  we  will  accom-modate in hotel next to the lake, an excellent lo-cation  to  explore  the  area  next  two  days.  If  time permits birding around.

Day 2     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, Haw-finch and Golden Oriole.

Day 3     We devote the day 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-coloured  starlings are  also possible. At the end we will visit the nearby river valley  where we have good chance for Eagle  owls family. Back to Shabla for our last overnight here.

Day 4     After breakfast we head south. 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. Overnight just outside of Burgas for  the next four nights.

Days 5 and 6     Both  days  we  will  explore  the Burgas wetlands - Ramsar and IBA 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,  Oliva-ceous Warbler, Black Stork and many more.

Day 7     We  drive  south  to  Strandja  Mountain  looking  for  woodpeckers  -  White-backed, Grey-headed,  Middle  and  Lesser  Spotted, as  well  as  other  woodland  birds  -  treecreepers,  Cirl  Bunting,  Hawfinch.  Nightjar  is  also very  possible.  On  our  way  we  will  visit  coastal wetland  for  more  waders,  herons,  terns,  gulls, Pygmy  Cormorant,  White-tailed  Eagle,  Hobby, Garganey, Little Grebe and many others.

Day 8     Today we have long transfer to Eastern Rhodopi  mountain.  We  will  have  one  main  stop on the way - the site is optimal for Olive-tree Warbler,  Masked  Shrike,  Cirl  Bunting,  Calandra  and Short-toed  larks.  Lesser  Spotted  Eagle,  Egyptian Vulture and Black Stork are also here. Late in the evening  we  arrive  in  our  hotel  near  the  town  of Krumovgrad, where we stay the next two nights.

Day 9     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,  Chukar  and  many  others. Great Spotted Cuckoo is also possible. Late in the evening, after dinner we look for the tiny  Scops  Owl  in  the  poplar  trees  around  our hotel.

Day 10     After a breakfast we  head west  and after  about  four hours  transfer we   reach Trigrad gorge - a magnificent area,  the  best place  for watching the Wallcreeper.  We will have several stops on the way and once in the gorge we will look for the Wallcreeper. Late afternoon  walk  can  provide  Rock  Bunting, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Bulfinch , Serin and Black  Redstart . Overnight in family hotel in the village of Trigrad.

Day 11     We will spend the morning looking for  the  Wallcreepers  in  the  gorge  and  other birds  will  be  Alpine  Swift,  Grey  Wagtail,  Crag Martin,  Dipper,  Rock  Bunting,  Black  Redstart, Honey  Buzzard  and  Peregrine.  Afterwards  we drive  north  and  reach  hilly  area  next  to  the Rhodopi  Mountain  where  we  can  see  Imperial Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Stone  Curlew,  Isabelline  Wheatear,  Woodchat Shrike, Bee-eaters and many others. Late in the afternoon we drive to Vitosha mountain,  right  next  to  Sofia  city,  where  we  accommodate  in  a  hotel  situated  on  the  mountain slopes.

Day 12     In  the  morning  we  will  look  around for  Nutcracker,  Ring  Ouzel,  Water  Pipit,  Pallid Swift  and  other  birds  and  latter  on  we  drive  to Sofia Airport for your back flight. Departure.


TOUR MAP




PHOTOS

Cuckoo

   Cuckoo is very obvious in Bulgaria. Photo by Dobromir Domuschiev.

Nutcracker

    ... as well is the Nutcracker. Photo by Dennis Binda.

Paddyfield Warbler

   Paddyfield Warbler, one of the Bulgarian highlights. Photo by Emil Enchev.

Wryneck

   Wryneck is a common bird in some parts of Bulgaria. Photo by Mike Walker.

Citrine Wagtail by Dobromir Domuschiev

Citrine Wagtail by Dobromir Domuschiev