Why bird and wildlife photography in Bulgaria
As many other Eastern European countries Bulgaria is very rich in birds and wildlife, both in species and numbers. In fact, it is the richest! However, its closeness to the Mediterranean adds further to this richness. Here you can find some of the most attractive for the bird photographer European species – i.e. Hoopoe, Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Wryneck and the other European woodpeckers, Black-headed and other buntings, shrikes, Red-rumped Swallow, Hawfinch are very plentiful here and relatively easy to find. Colonies of Bee-eaters and Rollers are widespread throughout the country, especially the northern part. Species that are extremely rare of absent from England and Western Europe are also common and easy to get to. Even species that are hard to find anywhere else in Europe are possible, and even easy to photograph – Rosy Starling, Dalmatian Pelican, Wallcreeper etc.
Due to the variety of species Bulgaria offers year round photography and during the winter one can photograph Golden Eagles, Goshawk, Common and Long-legged buzzards, Raven, Dalmatian Pelicans and various birds on feeders – Grey-headed, Lesser Spotted, Middle Spotter, Syrian woodpeckers, Hawfinch and other finches, thrushes, Jay, Sombre Tit etc.
Beside the main attraction – the birdlife, Bulgaria boast the third richest butterfly fauna with 224 species, including the most attractive ones – from the Little Tiger Blue to the Apollo. Reptiles and amphibians as well as mammals ranging from the cute Suslick to the mighty Brown Bear offer even more opportunities for wildlife photography.
Habitats and landscapes are generally unspoiled and it is a great advantage that in Bulgaria you can walk and access virtually every site, even one on a private land, as long as you do not cause damages. Driving with the car you can follow every dirt road and can get again nearly everywhere which beside the access means you do not need to carry the heavy equipment for long. Driving nearly everywhere often results in quite good car window photography results as there are many bushes and hedges along the roads on which many birds – shrikes, buntings etc are perched very near. Drinking pools or simple puddles draw the birds in very successfully during Bulgaria’s hot summers.
The weather is very good, with 240 sunny days in a year and unlike many western European countries and England in particular it is not damp and wet for long periods.
Bulgaria is still relatively cheaper destination in Europe and there are now enough low costs flights from Western Eaurope and the UK which in less than 3 hours will bring you here. EasyJet, WizzAir, RyanAir all fly from UK, together with BA, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Malev, Bulgarian Air etc.
In Wild Echo we are running bird and wildlife photography tours for seven years and we have already hosted some of the top UK wildlife photographers - Mike Lane, David Tippling, Roger Tidman, Mark Sisson, Philip Mugridge, Chris Nights, Philip Newman, Dickie Ducket and many more. We also have many photographers comming from Holand, Germany, Italy, France and Belgium.
In the beginning we have started with some basic hides for Golden Eagle photography but now we have a wide range of hides of much better standard to photograph not only during the winter, but year round, including 3 hides at drinking pools.
We also have much broader knowledge now on where all the attractive species are and how to photograph them.
If you have never been to this part of the world and are tempted by what you have just read and seen in our gallery, please contact us and we will be happy to consider your preferences. You can join one of our scheduled tours, or arrange your own tailor-made itinerary, based on the period convenient for you and the species you want to concentrate on. For the latest, the species calendar provided on our website might be useful.