Bulgaria in spring
A classic birdwatching tour to the best birding hot spots of Bulgaria
Set in the ideal time of the year to get all the local and migrant specialities, combined with beautiful scenery and comfortable accommodation.
The tour start in the South west of Bulgaria, where we can get most of the mountain species, then we move to the raptor country of The Eastern Rhodopi and at the second half of the tour we go to the Black sea coast to get the best of the passerines and migrating waders.
Spring is one of the best times to visit Bulgaria as the bird life is most lively and numerous, most of the birds are in their breeding plumage and along with local breeders, we have the chance to see many migrants using the Black sea flyway. Some of the highlights include: Black-headed Bunting, Olive-tree Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, Wallcreeper, Levant Sparrowhawk , Red-footed Falcon, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Pied and Isabeline Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Pigmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican and many more.
Day 1 Arrive in Sofia and transfer to Trigrad gorge. Located in the hearth of Rhodopi mountains, the small town of Trigrad is one of the most remote and picturesque towns of Bulgaria and one of the best places in Europe to see Wallcreeper .
Day 2 Day spent in the local gorge, looking for Wallcreepers and then a walk in the area to look for some of the typical local avifauna – Black Woodpecker, Crested Tit, Hazel Grouse, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Bunting, Bulfinch, Sombre Tit and Nutcracker .
Day 3 We head east to the raptor country around Madzharovo – one of the most amazing volcanic landscapes in the area. We will do several stops on the way to get the most out of the journey and to discover more mountain birds. Crossbill, Dipper, Alpine Swifts, Black Redstart, Crested and Willow tits, Grey Wagtail, Water Pipit, Nutcracker.
Day 4 Today we’ll visit the local BSPB (Bulgarian society for protection of birds) activities in the area and go to the vulture feeding station for close encounters of Egyptian, Griffon and sometimes Black Vultures, plus numerous other birds of prey – Golden Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, Lesser-spotted Eagle, Long-legged and Honey Buzzard, Hobby, Peregrine Falcon.
Day 5 One more day in the area, to get the rest of the local specialties – Olive-tree Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sombre Tit, Black-eared Wheatear, Chuckar , Black Btork, Blue and Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch, Cirl and Ortolan Bunting.
Day 6 Today we make our way to the Black sea coast, through the hills of Sakar – one of the best places for Imperial Eagle and Montagu Harrier. Other possible birds are - Olive-tree and Orphean Warbler, Masked Shrike, Lesser-grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Cirl, Ortolan and Black-headed Bunting and Sombre Tit.
Day 7 Today we’ll explore Burgas Wetlands complex – a system of protected natural lakes and reservoirs, conveniently situated on the Black sea flyway, making it one of the best places for birdwatching in Bulgaria. Possible species – White-tailed eagle, Collared Pratincole , Bearded and Penduline tit, Several Marsh Terns, Gull-billed tern, Little, and Slender-bill Gulls, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis and various waders and waterfowl.
Day 8 One more day in the area, visiting local salt works and lagoons to check for waders on the move and later exploring inland for Ruddy Shelduck, Isabeline Wheatear, Glossy Ibis, Black Stork.
Overnight in Burgas
Day 9 Today we’ll go north, stopping in the wooded hills of the Balkan range to check for several woodland specialties - Lesser and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Grey-headed and Green woodpecker, Short-toed and Common Treecreeper, Semi-collared flycatcher and Sombre tit.
Day 10 A Day spent in the area of Cape Kaliakra – one of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria. The thin cape is protruding into the Northern Black sea, making it important stopover for passing birds. Here we’ll look for the local Pied Wheatears, Red-breasted Flycatcher, various migrating warblers, the local Meditarenian ssp. of Shag. Often the sky above is filled with Red-footed Falcons and Levant Sparrowhawks on the move. At the tip of the cape we’ll stop for some quality sea watch, keeping an eye for Yelkouan Shearwaters, Black-throated and Red-throated Divers and various gulls and terns. In the afternoon we’ll explore a small valley nearby, looking for Olive-tree and Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Woodpeckers, Black-necked and Little Greebes, Bee-eaters and Rollers and possibly an Eagle owl.
Day 11 Today we’ll drive towards the Romanian border and the protected Durankulak and Shabla lakes to check for Paddyfield Warbler as well as Savi’s, Cetti’s, Great Reed and Reed Warblers, Feruginous Ducks, Garganey, Black and White-winged Terns, Caspian Tern, Little Tern, Purple Heron, Squacco and Night Heron, Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Black-necked grebe.
On the way back we’ll check the steppes north of Kavarna for Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Stone Curlew, Golden Plovers, Rollers and Bee-eaters, Long-legged Buzzard and Lesser-grey Shrike.
Day 12 Fly back home from Varna International Airport.
Best period: April - June
Group size: 3 - 6
Cost: 1350 Euro