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Explorer2000 - Birdwatching Bulgaria in Spring

Bulgaria in Spring  - Classic birding Tour

12 days birdwatching tour - Best period: April - May 2021

A classic birdwatching tour to the best birding hot spots of Bulgaria 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 Southwest of Bulgaria, where we can get most of the mountain species, then we move to the raptor country in 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, 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: Eastern Imperial eagle, 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. 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: Trigrad. Day spent in the local gorge, looking for a Wallcreeper 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, Serin and Nutcracker .

Day 3: Trigrad – Madzharovo. We head east to the raptor country around Madzharovo – one of the most amazing volcanic landscapes in the country.  We will do several stops on the way for last chance to see more mountain birds - Dipper, Alpine swifts, Black redstart, Crested tit, Nutcracker.

Day 4:  Madzharovo. Today we’ll visit the local BSPB (Bulgarian society for protection of birds) activities in the area and go to their 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:  Madzharovo. One more day in the area, to get the rest of the local specialities – Olive-tree warbler, Eastern bonelli’s warbler, Orphean warbler, Subalpine warbler, Sombre tit, Black-eared wheatear, Chuckar , Black stork, Blue and Rock thrush, Rock nuthatch, Cirl and Ortolan Bunting.

Day 6:  Madzharovo – Burgas. 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’s harrier. Other possible birds are - Olive-tree warbler and Masked Shrike, Lesser grey shrike, Cirl Bunting and Sombre tit

Day 7:   Burgas wetlands. 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,  Marsh terns, Gull-billed tern, Little, and Slender-bill gulls, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis and various waders and waterfowl.

Day 8: Pomorie lake. One more day in the area, visiting local salt works to check for waders on the move and later exploring inland for Ruddy shelduck, Isabeline wheatear, Glossy Ibis, Black stork.

Day 9:  Burgas – Kavarna. Today we’ll  go north, stopping in the woods of the Balkan range to check for Lesser and Middle Spotted woodpeckers, Grey headed and Green woodpecker, Short-toed treecreeper, Semi-collared flycatcher and Sombre tit.

Day 10: Cape Kaliakra.  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 warblers, the local Meditarenian ssp. of  Shags. Often the sky above is full Red-footed falcons and Levant sparrow hawks on the move. At the tip of the cape we’ll do some sea watching, keeping an eye for Shearwaters, Black and Red-throated divers and Caspian, Little and Slender-billed gulls. In the afternoon we’ll explore a small valley to the north of the cape, looking for Olive-tree and Olivaceous warbler, Lesser and Middle-spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers and possibly an Eagle owl.

Day 11:  Durankulak. Today we’ll drive towards the Romanian border and Durankulak and Shabla lakes  to check for  Paddyfield , Savi’s,  Cetti’s, Great reed and Reed warblers, Feruginous ducks, Garganey, Black and White-winged terns, Caspian tern, Little tern, Purple heron, Squacco heron, 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.

Day 12: Fly back home from Varna International Airport.

Wallcreeper at Trigrad gorge

Wallcreeper at Trigrad gorge

Olive-tree warbler

Olive-tree warbler at Arda valley

Egyptian vulture

Egyptian vulture at Madzharovo

Pigmy cormorant

Pigmy cormorant at Poda

Pied wheatear at Cape Kaliakra

Pied wheatear at Cape Kaliakra