Birdwatching along the Black Sea Coast

Posted by Birdwatching Bulgaria | Posted in Birdwatching tours | Posted on 23-02-2011-05-2008

Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Sofia/ Plovdiv/ Bourgas airport. Transfer to the town of Balchik on the Northern Black Sea Coast for overnight…

Day 2. Balchik – Shabla
A short trip in the morning around the village of Kamen Briag and among the ancient tombs in the archeological reserve Yailata to enjoy different bird species. Then we head to the wetlands by the town of Shabla (Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Calandra Lark, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Lesser Grey Shrike etc.) and further to Dourankoulak Lake (Red-necked Grebe, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, Ferruginous Duck, Collared Pratincole, Stone-curlew, Whiskered Tern, Paddyfield Warbler, Calandra Lark etc.). In the evening we go back to the hotel in Balchik.

Day 3. Balchik – Dourankoulak
Today we travel to Dourankoulak Lake – wetland of international importance (Red-necked Grebe, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, Red-footed Falcon, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Kentish Plover, Lesser Grey Shrike, Calandra Lark, Tawny Pipit, Paddyfield Warbler etc.). After that the wetlands by the town of Shabla will be visited again. The yesterday’s species list will be elongated many other interesting birds – waterfowl and waders primarily (like White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Cormorants, Bewick’s Swans, Tufted Ducks, Smews, Goldeneyes, Bitterns, Sanderlings, Knots etc.).

Day 4. Balchik – Kaliakra – Bolata
Visits to Cape Kaliakra and Bolata Bay are planned today (Mediterranean race of European Shag, Mediterranean Shearwater, Stone-curlew, Alpine Swift, Rose-coloured Starling, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Tawny Pipit, Lesser Grey Shrike, Pied Wheatear, Barred and Olive-tree Warblers, Black-headed Bunting etc.). These species are all present there both by the rocky cliffs and in the unique steppe habitats on the plateau area.

Day 5. Balchik – Silistra, Srebarna lake
After a trip through the Dobroudzha fields we reach Srebarna Lake around noon. The wetland is the earthly paradise for birds, being also the most prominent reserve in Bulgaria. Situated along the Danube River it is of international importance due to its breeding inhabitants (Red-necked Grebes, Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants, Little Bittern, Squacco, Night and Purple Herons, Little and Great Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Spoonbills, Ferruginous Ducks, Pochards, Whiskered Terns and many more). Foraging White-tailed Eagles, Black Kites and Levant Sparrowhawks are the perfect addition to this community, complemented also by Ortolan Buntings, Penduline Tits, Golden Orioles and Red-backed Shrikes.

Day 6 Balchik – Goritsa – Cape Emine – Bourgas – Atanasovsko lake
In the morning we say good bye to Balchik and the Northern Black Sea coast. We travel further to South Bulgaria. On the way we visit Cape Emine and make a stop at Goritsa. Further on we will stop at Goritsa forest. The biggest attraction of the site is the Semi-collared Flycatcher. The species list there will include also Syrian, Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Golden Orioles, Spotted Flycatchers etc.The most interesting among the wetlands by Bourgas will be also visited today – the hyperhaline Atanasovsko Lake. The area is well known for its regular sightings of Slender-billed Curlew (White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorant, Night, Squacco and Purple Herons, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Yellow-legged Gull, Mediterranean Gulls, Little Terns, Whiskered Terns, Slender-billed and Collared Pratincoles, Avocet, Black-winged Stilts, Great Snipe, Curlew Sandpipers, Penduline Tit, Savi’s and Cetti’s Warblers, Black-headed Bunting etc.).

Day 7. Bourgas –Mandra and Poda lakes
Mandra and Poda lakes offers a delight of a whole new complex of species. In these important nesting places typical breeders are Great Cormorants, Night, Squacco and Purple Herons, Little Egrets, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibises, White-tailed Eagle, Yellow-legged Gulls, Little Terns, Collared Pratincoles and many wader species. Migrating or resting Pygmy Cormorants, White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Whiskered Terns, Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls are very likely to be registered. It is possible to enjoy also rarities like Slender-billed Curlews, Citrine Wagtails etc.

Day 8. Departure
Transfer to the airport and deprature.

Included in the price: ►overnight in 3-star hotels and guest house day 7 with en-suite facilities; day 7 – depending on availability accommodation with shared facilities may be available. ►halfboard (breakfast and dinner included). Ordering lunchpacks on spot is also possible. ►English speaking professional birdwatching guide ►all transport included in the price ► transfers to/from Sofia/ Bourgas or Plovdiv airport; ► entrance fees for Poda lagoon and Cape Kaliakra ►VAT and all local taxes. OBS! The price of the tour for 2-3 people is 910 EUR per person; for 4 or more – 820 Euro/person!

Not included: ►maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour), ►tips, ►alcohol drinks, ►other entrance fees and meals (lunchpacks/lunches)

Other expenses: single accommodation – 120 EUR

How to get there? please check: Wizz Air – http://wizzair.com/; Easy Jet – http://www.easyjet.com/; Germanwings – http://www.germanwings.com/; Penguin Travel – http://www.flybulgarien.dk/; Norwegian Air Shuttle – http://www.norwegian.no/, Cimber – http://www.cimber.com/; Airberlin -http://www.airberlin.com/ Ryan Air – http://www.ryanair.com

Recommended travel period of the year: April – June