Passage along the coast

Posted by Birdwatching Bulgaria | Posted in notactive | Posted on 29-01-2010-05-2008

Summary
This tour is absolutely dedicated to watching migration and water-connected birds in Eastern Bulgaria. Situated along the Via Pontica flyway, these sites are of international importance for many migrating birds. After the delight of observing dense and numerous flow of storks, pelicans and great variety of birds of prey (Honey Buzzards, Montagu’s Harriers, Black Kites, Short-toed Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawks etc.) we will make a trip to the steppe areas and coastal wetlands by the Northern Black Sea coast and along the Danube River (European Shag, Stone-curlew, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Slender-billed Gull, Calandra Lark, Pied Wheatear etc.).

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival at Bourgas Airport. We will spend the next three nights here.

Day 2. We will devote the day to watching the delightful autumn migration of soaring birds using the “Via Pontica” migratory route from different watchpoints near the town of Bourgas (Atanasovsko Lake and Poda lagoon). Except for migrants (thousands of White Storks and Honey Buzzards, numerous Montagu’s Harriers and also Levant Sparrowhawks, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Black Kites, Red-footed Falcons, Lesser Spotted Eagles etc.) these are stops-over for many water connected species of birds (White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Spoonbills, Pygmy Cormorants, Little Egrets, Marsh Sandpipers, Red-necked Phalaropes and even Slender-billed Curlews!).

Day 3. In the morning we head northwards tracing the Black Sea coast where meetings with huge flocks storks, pelicans and birds of prey are expected all the time. With short stops en-route by the Pomoriisko Lake and in Goritsa forest (Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls, many species of waders, Bee-eaters, Syrian, Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Semi-collared Flycatchers, Golden Orioles) we reach Cape Kaliakra and Bolata Bay, situated among the most valuable steppe habitats in Bulgaria (European Shags (Mediterranean race), Stone-curlews, Alpine Swifts, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Tawny Pipits, Lesser Grey Shrikes, Pied Wheatears etc.). We spend the next three nights in the town of Balchik.

Day 4. After breakfast 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, Ferrugiunous Duck, Collared Pratincole, Stone-curlew, Whiskered Tern, Paddyfield Warbler, Calandra Lark etc.). In the afternoon we turn back to the town of Balchik with a short stop around the village of Kamen Briag and among the ancient tombs in the archeological reserve Yailite (European Shag, Little and Slender-billed Gulls, Pied Wheatear, Calandra and Short-toed Larks etc.).

Day 5. 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. Some of them are still most likely to be seen here (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. Later in the afternoon we go back to the town of Balchik.

Day 6. In the morning we start the return journey to the Southern Black Sea Coast, visiting en route Cape Emine (Olive-tree Warbler, Roller, Mediterranean, Slender-billed and Little Gulls etc.). Due to its location this place is perfect for watching migration of soaring migrants like storks and birds of prey. This site is also renown for its hybrids Pied Wheatear x Black-eared Wheatear. In the afternoon we reach the town of Bourgas, where some time on watching the migration will be spent again (White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Booted, Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier etc.).

Day 7. Today we continue the observations of the passage above the town of Bourgas. The migration flow depends very much on the weather conditions. Thus we have decided to separate the days, dedicated to pure migration watching, in the beginning and in the end of the trip, which should be enough for gathering remarkable sightings from the Via Pontica (White and Black Storks, Honey Buzzards, numerous Montagu’s Harriers and also Levant Sparrowhawks, Booted and Short-toed Eagles, Black Kites, Red-footed Falcons, Lesser Spotted Eagles etc.).

Day 8. Transfer to the airport for departure.

Extensions: Yes, Black Sea
This is a unique proposal, which gives you the opportunity to stay in Bulgaria for one week more at the incredibly low price! We can offer a great variety of means of accommodation – from home stays (no meals) to 2, 3 and 4-star hotels (BB or HB) on the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast:
– Sunny Beach – a big modern resort with hundreds of hotels, cafes, pubs, casinos, water-sports facilities etc.
– Nessebar, Sozopol – small towns (founded by the ancient Greeks) with picturesque Old Quarters and a specific atmosphere.
– Lozenetz – a peaceful small village with a beautiful beach. Only 4-5 km from the forests of the Strandzha Mountains where you can go walking, biking or riding horses.

Accommodation: We stay overnight in small hotels on HB (breakfast and dinner included). All rooms are equipped with private facilities. Ordering lunchpacks is also possible.

Group size: Min. 2 / Max. 12

Guide: Yes, English-speaking.
Price: € 950 per person for 2-3 persons
Price: € 870 per person for 4 or more

Single room supplement: € 100
(Ask for quotation about individuals)

The price includes: transfer from/to the airport and throughout the whole journey, guiding according program, accommodation and boarding mentioned (excluding alcohol drinks, cigarettes and other personal expenses), VAT and all local taxes.