A birding tour established especially to those, who do not have much time, but who would like to see as much as possible!
Although quite intensive with a lot of traveling, we still have enough time to enjoy some of the most representative birding areas in Bulgaria. The trip starts with a visit to the Eastern Rodopi Mountains where more than 20 species of breeding birds of prey (Black, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard etc.) as well as huge variety of small passerines (Black-eared Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, Sardinian Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Masked Shrike, Sombre Tit, Cirl Bunting etc.) are most expected. Further on a special attention will be given to the wetlands by the Black Sea Coast and along the Danube River (Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibises, Purple, Night and Squacco Herons, Ferruginous Ducks etc.). However this tour remains a good choice as regards time-value-long species list!
Day 1. Arrival in Burgas
Arrival at Burgas Airport (it should be an early flight, so to provide birding time in the afternoon). The Mirrors of Burgas – the most interesting among the wetlands by Burgas will be visited in the afternoon after arrival and the next morning – the hypersaline Atanasovsko Lake and the mixed waters of Poda protected area (White and Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Night, Squacco and Purple Heron, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Yellow-legged Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Little Tern, Whiskered Tern, Slender-billed and Collared Pratincole, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Great Snipe, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Marsh, Terek and Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Little and Temminck’s Stint, Penduline Tit, Savi’s and Cetti’s Warbler, Black-headed Bunting, Greater Flamingo, etc.).
Day 2.Burgas - Durankulak
After visiting the hypersaline Pomorie Lake (Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Med Gull, Sandwich and Gull-billed Tern), around noon we continue northwards to Cape Kaliakra and Bolata Bay where the biggest and most valuable steppe habitats are still presented in Bulgaria (Mediterranean Shag, Stone Curlew, Alpine Swift, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Olive-tree Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Rose-coloured Starling, Black-headed Bunting and rarities like Rosy Starling, Spotted Cuckoo and Rufus-tailed Scrub Robin). On our way we will stop at the Dyulino Pass (Bonelli’s Warbler, Semi-collared and Spotted Flycatcher, Syrian, Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Grey Wagtail). We stay 2 nights at the most Northern Black Sea coast of Bulgaria – a lodging near the Durankulak Lake.
Day 3. Durankulak and Shabla wetlands
A short trip in the morning and a walk along the Durankulak beach will be rewarding with White-tailed Eagle, Hobby, Red-footed Falcon, Paddyfield Warbler, Purple Herron, Bearded Reeding, Penduline Tit, Common and Great Snipe, Sanderling, Little and Mediterranean Gull, Parasitic Skua, Black-necked Grebe, Caspian Tern, Marsh Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Paddyfield Warbler, Rosefinch, and all marsh terns. Then, after the marsh of Durankulak, we head to the wetlands by the town of Shabla (Levant Sparrowhawk, Bitterns, Cetti’s Warbler, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Calandra Lark, Black-winged Stilt, Little Crake, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-necked Grebe, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, Ferruginous Duck, Collared Pratincole, Stone-curlew, Whiskered Tern, Calandra Lark, River and Savi’s Warbler, etc.). In the evening we go back to the hotel in Durankulak
Day 4. Durankulak - Burgas
In the morning we head back to Burgas to check some stops en-route and the afternoon migration again at the lakes of Burgas. We spend the night by Burgas.
Day 5. Burgas – Madzharovo
In the morning we check the area around the levee of the enormous Mandra lake (White-tailed Eagle, Hobby, Levant Sparrowhawk, Cattle and Great White Egret, Squaco herron, Citrine Wagtail, Great White and Dalmation Pelican, Barred and Sardinian Warbler, Savi’s and Cetti’s Warbler) before we head to the realm of the birds of prey in Eastern Europe – the Eastern Rhodopes and the town of Madzharovo. Later in the afternoon we will have some time to enjoy the terrific view of the valley of Arda River from above (Black Stork, Griffon and Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Scops and Long-eared Owl, Blue Rock Thrush, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warbler, Cirl and Rock Bunting, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Nuthatch etc.). We spend the next two nights at the Wild Farm.
Day 6. The cliffs around Madzharovo, the meanders of Arda River and the lakes of the Eastern Rhodopes
It will be an active birding day. In the morning we take a trip to the spectacular Studen Kladenets Dam and explore its vicinity (Egyptian, Griffon and Black Vulture, Long-legged and Honey Buzzard, Short-toed and Imperial Eagle, Roller, Chukar, Corncrake, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Sombre Tit, Cirl and Rock Bunting etc.). In the afternoon we continue further to Krumovitsa River where we will be watching and hearing passerines advertising their appearance in the undulating countryside (Stone Curlew, Subalpine, Olive-tree and Olivaceous Warbler, Red-backed, Woodchat and Masked Shrike etc.).
Day 7. Madzharovo - Burgas
In the morning we depart from the Eastern Rhodope Mountains for a diverting journey to the town of Burgas on the Black Sea Coast. Our trip will pass through interesting habitats in Sakar Mountain (Lesser Kestrel, Lesser Spotted, Short-toed, and Booted Eagle, Olive-tree, Olivaceous, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian, Eastern Bonelli’s and Subalpine Warblers Red-rumped Swallow, Isabelline Wheatear, Woodchat, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike, Cirl and Black-headed Bunting etc.). By the town of Topolovgrad we will see colonies of the attractive little Suslik – the hunting subject of the Eastern Imperial Eagle. The fields nearby are also a regular feeding place for Montagu’s Harriers, Red-footed Falcons and Lesser Spotted Eagle. We spend the night in the town of Burgas.
Day 8. Departure
Depending on the time of your flight we could go for some birding around Burgas in the morning. After that you will be transferred to the airport for departure.
Links to additional information:
http://birdwatchingbulgaria.com/ - Birdwatching and birding holidays in Bulgaria