The migration along Via Pontica flyway is a performance, attracting birdwatchers from all over the world each year! Be a part of it!
Lying over two of the biggest migratory routes in Europe (Via Pontica and Via Aristotelis), the territory of Bulgaria is an important stop-over for many migrating and wandering birds during this season. The Black Sea coastal wetlands (lakes and lagoons) provide some of the best conditions for watching thousands of soaring migrants! Huge flocks, comprising hundreds and thousands White Storks, White Pelicans and Honey Buzzards could be seen per one day only along with many other birds of prey like Montagu’s Harriers, Black Kites, Short-toed Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawks etc. Additional tour will be performed through the mountains of Strandja and Sakar to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains which is a breeding site of international importance for some of these species.
Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Burgas Airport. Overnight in Burgas is arranged for the next two nights.
Day 2. Atanasovsko Lake and Poda lagoon
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 Burgas (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, Greenshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Marsh, Terek and Broad-billed Sandpiper, Little and Temminck’s Stint , Zitting Cisticolla.
Day 3. Burgas - Durankulak
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 (Slender-billed and Mediterranean Gulls, Shelduck, Avocet, Sandwich and Little Tern, Kentish Plover, Whiskered and White-winged Tern, Whimbrel, Curlew, Turnstone, many species of waders) and Dyulino Pass (Bonelli’s Warbler, Semi-collared and Spotted Flycatcher Syrian, Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Golden Orioles. we reach Cape Kaliakra and Bolata Bay, situated among the most valuable steppe habitats in Bulgaria (Mediterranean Shags, Stone-curlew, Alpine and Pallid Swift, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Tawny Pipits, Lesser Grey Shrikes, Pied Wheatears, Spotted Cucoo. We spend the 2 nights at a lodging at the edge of the Durankulak marshland..
Day 4. Durankulak and Shabla wetlands
After breakfast we head to the beach of Durankulak and the adjacent marsh areaLake (Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Great Egret, Ferrugiunous Duck, Grey and Golden Plover, Dunlin, Broad-billed and Curlew Sandpiper, Sanderling, Whiskered Tern, Paddyfield Warbler, Calandra Lark , Stonechat, Paddyfield and Moustached Warbler, Caspean Tern, Lesser Black-backed and Med Gull, Parasitic Skuaand In the afternoon the wetlands by the town of Shabla (Ferruginous Duck, Caspian Tern, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Little and Bailon’s Crake, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Lesser Grey Shrike and many more). The area around Durankulak and Shabla is crossed by Red-footed Falcons, Hobbies, White-tailed and Lesser-spotted Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawks, Osprays.
Day 5. 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 6. Burgas - Madzharovo
The realm of birds of prey in Eastern Europe is expecting us this morning. We head to the Eastern Rhodopes and the town of Madzharovo. Although the breeding season has already passed, there is still good opportunity to enjoy interesting passerines and of course many different species of raptors (Black Stork, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Scops Owl, Rock and Blue Rock Thrush, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl and Rock Buntings, Red-rumped Swallows, Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Nuthatches etc.). We spend the next two nights near Madzharovo.
Day 7. Madzharovo – Arda River and Studen Kladenets Dam
It will be an active birding day. In the morning we make a trip to the spectacular area of Studen Kladenets dam and explore the vicinity of the village of Potochnitsa. There we will have short strolls to a few watchpoints and not the least to the “vultures restaurant” (Egyptian, Griffon and Black Vultures, Long-legged and Honey Buzzards, Short-toed Eagle, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl and Rock Buntings, Eastern Bonelli's Warblers,, Red-rumped Swallows, Blue Rock Thrushes, Chukar, Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Nuthatche,s etc.). In the afternoon we make a short trip along the Krumovitsa River where we will continue watching and hearing passerines advertising their appearance in the undulating countryside (Stone-curlew, Olivaceous and Olive-tree Warblers, Masked, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes etc.). Around evening we turn back to the hotel in Madzharovo.
Day 8. Madzharovo - Bourgas
In the morning we depart from the Eastern Rhodopes for a contrariwise journey to the town of Bourgas. Our trip will pass through interesting habitats in Sakar Mountains (Lesser Spotted, Short-toed, and Booted Eagles, Olive-tree and Olivaceous Warblers, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Red-rumped Swallow, Isabelline Wheatear, Woodchat, Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes, Eastern Bonelli’s Warblers, Cirl and Black-headed Buntings etc.). By the town of Sliven we will see colonies of the attractive little Souslik – hunting subject of the Eastern Imperial Eagle. The fields nearby are also a regular feeding place for Montagu’s Harriers, Red-footed Falcons, Lesser Spotted and Golden Eagles. In the afternoon we will have again some time for watching the abundant migration along the Black Sea coast.
Day 9. Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure.
Luggage transport: Luggage transportation is taken care throughout the whole journey.
We recommend travel in the period: August - October
Links to additional information:
http://birdwatchingbulgaria.com/ Birdwatching and birding holidays in Bulgaria