"Via Pontica" Autumn Migration Birding (Bulgaria)

Departure: from 20-08-2024 to 30-09-2024
Status: Open for booking
Price: 850 €
Duration: 8 days
For bookings or questions, contact us at 00 359 2 400 10 50 or info@birdwatchingbulgaria.com

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.


Itinerary:


Day 1. Arrival in Varna Airport
Arrival at Varna Airport (it should be an early flight, so to provide birding time in the afternoon). In the afternoon we will birding along the Northern seaside. In the Northern seaside we will see coastal cliffs and steppe areas, which are part of Via Pontica and a habitat of the following bird species -Mediterranean Shag, Stone Curlew, Spotted Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Olive-tree Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Tawny Pipit, Rosy Starling, Common and Demoiselle Crane, Black-headed Bunting). Overnight in Kavarna.

Day 2. Shabla wetlands and Durankulak
Our day will be dedicated to birding along the coastal line and the vast marshlands around Shabla and Durankulak – the farthest Black Sea North. This region is an important part of Via Pontica, where the following bird species could be seen - Levant Sparrowhawk, Ruddy Shelduck, Black-winged Stilt, Marsh Sandpiper, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black-headed Bunting, Rose-coloured Starlings, Black-necked Grebe, Bitterns, Purple Heron, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, Red-footed Falcon, White-Tailed Eagle, Osprey, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Tawny Pipit, Paddyfield Warbler, Bluethroat. After finishing of our birding, we will go back to Kavarna for overnight.

Day 3. Kavarna- Dyulino pass – Burgas
After early morning birding around northern seaside costal cliffs, we will continue with our journey to the Southern seaside, with stopovers at the Dyulino pass a mid-altitude Balkan Mountain pass in very close vicinity to the sea, where we will explore the habitat of Lesser Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Wryneck, Cirl Bunting, Sombre Tit, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler). Overnight near city of Burgas.

Day 4. Burgas - Pomorie
Today will be an intensive birdwatching day around the lakes of Burgas and Pomorie. The lakes of Burgas (Southern seaside) are the wetlands of Mandra-Poda, Atanasovsko and Pomoriysko containing fresh, brackish and sea, hipper saline waters, very important part of Via Pontica with the following bird species: Greater Flamingo, White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorant, Goosander, Red-breasted merganser, Curlew and Whimbrel, Night, Squacco and Purple Herons, Little Egret, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Mediterranean Gulls, Little, Whiskered and Gull-Billed Terns, Collared Pratincole, Avocet, Black-winged Stilts, Great Snipe, Kentish Plover, Curlew Sandpipers, Stints, Godwits, Penduline Tit, Savi’s and Paddy field Warblers, Bearded Tit, ducks. We will spend the night near city of Burgas.

Day 5. Burgas – Strandja- Sakar-Madzharovo
Today we will head up to the Eastern Rhodopes - the realm of the birds of prey in Eastern Europe. During our trip we will stop in the mountains of Strandja and Sakar. The mountains of Strandja (South East) and Sakar (Central) are low altitude, lowly populated mountain areas with the basins of the rivers Maritza and Tundja. The mountain Strandja is a part of Via Pontica and mountain Sakar is a part of Via Aristotelis - a project for conservation of the Lesser Kestrel (Imperial, Lesser Spotted, Booted Eagle, Spotted Eagle Long-legged Buzzard, Pallid and Montagu`s Harrier, Saker Falcon, Levant Sparrowhawk, Tawny Pipit, Calandra and Short-toed Lark, Masked Shrike, Stone Curlew, Olive-tree Warbler, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted and White-backed Woodpecker, Red-Backed Shrike, Corncrake, Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Ferroginous Duck, Great Snipe). One overnight at the town of Madjarovo.

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. Birding will be along Arda River and the adjacent cliffs around Madjarovo – a desolated ornithologically important place (OIP) including low-altitude mountain area with the cliffs over the meanders of Arda River near Madjarovo (copper and zinc mining center in the past), Krumovitza River and the Studen Kladenetz and Ivaylovgrad reservoirs. The following bird species could be seen - Black Stork, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed, White-tailed, Golden, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Scops Owl, Nightjar, Rufus-tailed and Blue Rock Thrush, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl and Rock Buntings, Red-rumped Swallows, Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Nuthatch, Grey-headed, Green and Black Woodpecker. At the end of the day, we will have a short journey to Krumovgrad where we stay for overnight.

Day 7. Krumovgrad - Krumovitza river - Sofia
Today we will start our day with birding along Krumovitza River and the adjacent cliffs where we can discover Black Stork, Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Short-toed, White-tailed, Golden, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, Scops Owl, Nightjar, Rufus-tailed and Blue Rock Thrush, Barred, Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, Cirl and Rock Buntings, Red-rumped Swallows, Black-eared Wheatears, Rock Nuthatch, Grey-headed, Green and Black Woodpecker. In the afternoon we will continue our journey to Sofia, where we will have an overnight at the foot of Vitosha Mountain.

Day 8. Departure from Sofia
Early-morning birdwatching in the mountain of Vitosha- a mid-altitude mountain in very close vicinity to the capital Sofia, part of Via Aristotelis where the following bird species could be seen: Corncrake, Tengmalm`s and Scops Owl, Ring Ouzel, Pygmy Owl, Nightjar, Black, White-backed and Three-toed Woodpecker, Yellowhammer, Ortolan Bunting, Nutcracker. Transfer to airport for departure.
 

Luggage transport: Luggage transportation is taken care throughout the whole journey.

We recommend travel in the period: August - October


Price Includes:
7 nights in standard hotels and guesthouses with en-suite facilities including breakfast. English speaking professional birdwatching guide
all transport included in the price
transfers to/from Sofia airport
entrance fees for Poda lagoon and Cape Kaliakra
VAT and all local taxes.

Not Included:
international and domestic flights
maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour)
tips
alcohol drinks
other entrance fees and meals (lunch packs/lunches),insurance

Extra Services:
Small Group Supplement (2-3 travelers) - 150 EUR per person