Balkan Specialties Tour


A 4-day tour along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, focusing on the observation of some of the most targeted species of birds in Southeastern Europe, including Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Syrian Woodpecker, Masked Shrike, Sombre Tit, Paddyfield Warbler, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Black-headed Bunting, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Pied Wheatear and Isabelline Wheatear.

 

Day 1: The tour starts from Varna at 09.00 h in the morning at the latest. The tour participants will be picked up either from Varna Airport, as they are kindly requested to arrive there until 9.00 a.m., or from their accommodation place within the city of Varna, if they have arrived earlier. Transfer north to Coastal Dobrudzha (~ one hour driving), where we will visit the Shabla lakes in the rest of the day. There we will have excellent chances to observe the Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Collared Pratincole, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Paddyfield Warbler, Lesser Grey Shrike, Red-backed Shrike, the thick-billed race of the Common Reed Bunting (ssp. reiseri).

Overnight in the town of Krapets

Day 2: Another visit of Shabla lakes, especially if we have missed to see some of the target birds in the previous day. Then we will visit the steppes and cliffs around Cape Kaliakra, searching for the Mediterranean race of the European Shag (ssp. desmarestii), Long-legged Buzzard, Alpine Swift, Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Black-headed Bunting, Rose-coloured Starling.

While in this area we will also check several spots, where the Levant Sparrowhawk and Syrian Woodpeckers occurs.

In the afternoon we will be travelling south to Bourgas with a stop in the Batova riverine forest, where we can observe the Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Hawfinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, etc.

Accommodation in Bourgas Area for two nights

Day 3: In the morning – visiting the deciduous forests of Strandzha Mountains, looking for the Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Barred Warbler, Masked Shrike, Ortolan Bunting, Sombre Tit.

Afternoon – exploring the Bourgas wetlands: Mandra Lake, Vaya Lake, Atanasovsko Lake.
Key species likely to be seen at Bourgas wetlands: Dalmatian Pelican, White Pelican, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Bittern, European Honey Buzzard, White-tailed Eagle, Collared Pratincole, Black-winged Stilt, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Olivaceous Warbler, Sombre Tit, etc.

Day 4: Travel back to Varna (takes two hours) for the departure flight, with stops in the Eastern Balkan Range, where we can see the Lesser Spotted Eagle, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Eastern Bonelli’s Wabler, Sombre Tit, Cirl Bunting, Ortolan Bunting.

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Semi-collared Flycatcher by Mladen Vasilev

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