A 12-day bird photography tour providing excellent conditions to take pictures of colourful and attractive European birds, such as the Egyptian and Griffon Vultures, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Black-headed Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Pied Wheatear, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole and many others
This tour includes 5 different regions in Bulgaria – the Danube area, the Black Sea coast, the Sakar Hills, the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Western Rhodope Mountains. We take photos from fixed (permanent) hides, tent-hides and vehicles. We normally do early morning and late afternoon photo-sessions to get the best possible light for photography, and we make the transfers to different areas in the mid-day hours.
We start with the Danube river area in the northern part of the country, where the loess cliffs provide home to numerous Bee-eater colonies and a spectacular number of breeding Rollers. Both of these two colorful bird species will be our main targets for photography while we are here.
Then we move further east to the Eastern Balkan Mountain Range featuring a variety of habitats – oak forests, orchards, wildlife-friendly managed meadows and farmlands. Here we will be aiming to capture a number of forest and farmland birds, like the Common Cuckoo, Turtle Dove, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Yellowhammer and a good selection of woodpeckers, incl the European Green Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Eurasian Wryneck.
We continue our tour to the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, where we visit the area of the coastal lakes of Durankulak and Shabla and Cape Kaliakra. The main species of birds on which we focus here are the Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Alpine Swift, Yellow Wagtail, Paddyfield Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Black-headed Bunting, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Pied Wheatear, Calandra Lark.
On the way to the southern coast of Bulgaria we make a stop at the oak forests of the Eastern Balkan Range to photograph the Semi-collared Flycatcher.
Our next stop is the Bourgas wetlands, where we have excellent opportunities for photographing Great White Pelicans, Squacco and Purple Herons and a variety of shore-birds, like the Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avoset, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern. If in the first half of May – this area provides very good opportunities to photograph the three species of marsh terns – Whiskered, Black and White-winged terns.
The Sakar Hills is another site included in this tour. There we usually take very good flight shots of the Eastern Imperial Eagle and Long-legged Buzzard, feeding on the Souslik colonies in the area. Variety of passerines can be photographed here, including the Black-headed Bunting, Red-backed and Woodchat shrikes, Isabelline Wheatear and with a little bit of luck we can take excellent photos of the Masked Shrike and Ortolan Bunting.
Then we move on to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. There we make use of our special hide for photographing Eurasian Black (Cinereous), Griffon and Egyptian vultures feeding on the carcass. There are good chances of photographing other birds of prey coming to the carcass, like the White-tailed Eagle and Black Kite. We also survey the cliff formations in the area for the Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We can put tent-hides along the Arda river where there are excellent chances of photographing feeding Black Storks.
Finally we travel to the Western Rhodope Mountains, crossing lots of picturesque and scenic areas, and we stay in the area of the Trigrad Gorge – probably the most reliable place in Europe to photograph the Wallcreeper. We spend a couple of days exploring the area. There we can also expect to photograph other attractive birds like the White-throated Dipper, Firecrest and Goldcrest, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, etc.
This tour itinerary could be changed on the spot depending on the weather conditions and the success in photographing the target birds of the tour participants.
On this tour we will visit colorful meadows, sand dunes and shrub habitats, which are full of flowers, butterflies, reptiles and other wildlife providing opportunities for enjoyable macro-photography too.
Based on the 12-day itinerary presented here we can propose any itinerary for bird photography in Bulgaria, depending on your target species and the time you are ready to spend.
If you wish to join one of our scheduled ‘Bird Photography in Spring’ tour, please check the availability.