On this tour you have excellent chances to see all the 22 breeding raptors in Bulgaria plus several passing, non-breeding and vagrant species, including: Eurasian Black Vulture, Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Saker Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, European Honey Buzzard, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-footed Falcon and Levant Sparrowhawk.
The tour starts from Sofia at 14.00 h in the afternoon at the latest. The tour participants will be picked up either from Sofia Airport, as they are kindly requested to arrive there until 14.00 h (2 p.m.), or from their accommodation place within the city of Sofia, if they have arrived earlier. Transfer (3 hours and a half) to the Eastern Rhodopes, with a stop at Pazardzhik Hills. Accommodation in the Eastern Rhodopes for two nights.
Whole day in the Eastern Rhodopes, including one morning at the main vulture feeding place in the area. Main birds to be seen here: Eurasian Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Black Kite, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Golden Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Common Kestrel, Black Stork, Chukar Partridge, Eurasian Scops Owl, Pallid Swift, Sombre Tit, Black-eared Wheatear (the eastern race ssp. melanoleuca), Blue Rock Thrush, Eastern Bonelli’s Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler, Lesser Grey Shrike, Woodchat Shrike, Western Rock Nuthatch, Ortolan Bunting, Black-headed Bunting etc.
Morning – Eastern Rhodopes
Afternoon – Transfer to Sakar Hills – the stronghold of the Eastern Imperial Eagle population in Bulgaria. On the way – visit one of our best sites for observing the Levant Sparrowhawk in the foot of the Sakar Hills.
Two nights in Sakar
We will spend most of the day in Sakar Hills and will be looking for the Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Long-legged Buzzard, Masked Shrike, Olive-tree Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, European Roller, European Bee-eater, Ortolan Bunting, Black-headed Bunting.
Transfer to the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast with stops in the agriculture lands between Sakar and Western Strandzha Mnts., where the Montague’s Harrier regularly breeds.
For the next two nights we will stay in Bourgas area.
In these two days we will explore the wetlands around Bourgas and surrounding forests, shrub and grasslands areas.
Key bird species to be seen here: White-tailed Eagle, European Honey Buzzard, Western Marsh Harrier, White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Purple Heron, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Slender-billed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Collared Pratincole, Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Terns, Marsh Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler, Eurasian Penduline Tit, etc.
While in Bourgas area we will have small chances to observe the Red-footed Falcon.
Transfer to Central Balkan Mountains (~ 250 km) with some stops on the way for birding and lunch.
Birds likely to be seen: Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Water Pipit, Ring Ouzel, Whinchat, Bullfinch, etc
Overnight in the area of Central Balkan Mnts
Morning – birdwatching at Central Balkan Mountains
Afternoon – 2 hours transfer to Sofia, where we will finish the tour.