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.
This is a 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 – the Eastern Rhodopes
Afternoon – Transfer to the 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 the Sakar;
We will spend most of the day in the area of the 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 and Black-headed Bunting.
Transfer to the Southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast with stops in the agriculture lands between the Sakar and the Western Strandzha Mnts., where the Montague’s Harrier regularly breeds.
For the next two nights we will stay in the area of Bourgas.
During the next two days we will explore the wetlands around Bourgas and the 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.
In the area of Bourgas we will have small chances to observe the Red-footed Falcon.
Transfer to the 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 the Central Balkan Mnts.
Morning – birdwatching in the Central Balkan Mountains;
Afternoon – 2 hours transfer to Sofia, where we will finish the tour.