Capercaillie Photography in Bulgaria

Capercaillie by Simeon Gigov

This tour will take you to the pristine coniferous forests of the Rila National Park, where male Capercaillies gather to their leks to display and attract females.

The main target of this tour is to photograph displaying male Capercaillies at their lek. There are several males at one of the spots, but one especially has lost its fear of humans and become very attractive for photography. As it would be good to try different light and weather conditions for photographing this magnificent bird, we will need at least two full days at the site.

The area is also good for observing and possibly photographing Hazel Grouse, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Tengmalm’s Owl, Black Woodpecker, Spotted Nutcracker, Red Crossbill, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, as well as Balkan Chamois. So, there will be other species to focus on, in case we have done well with the Capercaillie.

Getting to the area includes an hour and a half transfer from Sofia to the northern part of the Rila Mountains, then driving in a 4×4 vehicle for 45 minutes to a mountain hut (about 2000 meters a.s.l.), where we will be accommodated for the next 3 nights. Then follows an easy 15-minutes walk to the lek.

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