Another lovely weekend took me back to the Rhodopes. This time we did both Eastern and Western Rhodopes. We started off early on Friday morning to go back to Madzarovo – the town of Vultures. Not because of the people who live there but because of the birds 😉 It was fairly quiet bird wise and we managed to fulfill our tasks so we quickly hit the road to the Western Rhodopes where a Jazz fest was about to start. We saw more birds along the way than in the town itself. Generally nothing exciting. The road was pretty slow and winding with lovely views and regular ice cream stops. A nice Souslik sat by the road to give us full and clear view for a couple of minutes. Further along two Little Grebes sat preening in a small pond just by the road.
|Common Buzzard photography in Bulgaria
|Little Grebe photography in Bulgaria
There we are finally in Smolyan – a town in Western Rhodopes surrounded by mountain tops. After a nice evening meal and a chat with some friends we headed up to the place of the Jazz Fest – right above the town at the foot of Perelik peak. Open air concert was about to start. A combination of Jazz, ethno music, electronic and what not. It was superb. Will upload a few videos later on. Here is the first one.
The stage of the fest is on a large meadow surrounded by pine forest. This time of year is not the best for birding but we still managed to a get a few birds. Local juvenile Ravens were patrolling the area often joined by a Kestrel or two. The other birds we ticked off are Crossbill, Water Pipit, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel, Coal Tit, Whinchat, etc. Fairly quiet and time to go again.
On the way to Sofia we pulled to a small village called Kosovo. Mentioned by a few people for its picturesque views and old traditional houses. Indeed the village is situated in a small valley on all the hillsides around. A little chat with people in the local store proves that tourism seem to spoil this place. Perhaps because it is fairly easy to access the village. Some of the houses are so high on the steep hill side that there is no road and only trails lead to the houses. Quite a few abandoned places but the village still looks lively. Probably because of the villas of people from the town nearby.