Our last day of the trip started very early in the morning with a session for landscape photography. The forecast for the morning was suggesting mist after the rain and I knew the perfect place to witness this superb phenomenon and see the rising sun above the valley. The colous of the trees had already started turning so it was promising to be a fantastic experience.
Boy, this was an absolutely amazing experience! We got to the place in the blue hour right on time to see the first light in the sky. It was still fairly dark but we could see well enough to find our way and choose our position for landscape photography. Just as forecasted, the valley was full of mist, trees were coloured in beautiful red which would really shine when the Sun came up. Oh, my I was really missing this experience. I just kept clicking! Went back to spots from previous times and compositions I have done before. Coincidence or not, this was exactly the same place where I took a picture for an American journal on birding in Bulgaria published yesterday.
Birds were also pretty active. While photographing I heard a Chukkar calling, many Sombre Tits were calling and a Lesser spotted Woodpecker kept feeding actively. What a beautiful morning! In the village nearby we added three different Syrian Woodpeckers which were also very active.
After a beautiful breakfast with local doughnuts, cheese and honey, we had to pack and go. I had a few sites planned for the road before arriving in Sofia. On the way, we stopped for a Little Owl which was at its usual place.
In the afternoon we stopped at a wetland which was on our way to Sofia. The site is usually very rich and we had time only for one place so this was the ideal choice. The wetland is in the middle of some farmland and has some canals and forests on the edge. This combination of habitats gives a great range of species that can be seen here.
Shortly after arrival, we started noting new birds. A family of 9 Grey Partridges walked across the road right in front of our car! Horray! I was really hoping we could see these birds here as I know they are in the area. We saw several Whinchats and once we got the water we saw over 80 Lapwings, a couple of Snipes, over 200 Little Grebes, a single Pochard, several Dunlins and Ruff. For the two hours around the lake, we saw nearly 50 different species! What a great end of this fantastic trip!
We arrived in Sofia in the late afternoon just in time for Geoff to check in his hotel and relax. It’s been a superb trip around the country and its backside roads to some of the best sites for birds in the country. Our total number of birds is just over 150 species for these 5 days and about 90% of these will be totally new birds to Geoff! What a great experience!
“I really enjoyed your company, the birds, the food, the hotels.”, said Geoff. “It was really well organised, and I am happy to recommend you to anybody for birding tours in Bulgaria”. Well, Thank you for coming Geoff!
Some of the highlights of the trips were the Imperial Eagle flying a few metres away from us, hundreds of Flamingos illuminated by the setting sun, the welcoming Griffon Vultures at the bottom of the caldera… It’s been a really great trip!
See the blogs from the previous days: