Krapets – Balchik – Sofia
Weather: hot in the morning and rainy in the afternoon upon arrival in Sofia
Our last day of the trip was devoted mainly for traveling but we did stop on the way to break up the travel and catch up with some target birds. We left the hotel at 6.30 to optimise the time for birding.
Our first stop was for Eagle Owl as we failed to see it in the previous 2 attempts and we didn’t want to give up. It was still early in the morning so we had good chances for seeing it. Once at the site, we scanned the cliffs quickly and this time we managed to spot the bird within 5 min. Horray! What a stunning bird! It is always so rewarding to find a bird after numerous attempts. While enjoying the Eagle Owl, a Hawfinch landed on a bare branch lit by the rising sun. We took some time to enjoy the birds and continued our journey.
In a few min we stopped for a coffee at a coastal town. We had fantastic time on the terrace of a local restaurant, right on the coast, looking at the boats in the harbour. Thus after absorbing the spirit of the atmosphere, we hit the road.
Our next planned stop was for Golden Eagle. We checked the cliffs where a pair often stays but we didn’t manage to spot the birds. We did hear a Lesser spotted Woodpecker though and spotted Red-rumped swallow, Golden Oriole, Cirl Bunting and a couple of Ravens.
For the rest of journey we didn’t add any birds but spotted Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed eagle and a Roller. The last bits of the journey were with heavy rain so we didn’t see any other birds. Thus we arrived in Sofia in the late afternoon which marked the end of the trip.
Although the trip was officially over, we decided to do some birding on the following morning before the flight. We went to a lake at the outscirts of Sofia to look for Grey-headed Woodpecker.
We met at 7.30 for our last bit of birding. It took us about 20 min to get to the site from our hotel. We took a packed breakfast and ate it at the lake. Our first bird was a Syrian Woodpecker which showed very well. The other birds in the area were a couple of male Little Bitterns. Another stunner! We also spotted a Marsh Tit which was a new addition to our list. The bird was feeding chicks and gave us multiple opportunities to observe. Further down the track we spotted a Kingfisher and the last bird for the group was a Grey Wagtail. This was the very end of the journey. Some of the group walked around the airport after checking in the luggage and spotted Grey Partridge. Never ending effort to see as many birds as possible.
The total count for the trip marks 205 species.
Thank you to all the participants and to all readers who were with us. If you wish to join us next year and have opportunities for seeing Nutcracker, Wallcreeper, Levant Sparrowhawk, Olive-tree Warbler and Rose-coloured starling, feel free to look at the itinerary description on the Wingspan website here.