customized birding trip Bulgaria

Customized birding trip in Bulgaria

Shortly after we took our bins out and cameras ready we had two young Saker Falcons playing together. A few minutes later three Ravens turned up and chased the falcons away. Then a Short-toed Eagle stopped over the hillside and hovered for a while. Wow, What a sight!

Customized birding trip.

The focus of the trip would be the birds of the Western and Eastern Rhodope mountains in Bulgaria. I picked up my guests from Plovdiv and we headed westwards towards Pazardzhik hills where were going to spend the morning.

We continued along a quiet lane stopping now and then and saw our first Lesser Grey Shrikes which were rather noisy and active. A big group of 20+ Grey Partridges walked right by the road giving us great views and photographic opportunities. For the next half an hour we logged Isabelline, Northern and Black-eared Wheatears. A Little Owl sat nicely for us to enjoy on a concrete wall and a Long-legged Buzzard sat quiet for a while when it dropped on the floor to get a prey. Soon we exhausted the place and moved location.

customized birding trip Bulgaria

Lesser grey Shrike © Iordan Hristov

En route to the next place we stopped for a Levant Sparrowhawk and for a pair of Bee-eaters which was actively feeding young presenting superb photography opportunities. Shortly after this we stopped for a short walk towards a little water sink in the middle of a dry field which was attracting mainly common birds but great to see. When walking we had a brief view of a Masked Shrike, good views of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and couple of Hoopoes showed well for us. At the water sink we got a few Ortolan Buntings, Black-headed Buntings and a few finches.

The sky darkened and soon we were feeling rain drops on ourselves. The clouds did go around us though so we did not get any rain although the streets further down the road were wet. It was already late in the afternoon so we headed for lunch. We sat in a nice restaurant by the riverside in the town of Krichim. After a wonderful meal we headed to our next stop.

bee-eater photography in Bulgaria

Bee-eater © Iordan Hristov

birdwatching trip in Bulgaria

Bee-eater © Iordan Hristov

This time we were not after birds but Chamois. The Balkan Chamois wonders around the hills not far from our hotel for the next two nights we wanted to give it a try and scan the cliffs. The first couple of stops were without result but at last we got a wonderful animal sitting calmly and cooling down on a nice flat rock right under the forest. What a wonderful view! We spend a few minutes enjoying it and headed to our hotel for the night.
We had a pleasant meal and counted a total of 60 species for the day. Nice start of the trip.

1 Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
2 White Stork Ciconia ciconia
3 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
4 Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
5 Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
6 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
7 Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
8 Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
9 Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
10 Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis
11 Feral Pigeon    Columba livia
12 Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
13 European Turtle-Dove    Streptopelia turtur
14 Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
15 Little Owl Athene noctua
16 Alpine Swift    Apus melba
17 Common Swift    Apus apus
18 European Bee-eater Merops apiaster
19 Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops
20 Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
21 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
22 Saker Falcon    Falco cherrug
23 Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
24 Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor
25 Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator
26 Masked Shrike Lanius nubicus
27 Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
28 Eurasian Jay    Garrulus glandarius
29 Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
30 Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
31 Hooded Crow    Corvus cornix
32 Common Raven    Corvus corax
33 Calandra lark Melanocorypha calandra
34 Crested Lark    Galerida cristata
35 Eurasian Crag Martin    Ptyonoprogne rupestris
36 Barn Swallow    Hirundo rustica
37 Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
38 Common House Martin Delichon Urbicum
39 Great Tit Parus major
40 Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
41 Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
42 Eastern Olivaceous Warbler    Iduna pallida
43 Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
44 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
45 Black-eared Wheatear    Oenanthe hispanica
46 Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina
47 Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
48 Grey Wagtail    Motacilla cinerea
49 White Wagtail Motacilla alba
50 Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
51 Black-headed Bunting    Emberiza melanocephala
52 Corn Bunting    Emberiza calandra
53 Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
54 European Greenfinch    Chloris chloris
55 European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
56 Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
57 Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
58 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
59 Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis
60 Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
61 LEvant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes

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