A 12-day bird photography tour in Bulgaria, providing excellent conditions to take pictures of colourful and attractive European birds, such asEuropean Roller, European Bee-eater, Wallcreeper, Black-headed Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Pied Wheatear, Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole and many others.
This tour includes 4 different regions in Bulgaria – the Black Sea coast, the Sakar Hills, the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and the Western Rhodope Mountains. We take photos from fixed hides, tent-hides and vehicles. On this tour we visit colorful meadows, sand dunes and shrub habitats, which are full of flowers, butterflies and other wildlife, giving you an opportunity for enjoyable macro-photography too.
We usually start this tour from the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, where we visit the area of the coastal lakes of Durankulak and Shabla, Cape Kaliakra and some nice wetlands around Varna. The main species of birds, on which we focus are the Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Alpine Swift, Yellow Wagtail, Paddyfield Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Black-headed Bunting, Penduline Tit, Pied Wheatear, Calandra Lark.
In this area we also visit some of our well selected sites for European Roller and European Bee-eater photography, where we take stunning images of these beautiful birds.
Then we move on south, to the oak forests of the Eastern Balkan Range. There we have a setting of several permanent hides for photographing a big variety of forests and farmland birds, including the European Green Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike and many others.
Our next stop is the Bourgas coastal wetlands, where we have excellent opportunities for photographing White Pelicans, Squacco and Purple Herons and a variety of shore-birds, like the Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Little Tern, Sandwich Tern. If in the first half of May – this area provides very good opportunities to photograph the three species of marsh terns – Whiskered, Black and White-winged terns.
The Sakar Hills is another site included in this tour. There we usually take very good flight shots of Eastern Imperial Eagle and Long-legged Buzzard, feeding on the Souslik colonies in the area. Variety of passerines can be photographed here, including Black-headed Bunting, Red-backed and Woodchat shrikes, Isabelline Wheatear and with a little bit of luck we can take excellent photos of Masked Shrike and Ortolan Bunting.
Then we continue to the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. There we make use of our special hide for photographing Eurasian Black, Griffon and Egyptian vultures feeding on carcass. There are good chances of photographing other birds of prey coming to the feeding spot, like the White-tailed Eagle and Black Kite. We also survey the cliff formations in the area for Western Rock Nuthatch and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. We can put tent-hides along the Arda river where there are excellent chances of photographing feeding Black Storks.
Finally we travel to the Western Rhodopes, crossing lots of picturesque and scenic areas, and we stay in the area of the Trigrad Gorge – probably the most reliable place in Europe to photograph the Wallcreeper. We spend a couple of days exploring the area. There we can also expect to photograph other attractive birds like White-throated Dipper, Firecrest and Goldcrest, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, etc.
The tour can be extended to the mountains around Sofia, wherewe have quite a good experience with Spotted Nutcracker, RingOuzel and Water Pipit photography.
Based on the 12-day itinerary presented here we can proposeany itinerary for bird photography in Bulgaria, depending onyour target species and the time you are ready to spend.
If you wish to join one of our scheduled ‘Bird Photography in Spring’ tour, please check the availability.
The prices include the ground transport, accommodation in en-suite double/twin-bedded rooms in middle standard hotels and lodges, all meals, guiding, entrance fees in the protected sites and use of the hides, incl. the vulture photo-hide for one day.
Supplement for a second day photography from the vulture photo-hide: