Winter Birding Tour "Red-breasted Goose" (Bulgaria)
Thousands of read-brested geese...
The wetlands along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast are traditional hotspots for birding during this time of the year. Spectacular variety and numerous flocks of waterfowl could be seen in the larger lakes or in the shallow coastal lagoons by the sea coast. These easily accessible sites of international importance house approximately 70% of the world's wintering Red-breasted Geese population. Globally threatened species like Pygmy Cormorants, Dalmatian Pelicans and White-headed Ducks occur also. A matter of luck is also the registration of Lesser White-fronted Geese – one of the most endangered species on the Earth. The rest of the list comprises many other water-connected birds (as grebes, herons, egrets, swans, dabbling and diving ducks, waders, gulls etc.), numbering several hundred thousands individuals as a total. A magnificent quantity of high quality – unforgettable view, recommended for each real birdwatcher!
Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Sofia/ Plovdiv airport. Transfer to the town of Balchik on the Northern Black Sea Coast for overnight.
Day 2. Balchik - Shabla
In the morning we will try to find for the first time Red-breasted Geese grazing in the coastal fields. The rest of the day we spend around the lakes by the town of Shabla, rich in waterfowl and especially famous for the wintering tens of thousands White-fronted and Red-breasted Geese (Great Egret, White- fronted and Red-breasted Geese, Rough-legged Buzzard, Black-necked Grebe, Yellow-legged and Pallas's Gulls, Pochard, Red-crested Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser etc.). Overnight in Balchik.
Day 3. Balchik - Dourankoulak
Early in the morning we will have the chance to enjoy the numerous goose flocks taking off from Dourankoulak lake – an amazing view, attracting birdwatchers form all over Europe. After that the wetlands by the town of Shabla will be visited again. The yesterday’s species list will be elongated many other interesting birds – waterfowl and waders primarily (like White-tailed Eagle, Pygmy Cormorants, Bewick’s Swans, Tufted Ducks, Smews, Goldeneyes, Bitterns, Sanderlings, Knots etc.).
Day 4. Balchik - Kaliakra
In the morning we will go to the Cape Kaliakra – a place, famous for its nesting steppe species of birds during summer. However the wintering inhabitants here are often quite interesting also (European Shag (Mediterranean race), Black-throated Diver, possibly Great and Little Bustards etc.). Around noon we head to our next major stop – the Southern Black Sea Coast and the town of Bourgas. Here we spend the next three nights. If time left a short stroll around the lakes nearby will be performed.
Day 5. Balchik - Bourgas
After breakfast we will have a trip around the hiperhaline shallow coastal lagoons Atanasovsko and Pomoriisko lakes. These are renowned as some of the best places for watching soaring migrants during passage, but now they provide safe place for feeding and resting to many other species of birds (Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants, Bitterns, Great Egrets, Black-necked Grebe, Whooper and Bewick’s Swans, White-headed Ducks, Shelducks, White-tailed Eagles, Pallas’s Gulls and plenty of waders and waterfowl).
Day 6. Poda Lagoon, Mandra and Bourgas lakes
In the morning we will visit Poda Lagoon, Mandra and Bourgas lakes, which are just a few minutes drive from Bourgas (Pygmy Cormorants, Great Egrets, White-headed Ducks, White-tailed Eagles, Bewick's Swans and a great variety of other waterfowl). These protected sites are a good example of fine tolerance between mankind and wildlife, since such avian richness live so close to one of the biggest Bulgarian seaside cities.
Day 7. Bourgas - Plovdiv
Today we start the return journey. The town of Plovdiv is our next stop for overnight. The biggest night roost of Pygmy Cormorant in Bulgaria (numbering between 2000 and 4000 individuals) will be visited in the evening.
Day 8. Departure
Transfer to Sofia or Plovdiv airport for departure is planned for the morning.
Price includes: ►We stay overnight in small family run hotels on BB (breakfast included). All rooms are equipped with private facilities. Ordering lunchpacks is also possible ►transfer to/from Sofia or Plovdiv airport ►English-speaking guide ►luggage and private transfers as per program ►entrance fees for Cape Kaliakra and Poda lagoon ►VAT and all local taxes. OBS! The price of the tour for 2-3 people is 660 EUR per person; for 4 or more - 545 Euro/person!
Not included: ►flights, maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour) ►tips ►alcohol drinks ►other entrance fees ►other meals (lunches/lunchpacks) and other personal expenses.
Other expences: Single room supplement (obligatory for individuals staying in sgl room)- 100 EUR.
How to get there?:Wizz Air - http://wizzair.com/; Easy Jet - http://www.easyjet.com/; Germanwings - http://www.germanwings.com/; Penguin Travel – http://www.flybulgarien.dk/; Norwegian Air Shuttle - http://www.norwegian.no/, Airberlin - http://www.airberlin.com;
Links to additional information:
Birdwatching holidays in Bulgaria