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easy birding on the Black Sea coast

An easy birdwatching tour, focusing on the southbound migrants of the Black Sea coast.
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Wildlife Travel leaflet Bulgaria autumn 2024


10th – 17th September 2024


Mike Symes





Return flight London Heathrow to Bulgaria. Local transport as specified in the itinerary. Seven nights’ accommodation, full board.

Not included

Refreshments. Gratuities. Travel insurance. Covid tests and associated costs.

Group size

Minimum 5, maximum 14.

The Black Sea flyway, known as the Via Pontica, is one of the busiest migration routes in Europe, rivalling those of Gibraltar and the Bosphorus, as the birds of northern Europe are funnelled through the bottle-neck between the coast and the mountains, on their way south.

We start in coastal Dobroudzha, exploring the remnant steppe grasslands and dramatic cliffs of Cape Kaliakra, home to breeding Calandra Lark and Pied Wheatear, with migrant larks, pipits, chats and shrikes. The area is also home to the highest density of Wild Cats in Europe, an exciting possibility on any visit.

Nearby, the great lakes of Durankulak and Shabla attract mixed flocks of Whiskered and Black Terns. Amongst the wildfowl and water birds we should be able to pick out Ferruginous Duck and Pygmy Cormorant; the surrounding bushes may hold migrating warblers, flycatchers, shrikes and chats, alongside resident Syrian Woodpecker.

The second part of our holiday is spent around the Bourgas wetlands. Here one of the great attractions should be the huge flocks of pelicans that roost on the lakes during their migration. The shallows of Atanasovsko Lake attract a good variety of waders, with Broad-billed or Marsh Sandpipers a strong possibility. We spend a morning at Dyulinksi Pass, a superb watchpoint at the end of the Eastern Balkan Range from where we hope to observe the migration of raptors and other soaring birds – White and Black Storks; Lesser Spotted, Booted and Short-toed Eagles; Levant Sparrowhawk, Honey Buzzard Red-footed Falcon, and four harrier species may all pass overhead.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

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