Welcome to Birdquest

BULGARIA

Tuesday 18th May - Thursday 27th May 2010

Derek Scott

Once again, the Birdquest tour to Bulgaria was a great success, thanks to the expert knowledge and good humour of our local leader, Lyubo Profirov, the patience and consideration of our amiable driver Evghani and the friendliness of the Bulgarian people in general. The weather was unusually cold for the first few days, with a lot of cloud, some heavy showers and even some early morning mist, but things began to warm up nicely once we reached the coast and the last couple of days were quite hot. The birding was superb, and although the main spring migration was already over, we recorded an impressive total of 210 species, including all of the south-east European specialities that we could reasonably expect, namely Pygmy Cormorant, Dalmatian Pelican, Levant Sparrowhawk, Chukar, Syrian Woodpecker, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Paddyfield Warbler, Olive-tree Warbler, Semicollared Flycatcher, Sombre Tit, Masked Shrike and Rosy Starling. Some of the other highlights included a wonderful male Wallcreeper in Trigrad Gorge, over 70 vultures of three species at the feeding station near Studen Kladenets, an adult female Imperial Eagle at the nest and extraordinary views of a European Nightjar in the eastern Rhodope, an adult White-tailed Eagle and a loose party of 43 Red-footed Falcons in the wetlands around Burgas, superb views of a Middle Spotted Woodpecker in Goritsa Forest, a Eurasian Penduline Tit working on its elaborate nest at Lake Srebarna and two male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes on our final morning on Mt Vitosha.