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Classic Dobrudzha birdwatching tour Bulgaria and Romania

code: VBG 0026      alt

Duration: 8 days

Departure dates: 2017/2018

Group size: min. 2 | Price: 2-3 pax 870 per person; for 4 or more - 820 /person/adult & child


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The best time to visit Bulgaria is spring, with, on average, 220-230 species, including many rarities. We have chosen to experience Dobrudzha during beautiful spring. On this 8 dayslong birdwatching tour we visit the top birding locations along the Black Sea Coast in the Bulgarian and Romanian part of Dobrudzha where we reach the southern part of Danube Delta.

We will visit the wetlands, steppes and cliffs of South Dobrudzha – Durankulak and Shabla lakes, Yailata nature Reserve and Kaliakra Cape. We will also travel north to Romania`s beautiful lakes – Techirghiol and Sinoe Lake where the Histria ornithological Reserve is situated. The landscape is dominated by sea lagoons and sand dikes. The fauna here is characterized by coastal species and shorebirds that typically use saline areas as nesting sites and the small temporary freshwater lakes as feeding sites.

Highlights of our tour are: Alpine Swift, Barred Warbler, Bearded Tit, Black Tern, Black-headed Bunting, Calandra Lark, Caspian Tern, Collared Pratincole, Dalmatian Pelican, Eagle Owl, Ferruginous Duck, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Isabelline Wheatear, Kentish Plover, Lesser Grey Shrike, Levant Sparrowhawk, Little Bittern, Olivaceous Wrabler, Olive-tree Warbler, Paddyfield Warbler, ,Pied Wheatear ,Pygmy Cormorant, Red-crested Pochard, Red-necked Grebe, Roller, Ruddy Shelduck, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Short-toed, Lark, Sombre Tit, Sombre Tit, Syrian Wodpecker, Tawny Pipit, Whiskered Tern, Yellow Wagtail and many other species.

Day 1. Arrival
Arrival at Sofia/ Plovdiv/ Bourgas
or Varna airport. Transfer to the town of Kavarna on the Northern Black Sea Coast for overnight.

Day 2. Balchik – Yailata – Bolata – Kaliakra Cape
Early in the morning we will drive for a short trip around the village of Kamen Briag where we find the ancient tombs in the archeological and nature reserve Yailata. Yailata is a true phenomenon of natural beauty. Barring the presence of migratory birds it is a true birding hotspot. Here we enjoy different bird species: Black-headed Bunting, Calandra Lark, Hoopoe, Pied Wheatear, Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit.

After the amazing cliffs of Yailata we proceed further to the rocky cape of Kaliakra. Kaliakra is a reddish crag rearing 70 m above the sea level. Along the shore are ruined fortifications and the headland is covered in evocative ruins, dating from the Middle Ages. You may occasionally see dolphins frolicking off the coast here. Kaliakra Reserve covers part of the cape. It was founded in order to preserve the diverse world of birds. We dedicate rest of the day to the steppes and cliffs of Kaliakra. The place hosts Alpine Swift, Black-headed Bunting, Calandra Lark, Eagle Owl, European Shag, Isabelline Wheatear, Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Olive-tree Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Roller, Rose-coloured Starling, Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit. Overnight in the area.

Day 3. Kavarna - Histria
aim today is Histria. Early in the morning we leave Bulgaria and drive to Romania. We will go for full day birding around Histria and Vadu. These sites belong among the best birdwatching sites in Europe. There are thousands of waterbirds here and a big variety of terns and waders. Histria is a main feeding area for Dalmatian Pelicans. White Pelicans can also be found here. The scattered pools around the area hold Collared Pratincole. There is also a small colony of Pygmy terns. The reedbeds around form form habitats for several species of herons and wrablers. We will also stop for ducks, sometimes seen in large numbers – Shelduck and Ruddy Shelduck. Walking away from the lakeshores we will possibly see Calandra Lark, Stone Curlew and species of Shrike and Roller. Walking through the marshes we will also check for raptors like Lesser Spotted Eagle and Marsh Harriers.


Other possible attractions today areAvocets, Balkan yellow wagtail, Black-winged Stilts, Bluethroats, Stints, Snipes, Sandpipers, Little and Spotted Crakes etc.

Day 4.Babadag

After breakfast we will head to the woodlands and the famous Babadag forest.The area of Babadag is well-known as a raptor haunt with breeders including Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle and Short-toed Eagle. Small numbers of Lesser Kestrel breed but larger numbers occur on passage along with Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged BuzzardSaker Falcon and others occur on passage sometimes joined byPallid Harrier.The woodlands hold woodpeckers such as Black Woodpecker, Syrian WoodpeckerMiddle Spotted Woodpecker and White-backed Woodpecker as well as Eurasian Golden Oriole and Icterine Warbler.More open areas hold Ortolan Bunting and Black-headed Bunting, Calandra Lark and Lesser Grey Shrike with Pied Wheatear in stony steppe areas.Lake Babadag hosts Great White Pelican on passage.

The main attractions of our birding day will be Black Woodpecker, Booted Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Midlle-spotted Woodpecker, Sombre Tit, Syrian Woodpecker.

Day 5. Babadag – Durankulak and Shabla lakes
Today we travel to Dourankoulak
and Shabla lakes – wetlands of international importance, where over 80 bird species can be seen. We start with Durankulak lake and its birds (Barred Warbler, Bee-eater, Bittern, Calandra Lark, Collared Pratincole, Ferruginous Duck, Little Bittern, PaddyfieldWarbler, Purple Heron, Pygmy Cormorant, Red-necked Grebe, Ruddy Shelduck, Stone Curlew, Syrian Wodpecker etc). After that the wetlands by the town of Shabla will be visited. Our list with species will be elongated with many interesting birds – waterfowl and waders primarily (like Pygmy Cormorants, Bewick’s Swans, Tufted Ducks, Smews, Goldeneyes, Bitterns, Sanderlings, Knots , Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Red-backed Shrike, Red-crested Pochard, Red-footed Falcon, Red-necked Grebe, Calandra Lark, Black-winged Stilt, Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Bee-eater, Roller, Hoopoe, Lesser Grey Shrike etc.) .

Day 6. Lake Durankulak
Today we head to Durankulak lake again – one of few places in Europe where the Paddyfield Wrablers can be seen breeding. Durankulak and Shabla lakes are wintering places for the world population of Red-breasted Goose. At this time of the season we will observe Bearded Tit, Bittern and Little Bittern, Ferruginous Duck, Marsh, Moustached Warbler, Purple Heron, Pygmy Cormorant, Red-crested Pochard, Red-necked Grebe, Ruddy Shelduck, Whiskered and Black Terns. We will also go for birdwatching on the steppes around the lake. The steppes and its surroundings hold Barred Warbler, Bee-Eater and Roller, Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Collared Pratincole, Mediterranean Shearwater, Mediterranean race of European Shag, Peregrine Falcon, Red- footed Falcon, Rose-coloured Starling, Stone Curlew, Syrian Woodpecker etc. If we are lucky we will observe thePallid Harrierwhich is a very rare bird on the steppe.

Day 7. Balchik – Silistra, Srebarna lake
After a trip through the
fields of Dobroudzha we reach Srebarna Biosphere Reserve by the Danube River around noon. The wetland is the earthly paradise for birds, being also the most prominent reserve in Bulgaria. Nineteenth-century traveller Felix Kanitz called Lake Srebarna “the Eldorado of wading birds”. The lake and the expanse of reedy marshland around it provide 90 species of wildfowl (including 70 different types of heron) with a secure habitat. We go for Bee-Eaters, Dalmatian Pelicans, Ferruginous Ducks, Glossy Ibis and Pygmy Cormorants, Greylag geese, Hoopoes, King Fishers, Little and Great Egrets, Little Bittern, Night and Purple Herons, Penduline and Bearded Tits, Pygmy Cormorants, Red-necked and Black-necked Grebes, Rollers, Savi’s and River Warblers, Spoonbills, Squacco and Night Herons, Whiskered Terns and many more. Foraging White-tailed Eagles, Black Kites and Levant Sparrowhawks are the perfect addition to this community, complemented also by Ortolan Buntings, Penduline Tits, Golden Orioles and Red-backed Shrikes. Overnight in Balchik.

Day 8. Departure
Transfer to the airport and deprature.

What`s included:

alt Accommodation at 3*** family hotels and guesthouses with en-suite facilities on a breakfast basis; We use as much as possible cozy places with pleasant and friendly atmosphere, not far away from the nature.

alt All entrances to parks and reserves.

alt English speaking professional birdwatching guide

alt All transport

alt Тransfers to/from Sofia/ Bourgas/ Varna or Plovdiv airport

alt VAT and all local taxes.OBS! The price of the tour for 2-3 people is 870 EUR per person; for 4 or more - 820 Euro/person!


What`s not included:

alt Other meals – we can order other meals on spot, often prepared by our hosts. The delicious traditional Bulgarian and Romanian cuisine and the generous hospitality are part of the atmosphere of an unforgettable journey. Ordering lunchpacks on spot at average price of 4/5 EUR per person is also possible.

alt Tipping

alt Meals and drinks not included above

alt Insurances

alt Flight tickets

alt Maps (could be requested in advance when booking the tour)


Other expenses (non-compulsory):

alt Single room supplement – 120 EUR



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