As pearls on a necklace, the wetlands in Eastern Bulgaria trace the coastal regions of the country, forming a network of hyperhaline shallow lagoons, large lakes and dam-lakes, river mouths and flooded meadows. These are the best places for birdwatching in winter, when huge numbers of waterfowl gather here to spend the worst time of the year. The view of the massive flocks of thousands of gees taking off early in the morning from the wetlands is so spectacular, that can easily warm the birder’s heart even when the outside temperature is freezing.
The main target of a winter tour include: thousands of Red-breasted Geese (being no doubt the highlight of the tour, numbering on average between 10000 and 50000), tens of thousands of White-fronts and single Lesser White-fronted Geese among them; Dalmatian Pelicans; Pygmy Cormorants, White-headed Ducks and a great variety of grebes, herons and egrets, swans, dabbling and diving ducks, gulls, waders and exciting sightings of rare raptors and passerines.
This tour can also be handled with arrivals at Sofia or Bourgas so if you find a cheaper flight to Sofia or Bourgas airport do not hesitate to contact us for a change in the program.
Day 1. Welcome meeting at Varna Airport. Transfer to the Northern Black Sea coast and overnight in the area (depending on the snow conditions and the recent location of the biggest concentrations of birds).
Day 2. Early in the morning we will witness for the first time the massive flocks of gees, taking off at dawn, spreading over the fields westwards. As the light will still not be good enough for a thorough check of the flocks we will have to explore during the day the fields inland, where the geese use to graze at daytime. This is the time when checking the smaller flocks we can encounter also rarities like Bewick’s Swan, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Barnacle Goose, Bean Goose etc. In the afternoon we will be checking the wetlands for other waterfowl and seabirds, waiting for the sunset, when the gees will start coming back.
Highlights of the day: Red-breasted goose, White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Great Egret, Bittern, Black-throated Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Bewick’s Swan, Red-crested Pochard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Merlin, White-tailed Eagle, Yellow-legged and Pallas’s Gulls, Smew, Sanderling, Knot etc.
Day 3. The day will start with exactly the same program. Later in the afternoon we transfer southwards to the town of Bourgas to check the rest wetlands there, that are not good particularly for gees but for other waterfowl. We spend the night in Bourgas.
Days 4 & 5. Birding at the wetlands around Bourgas. The never freezing shallow salt pans are traditional hotspots for watching waders and ducks in winter. We will also make circle around the biggest lake in the area, exploring its coves for more interesting birds.
Highlights of the days: Dalmatian Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Egret, Red-breasted goose, White-fronted Goose, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Black-throated Diver, Black-necked Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Bewick’s Swan, Red-crested Pochard, Scaup, White-headed Duck, Smew, Velvet Scoter, White-tailed Eagle, Yellow-legged and Pallas’s Gulls, Sanderling, Knot etc.
Day 6. Transfer to Varna airport for departure.
Accommodation: 3-star hotels, en-suite double rooms on bed & breakfast basis
€ 640 per person for 2 persons;
€ 520 per person for 4 or more
Single room supplement: € 110
The price includes: transfer from/to Varna airport and throughout the whole journey, English-speaking driver/guide, accommodation and boarding as mentioned, VAT and all local taxes.
The price does not include: other meals, tips, alcohol drinks, personal expenses