Finding Birds in Eastern Bulgaria

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Finding Birds in Eastern Bulgaria
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This book gives precise details on how to find the most exciting birds in Eastern Bulgaria - that’s everywhere east of Stara Zagora, including Rusenski Lom, Lake Sreburna and the Eastern Rhodopes mountains, as well as all the hotspots along the Black Sea coast.

It replaces the previous book, Finding Birds in Bulgaria, covering a lot more sites in more detail (twice as much text, twice as many maps) but not including the mountain areas further west, the maps and text for which are available here, replicated from the previous book.

Dave Gosney writes:

‘‘I was really impressed by the number of exciting birds i found in Bulgaria, not just the breeding species such as Semi-collared Flycatcher, Olive-tree Warbler, Imperial Eagle, Paddyfield Warbler, Eagle Owl and Masked Shrike but also fabulous passage birds such as Broad-billed Sandpiper, Little Crake, Citrine Wagtail and Demoiselle Crane. This book tells you exactly where all these birds were seen as well as wintering species such as Red-breasted Goose, Pallas’s Gull and White-headed Duck.”

Sites covered

Lake Srebarna - breeding site for Dalmatian Pelican and hundreds of other waterbirds

Malek Preslavets - a lake close to the Danube with breeding Whiskered Terns and Little Bitterns

Nova Cherna marshes - former fishponds, now a reserve with breeding Bittern, Little Bittern and, possibly, Bluethroat

Rusenski Lom - rocky gorges offer breeding habitat for Egyptian Vulture, Long-legged Buzzard, Eagle Owl etc

Eastern Rhodopes - the mountain range close to the Greek border, with breeding Griffon and Egyptian Vultures (attracted to feeding stations) and passerines such as Rock Nuthatch, Rock Bunting, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler and Sombre Tit

The Sakar Hills - includes possibly the best areas in Bulgaria to find Masked Shrike, Lesser Kestrel and Eastern Imperial Eagle

Ropotamo - Semi-collared Flycatchers are guaranteed here at the right time of year

Lake Alepu and Arkutino - sites for wetland birds by the coast

Lake Mandra and the Poda reserve - an exceptional wetland for breeding, wintering and passage species

Lake Vaya (Burgas Lake) - best in winter for birds such as Smew and White-headed Duck but nearby pools can also be great for breeding and passage birds

Lake Atanasovsko - mostly saltpans for waders, gulls and terns but with a raptor watchpoint and the chance of Little Crake

Pomorie Lake and saltpans - includes more sites where rare waders might be found as well as breeding Mediterranean Gull

Sliven and Karnobat - two areas where we saw Eastern Imperial Eagles in 2019 plus Isabelline Wheatears, Black-headed Buntings, Rollers and, in some years, Rose-coloured Starlings breed too.

Poroy - the reservoir is a reliable site for Ruddy Shelduck and is terrific at passage times for waders, terns and herons and I’ve had Sombre Tit, Semi-collared Flycatcher and White-tailed Eagle too.

Kableshkovo - a terrific site for buntings, larks and warblers including Olive-tree and Eastern Orphean

Cape Emine - exceptional for shrikes and warblers (including Eastern Bonelli’s, Eastern Orphean and Olive-tree), especially at passage times

Panitsovo and the Dyulinski Pass - great places for watching the passage of raptors, storks, pelicans and ibis in spring and autumn

Kamchia - still one of the best places in Europe for Semi-collared Flycatcher. Grey-headed Woodpecker is easy here too.

Yatata - another wetland for ducks, herons and waders Albena and the Baltata forest - great for woodpeckers and flycatchers and we had River Warbler and Little Bittern here too

Balchik - Eagle Owls breed on the nearby cliffs

Bolata valley - fantastic for passage warblers plus Eagle Owl, Little Bittern, Little Crake and Pied Wheatear

Cape Kaliakra - Pied Wheatears are easy here and it’s a hotspot for passage birds. Nearby steppe areas have Short-toed and Calandra Larks, Isabelline Wheatears and Tawny Pipits plus Red-breasted Geese in winter

Yailata - exceptional for steppe species including Black-eared Wheatear and passage warblers and flycatchers

Shabla and Tuzla lakes - fantastic at passage times for species such as Little Crake, Citrine Wagtail, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Great Snipe plus flycatchers and warblers.

Lake Durankulak - Paddyfield Warbler and Pied Wheatear breed here and, on passage, birds such as Red-footed Falcon, Little Crake, Citrine Wagtail and Thrush Nightingale are regularly seen. Red-breasted Geese roost here in winter. All this plus Red-necked Grebe, Yelkouan Shearwater, Barred Warbler, Ortolan Bunting, Lesser Grey Shrike, Penduline Tit, Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Warbler, Alpine Swift, Black Stork, White-winged Black Tern, Booted and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Ferruginous Duck, Pygmy Cormorant, White Pelican with sites for all these species described in detail.

Unique features

Compared to other publications covering the same area, this one:

  • Provides the most useful maps - so you can easily find your way to the best bits of wetland, steppe or woodland

  • Includes GPS co-ordinates to help you find the right turnings, parking spaces or viewing points

  • Highlights the best areas only - and summarises the key attraction in the first paragraph so you can easily decide whether to read on or bother to visit the site

  • Has a map on the inside cover which serves as an index so you can easily find any site in the book

  • Is light and portable (and cheap)

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