Finding Birds in Bulgaria update

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This book was completely re-written, under a different title Finding Birds in Eastern Bulgaria, in 2019. Further up dates since then can be found here

Lake Sabla

June 1997 Site 6 had no waders but various wildfowl and terns including Ferruginous Duck and a Red-breasted Goose. There's a short track to the left about halfway between the signpost and the gate. From here it's possible to walk right alongside the marsh or straight on to a well-vegetated stream and another, much smaller, marsh. At the southern end of the main marsh were 2 Great White Egrets, White-winged Black Terns, Red-footed Falcon and various waders including Collared Pratincole. The small marsh was 'FULL of stilts, Night Herons, White Storks and 2 Glossy Ibis.' Paddyfield Warblers were heard/seen by the main marsh, the small marsh and the stream.  (Steve Fisher)

early Sept 1998 The marsh was dry and unproductive by this time of year but there were 2 Red-necked Phalaropes at site 6 plus lots of ducks, terns, grebes and herons plus 15 Glossy Ibis (Andrew Ross).

Lake Durankulak

May 1997 Rose-coloured Starlings (flocks passing through), Temminck's Stint and Red-footed Falcon and Ferruginous Duck was the commonest duck (Ian Hillery)

early September 1998 2 Isabelline Wheatears on the beach and a Long-legged Buzzard overhead (Andrew Ross).

June 2007 You can no longer drive beyond the car park at Camping Kocmoc but by walking 20 metres to the path by the reedbed I found several Paddyfield Warblers. Marsh Harrier and a Red-footed Falcon were also over the reedbed from this point. Back on the E87, there is an additional very good driveable track (taken off the E87) by Durankulak village itself, which is not shown in the book, and is not signposted in anyway from memory. This immediately takes you past a farm to your left, and then you are faced with a choice of 2 directions - do not worry as the route is circular. We took the route to the left and after a few hundred metres parked up on the left (just before derelict farm buildings). We walked out from here through the tall reeds for a further hundred metres or so, picking up 2 Bee-eater, 2 "difficult" but singing Marsh Warblers, Great Reed Warblers, Corn Buntings, Ferruginous Duck on one of the small pools, and plenty of wildfowl flying overhead as well as 2 Night Herons and 2 Collared Pratincoles. Further exploration of foot is possible. Back in the car we drove on past the BSPB watch tower (only used for watching Red-breasted Geese in winter), stopping at various points to overlook reed-bed and larger area of water. Purple Heron was added, and as we drove on we had good views of a few Lesser Grey Shrikes, Spanish Sparrows and a Calandra Lark. The track, which is perfectly driveable, rejoins the track by the farm near the E87. I only had a short time here but Durankulak is worthy of a full day. (Nick Moss)

16th Feb 2012 Pavel  Simeonov tells me that in the last few days 3 Red-breasted Geese have been caught and released with satellite tags and are currently in a large RBG flock at Durankulak.

11-21 May 2014 Our first visit to Bulgaria and it wont be our last. Fantatastic birding. Species listed here were seen in and around the lodge but mostly from site 2. Large numbers of the following Ferruginous Duck Pygmy Cormorant Squacco Heron Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrikes Calandra lark Great Reed Sedge Paddyfield Warblers.Black-headed Yellow Wagtail. Never seen so many Golden Orioles. Other species seen Greylag Goose Black-throated Diver Garganey Common & Red Crested Pochard Gadwall Pallas's & Caspian Gull White-winged Whiskered & Black Terns White-tailed Eagle Western Marsh Harrier Eurasian Hobby Red Footed Falcon Little Ringed Plover Ruddy Turnstone Temminck's Stint Curlew Sandpiper Eurasian Turtle Dove European Bee-eater  Bearded Reedling Eastern Olivacous Warblerred Breasted & Semi Collared Flycatcher Common & Thrush Nightingale Little Bittern Corn & Ortolan Buntings White Stork Grey Partridge Eurasian Stone Curlew. This is not a complete list but it gives a flavour of the area. Anyone visiting this area  MUST GO TO SITE 2 FANTASTIC PLACE. (Martin and Bridget Shave)

Cape Kaliakra

May 1997 Pallid Harrier at site 5 (Ian Hillery)

June 1997 Totally mind-blowing. Pied Wheatear very common and great views of Eagle Owl at site 3 (Steve Fisher).

mid August 1997 Pallid Harrier (Dave Ashworth)

2nd Sept 1998 The bushes at site 1 had lots of migrants including 5 Red-breasted Flycatchers, 6 Icterine Warblers and an Olive-tree Warbler. Two days later site 2 was 'thronging with Red-backed Shrikes, Spotted Flycatchers, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Redstarts' plus over 50 nightingales (mostly Thrush Nightingales), a few Red-breasted Flycatchers and 3 Corncrakes'. Many of these species were also at site 3 where there were also Marsh Harrier, Purple Heron, a Pygmy Cormorant and at least 5 Little Crakes. (A Ross)

19 May 2014 Lots of migrants here on the day we visited inc Barred Warbler Lesser & Common Whitethroats Common Nightingales Golden Oriole Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrike Bee Eater Common Cuckoo Tawny Pipit Northern & Pied Wheatear Calandra  & Greater Short-toed Lark European Roller.Eurasian Hoopoe. The Pied Wheatears where very approachable at the end of the headland. " long legged Buzzards also present along with Common Kestrel & Eurasian Hobby. Common Quail & Grey Partridge heard. (Martin and Bridget Shave)


A rocky area about 30 km west of Studen Kladenatz, for vultures and species such as Rock Nuthatch, Rock Bunting, Sombre Tit and Eastern Orphean Warbler.

18 May 2008 On my one day there I saw a Dalmatian Pelican passing high overhead, as it  moved out of sight over the ridges.  Also here were three Black Storks standing on a ledge high up on the cliffs. (Floyd Schrock)

Between Sunny beach and Madzorovo

Along routes 76 and 55 inland from Sunny Beach. Great countryside for raptors inc E Imperial Eagle and Red-footed Falcon and passerines inc Olive-tree Warbler and Isabelline Wheatear

June 2007 The road between Sredec and Elhoro (after Fatija Forest where pullover spots with a view are rare) produced 4 Montagu's Harriers, 2 Red-footed Falcons, a few Black Kites and Long-legged Buzzards, Common Buzzards, several Rollers and Black-headed Buntings, Isabelline Wheatear, Golden Oriole, many Red-backed Shrikes, Turtle Doves, Crested Larks, Spanish Sparrows, common hirundines. Then after Elhoro/Elhovo, a low-lying gently rolling series of hills (Sakar mountains) were crammed with more birds including many White and a few Black Storks and Eastern Imperial Eagle (3 birds seen), Lesser Spotted Eagle (1 bird) but we dipped on Masked Shrike due to rain. About a mile (very approx.) SW of the village of Shtit/Stit on the road ten miles NE of Svilengrad is a hard-baked mud track to the north of the road. We parked up on this track after about a hundred metres and heard 4 Olive-tree Warblers in the bushes and small trees to the right, two of which were seen although they were elusive. This general area was superb for birds...larks, Little Owl, Steppe Buzzard, Woodchat Shrike, Bee-eaters, hirundines. I would advise using a bird guide for a trip to the Sakar Mountains and Eastern Rhodopes due to the precise geographical knowledge required and other possible difficulties (border police/breakdown/getting lost, etc.). (Nick Moss)

Zafirovo lagoons

2 lagoons 20km west of Sreburna where Ruddy Shelduck has bred and pelicans often rest

May 1997 A Dalmatian Pelican and a pair of Ruddy Shelduck with chicks (Ian Hillery).

Burgas area

June 2007 At site 11 (page 34) several noisy Golden Orioles, Woodchat and Red-backed Shrikes, Spanish Sparrows, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted and Syrian Woodpeckers. Masked Shrike are said to breed here. It’s feasible to get here from the coast by taxi. (Nick Moss)


Finding Birds in Bulgaria

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