One-day Birding Around Sofia

Black-headed Bunting by Mladen Vasilev

This birding trip will bring you to explore the birdlife in a great variety of habitats around Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, including the conifer and broad-leaved forests in the Vitosha mountain, high mountain meadows, marshlands, steppe and Karst areas.

Some of the key species of birds to be seen during the trip:

Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Little Crake, Corncrake, Water Rail, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, White-backed Woodpecker (ssp. lilfordi), Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Tawny Pipit, Water Pipit, Black-headed Yellow Wagtail, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel (ssp. alpestris), Isabelline Wheatear, Sombre Tit, Black-headed Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Rock Bunting and many others.

More about the sites to be visited:

Vitosha Mountain is the oldest nature park on the Balkan Peninsula. Its gorgeous silhouette is visible from almost all positions in the city and is inseparable part of Sofia’ image. The mountain is home of a diversity of bigger and smaller mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. In the different seasons 200 bird species can be observed there, of them 120 species breeding within the park’s territory. Typical inhabitants of the spruce forests are the Nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), Coal Tit (Parus ater), Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), etc.

The other bird-rich area we are going to visit in the vicinity of Sofia is the Dragoman marsh, which is the biggest natural karst wetland in Bulgaria. It is situated only 35 km north-west from Sofia and covers a valley between the limestone hills Tri Ushi and Chepan. With over 200 bird species recorded there, the wetland is a protected sanctuary for birds.

Departure time: ~ 8.00 h
End of tour: ~ 18:00 h


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