Bulgaria - June 2007 - 2 day tour

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT surfbirds.com)

Participants: Myself, Neophron (BSPB) guide Mladen Vasilev

Comments

I was based at Sunny Beach for two weeks on a family holiday, but pre-booked an escorted two-day tour with Neophron (BSPB) who cater for individual tours as well as for groups (although groups would probably take priority). The two day tour cost me nearly 300 but this included two 'full' days driven to and guided around Bulgaria's birding hotspots. In fact, I feel I must have pushed my poor guide Mladen to the limits, the roads in Bulgaria are not what they are in Britain in places, so this should have been taken into account when I asked for the two lengthy excursions. Do not get me wrong, Mladen had no complaints at all, but the two days were long even for me as passenger. But fully worthwhile!

I saw 126 species, the vast bulk from my guided two-day tour. Most birders would be pleased with that total from a week of birding.

The alternative to hiring a guide would be to hire a car. I did this for a day later in the holiday to cover local spots myself - I will come onto these later in the report.

For anyone wishing to bird using a hire car, I would suggest it would be feasible northwards from Sunny Beach, with only the directions around Varna to cause some difficulty on the way to Cape Kaliakra, Durankulak and Lake Shabla. But it would be far harder to undertake a day trip to the Saker mountains and Eastern Rhodopes, without the knowledge and guidance of a bird guide who knows where the "good" birds are en route. Either way, I would suggest the purchase of a good map as our languages are poles apart and signs hard to interpret. I used the 'freytag & berndt' map of Bulgaria (www.freytagberndt.com).

A few tips for those who are brave enough to hire a car....beware local police hiding behind trees - keep to speed limits! Also use of the horn is fine, people use this just to notify you of their presence, and you may need to use it yourself as I noticed people sometimes drift across the road as they saunter along. Road rage does not seem to exist here and you see no 'mutated' or 'extorted' faces as people stare each other out, like you see in the UK so often. It is also illegal in Bulgaria to speed up when being overtaken...very common sense! As for road works, some roads are in a patchwork state, and where repairs are being undertaken it is more economical to resurface weak or damaged points of the road only - hence drivers weave around avoiding the numerous ramps that are created by the patchwork strips.

Drivers also get right up your arse ! And appear to cut you up as they overtake. Do not be too alarmed. Apart from all this I found driving ok. Finally, if you are going to Durankulak near the Romanian border, or Madjaraovo near the Turkish Border, take your passport as random border checks take place 'inside' the Bulgarian country boundary...we were not stopped but you never know!

Onto the birding!

On 6th June 2007 at 7am Mladen picked me up at Hotel Meridian in Sunny Beach (in fact he had briefly popped in the previous night to introduce himself to me and discuss target birds). I had already sent him an advance email, and I was struck by how much preperation he made to maximise my chances of seeing the many bird species I hoped to see.

As we drove out of Sunny Beach, we quickly drove past the expansive Pomorie Saltpans where we noted YL gulls, a few BW Stilts and Little Egrets. We did not stop.

First stop was at the causeway overlooking the northern section of Lake Atanosovsko. As we pulled in to park up, a couple of pelicans drifted overhead and unfortunately carried on out of view...but these were Dalmation Pelicans! What a great start! There were a number of BW Stilts and Avocets in the shallows, and a single Redshank. An Eastern Olivaceous Warbler flitted around but I did not get views of note. We moved on to a second spot overlooking the southern section, but the only birds of note were nesting Common Terns.

After these brief stops we drove past the austere blocks of flats in Burgas, to the western side of Lake Vaya / Burgas. Obvious pullover spots were used. Numerous Cormorant were perched on telegraph poles, in fact their acidic faeces had corroded pylons and new ones had been erected. A Little Tern flew past, picked out by Mladen amongst the several Common Terns here. Three ramps were crammed with Pelicans, and others were on the water nearby. At least 50 of these were White Pelicans, but Mladen was surprised that up to 15 Dalmation Pelicans were also present, providing nice comparison. 2 Dalmations flew close to us, offering good views.

After twenty minutes here we moved on. The weather was slightly overcast but the light was actually very good. As we moved out of Burgas on Route 79, past Lake Mandra, we quickly moved up to Fakija Forest.. There were few opportunities to stop, although a few raptors were 'glimpsed' as we sped past. A Mistle Thrush and a few Jays were noted, and as the terrain opened out a pair of Golden Orioles flew overhead. Between Sredec and Elhoro / Elhovo we soon entered classic traditional farming land and the birds were everywhere - Corn Buntings, Crested larks, common hirundines, Red Backed Shrikes, Turtle Doves, White Storks, as well as a few birds common to the UK like Magpies, Jackdaws, Starlings, House Sparrows and Blackbirds. We pulled over to watch a superb male Montagu's Harrier in the field to our left, and then a 2nd male Monty offered even closer views in the field to the right of the road. A 3rd male was seen a little distance on, and then the first of several Black Kites and Long-Legged Buzzards showed for us. The latter were darker-plummaged birds than the pale headed individuals I had previously seen on Rhodes. A single Hobby offered good views, as well as Common Buzzards of course! The birds just kept on coming, and poor Mladen kept screeching to a halt every few miles. Of course if I had allowed a few days for these excursions, everything would have been far more leisurely, but my family did not want me to overnight away from them (as recommended by BSPB). A few beautiful male Black-Headed Buntings were seen, the books do not do these birds justice. And then a magnificent adult Roller was offering fantastic views on nearby overhead wires. Several Rollers were seen during the day ...bread and butter birds over here but not back in the UK of course! I 'scoped' this bird and studied the stunning blue and brown plummage, including the turquoise shoulder patch! One of the highlights for me!

A Tawny Pipit was seen briefly, and then just as we entered Elhoro, Mladen spotted my first Isabelline Wheatear... a plain-looking bird indeed but what a catch ! Another Black Kite was in the background as we moved on, and a Black-Headed Wagtail was glimpsed.

The next stretch on route 76 and then 55 between Elhoro and Svilengrad, took us into the Sakar Mountains, low-lying, gently-rolling hills that are the home of the endangered Eastern Imperial Eagle. Mladen took me straight to a spot that overlooked an Imperial Eagle nest half a mile away. I would never have found this. The paler sub-adult female showed tantalisingly briefly in flight, but Mladen was understandably keen to move on and promised me there would be other opportunities to see this rare raptor (just 18 pairs in Bulgaria). More larks were by the roadside, and a small flock of Tree Sparrows showed. A few more Buzzards and Long-legged Buzzards were on view as we progressed onward, and then we pulled over as a large dark-plumaged raptor was seen circling on the thermals. This was a superb Imperial Eagle - views were good if not a little distant. I noted the deep fingers and perversely I thought the profile was not too dissimilar to that of a Honey Buzzard, with lengthy tail and neck. Amazingly, at this stop, a flock of 55 White Storks circled overhead! I must have seen well over 200 of these birds today as we sped past field after field. A few were nesting in villages, on top of telegraph poles, with Spanish and House Sparrows sharing the lower quarters. It was fascinating for me, to drive through these beautiful agricultural villages crammed with donkeys, cattle, sheep, dogs. The pace of life seemed so relaxed (of course the reality may be different), but the people did seem so at ease with life.

Between Svilengrad and Madzarovo further stops were made. The only Lesser Spotted Eagle of the trip was spotted as we approached the border checkpoint, views of this stocky raptor were distant but it was pleasing to see it display in shallow roller-coaster moves like an 'arthritic' Hen Harrier! The first Black Stork was seen in a field by the road - far more attractive than their paler cousin. 9 Black Storks were seen during the day. As we approached the turn for Madzarovo (still about 20 kms away) we stopped by a small pool where we hoped to see Barred Warbler. I have seen several 1stW birds in the UK but always wanted to see an adult. We could hear a calling male but unfortunately it failed to show. I was pleased enough with exceptionally splendid close views of a male RB Shrike, and 10 Grey Herons were present on the attractive small pool. Even better, Mladen stopped for me to get out and look at a beautiful adult male Lesser Grey Shrike in a dead tree at the roadside. The pink flush of the underparts was obvious...a real cracker of a bird!

We arrived at Madzarovo (an alternative mountainous spot to Studen Kladenec approx 30kms west) in time for a lunchtime meal, which was enjoyed at a local restaurant, where I watched agitated Great Tits as well as agitated local men arguing over cards! It was all in good jest though. Unfortunately, a storm cloud from hell encroached and unleashed a mighty storm on the area. We refuelled and Mladen took me to a craggy mountainside usually occupied by Griffon Vultures...just a juvenile was seen sheltering desperately, and a Rock Nuthatch was staying well tucked in its nest hole and out of view! Grrrrr !!!!!!

After half an hour the rain subsided and the sun shone again, allowing us about an hour of birding at Madzarovo. Another crag revealed a superb adult Griffon Vulture that stretched its wings as it dried out. A couple more birds flew in after a short while, as did a couple of adult Egyptian Vultures. 2 Kestrels were seen here, and my sharp-eyed guide pointed out 2 Red-rumped Swallows amongst the Crag Martins, as well as 2 Alpine Swifts overhead. A Rock Bunting (a bird I desperately wanted to see) remained out of view although it called, but a stunning Ortolan Bunting was picked out by Mladen and I enjoyed great scope views as it sang. Another Black Stork flew over the crags, and a male Hawfinch also put in an appearance, unlike any Short-Toed Eagle today sadly! We moved on to another spot nearby, where a Subalpine Warbler was picked out by Mladen and I saw it as it flew off. Poor views of course! But he did get me on to one of two Sombre Tits that offered great views in a tree. We also got very close to another Barred Warbler that was calling just a few yards away. But it refused to show well, although I just caught another glimpse as it dropped deep into the foliage. 2 streaky-brown juvenile Black-Headed Buntings confused me for a moment too!

The black rainclouds pursued us relentlessly as we headed back north-eastwards. Mladen took us close to the Turkish border from Svilengrad, approaching the 'Strandja'. A 'back' road out of the town led us through arable land where numerous Corn Buntings, Crested Larks, Swallows and Red-Backed Shrikes were on view, as well as a pair of Bee-eaters. Several Woodchat Shrikes were seen, and an Eastern Olivaceous Warbler (a common bird I had yet to see well) teased us with the briefest of views. A stocky dark-plumage, rufous-tailed Steppe Buzzard was observed flying low across a field....a sub-species of Common Buzzard but markedly different in jizz and profile. A few more Black-Headed Buntings were noted, and a Little Owl perched by the roadside. We had to miss the Masked Shrike stop due to the inclement weather, but near the village of 'Shtit' Mladen took me to a remote spot to see Olive-Tree Warbler - that most elusive and highly prized of warblers! With thunder 'cracking' nearby, we were aware of 4 Olive Tree Warblers calling agitatedly around us. Brief flight views were obtained, and then a single bird showed well as it moved around in the low shaded branches of a tree. It shook itself free of water (it had evidently already been drenched by the rain), and then it briefly flew out to the open before disappearing from view. I was struck by the rasping call and the elongated profile. It was one of those situations where I was thrilled to see a new species, and I should have been really pleased with the views obtained of this secretive warbler.....but I just craved better views still! Nevertheless it was an extremely satisfying moment and even Mladen was chuffed with the views. He reckoned the rainstorms had caused their unusually extrovert behaviour. It certainly wasn't shtit around here!

And the excitement was not finished yet... Mladen took me through another back road as we crossed the Sakar low-lying range, and the sun came back out too. A pair of Stonechats were seen (first of the day), and then I noted a large raptor flying low over the ground a few hundred yards to the left of us. We pulled over, as the bird moved in and out of view. In the short time it showed, we were able to clearly identify it as another Imperial Eagle - a superb dark-plumaged adult with a beautiful golden crown. As it banked over with wings fully stretched brief but classic flight profile views were obtained. A fantastic moment!

Nearby, 2 more Black storks offered excellent views by a small pond, and a Black Kite perched in a tree baffled us briefly until it flew, due to a pale Marsh Harrier-type crown.

As we drove back through the villages, locals were brushing rainwater out into the road from their homes, and mud and dirt slid down the roads, and domestic animals were wandering around.

The sun again emerged as we travelled back on the route between Elhoro and Sredec. The area that had been so productive on the outward journey produced the same birds again. We stopped to watch a pair of Red-Footed Falcons - a superb blue-grey male and a streaky-chested immature bird. A pair on Monties also offered good views at this spot (different individuals to those seen earlier). We hurtled on back towards Burgas, noting a couple of Black Kites over Fakija Forest, and then at least 2 Marsh Harriers hunting the fields by Lake Mandra. As we approached Sunny Beach, 2 Night Herons were seen in flight.

What a day ! 82 species seen, including 15 lifers.

I slept reasonably well that night, and asked my guide if we could set off a little later at 9am for my second day trip northwards along the Black Sea Coast (7th June 2007). The E87 is a faster road that takes you along the coast. First port of call was Goritza Forest. Mladen showed me a secret spot where BSPB had erected nest boxes for Semi-Collared Flycatchers. Unfortunately, I was a week or two late really, but luckily we located a pair still feeding young at the 3rd box. The male was a real looker. Nuthatches called boisterously, but the only other good bird seen here was a male Middle Spotted Woodpecker. I was struck by the call and streaky chest. We dipped on Black and Grey Headed Woodpecker here, but they were always going to be unlikely anyway.

As we passed the Albena area a Hoopoe and probable Syrian Woodpecker flew across the road. I was told that the farming methods were more advanced in this area of Bulgaria (use of pesticides), and there was a stark contrast in certain bird numbers (shrikes/Storks/Larks/Turtle Doves) between this area, and the more southern areas visited yesterday where farming methods were more traditional.

We drove on to the most northerly point, arriving at Durankulak Lake around mid day. The well-known track at the northern end took us to a restaurant where we parked up. Golden Oriole, Lesser Grey Shrike and Whitethroat showed well in the trees, and a superb pair of Black Headed Wagtails were seen on the track itself. The male particularly looked immaculate with its jet-black crown, & views from the car were excellent. After parking up, we undertook a short walk by the beach, scanning the top of the adjacent reedbed for a key target species - Paddyfield Warbler. The strong breeze made observation hard, but several of these sandy-brown little birds were seen, but not as well as I had hoped. A Red Footed Falcon shot overhead, and Marsh Harriers were easy to see. An eastern-race male Reed Bunting was seen, as was a Cuckoo. After a meal at the restaurant, Mladen diverted off the E87 in nearby Durankulak village, onto a rough track that takes you immediately past a farm and out into the reedbed. You are quickly faced with a choice of two routes to take the car, but the route is circular anyway. We took the left hand option and stopped after a few hundred yards, just before a derelict farm building. We strolled out into the reedbed, where concealed Great Reed Warblers 'croaked' away. A singing Marsh Warbler was seen briefly as it took to flight, and Corn Buntings were again prominant. A pair of Bee-eaters were seen, and on the pools a Ferruginous Duck and Little Grebe showed. 5 drake Shovelers flew overhead, and a female Bearded Tit was glimpsed. 2 Night Herons and a Purple Heron flew overhead, and possibly 2 Collared Pratincoles that were gone before we knew it! We walked back to the car, and drove past the new 'wintering RB Goose' watchtower that the BSPB have erected. A Purple Heron showed quite superbly nearby, and I flushed the only Common Pheasant (female) of the trip! We scanned the adjacent water but nothing out of the ordinary was present. An adult Gull-Billed Tern flew overhead however.

As we continued on the track back towards the E87 in the village, at least 4 more Lesser Grey Shrikes were seen, and then the first Calandra Lark of the trip. A beast of a bird! I was well impressed.

Lake Sabla was visited fairly briefly, but male Spanish Sparrows showed well as we approached. Attractive little birds with black streaked underparts. On the water were very few waders, but Ferruginous Duck were present in reasonable numbers along with Mute Swans, Coot, Pochard, Shelduck and Mallard. A Common Tern and 2 'striking' 'lead-grey'-bellied Whiskered Terns were hunting insects over the water. But whilst looking at these birds, I missed a Spoonbill that landed out of sight.

The final port of call was the infamous Cape Kaliakra. Mladen used the straight road between Sabla and the Cape to his advantage speed-wise, although we nearly ran over a number of larks, including Calandra Larks. A small fee is paid to park up at the Cape. Despite the blustery conditions, several Pied Wheatears were easy to locate around the ruins. The immaculate jet-black and white males were a real treat to see. After half an hour of watching up to 8 Pied Wheatears, we drove onto a nearby clay-coloured track across the well-known adjacent plateau. What a place for larks! ...a Woodlark showed a few feet away, and then Crested larks, Skylarks, Calandra Larks, as well as at least 5 Short-Toed Larks. I especially enjoyed views of the Calandra Larks. A male offered fantastic views as it landed close by, and its black neck patch was obvious. A perched juvenile meanwhile initially caused a little confusion. With its olive-coloured head, we were unsure what species it was initially, but when it turned its head toward us we knew it was a Calandra Lark. Around 5 Isabelline Wheatears were also present, along with a few Northern Wheatears. A Tawny Pipit showed briefly, and 2 Red-rumped Swallows offered close flight views as they moved through.

It was time to head back, and once back at the hotel we enjoyed a well earned pint of local lager and discussed what had been another superb day of birding for me. Mladen had to drive back to Varna, and then catch an overnight bus to Sofia where he was due to meet a dozen American birders for an eight day tour. What stamina!

It was sad to see him go, and I would definitely recommend using Neophron/BSPB/Mladen. He was extremely knowledgeable and very good company.

Additionally, I hired a car on 10th June 2007, which duly arrived at 9.45am. On a hot day, I headed south on the E87 again. The turn for Cape Emine / Emona is about half an hours drive away, and then it is a further half hours drive on a patchy road taken in second gear! That first section of road off the E87 is worth birding....a few Black-Headed Buntings were present along with several Red-Backed Shrikes and Corn Buntings. I also had a possible Subalpine Warbler here but views were very brief as it flew away from me. After a mile from the E87 turn-off, take an 'unsignposted' turning right over a concrete bridge that crosses the river. I have seen reports that this area is quite productive. When I was present the river was being dredged so there was a lot of disturbance. The road continues upwards, varying in quality considerably. Keep your eyes open for raptors, although I had just a single Buzzard. I did stop at one opening where I had up to 5 Red Backed Shrikes that offered great views. Cape Emine is a strange place, the last mile before the Cape is worth driving slowly through - it is open bushy country and I had splendid views of an adult Tawny Pipit astride a bush, and larks and Woodchat Shrikes abound. A male Linnet was seen. I also had brief views of Sombre Tit, and a juvenile Hawfinch showed well. There is no obvious spot to park at, so I parked about hundred yards before the entrance gate to the main military base, which is itself a few hundred yards before the lighthouse. I then walked across the grass to the obvious wooded gulley to the right of the base. This gulley is a large area, and is quite deep. I walked adjacent to the military fence, where there is an obvious path. From here you can scan over the gulley. I found the area nearest to the sea the least productive. Golden Orioles and Nightingales sang as they flew overhead, and I was thrilled to locate a fine male Rock Bunting with its black and silver 'humbug' coloured head, perched on top of a tree on the opposite side of the gulley. Bonelli's Warblers sang frequently, but it was not until I carefully navigated a winding track down to the gulley floor that I saw many of the inhabitants. There is no obvious track to the gulley floor, but if one came to a dead end or became too steep I would try the next path down. It was not that difficult. But beware, although it is not extremely steep, you need to be fit and healthy, and possess sturdy, good-gripping footwear, and have plenty of drink (due to the heat). The stream was largely dried out in June, but there were small puddles of water. I positioned myself in a shaded position under a branch twenty feet from a large puddle, and watched comings and goings quietly for about an hour. 3 Bonelli's Warblers visited...first of all 2 birds then a single bird that showed its olive wing-panel well. A Thrush Nightingale with its subtley but obviously streaked chest hopped up to the stream to take a drink. Another lifer! An Olivaceous Warbler and a few Hawfinches also offered good views as they visited, as did a Marsh Tit, Great Tits and a Jay. Sadly I heard or saw no more Olive Tree Warblers during my time here - although middle of the day would not be the most productive time!

Exhausted and pouring sweat after my climb back up the gulley side in the 80 degrees heat, I drank huge amounts of water back at the car. I did not see any army personnel whilst present, but I would still advise reasonably discreet behaviour here.

I rejoined the E87, and at Sunny Beach drove inland towards Tankovo, this is just a few miles from Sunny Beach. Opposite the obvious turn off the main road for the village of Tankovo itself is a small iron bridge where I parked up. Immediately adjacent to this is a reedbed and small river. Nothing out of the ordinary was here, but I had Black-Headed Bunting, Great Reed Warbler and Corn Bunting in the same tree. It may be a spot worthy of further exploration. Either way, Tankovo is en route to Poroy / Poroj. The reservoir here was visited briefly, but I only saw White Stork, Steppe Buzzard, and a few Common Terns. To reach the excellent and 'birder-friendly' Poroy Wood, instead of turning right at the T-junction towards the reservoir, you turn left for at least a mile then take a right turn to Poroy village. A beautiful wood emerges on the right hand side of the road, and I parked on a track in the wood itself, just before you enter Poroy village. I wished I had allowed myself more time to explore here, for in the hour I spent I enjoyed cracking views of Golden Orioles, Woodchat and Red-Backed Shrikes, Hoopoe, Spanish Sparrows, and brief views of a Green Woodpecker and a couple of others that may have been Great Spotted or Syrian - as both occur here! One was a juvenile bird with red crown and soft call. I am not sure if Masked Shrike still occur here however??

Finally, in Sunny Beach itself, I scanned for the few remaining areas of trees from the top of my hotel. About one hundred yards from Hotel Meridian, I found a reasonable area that I visited a few times between 6 - 8am. I regularly had Golden Oriole, Hawfinch, Nightingale, Turtle Dove, Spanish Sparrow, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Tree Sparrow, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Hooded Crows, and a pair of noisy Hobby. Hotel Meridian is set adjacent to the main road that runs through the resort, in the southern part of Sunny Beach (towards Nessebar).

A few hundred yards further south of my hotel, a bridge carries the adjacent main road over a reed-lined river. There is a raised path (in fact you can drive down this) that runs adjacent to this excellent strip of reed by the river for half a mile until it reaches another bridge (carrying the main E87 road). This section is well worth birding early morning, although recognising the limitations of species to be seen in Sunny Beach. Great Reed Warblers are incredibly showy here, and Reed Warblers and Little Bittern (mainly flight views) were also seen each time I visited. A party of noisy Kestrels were using an old Crows nest in a tree, with Spanish Sparrows nesting on the ground floor! I thought these Kestrels may be 'Lessers' as they never hovered but only hawked! I had Cuckoo, Bee-eater, possible Savi's Warbler, Golden Oriole, Hawfinch and Nightingale here, although calling Cetti's Warblers were even more elusive than at home. Blue Tits, Jackdaws, Magpies, and Moorhen can also be seen here. The row of trees just before the E87 bridge seems a particularly fruitful patch to explore. The local peasant farmers have a few dogs half way along but I found them to be fearful and respectful of man. The Bulgarian people in general are polite and friendly and wherever I went I felt safe and un-hassled.

Species Lists

1) Little Grebe - 1 seen at Durankulak
2) Greater Cormorant - seen in large numbers by bodies of water such as Durankulak / Lake Vaya
3) Shag - several of "desmarati" race seen off Cape Kaliakra
4) Dalmation Pelican - 2 seen at lake Atanosovko and upto 15 at Lake vaya (Burgas)
5) White Pelican - at least 50 seen at Lake Vaya (Burgas), and 75 seen in flight over Sunny Beach
6) Little Bittern - between 1 - 4 birds seen each time by canal at Sunny Beach
7) Night Heron - 2 seen at Durankulak, and 2 near Sunny Beach
8) Little Egret - 4 seen over Sunny Beach, several seen as drove past Pomorie Saltpans
9) Grey Heron - seen occasionally but frequently by pools of water
10) Purple Heron - at least 2 seen at Durankulak
11) Black Stork - 9 birds seen around Sakar mountains, and Madzarovo (Eastern Rhodopes)
12) White Stork - 200 plus birds seen. Common in southern section of country.
13) Mute Swan - over 100 birds at Lake Sabla
14) Shelduck - common in small numbers most bodies of water
15) Mallard - seen in small numbers frequently
16) Shoveler - 5 drakes seen at Durankulak
17) Pochard - over a dozen seen at Lake Shabla
18) Moorhen - single bird seen at canal at Sunny Beach
19) Ferruginous Duck - at least 15 birds at Lake Sabla, a few more at Durankulak
20) Black Kite - several birds seen various locations, mainly in south
21) Egyptian Vulture - 2 adults seen Madzarovo
22) Griffon Vulture - 4 birds seen Madzorovo
23) Montagu's Harrier - 5 birds seen between Sredec and Elhoro
24) Marsh Harrier - 2 birds each seen at Lake Mandra and Durankulak
25) Common Buzzard - number of birds (approx 20) seen between Sredec and Madzorovo
26) Stepe Buzzard - 1 bird seen near Turksih border, another possible at Poroy Reservoir
27) Long-Legged Buzzard - about 7 birds seen between Sredec and Madzorovo
28) Eastern Imperial Eagle - 3 birds seen Sakar region
29) Lesser Spotted Eagle - 1 bird seen near Madzorovo
30) Red-Footed Falcon - 1 bird Durankulak, 2 birds near Elhoro
31) Kestrel - 6 birds Sunny Beach near canal, 2 at Madzorovo
32) Hobby - 2 birds near trees near hotel Sunny Beach, 1 bird between Sredec and Elhoro
33) Common Pheasant - 1 female flushed Durankulak
34) Coot - 2 birds seen Sakar region on pool
35) Northern Lapwing - 1 bird seen Pomorie Saltpans
36) Black-winged Stilt - quite common Burgas lakes & Pomorie
37) Avocet - quite common Burgas Lakes & Pomorie
38) Collared Pratincole - 2 birds overhead Durankulak
39) Redshank - 20 birds Pomorie, 1 bird Lake Atanosovko
40) Black-Headed Gull- 30 birds plus Pomorie Saltpans
41) Mediterranean Gull - 15 birds Pomorie Saltpans
42) Yellow Legged Gull - present in huge numbers along coast
43) Gull-Billed Tern - 1 adult Durankulak
44) Common Tern - quite common most areas of water
45) Whiskered Tern - 2 adults at Lake Shabla
46) Little Tern - 1 bird at Lake Vaya (Burgas)
47) Wood Pigeon - few birds seen Sunny Beach area
48) Rock Dove - one bird seen by Cape Kaliakra
49) Collared Dove - present in small numbers many small villages/towns
50) Turtle Dove - widespread
51) Cuckoo - 2 birds canal at Sunny Beach, 1 Durankulak
52) Little Owl - 1 bird Sakar region
53) Alpine Swift - 2 birds at Madzorovo
54) Swift - fairly common
55) Bee-eater - 2 birds Durankulak, 2 birds Sakar region, 1 bird canal Sunny Beach
56) Roller - several birds seen between Sredec and Elhoro best area.
57) Hoopoe - i bird seen near Albena, 1 bird Poroy Wood
58) Middle Spotted Woodpecker - 1 male Goritza Forest
59) Syrian Woodpecker - 1 bird near Albena, 1 possible juv at Poroy Wood
60) Great Spotted Woodpecker - at least 1 bird Poroy Wood
61) Green Woodpecker - 1 bird Poroy Wood
62) Skylark - reasonably common
63) Woodlark - 1 bird plateau at Cape Kaliakra
64) Crested lark - widespread Sakar/ Strandja/ Elhoro areas
65) Short-Toed Lark - 5 birds seen plateau area Cape Kaliakra
66) Calandra Lark - approx 20 birds seen around Cape Kaliakra, 1 at Durankulak
67) Crag Martin - several at Madzorovo
68) Red-Rumped Swallow - 2 at Madzorovo, 2 at Cape Kaliakra plateau
69) Swallow - widespread
70) House Martin - widespread
71) Tawny Pipit - 1 bird Elhoro, 1 bird Cape Kaliakra, 1 bird Cape Emine
72) Pied (White) Wagtail - seveal birds seen Cape Kaliakra and Cape Emine
73) Black-Headed Wagtail - 1 bird seen near Elhoro, pair at Durankulak
74) Robin - 1 bird near Cape Emine
75) Nightingale - fairly widespread suitable habitat
76) Thrush Nightingale - 1 bird Cape Emine
77) Stonechat - 2 birds Sakar region, 2 birds Tankovo
78) Northern Wheatear - few birds Cape Kaliakra and Cape Emine
79) Isabelline Wheatear - i bird near Elhoro, approx 5 at Cape Kaliakra plateau
80) Pied Wheatear - at least 8 birds seen Cape Kaliakra
81) Mistle Thrush - 2 birds seen woods Sunny Beach, 1 Fakija Forest
82) Song Thrush - 2 birds Poroy Wood
83) Blackbird - fairly common
84) Great Reed Warbler - common suitable habitat such as Durankulak and canal Sunny Beach
85) Marsh Warbler - 1 bird seen briefly at Durankulak
86) Reed Warbler - several seen Durankulak and canal Sunny Beach
87) Savi's Warbler - 1 probable seen canal Sunny Beach
88) Paddyfield Warbler - several seen Durankulak
89) Olive-Tree Warbler - 2 birds seen near Shtit (Strandja region)
90) Eastern Olivaceous Warbler - several seen well around Sunny Beach. Also Cape Emine
91) Subalpine Warbler - 1 glimpsed at Madzorovo, maybe 1 near Cape Emine
92) Eastern Bonelli's Warbler - 3 birds at Cape Emine
93) Whitethroat - 1 bird at Durankulak, 1 at Lake Shabla
94) Lesser Whitethroat - heard only at Sunny Beach and Cape Emine
95) Willow Warbler - 1 heard only at Lake Shabla
96) Blackcap - 1 male seen in woods Sunny Beach
97) Barred Warbler - 1 glimpsed near Madzorovo
98) Semi-Collared Flycatcher - 2 adults and a youngster at Goritza Foorest
99) Bearded Tit - 1 female at Durankulak
100) Sombre Tit - 2 birds at Madzorovo and 1 at Cape Emine
101) Blue Tit - several seen canal area Sunny Beach
102) Great Tit - several seen Cape Emine, and Madzorovo
103) Marsh Tit - one bird seen Cape Emine
104) Nuthatch - 2-3 birds seen Goritza Forest
105) Red-Backed Shrike - quite common suitable habitat
106) Woodchat Shrike - several seen near Strandja, and Poroy Wood
107) Starling - fairly common
108) Golden Oriole - several seen Sunny Beach woods and by canal, Cape Emine, Poroy Wood
109) Jay - several seen Cape Emine, Fakija Forest.
110) Magpie - fairly common
111) Jackdaw - fairly common
112) Hooded Crow - several seen woods at Sunny Beach, and near Cape Kaliakra
113) Rook - seen near Albena
114) Tree Sparrow - sen in small number Sakar region, and woods Sunny Beach
115) House Sparrow - widespread
116) Spanish Sparrow - seen in small numbers various places
117) Chaffinch - fairly common
118) Hawfinch - seen Sunny Beach woods and canal, Madzorovo, cape Emine
119) Greenfinch - few seen in woods Sunny Beach
120) Goldfinch - seen near trees Sunny Beach, Durankulak.
121) Linnet - 1 male at Cape Emine
122) Corn Bunting - widespread
123) Rock Bunting - 1 male at Cape Emine
124) Ortolan Bunting - 1 male at Madzorovo
125) Black-Headed Bunting - around 20 seen various places - Cape Emine, near Elhoro, Madzorovo etc
126) Red Bunting - 1 eastern race male at Durankulak