After our flight was cancelled the previous day and new ones booked, it was good to finally arrive in Bulgaria some 12 hours behind schedule!
We met up with Zdravko Kolev, our expert butterfly guide for the tour and driver Vasilev who safely took us around the country.
During the next 8 days we visited many different areas and habitats and the birding and butterfly watching was second to none!
Some of the birding highlights included WALLCREEPER showing amazingly well plus PYGMY CORMORANTS, LITTLE BITTERNS, LESSER SPOTTED, BOOTED & SHORT-TOED SNAKE EAGLES, EUROPEAN ROLLERS, WESTERN YELLOW WAGTAILS of the black-headed race feldegg, MONTAGU’S HARRIERS, ORTOLAN & BLACK-HEADED BUNTINGS, MASKED, WOODCHAT, LESSER GREY & RED-BACKED SHRIKES, EASTERN OLIVACEOUS WARBLERS, EUROPEAN GRIFFON VULTURES, EUROPEAN BEE-EATERS and so many more.
The areas we visited were often full of wall-to-wall butterflies and our brains ached with the sheer variety that Bulgaria had to offer. Our group recorded 108 species of butterfly from the massive APOLLO and SCARCE SWALLOWTAIL through to the LITTLE TIGER BLUE and everything in between such as BALKAN COPPER, FALSE EROS BLUE, SANDY GRIZZLED SKIPPER, CAMBERWELL BEAUTY, LESSER PURPLE EMPEROR, SLOE HAIRSTREAK, GREAT BANDED GRAYLING, YELLOW-BANDED SKIPPER, NICKERL’S FRITILLARY, BALKAN MARBLED WHITE, PURPLE-SHOT COPPER, MAP, NIOBE FRITILLARY, SOUTHERN SMALL WHITE, PROVENÇAL SHORT-TAILED BLUE and GERANIUM ARGUS amongst others.
As is usual with all tours, we didn’t just stop at birds and butterflies but wildflowers, bees, beetles, wasps, crickets and pretty much everything else.
This along with fabulous accommodation, great food, wonderful clients and such a beautiful country made it a tour to remember!