Romania Bulgaria winter

Europe/Romania, Bulgaria

Winter in Romania and Bulgaria – Red-breasted Geese quest

Black Sea Coast, Southern Carpathian Mountains, 7 or 10 days

This tour can be considered as one of the most spectacular winter holidays in Europe. We take you to Northern Bulgaria then continue on to the best birdwatching spots in Romania, located along the Black Sea Coast and the famous Danube Delta region. Winter is an excellent time for birding along the coast, not only for the long list of possible species, but because this area is the wintering place for a very high percentage of the world population of Red-breasted Geese, which gather here in huge numbers. White-headed Ducks also congregate in freshwater lakes, along with Black-necked Grebes and Smew. The rocky, dry steppe areas of Dobrogea hold flocks of passerines, including the exciting Calandra Lark. Hen Harrier and Merlin also favour this area, and they are relatively easy to see.
For those who choose the optional 3-day extension, this opens a further opportunity, a chance to visit the Bucegi Mountains in the Southern Carpathians, the magical land of the infamous Count Dracula. Here we take a ride on a horse-drawn sledge in the quest for Ural Owl, Nutcracker, Common Crossbill, Hawfinch, Brown Bear, and we may also encounter the tracks of Wolf, Lynx and Wild Cat.
Should participants desire to spend some time at sea, we are happy to organise and include a 2-day Danube Delta boat trip in the programme. An exclusive floating hotel can be chartered for the occasion, with meals on board and cabins with en-suite facilities.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

3 nights in a hotel near the Bulgarian border
3 nights in Mamaia, a Black Sea resort
3 nights in Zarnesti in the Southern Carpathians

Departure Dates

Saturday 9 February – Friday 15 February 2013

Price

Ask for the actual price

Optional extensions

Visit to Dracula’s land in the Southern Carpathian Mountains
A 2-day Danube Delta boat trip on an exclusive chartered floating hotel with en-suite facilities

Itinerary

1-3

Upon arrival at Bucharest Airport, we drive to our hotel near the Black Sea Coast, a few kilometres from the Bulgarian border. From there we visit the nearby Durankulak Lake in Bulgaria, the most famous site for the massing of Red-breasted Geese; here we can marvel as tens of thousands of these beautiful birds land to feed on the abandoned cropland. Along the seashore we look for Skuas, Yelkouan Shearwater, Great Black-headed Gull and Black-necked Grebe.

4

We have an extra opportunity to revisit Durankulak Lake before driving northwards to Mamaia. En route we stop at Lake Techirghiol, a famous wintering site for White-headed Ducks.

5-6

We explore Dobrogea, visiting the prime wetlands of Vadu and Istria, a great opportunity to observe Red-crested Pochard, Ferruginous Duck and Dalmatian Pelicans. The dry steppe is excellent for raptors, such as Long-legged Buzzard and Merlin. The old growth oaks of the Babadag Forest offer the chance to explore a very different coastal habitat and catch sight of Sombre Tit, Middle Spotted, Grey-headed and Syrian Woodpeckers.

7-9

After a short morning birding we drive to Bucharest to fly back home. Those adding an extra three days continue towards the neighbourhoods of Brasov in the Southern Carpathian Mountains, with their deep forests and alpine meadows. During our stay we look for Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Ural Owl and wintering Wallcreeper, the latter preferring the habitat provided by the nearby gorges. Local sources keep us informed of the movements of Brown Bears, hence we might opt for an optional bearwatching evening. This area is rich in other elusive wildlife too, and we may also see the footprints of Wildcat, Lynx or Wolf in the snow.

10

Return to Bucharest Airport for the return flight home.

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