BULGARIA – ROCK PARTRIDGE SHORT BREAK
Best time of year: March
For 2018 the costs, in Euros, per person are approximately as follows;
2-3 participants – 430 euros
4-8 participants – 360 euros
Single room supplement – 50 euros
The best flight for this trip is with EasyJet from London Gatwick to Sofia.
This is a sort break that we have run once before and although we failed to see Rock Partridge we had a really enjoyable few days birding in the beautiful mountains. Bulgaria is great for this sort of mini birding break as it is not expensive, only a short flight away and offers some of the best birding in Europe.
Day 1 – Depart London Gatwick on an EasyJet flight to Sofia. We’ll be picked up at the airport by our guide and will transfer to either the Balkan or Pirin Mountains, depending on where the best sightings of Rock Partridge have come from this year. We shall stay in this area for the next two nights. In a comfortable family run hotel with en-suite rooms.
Days 2 and 3 – These two days will e spent exploring the area around our base in search of our target bird. To increase our chances of seeing this impressive, but rather shy bird we shall have to start early in the morning, setting off before dawn.
Other target birds for the trip include Golden Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Ring Ouzel (the south European subspecies alpinus), Water Pipit, Crag Martin, Red-rumped Swallow and Rock Bunting.
In the late afternoon of Day 3 we’ll drive to Sofia and check into a hotel there for the night.
Day 4 – En route to the airport we shall visit Vitosha Mountain near Sofia, where we can expect to find Water Pipit, Shore (Horned) Lark, Ring Ouzel, Nutcracker, Common Crossbill, Willow Tit, Goldcrest and Firecrest.
The chances of success depend very much upon the weather conditions in the mountains. We have about a 75% chance of seeing Rock Partridge and about a 25% chance of being able to get a good photograph of one.
Grading: Easy to moderate walks. To reach the Rock Partridge area takes about one hour walking on flat to fairly steep dirt roads and trails.
The cost of the tour includes accommodation in family run 2/3* hotels with en-suite rooms, all meals, guiding and transportation by car or minibus and entrance fees to protected areas.
It does not include flights, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks and items of a personal nature.