Early Spring Workshop - Birds and Wildlife

Friday 17th May – Friday 24th May 2024

Main Focus – Birds.
If you are not only interested in birds, very good opportunities to take pictures of flowers, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies and dragonflies also exist.

Black-headed Bunting /Emberiza melanocephala/

From our hides you will have excellent opportunity to observe and photograph some of the most attractive birds in Bulgaria, for ex :  Hoopoe, Bea-eater,  Black-headed-, Ortolan- and Cirl bunting, Black-, Green-,  Syrian woodpeckers, Warblers, Woodchat-, Lesser Grey - and Red-backed Shrike, Isabelline Wheatear, Little Owl, Hawfinch, Nightingale ... 

 Also, if you are interested, you can try our floating hides and photograph  Little Bittern, Little Grebe, Greata crested Grebe, herons and other waterfowl  from startling short distance.

Our main efforts are the customer to be able to photograph attractive species of birds with interesting behaviour from suitable distance and beautiful backgrounds.
  Normally for a week of intensive sessions our guest are able to photograph really well around 15-30 species. For the one looking for quantity as a priority, numbers can go up to 50-60.

The difference with this workshop compared to the following ones is the greater chance to "capture" mating behaviour of different bird species, which are just starting to settle nesting territories and copulate. This period is also particularly good for woodpeckers (all feeding at that time).

The most interesting mammal that we will encounter is the European ground squirrel known as  Souslik. Spending some time in the middle of a colony with your camera can be an entertaining experience

poppyes and roses

The Sites
During the workshop you will work in several different habitats. One of them is a dry area with rounded hills near Rodopi Mountains which is covered with steppe vegetation. We will also enter the Rodopi with it’s forests, rocky slopes  and grasslands. Wetlands situated in the plain are another very different place. These radically different habitats, sheltering specific types of plants and animals, offer a variety of photographic subjects.

During the whole trip you will stay in a nice family owned hotel near the town of Pestera        (less two hours driving from Sofia Airport). Most of the hides and attractive places are 05 to 30 min. driving from the hotel. Going to the wetlands where we do photography from our floating hide will require up to  one hour driving

Daily Program
Every day we will start at sunrise and after a short breakfast we’ll go to the hides which offer space for one or more photographers. In some situations we will approach several bird species without using a hide, or using our cars as a hide.
 During the photo sessions each photographer will be able to ask questions and get advices and assistance related to wildlife photography. In the evenings we will have time to further look through and discuss the work that we’ve done during the day and discuss the plan for the next day.  Most often  our lunch will be in the restaurant at our hotel. In May most often good light for photography is until 19.30 pm or even late. After that time we go back to our hotel.

Bee-eater /Merops apiaster/

If the days are cloudless, hot and the sun light is too strong, we usually take about 2-3 hours rest at noon. For every two or three participants we provide a separate car with guid, this allowing greater flexibility of the organization, transfers and choice of sites for photography.

For those who want to use the floating hides we provide waders in different size. Of course if you prefer you can bring your own waders or neoprene.

Level of fitness All hides are accessible by car. For macro and landscape photography you may need to do some moderate walking.

Equipment recommended For bird photography the minimum focal length we recommend is 300mm. It’s important to bring a tripod. We can provide beanbags. A macro lens might be a good choice for insects, plants and other small things. Do not hesitate to contact us in case of specific questions you might have!

Group size:    2 – 6 photographers

 Cost:                            1940 EUR per person
Single supplement:        130 EUR
Deposit:                          200 EUR

Price excludes: International Flights, travel insurance,  all items of purely personal nature.

There is an option to extend this trip with several days and photograph – Lesser Kestrel, Vultures ( Egyptian, Griffon and Black) terns, waders  and other shore birds.  For more info please ask.

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