Few countries in Europe have especially large birding lists, with many of the sought after species being found at opposite ends of the continent. No single trip could provide an all-encompassing overview of the best of what Europe has to offer, until now. Our new Highlights of Europe tour takes us to 4 countries, from Mediterranean Spain in the south and Finland in the Arctic north to Poland and Bulgaria in the east. This tour can be taken as a single three and half week tour de force of Europe’s avifauna, or in shorter bite sized chunks.
Moving east to Bulgaria and Poland for a few weeks, we venture beyond the former ‘Iron Curtain’ which kept Eastern Europe out-of-bounds for most people during the Cold War era. Many of these areas have now been found to be wildlife havens, and in fact, some have been established as nature reserves. There are plenty of ‘eastern’ specialties that rarely, if ever, venture into the western regions of Europe. In fact, many species are far more abundant and easier to find in the east, no doubt due to its lack of development as compared to the more affluent west.
Great Snipe, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Grey-headed Woodpeckers, River, Savi’s and Aquatic Warblers, Sombre Tit and Lesser Grey Shrike are some of the species that come to mind. Other more widespread, but no less spectacular birds include Golden Eagle, Common Crane, Little and Eurasian Bitterns, Bearded Reedling and the beautiful Bluethroat. We will stay in small guesthouses in good birding locations throughout this tour, and food will consist of local cuisine.
Great Snipe, Corn Crake, Pygmy Cormorant, Bearded Reedling, Ferruginous Duck, Griffon, Egyptian & Cinereous Vultures, Eastern Imperial, Golden, White-tailed, Short-toed, Lesser Spotted & Booted Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawk, Eleonora’s Falcons, Chukar Partridge, Sombre Tit, Western Rock Nuthatch, Ortolan, Rock and Black-headed Buntings, Blue Rock Thrush, Masked Shrike, Slender-billed & Caspian Gulls, Savi’s, Aquatic & Cetti’s Warblers, Common Crane, Little & Eurasian Bitterns, Bearded Reedling, Bluethroat, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Calandra & Greater Short-toed Larks, Rose-colored Starling, Yelkouan Shearwater, Thrush Nightingale, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, White-backed, Three-toed, Black, Middle Spotted & Grey-headed Woodpeckers,
European Bison, European Roe Deer, Grey Wolf, Eurasian Red Squirrel
Fens, lakes, grasslands, pine forests, birch forests, seashore, steppe, cultivated fields
moderate with some colder mornings
relaxed with some longer drives
ancient historical sites, fabulous scenery