Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife

20th to 25th January 2021 (Sold Out) 20th to 28th January 2022 (Sold Out)

During this exciting workshop we will be photographing in both Bulgaria and Greece. I’m running this trip with well known Bulgarian nature photographer Emil Enchev, who has a great knowledge of the local wildlife and has been working will all the species we will be photographing for many years.

For the first three days of the workshop our main aim will be to capture some stunning images of Dalmatian Pelicans on Lake Kirkini in Greece. These charismatic birds spend the winter on the lake. We will photograph them from a boat and from the shore, and we’ll use various techniques to enable you to capture some dramatic, beautiful and comical images of the birds. At this time of the year there should be over one hundred pelicans on the lake, and they will be coming into breeding plumage with bright orange and red throat pouches. Expect to capture a wide variety of images including portraits, fighting, feeding and flight shots of these enormous birds. Hopefully this will all be against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains! There may also be white pelicans in their splendid pink breeding plumage, flamingos and a few other species on and around the lake. If the weather is on your side the photographic opportunities will be quite amazing and you can expect to shoot 2000-4000 images per day! We will also photograph nutcrackers high in the snow-covered mountains of Bulgaria. 

From Kerkini we will move up to central Bulgaria where we will be working mainly from well-established hides. Our main target species will be Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Raven, Buzzard and hawfinch. The hides are also frequented by many species of small birds such as; larks, buntings, finches and tits. One of the hides regularly provides excellent opportunities to photograph levant sparrowhawk, sombre tit and Syrian woodpecker. We also hope to be able to photograph wintering long-eared owls.

Please bear in mind that you are always reliant upon the subject and weather conditions when photographing wildlife and that good opportunities can never be guaranteed. The hides that we use are well established and have provided excellent photographic opportunities over the years. All of the species mentioned above are regular visitors. Weather permitting we will start photographing each day before sunrise and finish after sunset. Image critique sessions will be carried out as required and when time permits. This trip is limited to only five participants so that we have sufficient space in the hides for everyone to continue shooting all day. 

ITINERARY (subject to change due to weather and wildlife)

  • 20th January: Arrive at Sofia airport and unpack gear necessary for nutcracker photography. Drive to a nearby mountain to photograph nutcracker in the snow (weather and flight time permitting). Drive to our first hotel near Lake Kerkini (3 hours).
  • 21st January: Early morning photography around Lake Kerkini where we will photograph Dalmatian Pelicans from a boat and from the shore.  Return to the hotel for Brunch and image review. Return to the lake in the afternoon to look for flamingos and to photograph the Dalmatian pelicans in late afternoon light and at sunset.
  • 22nd January: A repeat of day two photographing more birdlife around Lake Kerkini. Each day we will spend three hours on a small boat on the lake to get some different angles on the pelicans and to find different backgrounds.
  • 23rd January: After a full morning photographing around Lake Kerkini we will head east through Greece and up into central Bulgaria to our second hotel.
  • 24th January: The group will split in two. One group will spend the whole day in a hide photographing eagles, raven, red fox and other species. The second group will spend most of the day in a woodland bird hide photographing hawfiches, other small birds and levant sparrowhawk, followed by long-eared owls in a nearby churchyard.
  • 25th January: A repeat of the previous day, switching hides. In the evening we all travel to our next hotel in the Rhodope Mountains.
  • 26th January: After a very early start we will all spend the day in a much larger hide photographing eagles, vultures, raven and hopefully more!
  • 27th January: A repeat of the previous day (or possibly move to a new hide for similar species).
  • 28th January: Depart for Sofia airport after breakfast. Weather, time and flights permitting we may have another session photographing nutcrackers in the snow before reaching Sofia.

Price

£2695

Included

Transport from Sofia airport, single occupancy en-suite rooms, all meals and most drinks

Excluded

Flights, additional alcoholic drinks, travel & photographic insurance

Maximum Participants

5

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  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife
  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife
  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife
  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife
  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife
  • Bulgaria & Greece Winter Wildlife

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