During this exciting new workshop we will be exploring the central part of Bulgaria. Our aim will be to capture a wide variety of spring wildlife from birds and reptiles to insects and wildflowers. This trip is limited to only five participants and at times the group will be split up, allowing different guides to take a smaller number of photographers to different locations. We will be using many different hides for bird photography, including some floating hides. These hides accommodate various numbers of photographers; so the groups will be rotated in order to take advantage of each hide location.
We will be visiting many great areas for both insect and wildflower photography. Bulgaria has some of the largest expanses of unmanaged grassland in Europe, so there is an abundance of species. We will endeavour to make use of the best light for the day around dawn and dusk, so be prepared for long days out in the field with early starts and late finishes! Whenever possible we will try to make time for rest during the harsh midday light. The workshop will begin and end in Sofia. We will have six days of photography in total but I can assure you that it will seem much longer!
This itinerary will be very flexible and is likely to change according to weather and seasonal conditions. We aim to be based in only one location near Peshtera in central Bulgaria (about 120km from Sofia).
• Day 1: From Sofia we head east to our hotel near Peshtera. Flight times permitting we will head out for an evening shoot on day one.
• Day 2 - 6: From our base near Peshtera the group will be split up and taken by different guides to begin a circuit of photographic locations in the vicinity. These will include hides for bird photography and locations for wildflowers and insects.
• Day 7: After a dawn shoot we will head back to the hotel for breakfast (flight times permitting) before departing for Sofia airport.
The list of insects and plants that we hope to find is too long to write here, but as a guide here are some of the bird species that we hope to photograph: Little Bittern, Red-backed Shrike, Black Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Isabelline Wheatear, Red-rumped Swallow, Spanish Sparrow, Black-headed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Cirl Bunting, Golden Oriole, Hoopoe, European bee eater, Wryneck, Little Owl, Common Nightingale, Great-crested Grebe, Ferruginous duck and Woodchat Shrike. There may also be opportunities to photograph the European Souslik (Spermophilus citellus).
Please bear in mind that, due to lack of space, it will be impossible for a guide to be with you when you are working from some of the hides, so a reasonable level of photographic skill will be required. Therefore, this workshop is not suitable for complete beginners. I will of course divide my time up between participants as much as possible.
Transport from Sofia airport, photographic tuition and guiding, single occupancy of en-suite bedroom, all meals and most drinks
Flights to Sofia, additional drinks, travel insurance