Where to spot rare birds in Europe?

Undoubtedly Spain is a privileged country for the sighting of rare birds in Europe or little-known birds. They can be found up to 200 rare bird species of 93 different taxa in Spain (recorded data of 2017). However whether for hobbyists or bird experts, it can be an incentive to spot and photograph birds in other European countries. The question then arises of “Where to spot rare birds in Europe ?”.

aves raras en Europa

Cárabo uralense © Sven Zacek

Eastern Europe: Bulgaria.

In that case we recommend Eastern Europe, since the migratory routes of birds different from those that can be found in Spain coincide there, as well as habitats where these birds are farthest from human influence. Within Eastern Europe we recommend traveling to Bulgaria because in this small country there are very different habitats and ecosystems that are relatively close to each other by road.. And do not forget the economic issue, Since in Bulgaria we can count on the services of an ornithologist guide for a much cheaper price than in Central Europe or Northern Europe.

Fotografo en busca de aves

Time of the year.

For all the above, we organize bird watching and photography trips in Bulgaria., so much focused on spotting rare birds, as to trips according to the season of the year: Spring, Summer e Winter. Although we can also design ornithological and Nature trips tailored to travelers according to their preferences. We have local collaborators who are experts in ornithology who facilitate the trip for visitors: they lead, They know the best lookouts and secret places where there are more chances to spot the target birds.

Featured rare bird species.

But for those who are not familiar with the rare bird species that can be seen in Eastern Europe, we are going to mention some of them.. Within Bulgaria, in the mountainous region of the Rhodope you can find the little owl or pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum) which is the smallest nocturnal raptor that can be found in Europe, the boreal owl (Aegolius funereus), pico tridáctilo euroasiático (Picoides tridactylus).

Glaucidium passerinum mochuelo chico

Pico tridáctilo euroasiático Picoides tridactylus.

Glaucidium passerinum mochuelo chico aves raras en Europa

Glaucidium passerinum Little Owl

In inland areas of Bulgaria, from Sofia, towards the Black Sea can be seen among many other species, some are rare birds such as wheatear isabel (Oenanthe isabellina), little shrike (Lanius minor), shrike (Lanius nubicus), black-headed scribe (Emberiza melanocephala), common calender (Melanocorypha calandra), eastern imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca).

Alcaudón núbico aves raras en Europa


Aguila Imperial oriental aves raras en Europa

Eastern Imperial Eagle

On the Bulgarian Black Sea coast and coastal wetlands you can find the great chorlitejo (Charadrius hiaticula), little plover (Charadrius dubius), chorlitejo patinegro (Charadrius alexandrinus), chorlito gris (Pluvialis squatarola), ostrero euroasiático (Haematopus ostralegus), and many other European waders, including rarities such as royal snipe (Gallinago media).

Cormorán pigmeo aves raras en Europa

Pygmy cormorant

agachadiza real

Royal snipe

The Black Sea Coast is an important transit area for migratory birds, we will be able to see species such as the frowning pelican in the coastal wetlands (Pelecanus crispus) and the white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), caspian gull (Larus cachinnans), black-headed gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus), gaviota picofina (Larus genei), teal reel (Spatula querquedula), brown porrón (Aythya nyroca), common bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), and various species of rails, He too pygmy cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus) and others…

Almost all European raptors can be seen here, except the Iberian imperial eagle and the gyrfalcon. At the end of summer migrations we will be able to see the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), buzzard buzzard (Buteo buteo), pomeranian eagle (Clanga pomarina), greek hawk (Accipiter brevipes), booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), moorish buzzard (Buteo rufinus), papialbo harrier (Circus macrourus), red-legged kestrel (Falco vespertinus), saker falcon (Falco cherrug).

Halcón sacre

Saker falcon

Aguila pomerana aves raras en Europa

Aguila pomerana

Apart from spotting rare birds as mentioned above, if we travel to Bulgaria in Spring It is when we can see the greatest number of different bird species and when they are most active, which facilitates its observation, taking into account that we usually have a few travel days. In spring, although also in summer, we will be able to see the black-headed bunting in the central regions of Bulgaria (Emberiza melanocephala). Also the Canastera Alinegra , Sallow Wagtail , Cozy Flycatcher , Eastern mosquito net , Eleonora's Hawk , Royal Snipe , Archibebe Claro , Common Grévol , Cinderella Crow , Alondra Cornuda , Eastern Imperial Eagle , Collalba Isabel , Lesser Shrike , Pomeranian Eagle , Curruca Zarcerilla , greek hawk, Busardo Moro , Archibebe Fino , Polyglot Warbler , Bush Shrike , Common Nutcracker, Big wattle, Agricultural Warbler ,Papialbo harrier , Pious collalba, Pygmy cormorant, Red-headed flycatcher , Falaropo Picofino , Find it Fluvial , Greek partridge , Pink Starling , Saker falcon , Papamoscas semiacollarado , Gloomy chickadee , Spotted eagle , steppe buzzard , steppe eagle , Syrian peak , Correlimos de Temminck , Andarríos del Terek , Common pelican , Singer Swan , montane chickadee . On our spring birding trip we kept a checklist of almost 290 species to spot in 8 days.

Carbonero lúgubre aves raras en Europa

Gloomy chickadee

Papamoscas semiacollarado

Papamoscas semiacollarado

If we have no choice but to travel by Summer, it is also possible to spot rare birds, in Summer we offer a fairly extensive checklist, of 265 species, for example, Gavilana Warbler will be searched , also the Black-headed Scribe , Alinegra basket , Correlimos Falcinelo , caspian gull , partridge sucking , Sallow Wagtail , Cozy Flycatcher , Corncrake , Frowning pelican , Eastern Imperial Eagle , Eleonora's Hawk , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Archibebe Claro , Cinderella Crow , Alondra Cornuda , Collalba Isabel , Lesser Shrike , Pomeranian Eagle , Curruca Zarcerilla , greek hawk, Busardo Moro , Archibebe Fino , Polyglot Warbler , Bush Shrike , Zarcero Bereber , Big wattle , Agricultural Warbler , Pious collalba , Pygmy cormorant , Red-headed flycatcher , Falaropo Picofino , Find it Fluvial , Greek partridge , Pink Starling , Saker falcon , Papamoscas semiacollarado , grim chickadee , steppe buzzard , steppe eagle , Syrian Peak , Andarríos del Terek , Common pelican , European Pigargo , Singer Swan , Montane chickadee.

Collalba isabel

Collalba isabel

Pico sirio

Syrian Peak

In Winter the number of different spices to be spotted is somewhat lower than in Spring and Summer, However, there is still the opportunity to see very interesting species and in part different from those of Spring-Summer. We highlight some of them from the total 170 from our checklist: Country Goose , Little Swan , Frowning pelican , Serreta Grande , black-headed gabion , Northern Shrike , Spotted eagle , Cano whistle , Cinderella Crow , Alondra Cornuda , Eastern Imperial Eagle , Little Goose , Busardo Moro , Pygmy cormorant , Barnacla Cuellirroja , Saker falcon , Serreta Girl , Gloomy chickadee , Syrian peak , Common pelican , European Pigargo , Singer Swan , montane chickadee , etc.

If you are interested in rare birds in Europe or ornithology in general, Contact us and we will offer you an ornithological trip with a local English-speaking guide in Bulgaria.

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