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Transylvania Birding Tour downloadable itinerary

Day 1. The tour starts at Otopeni International Airport in Bucharest. After arrival we will visit a nearby park if we have any chance for Levant Sparrowhawk as they breed here in some years (our guide will have up-to-date information’s). After this short introduction birding we will be heading up to the Eastern Carpathians towards the picturesque Bucegi Natural Park. It is about three hours to reach our accommodation in a tranquil valley. If time allows we can do birding around the accommodations. Night in Bucegi Natural Park.

Day 2. We will have some optional pre-breakfast birding around our hotel, which is situated 1600 meter asl in the mountains, surrounded by lovely pine woodland and has a splendid view to the Ialomita Valley. Birds like Water Pipit, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Alpine Swift, Crested Tit, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel and Common Crossbills are all possible here. After breakfast we will catch a cable car and discover the Bucegi Natural Park alpine zone, over 2000 m high where our main target will be the ’balcanica’ race of the Shore Lark and Alpine Accentor. After a few hours birding on the roof of Transylvania we will visit a mature Beech Woodland for Red-breasted Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, for any woodpecker and if we lucky we can even come across a mighty Ural Owl. Night in Bucegi Natural Park.

Day 3. After breakfast we leave our first base behind and start travelling to the Torockói-hegység of the Western Transylvanian Mountains. On the way to Torockó we can do an optional detour to the Fogaras Mountains if the weather conditions good and/or if we missed the Alpine Accentor the previous day. We will arrive to the picturesque valley in the early afternoon and start to explore this fantastic area. Agriculture is still as it was hundreds of years ago and the birdlife is superbly adapted to this coexistence. If we lucky we can already come across some of the special birds of the area such as Corncrake, Crag Martin or Ortolan Bunting. We have a superb view to the Székelykő Mountain from our hotel and after dinner we will track down Eurasian Scops Owl. Night in Torockószentgyörgy (Coltești).

Day 4. We are going to have a full day to explore this wonderful area of the West Transylvanian Mountains. After a pre breakfast birding in the garden we will visit various limestone gorges, rock faces and scree where we hope to find Golden Eagle, Peregrine, Woodlark, Red-rumped Swallow, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush and if we lucky even Sombre Tit at its most northerly corner of its distribution. Most of the day will be spent on foot without much travelling so we can relax and enjoy this lovely landscape. Night in Torockószentgyörgy (Coltești).

Day 5. After a final birding in this area we will leave for the Harghita Mountains. On our way to our next base we will stop to look for woodpeckers in a mature beech and oak woodland where have a chance to find Grey-headed, Green, Black, Middle Spotted or even White-backed Woodpecker. We will also stop in Segesvár (Sighisoara) city and visit the citadel where Dracula (Vlad Tepes) spent his childhood. In the late afternoon we will go to the lovely Szentpál Fishponds near Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) where we can pick up a great selection of waterbirds and reedbirds like Ferruginous Duck, Savi’s Warbler and Bearded Tit. This tiny location has an amazingly long birdlist and we have good chance to find some late migrants for our list. Later we will drive to our base for the next three nights. Night in Deság.

Day 6-7. In these two full days we shall discover the endless pine forests of the wonderful Harghita and Giurghiu Mountains in search of Capercaillie, Ural Owl, Pygmy Owl and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker. One day we will travel to the magnificent Békás (Bicaz) Gorge in the Hasmas Mountains National Park an impressive site with tall limestone walls. This is the realm of the Wallcreeper and we should have great looks of this special bird with a spectacular view of the gorge as well. The cold Gyergyó Basin is in full color by late May with many wild flowers. This area has a very cold climate and many ice age relict plants can be found here as well as Great Grey Shrike, Common Rosefinch, Garden Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler. We will also look for Carpathian Brown Bears on one or possible two afternoons depending on our schedule and success with birds. This time of the year we have very good chances to see this fascinating creature of the Transylvanian pine woodlands. Two more nights in Deság.

Day 8. After a final birding and breakfast we leave Deság and drive towards the Eastern Carpathians and onto Bucharest where the tour ends.

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