Birding & Bears in Transylvania
Thursday 2 – Saturday 11 May 2024
A Birding holiday helping Wildlife Conservation Le by Mark Pearson (Yorkshire Coast Nature & Bobi Zeitz (The Milvus Group)
Day 1 : To Bucharest
Thursday 2 May
Departure Heathrow at 18:50 - arrival Bucharest at 00:05. (for clients wishing to fly from another airport we can provide a supplement cost)
Overnight stay at Bucharest Hilton Garden Inn Airport Hotel.
Day 2 : To Miklosvar
Friday 3 May
Morning travel from Bucharest to Miklosvar. Accommodation: Miklosvár Guesthouses.
After arrival and lunch, a relaxing birding afternoon around the woodlands and villages close to Miklosvar. B, L, D
Day 3 : Miklosvar
Saturday 4 May
After an early breakfast, we'll depart to Sinaia in the stunning Bugegi Mountains, part of the Southern Carpathians. Our first stop will include a 1km walk on the King's Path in the beautiful mixed forest on the King’s path, where we'll have the chance to see Red-breasted, Collared, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Serins, Common and Black Redstarts, and White-backed, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers.
The cable car will take us from Sinaia up to to 2000m, where we'll walk in beautiful alpine meadows searching for high mountain species as Horned Lark, Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel and Alpine Swift; We'll also enjoy our packed lunch in this gorgeous setting.
The cable car will take us back to town, where the minibus will pick us up and we will be back to Miklósvár Guesthouses for early evening. B, L, D
Day 4 : Miklosvar
Sunday 5 May
After breakfast we'll travel to Dumravita. This is one of the best birdwatching sites for waterfowl and waders in Transylvania, also known as The Delta of the Carpathians. We'll explore a range of habitats, including fishponds, meadows and oak forests, where we'll look for Middle Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Golden Oriole, Collared Flycatcher and many other woodland species.
At the fishponds we can expect to enjoy many wetland species, including herons, ducks, and waders; Ferruginous Ducks and Pygmy Cormorants are the highlights of the area, but we'll also be looking for raptors such as White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagles. We'll return to the Miklósvár guesthouse by 16:30, and part of the team will visit the Brown Bear hide after a break, returning for a late dinner; the other half of the team will enjoy a birding afternoon in the nearby meadows and forest with dinner on return. B, L, D
Day 5 : Zarnesti Gorge
Monday 6 May
After an early breakfast we will depart to Zernyest in the Piatra Craiului Mountains, which are part of the Southern Carpathians mountains range. After a two-hour drive, we'll spend plenty of time in Gorge of Zernyest – a great area for Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Rock Bunting and Wallcreeper. After our walk we'll visit a nearby watchpoint, where we will have our packed lunch while looking out for Black Stork, Short-toed Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Peregrine and Golden Oriole among others.
We'll return to the Miklósvár guesthouse by 16:30, and part of the team will visit the Brown Bear hide after a break, returning for a late dinner; the other half of the team will enjoy a birding afternoon in the nearby meadows and forest with dinner on return. B, L, D
Day 6 : Homorod Lakes - Miklósvár Owls
Tuesday 7 May
After breakfast at the guesthouse, we'll visit Homorod Lakes, another fishpond and lake system, situated 60 km north of our accommodation. In the first half of May this area is famous for the spring migration of Red-footed Falcons – sometimes in their hundreds! - but it's also a place where there are regular records of Citrine Wagtail and Red-throated Pipit.
A large variety of waders, ducks and herons are present at the fishponds in spring, and some of the species we'll be looking for here include all three species of marsh terns, (Whiskered, Black and White-winged), Ferruginous Ducks, European Bee-eaters, Eurasian and Little Bitterns, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Lesser Spotted Eagle; we'll take our packed lunch here and we'll drive back to the guesthouses in the afternoon. After a rest and freshen-up we'll have an early dinner at 1800hrs, after which we'll spend the evening searching for owls via a drive and walk – looking and listening for Ural Owl, Long-eared Owl, Scops Owl, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Nightjar and Woodlark.
Day 7 : Mikósvár Surroundings – The Horse and Cart Day
Wednesday 8 May
The horse and cart day is a leisurely, relaxing trip by horse and cart to learn about bird populations and the ecology of the surrounding habitats, changes in the landscape, land-use techniques and the like. The journey will start at 0800hrs, and we will visit the nearby marshlands with several stops and walks in the meadows and forests of the area.
Species we'll be looking for include Ural Owl, Collared, Red-breasted and Spotted Flycatchers, Green, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers, Wrynecks, Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Black Stork. We will have our packed lunch in beautiful surroundings, continuing our journey and returning to the Guesthouses by 1600hrs. Because this will be our final evening at Miklósvár Guesthouses, we'll offer an (optional) talk before dinner, all about Romanian birds, their conservation and Milvus Group's achievements will be presented. B, L, D
Day 8 : Zalánpatak Meadows & Owls
Thursday 9 May
The day will begin with a pre-breakfast walk along the Olt River, in a mosaic of wet meadows, bush lines, pastures and agricultural fields. Here we'll hope to see and hear Corncrake, Great Grey, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrikes, Golden Oriole, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Scops Owl, Wryneck and much more.
We'll have a late breakfast and leave for our next accommodation, Zalanpatak Guesthouses, again by horse and cart! After arriving, we wander in the nearby meadows, where we'll look for White-backed Woodpecker, Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Woodlark, Golden Oriole, Hoopoe and Wryneck. We'll return for an early dinner and a short rest before another owl searching evening drive/walk. During this walk we'll hope to hear/see Ural Owl, Long-eared Owl, Scops Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Owl and Nightjar. B, L, D
Day 9 : Vargyas Gorge
Friday 10 May
The Vargyas limestone gorge is situated at 60 km distance from Zalánpatak Guesthouses, the one-way walk will take place along the Vargyas stream from the upper entrance of the gorge, downstream. During our walk we will cross bridges several times and the trail will be uneven. We will have our packed lunch during our walk. During the upper and lower edge of the walk we will pass grassland, pastures and meadows with area is grassland, in the gorge, limestone cliff and beech forest. Expected species are the Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Dipper, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Green, Grey-headed, Black and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. The bus will pick up at 15:00 at the end of the gorge, driving back to Zalánpatak.
Day 10 : Departure Zalánpatak
Saturday 11 May
After breakfast the group will depart by minibus to the airport to travel back to the UK.
1 May BA 887 Departure Bucharest at 21:05 - arrival Heathrow at 22:35 (clients flying from North will need to overnight and fly home next day). B
Dates & Prices
|Dates||Price per person (Double/Twin share)||Single room supplement|
|02-10 May 2024||£3,405.00||£1,388.00|
- Return Internatinal British Airways Flights from UK to Bucharest (economy class / upgrades are avialable please request a quote).
- Accommodation six nights at Count Kálnoky Transylvanian Guesthouses.
- Accommodation: 1 night at Bucharest Hilton Garden Inn Airport Hotel, 6 nights at Count Kálnoky Transylvanian Guesthouses & 2 nights at King Charles's retreat at Zalánpatak.
- Full board meals with house wine. Picnic lunch on birding days. Bucarest on breakfast only basis.
- Service of an experienced tour leader from UK and expert guide from The Milvus Group
- All transfers and sightseeing arrangements including visit to the Brown Bear hide.
- 100% protection of your payment by our ATOL and ABTA Licenses
- Tips and Gratuities
- Personal Expenses such as beverages, etc
- British Passport holders can visit Romania for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.
Numbers: strictly limited to 8 clients (first-come-first-serve) to ensure a high guide to guest ratio.
Suitability: For everyone from beginners to experinced birders and wildlife enthusiasts
* Travel Insurance
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• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
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