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Rila Mountains

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[edit] Overview

This area in Bulgaria's southwest is famous for the Rila Monastery[Map] with its frescoes and murals and is a popular tourist destination. This makes it relatively easy to reach for birders keen on seeing mountain and forest birds here in one of the highest parts of the country.

The lower valleys have some mixed and deciduous woodland but most of the forests are coniferous with alpine meadows further up and largely bare rock on the highest peaks.

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

In the highest areas there are Golden Eagle, Alpine Accentor and Wallcreeper, as well as Horned Lark, Alpine Chough and Western Rock Nuthatch.

The dense forests on the lower slopes have Black Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse and Western Capercaillie and a range of passerines including Spotted Nutcracker.

To the northeast of Rila is Borovets [Map]which has similar birds but more tourist facilities as it is popular with skiers.

The lower areas to the south and towards the edge of the Rila Mts have Masked Shrike, Orphean Warbler and Black-headed Bunting.

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

European Honey Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Hazel Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Rock Partridge, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Scops Owl, Long-eared Owl, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, European Roller, Eurasian Hoopoe, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Horned Lark, Eurasian Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Northern House Martin, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Dipper, Dunnock, Alpine Accentor, Eurasian Robin, Black Redstart, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Orphean Warbler, Firecrest, Sombre Tit, Willow Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Western Rock Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Lesser Grey Shrike, Masked Shrike, Common Jay, Spotted Nutcracker, Alpine Chough, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Common Crossbill, Hawfinch, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Black-headed Bunting

[edit] Other Wildlife

Brown Bear, Wild Boar, Red Deer

[edit] Site Information

[edit] History and Use

To do

[edit] Areas of Interest

To do

[edit] Access and Facilities

From Sophia head south on Route 2 and turn east on Route 164 at Kocerinovo from where the monastery is signposted.[Map]

For Borovets [Map]head south from Sophia on Route 2 to Stanke Dimitrov and from there head east towards Samokov.

Most of the towns and villages in this area can provide accommodation and access to higher areas is a simple matter via ski lifts.

There are numerous hiking trails around these mountains, many of which are excellent for birding.

[edit] Contact Details

To do

[edit] External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve


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