Sorry, No Close Ups This Time
Or "Where my vultures at?" Well, I was not prepared to see them up close and personal. There's one place in Bulgaria where you can take beautiful Wildlife photos of vultures but in order to do that, you need an appointment. An access to a blind or bunker near a hillock where the national park's management feeds the birds once in a few days. They have to bring the carcasses of cows or other domestic animals there. And you need a ticket. Which is fine but when I was there, it was during a holiday and the staff was...on a holiday.
It was Easter again. Not this year but a few years back. We were on a small vacation about fifty kilometers from the place, still in the Rhodope Mountains - at the mineral springs resort near the town of Haskovo. One morning we got on the car and drove east.
It was a foggy morning in early May.
On one of the many curves of the river Arda, near the village of Madzharovo, is the caldera surrounded by rocks on all sides. Rising straight up they are. And since it's a relatively low and warm mountain in the South, it is a place where vultures can actually live and nest. I may associate their kin with deserts but it seems this place is suitable.
I went to the bunkers on a high ground at the middle of the Madzharovo caldera. It was a pleasant trek but of course no bird would come near the place unless it saw carrion. Food, I mean. And no human presence. But later, on the other side of the river, on the road above it and below the rocks themselves, I was at least able to spot the rare creatures high up in the sky.
Doing what vultures do. They circled. And that's it.
At least I saw both subspecies - the Egyptian and the Griffon Vultures.
This one would be the Egyptian.
But not very detailed. The other is even worse on my images. But not to despair. It's normal to just be able to spot something during the first visit. Good pictures take special planning and preparation and I have to admit I had none at that point.
And this fellow with the yellow (beak) is also the symbol of The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. Which I was a member of. As a child. But that's another story.
Waiting for a chance to go there again and this time for real ;) Snap a few vultures in their faces. Without causing harm, of course. That's the most important part.