Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1599.00

Deposit:

400.00

Single Room Supplement:

125.00

Tour Code:

Advanced but fairly relaxed with one or two later finishes. Some long drives on poor roads

Group Size:

Six plus Leaders

Red-footed Falcon Black Stork Collared Flycatcher Black-winged Stilt Ortolan Bunting White-tailed Eagle

Moldova - Europe's Secret Corner

Date: 22nd - 28th June 2019
Leaders: Laurentiu Petrencu & David Pearce

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE
Meet at London Luton airport in the evening for the direct, overnight flight to Chisinau.
 
DAY TWO
Upon arrival in the early morning, we will be met by our guide and make a stop for breakfast once we have cleared the city. We will continue on to Northern Moldova, probably noting Black Kites, Common Swifts, White Storks, House Martins and Great White Egrets as we go. We should arrive in time for a quick look around near the guesthouse for Black Redstart, Tree and House Sparrows, Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Great Spotted and Syrian Woodpeckers. Following a sit down lunch and time to rest a little, we set off for Cobani Quary where we should encounter our first Common Hoopoes, European Bee-eaters, Corn Buntings, Crested Larks, Yellow Wagtails, Tawny Pipits, Booted Eagles, Eurasian Turtle Doves, and Golden Orioles as well as possible Barred Warbler and even Eurasian Eagle Owl before we return for dinner..
Overnight Guesthouse Butoais, Glodeni.
 
DAY THREE
Following breakfast, we will visit the Natural Reserve Codrii, a beautiful beech forest with a lot of other deciduous trees. En route, we may see Little Owl perched on telegraph poles or ruined buildings around the roadside, and there will be more of the common roadside species, while a series of fish ponds should produce our first Black-crowned Night Herons, Purple Herons, Great White Egrets and possibly Little Bitterns, as well as Common Terns and Great Crested Grebes. In the forest, we might see Syrian Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Middle, Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers and Eurasian Wryneck. Common woodland species such as Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Marsh and Long-tailed Tits, Hawfinch and Common Nuthatch are present and there is a reed bed on the edge of the forest that holds Bearded Tit, Savi's Warbler, Reed Warbler and Yellow and White Wagtails breed in the surrounding marsh.This is an excellent place for butterflies that could include Scarce Swallowtail, Silver-washed and Marbled Fritillaries among others After enjoyng this reserve and lunch, we will continue our journey to another reserve called Padurea Domneasca, one of the last forests of Moldova that gets flooded each year by the Prut River.  The river also constitutes the natural border with Romania. Here we might get Black Woodpecker, Black Stork, Blackcap, European Robin and Common Chiffchaff as well as the possibilty of a Red-breasted or Collared Flycatcher and Wood Warbler, as well as more butterflies.
Overnight Guesthouse Butoaid, Glodeni.
 
DAY FOUR
Today, we will cross to the Ukranian border in Eastern Moldova. The drive will give us our first opportunity to catch up with new roadside species such as Great and Lesser Grey Shrikes and Fieldfare, and there could be raptors such as Common Kestrel and Eurasian Hobby and we will make stops as and when something interesting appears. Upon arrival, we will scan the Dniester River which forms the border to search for Eurasian Eagle Owl, Booted Eagle, Eurasian Honey Buzzard, Northern Goshawk, Common Swifts, Common Kingfisher,and Common and Lesser Whitethroat among others, while there is a chance of an early passage Green Sandpiper. During the journey today, we will see traditional Moldovan villages with their colourfully painted houses in and we can visit the Fortress of Stefan cel Mare from Soroca, dating from 16th century. Overnight Casa din Lunca, Orhei.
 
DAY FIVE
Today we will explore Orhei Canyon, a beautiful place made by time and adapted by humans for their needs. It is a fanatstic place for splashes of colour in the form of many Common Hoopoes, European Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles and Common Kingfishers and soaring raptors should include Booted Eagle, Black Kite and Eurasian Honey Buzzard. We will scan the limestone crags for Isabelline and Northern Wheatears, Black Redstarts, Ortolan Buntings and possibly Barred Warbler, Stone Curlew, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Common Stonechat among others. We will take our time here before returning to the accommodation for an earlier dinner, before going out to look for Eurasian Eagle Owl at a nearby beauty spot.
Overnight Casa din Lunca, Orhei
 
DAY SIX
Today is a long travel day as we head to Southern Moldova. We will make a lunch stop at Lake Kongaz and continue on afterwards to Valeni which is our base for the next two nights.These areas are a good place for nesting Common and Ruddy Shelducks, Black-necked Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Great White and Little Egrets, Glossy Ibis and Caspian Gull among others, while Red-footed Falcons hawk overhead and other raptors may include Eurasian Honey Buzzard and Booted Eagle. We will arrive at our comfortable accommodation in time for dinner.
Overnight Valeni
 
DAY SEVEN
This morning we will enjoy a boat trip in the wetland reserves of the Lower Prut and Lake Beleu. We will be punted on non motorised boats by experienced local boat men and we should enjoy a fine selection of birds on one of the backwaters for approximately two hours enjoying the tranquility of this beautiful area as we glide across the water. This will also allow us to get up close and personal with breeding passerines such as Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warbler, Savi's Warbler and hopefully Bluethroat, while a fine selection of returning and breeding shorebirds could include Wood Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Comnmon Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Northern Lapwing and Common Redshank, while Whiskered Terns, Great Crested Grebes and Common Coots are also present. Turning our eyes skywards should produce some large squadrons of Great White Pelicans and it is quite a sight to see these impressive birds at close quarters. Following lunch, we wil explore the rest of this vast lake and this should provide us with quite a spectacle as literally hundreds of pairs of Whiskered Terns breed among the water lilies, while we should also pick up wildfowl here including Ferruginous Ducks, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Greylag Geese and Little Grebe as well as more pelicans, herons, ibises and shorebirds as well as a god chance of White-tailed Eagle
Overnight Valeni
 

DAY EIGHT

Following an early breakfast and check out, we spend our final morning searching the steppes in search of the much wanted Saker Falcon and we are fortunate to know where they usually breed though the young will have left the nest by this time and they can roam over large distances so nothing is guaranteed. We also hope to see Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle and Levant Sparrowhawk in this area, as well as Spanish Sparrow and good numbers of Lesser Grey Shrikes on roadside wires. Following lunch, we drive back to Chisenau for a farewell dinner and transfer to the airport for the late evening flight to Luton arriving at midnight when the tour will conclude.
 

 

Additional Information

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED
Return direct flights London Luton/Chisinau with budget airline, luggage allowance, one overnight on aircraft, accommodations from day two to the morning of day eight [please note that en suite and single rooms are limited everywhere in Moldova, but are available for the first two nights and we will endeavour to make it possible elsewhere for couples and by room sharing], all meals from breakfast on day two to dinner on day eight including delicious al fresco picnics at lunchtime, wine with dinner from days three to days seven, ground transport in comfortable, air conditioned mini bus, boat trip, services of leaders and all entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Transport to/ from UK airport and any overnight stay that might be involved, travel insurance, drinks, gratuities [allow approximately £30.00 per person] and items of a purely personal nature.
 

 

Tour Reports

 

2018

 

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