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SERBIA! Long-eared Owl Spectacle
& Winter Specialties

January 10 - 19, 2020

Long-eared Owls by David Lindo

Long-eared Owl by Gina Nichol.Serbia has rapidly become the most talked about birding destinations in Eastern Europe. Why? Because, it is the best place in the world to see Long-eared Owls in incredible numbers right in the town square of a village in northern Serbia! Join us to experience the spectacle of the Long-eared Owl winter gathering in the now world famous town of Kikinda. The town's main square holds huge gatherings of Long-eared Owls, upwards of 800 in some years, and has been declared by the local government as a nature reserve.

Our itinerary features wintering Long-eared, Short-eared, Barn and Little Owls, waterfowl, passerines, flocks of thousands of Common Crane, White-fronted Goose and the odd Lesser White-fronted and Red-breasted Goose that might mingle among them. Other expected birds include Bearded Tit, Caspian Gull, Crested Lark, Ferruginous Duck, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Marsh Tit, Penduline Tit, Pygmy Cormorant, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Syrian Woodpecker and White-tailed Eagle to name a few.

Adding to the experience will be the celebrated hospitality and cuisine that northern Serbia. Despite the cold of winter, this trip is relatively easy paced with little walking and we will never be too far away from a cup of coffee because most of our birding will be urban based.

David Lindo. Photo by Russell Spencer.Sunrise Birding is pleased to have enlisted the help of David Lindo, the Urban Birder to organize and lead this tour. David grew up in London and has been a birder all his life. He has passionately promoted the virtues of birding in the urban environment through frequent articles in the birding press, a number of books, and his appearances on television and radio. His books have promoted his passion and chronicled his transformation from baby birder to fully-fledged superstar of the urban birding world. David has led several tours to Serbia and we are very pleased to be working with him on this tour. 
More about David Lindo on our "Team" page>

 

Trip Cost and Travel Planning>    Registration Form>
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!


Join us to witness the spectacle of
Long-eared Owls and other winter wildlife of Serbia. 

 

Above photos: Long-eared Owls, Cheda Vuchkovic; Long-eared Owl, Gina Nichol; David Lindo, the Urban Birder, photo by Russell Spencer.

European Bullfinch by Rubén CebriánITINERARY

Day 1: January 10, 2020
Depart for Belgrade, Serbia. Most flights go overnight from the US to Serbia. Plan to arrive on day 2, January 11, 2020 to begin the tour. The international airport in Belgrade is Nikola Tesla Airport (Airport code: BEG). Airlines servicing BEG include Air Serbia direct from United States. Other airlines with connecting flights to Belgrade include Lufthansa, Virgin, Delta, Air France, Air Canada, United, Norwegian, Turkish Airlines, Alitalia, Iberia & KLM and others. Night aloft.

Day 2: January 11, 2020
Arrive in Belgrade. Transfer to the hotel in Belgrade. Overnight Belgrade.

 

Blue Tit by Rubén CebriánDay 3: January 12, 2020
Today will see us birding at the Rivers Sava and Danube confluence in the very heart of Belgrade. Some of the birds we expect to see include: Great Crested Grebe, Pygmy Cormorant, Grey Heron, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Black-headed Gull, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Magpie, Western Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Tree Sparrow and Chaffinch. This day will include a tour of Belgrade. Evening dinner in Skadarlija. Overnight Belgrade.

 

Day 4: January 13, 2020
Great Spotted Woodpecker by Gina Nichol.Leaving Belgrade, we will travel north to Vojvodina. We will visit Pertovaradin Fortress, where the Austrian rulers hid their treasures during the time of Napoleon’s conquests. The fortress still stands as the city of Pertovaradin’s art center and its many underground tunnels continue to intrigue explorers from around the world. We'll also stop across the Danube in Novi Sad, Serbia's second largest city situated on the Carpathian basin.

Continuing on the Kikinda, we will arrive in the afternoon and have dinner at our hotel followed by an optional night walk around the hotel grounds looking for owl species. Expected birds today include Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Barn Owl, Long-eared Owl, Little Owl, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, White Wagtail, Eurasian Robin, Black Redstart, Common Blackbird, Fieldfare, Rook, European Goldfinch, and European Greenfinch. Overnight Ečka village.

 

Long-eared Owl by David LindoDay 5: January 14, 2020
Today we will bird our way to Kikinda - the Owl Capital of the World where we expect to "shedloads" of Long-eared Owls. The phenomenon of wintering Long-eared Owls has put Kikinda on the map as arguably the best place to see this species and the spectacle of the number of birds is astounding. Up to 150 Long-eareds have been counted in one tree in the city center and the total number of roosting owls in the town square in winter can be upwards of 800! The birds can be anywhere and everywhere - in the churchyard, in the trees along the main street, outside cafes. The spectacle is incredible should offer excellent owl watching and photographic opportunities. Once we've seen the owls, we will also take in some of the cultural delights, architecture and cuisine that the town has to offer. Overnight Ečka village.

 

Day 6: January 15, 2020
Common Cranes by Steve Bird.Today we will spend some time at Back at Gradište village with yet more Long-eared Owls. On the way to Fantast Castle we will look for other owl species including Short-eared and Little Owls. We will make a stop at one of the largest carp fishponds in the country for Pygmy Cormorant, White-tailed Eagle, egrets and gulls. In the afternoon we will spend a few hours birding at Slano Kopovo Nature Reserve watching up to 20,000 Common Cranes coming into roost plus numerous Greylag and White-fronted Geese among the hordes of assembled Mallard, Eurasian Teal, Northern Shoveler and Eurasian Wigeon - all in the glow of the sunset.

White-tailed Eagle by Gina Nichol.Other expected birds include Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, possibly Red-breasted Goose or Lesser White-fronted Goose, Common Shelduck, Common Pochard, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harriers, Caspian Gull, Great Grey Shrike, and Hawfinch to name a few. Overnight Ečka village.

 

Day 7: January 16, 2020
Today we will travel from Kikinda south to Western Serbia on our way to the conifer forests of Mt. Zlatibor. A part of the Dinaric Alps, "Zlatibor" means "Golden Pine" referring to the many pine trees in the area. It is a beautiful area and we will make several stops for birds and nature watching as we make our way to "Golden Pine Mountain". Expected birds today include Grey Heron, Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Lapwing, Golden Plover, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew plus others. Overnight at Mt. Zlatibor.

 

Day 8: January 17, 2020
Griffon Vulture by Gina Nichol.Today we will take a short drive to Uvac National Reserve to observe Serbia’s only Griffon Vulture colony. The Griffon is the symbol of Uvac Canyon and once faced extinction. The special fund for bird protection enabled the creation of feeding grounds for the birds now numbering around 300. In the nearby gorge surrounded by forests of spruce and birch, we can also look for Golden Eagles, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, and possibly more owls. We'll also visit a local forest to look for some woodland birds such as Black Woodpecker, Fieldfare, Marsh Tit, Common Treecreeper, Hawfinch and Yellowhammer. Later in the day, we will return to Zlatibor. Overnight at Mt. Zlatibor.

 

Day 9: January 18, 2020
Today we will return to Belgrade driving along the river Drina. We will make stops on the way to observe more wildlife and get our last looks at the wintering birds of Serbia. Overnight Belgrade.

 

Day 10: January 19, 2020
Departures from Belgrade.

LEADERS: David Lindo, Gina Nichol, & Steve Bird

Itinerary photos:
European Bullfinch by Rubén Cebrián; Blue Tit by Rubén Cebrián; Great Spotted Woodpecker by Gina Nichol; Long-eared Owl by David Lindo; Common Cranes by Steve Bird; White-tailed Eagle by Gina Nichol; Griffon Vulture by Gina Nichol; Black Woodpecker by Steve Bird.

Black Woodpecker by Steve Bird.SERBIA:
Long-eared Owl Spectacle!

January 10 - 19, 2020

Registration Form>    
Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!

TOUR PRICE:  US$2995.00 per person, double occupancy from Belgrade, Serbia (Airport code: BEG). Price based on exchange rates at the time the tour was posted (**see note below).

Single occupancy: $425.00 per person.

Deposit: $500.00 per person per tour. Note: Tour deposits can be paid by credit card via PayPal.  Use this link to make your credit card payment.  Please advise gina@sunrisebirding.com when you have made payment. 

Included in cost:  Group transfer on arrival; All meals from dinner on day 2 to breakfast on Day 10; Bottled drinking water; All lodgings based on double occupancy during the tour; All national park and other reserve entrance fees; Detailed pre-trip materials and checklist; Services of local guide and tour leaders throughout the trip.

Not included: International airfare; Drinks other than bottled water; Items of a personal nature such as visa fees and personal travel insurance, special gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, etc.

RESERVATIONS: Contact gina@sunrisebirding.com to reserve your space!  Then follow up with your completed registration form and deposit of $500 per person per tour within two weeks to secure your place. Credit card deposits are possible with no added fees.   Please inquire.   Reservations are held with a deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.   
>Download and print the Registration Form 


Once the tour is confirmed to go ahead, we will send you information about booking your flights. Please do not book flights until you receive this information from us and are notified that the trip has sufficient numbers to run. Final payment is due September 10, 2019.

**Please note: Tour prices are based on quoted costs from ground operators (in their local currency), estimated fuel costs, and the rate of exchange the time of itinerary publication. The erratic nature to global financial markets makes it difficult to predict changes in costs and foreign currency exchange rates over the long term. Since tours are priced well in advance of the actual operation of the tour, tour costs, fuel costs and exchange rates can change, sometimes drastically. Depending on the extent of such changes, it may be necessary to implement a surcharge on this tour. If a surcharge is necessary, every effort will be made to minimize the amount.

Cancellations and Refunds: All cancellations must be made in writing. In the event that you must cancel your booking at any stage, all payments you have made to Sunrise Birding, LLC will be retained by us, except at our discretion. You may have the opportunity to transfer your booking to another tour or another person, provided you are unavoidably prevented from coming on the tour. In this case, you will bear any extra costs that such changes may incur. There are no refunds once the trip is confirmed to go ahead and no refunds will be made for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. Sunrise Birding, LLC cannot accept liability for airline cancellations or delays or penalties incurred by the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for this tour.

Insurance: Sunrise Birding, LLC recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 07-0025.

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. 11.17 E7N

Questions? Contact Gina Nichol at gina@sunrisebirding.com 
Phone: 203.453.6724