Although our bear-watching adventures in Bulgaria failed to deliver up any bears, for all our attempts whiling away the hours in hides and hiking alpine forests above the clouds, our brush with nature was like nothing we’ve done before.
We managed to see the very rare Chamois – “The chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the Pyrenees, the European Alps, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus.”
Other mammals were plentiful, not least sightings of roe deer, brown hares, foxes and souslik (European ground squirrel).
We also saw badger, boar and marten tracks lower down the mountain and were motivated by the possibility of seeing bears after seeing their tracks and learning of them being captured on camera only a couple of hours after we left the hide on one occasion.
Reptiles and amphibians were plentiful sights for us too.
Our highlights being:
The noisy marsh frogs
Vibrant green tree frog
The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) is possibly the best-known salamander species in Europe. It is black with yellow spots or stripes to a varying degree; some specimens can be nearly completely black while on others the yellow is dominant. Shades of red and orange may sometimes appear, either replacing or mixing with the yellow according to subspecies. Fire salamanders can have a very long lifespan; one specimen lived for more than 50 years in Museum Koenig, a German natural history museum.
Bulgarian landscapes photos blog to follow. Check back soon 🙂