Sunny; maximum 27°C Travel to Bulgaria
After an uneventful flight from London Heathrow to Bulgaria, we met our Bulgarian guides and drivers, Tisho and Dancho, at Sofia airport. We loaded our gear into the rather ancient minibus and were soon heading east on a lovely sunny afternoon. We made what was to have been a brief stop for refreshments at a roadside shop, but we soon took our ice creams off to a nearby river … and over an hour later we had to drag ourselves away! Amongst lots of other insects we found Ornate Bluets, Small Bluetails, Southern Skimmers, Blue-spot Hairstreak, Large Copper, Short-tailed Blue and Freyer’s Purple Emperor, plus a singing Marsh Warbler: an excellent impromptu start! We continued on to our first scheduled dragonfly site, a small stream running into the Topolnica River.
Amongst the diverse wetland plants we located more Ornate Bluets and a Small Pincertail sat on the track. The drier areas were adorned with myriad wildflowers and seethed with grasshoppers, bush-crickets, butterflies and day-flying moths, giving us a foretaste of the abundance of insect life that was to come. Colourful Black-headed Buntings sang nearby. We arrived at our destination, a small, family-run hotel in the historic village of Koprivshtitsa, in good time to relax before a splendid Bulgarian dinner.