26 April.
Weather cloudy and cool with some light snow higher up in the mountains.
Areas covered: West Rhodopes including the Trigrad Gorge and Devin.
New birds seen: Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Firecrest.

27 April.
Weather overcast and cool.
Areas covered: West Rhodopes including further visit to Trigrad Gorge and westwards through Pirin and then much later in day down to Melnik in the lower ground bordering Macedonia.
New birds seen: Crested Tit, Nutcracker, Black Redstart, Goldcrest, Dunnock, Water Pipit, Serin, Crossbill, Yellowhammer.

28 April. Weather warm and sunny.
Areas covered: Rojen Monastery and near Greek border.
New birds seen: Syrian Woodpecker, Wren, Thrush Nightingale, Orphean Warbler.

29 April. Weather warm, sunny with the occasional light shower.
Areas covered: Kresna Gorge, Mount Rila National Park (including the Rila Monastery) and finally the Mount Vitosha Nature Park.
New birds seen: White-backed Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Marsh & Willow Tits, Ring Ouzel, Marsh & Sedge Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat.

30 April. Sadly my time had run out. We dropped down from our "lofty perch" for the night on Mount Vitosha, which overlooks City of Sofia, and made our way through the capital to the airport. This I discovered had two terminals and inevitably selected the wrong one first! Farewell to a beautiful and rugged country with a friendly population.

Michael Turner Cain



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