Birding at Maljovice

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Maljovice (Maljovitsa)

This site isn’t included in the new book Finding Birds in Eastern Bulgaria. These notes and map, reproduced from the original book, Finding Birds in Bulgaria, were based on my observations in 1992.


A small ski-resort on the opposite side of the mountain to the more popular Rila Monastery. The Wallcreepers which can be seen here could prove to be as reliable as those at Mount Olympus (Greece) but here they can be reached with considerably less effort. Other birds here include Nutcracker, Pallid Swift, Hazelhen and Alpine Accentor.

Getting there

From the road between Sofia and Thessalonika you must turn east at Stanke Dimitrov. As you enter Samokov, look for the first decent road to the right which leads through Govedarci to Maljovice. (Samokov can also be reached directly from Sofia via route 42 - a distance of only 62 km.)


1.Around the hotels and in the nearby forests were plenty of Nutcrackers and a variety of finches including Crossbill, Bullfinch, Goldfinch and Siskin. Goldcrest, Firecrest and Crested Tit skulked in the pines and up to 30 Pallid Swifts squealed around the hotels. I flushed a Hazelhen from near the stream. This is surely a good area for Black Woodpecker but we didn’t see or hear any woodpeckers at all.

2.Around the chalet were several Black Redstarts, Dunnocks, Linnets and Crag Martins. A Wallcreeper which was on the crag to the West would have been visible from the chalet. Ed Keeble had a Wallcreeper on the wall of the chalet itself and saw Alpine Accentor and Alpine Chough without walking further.

3.The higher you go, the better your chance of Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough, Ring Ousel, Water Pipit and Dipper. In 1992 a pair of Wallcreepers were watched taking food to a site below the rounded slab of rock at the head of the valley. A few days later a male was feeding a juvenile nearby. A Honey Buzzard was the only bird of prey seen here in 3 days: the habitat seems suitable for many more. Where are the vultures?