September is the best period to experience bird migration in the Danube Delta area and along the west coast of Black Sea. This autumn was exceptionally dry again and the Danube dropped critically to near record low water level. In this dry period of time where birds can found water to feed and drink will be the right place for birdwatchers too!
We had 9 days to visit the most important places of this region and find birds during their way to wintering areas in Africa, Asia or Middle-East. We have seen masses of birds along the Danube Valley; in coastal wetlands but the best place undoubtedly was the Sachalin bay in the Danube Delta. Due to the low water level thousands of birds were present in this amazing coastal wetland site!
In the end of the week our list ended over 170 species!; among them such star species like Dalmatian and White Pelicans; 18 raptor species like Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Saker Falcon, Levant Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagles, Booted Eagles; 29 wader species such as Marsh Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Bar-tailed Goodwit, Collared Pratincole; Little Crake and Spotted Crake; Slender-billed Gull, Pallas`s Gull, lots of Caspian Terns, Arctic Skuas; nice selection of woodpeckers including fabulous, prolonged view of a Black-, Grey-headed, Syrian and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers; lots of passerines amongst Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear in fresh, autumn plumage was nice and lots of Red-breasted Flycatchers (mostly young birds and few adults).
You can read the detailed trip report HERE.
In our Danube Delta Blog I would like to share with you images taken during this great autumn trip. Thanks to Gordon Small (tour participant) who kindly sent us their excellent images from this tour! Enjoy!
First year Pallas`s or Great-black headed Gull near Sf. Gheroghe village, in the Delta was the only sighting in this year. This species start breeding since 2009 in the Danube Delta. (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)
All in all it was a very exciting Autumn birding trip with lots of great moments and sightings! From the next year we improved a little bit this itinerary and will visiting the Macin Mountain National Park as well!
We are looking forward to seeing you here soon!