Danube Delta Photo Tours in June 2013

In June the birdlife in the central part of Danube Delta become visibly more vibrant than in May and mainly because of the food availability and breeding/feeding time. The water level continuously dropped therefore food were more easy to find and in a meantime many lakes had dense floating vegetation cover with Water Lily, Water Chestnut and from this carpet Squacco Herons, Night Herons, Little Egrets, Purple Herons, Glossy Ibises loved to hunt. It looked like beside the fishes and frogs, the larva of Great Silver Water Beetle was important source of food as well.

Night HeronNight Heron (Photo: Richard Steel)

Squacco Heron2 Squacco Heron with a frog (Photo: Richard Steel)

Squacco Heron 2013 RO 106 Squacco Heron with a larva of Great Silver Water Beetle (Photo: Richard Steel)

Plegadis falcinellus (Linnaeus, 1766) Feeding Glossy Ibis (Photo: Joan Roca)

whislered Tern 2 Whiskered Tern with nest material (Photo: Richard Steel)

Purple Heron1

Purple Heron2

Purple Heron3Fishing Purple Heron in the open (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Due to the shallower water and more available food White Pelicans become daily attraction when feeding together with Great and Pygmy Cormorants but Dalmatian Pelicans were a bit shyer and less approachable than in May.

White Pelican 2 Group of fishing White Pelicans (Photo: Richard Steel)

Dalmatian Pelican Dalmatian Pelican (Photo: Richard Steel)

In the beginning of June, Black-necked and Red-necked Grebes chicks hatched and leaved the nest but remained near the breeding site and often stayed on parents back. Very cute and `family centered` birds everybody liked the time we spent to photograph it.

Podiceps nigricollis (Brehm,C. L., 1831) Black-necked Grebe with chicks on back (Photo: Joan Roca)

Red-necked Grebe Red-necked Grebe with chick (Photo: Richard Steel)

From mid June the wheatear started to be hot and several time we had nice foggy morning conditions for photography.

In the second half of June we experienced in a bigger lake a huge concentration of waterbirds while feeding on first year fishes but not only. In this lake we had fantastic mornings with at least 200 Squacco Herons, 500 White Pelicans, many Night Herons, Little Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Black-headed Gulls, Whiskered Terns, Common Terns, Dalmatian Pelicans. It was definitely the main highlight in the Delta, in June!

Danube delta morning Early morning stage in the Delta (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

working Photographing White Pelicans from our specially designed photo boat (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758) Preening White Pelican in focus (Photo: Joan Roca)

Pelecanus onocrotalus (Linnaeus, 1758) Feeding White Pelican (Photo: Joan Roca)

From the middle of the month migrants start to appear and amongst first we saw Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, Black-tailed Goodwits and nice breeding plumage Spotted Redshanks.

garganey and goodwit Delta moment: Garganeys and Black-tailed Goodwits landing along the Cattle path near Mila 23 (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

In Macin drinking hide we had several good moments with Sombre Tit, Turtle Dove, Syrian Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike, Nightingale, Hawfinch, Ortolan Bunting, Jay in front while around the hills we had chance to capture 5 lark species (Sky-, Crested-, Wood-, Greater Short-toed and Calandra Lark), Roller, Cockoo and Red-rumped Swallows while gathered mud for nest.  Several occasions, when we had rain here leaved this place a day earlier and spent longer time in the coastal wetlands.

Ortolan Bunting Male Ortolan Bunting (Photo: Richard Steel)

turtle Dove Turtle Dove (Photo: Richard Steel)

Cuckoo Cockoo in flight (Photo: Richard Steel)

Macin NP Macin Mountains view from the highest peek (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

In the Black Sea coast Collared Pratincoles and Bee-eaters were the best voted photo subjects but we always tried the Pied Wheatears and other farmland birds like Black-headed Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Spanish Sparrow, Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandra Lark. Shallow saline lakes hold many species in this time where we often seen flocks of White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Great Black-headed Gulls, Black-tailed Goodwits, 200+Marsh Sandpipers, at least 200 Spotted Redshank, 300 Ruffs, many Avocets and Black-winged Stilts, Little Terns, Kentish Plovers and on 30th of June the first Broad-billed Sandpapers appeared too. Autumn migration already started for many adult birds.

calandra lark Calandra Lark in the sunset light (Photo: Rene de Heer)

Black-winged Stilt Black-winged Stilt (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Spotted Redshank Breeding plumage Spotted Redshanks in the coastal wetlands of Black See; females start the migration earlier in June (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

We had chance to photograph Isabelline Wheatears with freshly fledged youngsters. This species specialized to breed in Souslik holes. Photographing Sousliks near the colony site was always a fun too.

Isabelline family Isabelline Wheatear family (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

In June tours we had chance to capture breeding birds, youngs with parents and from the second half of the month many migrants as well.

All in all it was a fantastic second photo season and a big thank you to everyone who made it possible to run all these tours in this superb place.

Sakertour team

sakertour

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