Danube Delta Photo Season in May 2014

Danube Delta Spring Photography Season ended successfully and now we would like to reflect a little on how it all happened.

Despite the high water levels of the Danube in May the lakes and canals around Mila 23 fishing village in the Danube Delta yielded a good crop of all the representative heron and egret species with some excellent photo opportunities from ‘Borzas’ our custom built photo boat. Along the Herons and Egrets, Glossy Ibises, we had Whiskered and Black Terns in front of our boat, together with Red-necked, Black-necked and Great-crested Grebes.

Black ternMating Black Terns in the morning light (Photo: Richard Steel)

Red necked grebe 052014013Red-necked Grebe (Photo: Richard Steel)

Glossy IbisGlossy Ibis with a Leech (Photo: Gordon Small)

Glossy Ibis Jean L. BGlossy Ibis saying `hello` to the photographers (Photo: Jean Luis Berrard)

Night Heron 18-05-201480Night Herons with it`s dinner (Photo: Richard Steel)

Squacco 18-05-2014 00Squacco Heron with a fresh breakfast meal  (Photo: Richard Steel)

Red-necked Grebe and Kingfisher photography worked really well this year and we had very nice interactions with every group throughout the season.

kingfisher18-05-201407v2Feeding Kingfisher (Photo: Richard Steel)

Red necked Grebe RichardCalling Red-necked Grebe  (Photo: Richard Steel)

Good numbers of White and Dalmatian Pelicans were photographable around the lakes and the Danube shore just in a few meters from our accommodation.

Dalmatian Pelican19-05-201467Dalmatian Pelican in flight (Photo: Richard Steel)

Paradise Delta HotelOur riverside accomodtion in the Danube Delta (Photo: Richard Steel)

In the Macin Mountains, even though spring started out as a very wet one, we had some great species visiting our drinking station on a regular basis. Birds such as Golden Oriole, Barred Warbler, Turtle Dove, a pair of Honey Buzzards  (that decided to drop by even on some of the rainy days), Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike  just to name a few of them. Using mobile hides we had chance to photograph a pair of Rollers and Little Owls. Higher in the Mountain slope Ortolan Buntings and many butterflies were the main attraction.

Barred WarblerMale Barred Warbler (Photo: Zoltán Gergely Nagy)

Honey Buzzard Guy BroomHoney Buzzard (Photo: Guy Broom)

Lesser Grey Shrike Glyn SellorsLesser Grey Shrike (Photo: Glyn Sellors)

In the coastal lagoons thousands of waders passed through on their spring migration. This time of the year Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers are the most numerous but we had an exceptionally good spring with Broad-billed Sandpipers too, including a flock of 187 individuals! Apart from the waders we had some great opportunities photographing Pied and Isabelline Wheatears, Bee-eaters, Collared Pratincoles, Red-footed Falcons, Black-headed Buntings and Paddyfield Warblers just to name a few highlights.

Broad-billed SandpiperBroad-billed Sandpipers (Photo: Glyn Sellors)

paddyfiled warblerPaddyfield Warbler in the morning light (Photo: Glyn Sellors)

Collared PratincoleCollared Pratincole, a characteristic breeding bird of the coastal lagoons (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Bee-eater European Bee-eater with a dragonfly (Phhoto: Klaus Theiler)

A successful Test Tour

In mid May with a returning group of British photographers we have tested a different, two based Danube Delta Tour. The first part was the usual photo boat stalking photography than in the second part we went to a new place in the Northern corner of the Delta. Here the Delta birdlife has concentrated into a relative small place where photography is mainly hide based, but such species could be in front of our lens like Golden Jackal, White-tailed Eagle or even Wild Cat!

In the first part we had the usual wetland birds like Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Grebes than in the second part Golden Jackal in every morning plus White-tailed Eagle,  Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Little, Owl, Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Collared Pratincole…

Golden Jackal Golden Jackal in the Danube Delta (Photo: Richard Steel)

Golden JackalGolden Jackal trying to chase away Crows and Magpies (Photo: Richard Steel)

sea eagle22-05-201400White-tailed Eagle in the morning light (Photo: Richard Steel)

WT Eagle22-05-201400White-tailed Eagle landing (Photo: Richard Steel)

Bearded tit22-05-201409Male Bearded Tit (Photo: Richard Steel)

Bearded tit21-05-201402Young Bearded Tits side by side (Photo: Richard Steel)

This tour will be organized next year too, between 23 – 30 May. For more information’s visit our website.

May photo tours in the Danube Delta were really productive! All the photographers enjoyed the tour and took thousands of pictures during the week. Many pictures are still under processing work so more will follow on Facebook and Hide Galleries


Sakertour team


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