Danube Delta and Dobrudja Autumn Tours in 2017

Last week of August and first half of September is an excellent period to follow bird migration along the west coast of Black Sea in Romania.  Our tours in 2017 were  fantastic  again and we have seen within two week time 201 bird species which is a great number in Autumn in Europe without high altitude birding!

Highlights of this two weeks were 1000+ Ferruginous Duck, Yelkouan Shearwater, White and Dalmatian Pelicans (while White Pelicans migrate to Africa Dalmatians stays or just migrate short distances if the winter is very frosty), Little Bittern,  46 Montagu`s Harrier, 81 Honey Buzzard but those in eye level in a strong wind were superb sighting, Levant Sparrowhawks, Red-footed Falcons, Saker Falcon, 9 Little Crake, 3000+ Avocet, Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, 21 Dotterel, 2 Pacific Golden Plover (rarities), 40 Broad-billed Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, 13 Red-necked Phalarope, 42 Pallas`s Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, 70+ Caspian Tern, 60+ Gull-billed Tern,  Long-eared Owls in the Hotel garden, hundreds of European Bee-eaters moving south every day, Black Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Thrush Nightingale, River and Savi`s Warbler, Pied Wheatear, 3 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Moustached Warber, Paddyfield Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, loads of Shrikes on migration including Red-backed (the most numerous), Lesser Grey and 1 Woodchat Shrike, Golden Orioles, Spanish Sparrow, Hawfinch and those thirty Ortolan Buntings were great sighting too.

A long list of highlights indeed but to prove and share our memories in the field here is a good selection of pictures taken by our guides.

Our next year tour date is already online:

http://sakertour.com/romania-birding-tours.php#danube-delta-dobrudja-autumn-tour

 

 Winter plumage Pallas`s Gull in the Danube Delta (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Adult Pallas`s Gull moulting to winter plumage. A total of 40 individual were seen on 30rd of August (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Shallow coastal lagoons offered us some unforgettable birding experiences. In the picture Dalmatian Pelicans, Pallas`s Gulls, Caspaian Tern, Common Tern, Black-tailed Goodwits… (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Sandwich Terns and Waders scared by a Marsh Harrier (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Mixed flock of Dunlins, Curew Sandpipers, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Little Stints (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Broad-billed Sandpiper (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Juvenile Red-necked Phalaropes. Autumn is a much better season to see this beauty along the Black Sea (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Red-necked Phalaropes taking off (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Marsh Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Pacific Golden Plover (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Collared Pratincole and Sand Martins (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Resting group of Collared Pratincoles (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Collared Pratincoles (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern in front of our group (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Arctic Skua chasing a Sandwich Tern (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Scandinavian Caspian Terns migrate through Danube Delta in good numbers. Quiet a few had metal and/or color ring on the legs like this adult bird had (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 A smart Little Gull feeding close to the shoreline (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Thousands of Mediterranean Gulls were feeding on the coastal arable fileds (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Caspian Gull is the commonest large size gull in the Danube Delta area (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 European Bee-eater was amongst the commonest migrants. Their contact call filled the air every day (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Red-footed Falcon (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Male Montagu`s Harrier. End of August early September migrate through Dobrudja steppes in good numbers (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Honey Buzzard. This species were seen also in good numbers in September (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Hobby from the Danube Delta where is abundant yet (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Adult White-tailed Eagle from its favorite perch (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young White-winged Black Tern (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Black Tern following our boat (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Whiskered Tern. All the three Marsh Terns were visible in good numbers and some adults had breeding plumage too (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Savis Warbler (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Paddyfield Warbler, a local breeder of the Delta`s salt marshes (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Pied Wheatear another special breeding bird of the region (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Male Pied Wheatear (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Long-eared Owls in the Hotel garden were a nice bonus during the pre breakfast walks (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Golden Oriole. Some of the pre breakfast walks produced such a view of this shy migrant (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Red-backed Shrike with a Lime Hawk Moth larvae (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 This Shrike managed to swallow this huge larvae in front of us, wow (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Young Red-breasted Flycatcher (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Red-breasted Flycatchers migrate to India for winter and September is a good time to see good numbers in the Danube Delta (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Our group looking for Woodpeckers but this noise dunkey wagon overtakes the attention 😉 (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Superb view of a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was a memorable sighting for many in the group (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 A good sellection of butterflies were seen during our Autumn tours. Silver-washed Frittilary in focus (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 A good selection of butterflies were seen during our Autumn tours. Common Glider in focus (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Map Butterfly with a Large Copper (Photo: John Manners)

 Balkan Wall Lizard – Podarcis tauricus  (Photo: John Manners)

 This Little Bittern showed us its hiding pose (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 We had some brillinat looks of several Little Bitterns (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Squacco Heron with a frog posing to our group (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 While looking for Little Crakes and Water Rail suddenly a Grass Snake appeared in front of our boat with a frog in the mouth (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 We did not missed the Little Crakes neither (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Dalmatian Pelican fly by (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 Goodby! Group of White Pelicans heading South. The dark individual is a young bird (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

 

See you next year!

Sakertour team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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