Friday, 18 January 2008

Destinations: Danube Delta - Romania

Romania's section of the Danube Delta (some lies in neighbouring Ukraine) is arguably Europe's best wetland birding destination. The Delta lies some 3-4 hours by road NE of the capital Bucharest. At most times of year it is superb, and often better than that. Winter, however, is hard here and most non-flowing waters are usually frozen. In the breeding season, from April to August for most species, birds such as Pygmy Cormorant, White Pelican, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, various herons, Ferruginous Duck, Roller, Hobby, Whiskered Tern, Savi's Warbler and Penduline Tit, to name just a few, are hard to miss. Though not as common birds like Dalmatian Pelican, Red-necked Grebe, Red-footed Falcon, Levant Sparrowhawk, White-tailed Eagle, White-winged Black Tern, Caspian Gull and Paddyfield Warbler can also be seen. On autumn passage (August to October) winter there are masses of wildfowl, terns, waders and influxes of raptors. A tip: only consider joining an organised tour to the Delta that includes nights within the Delta on a house-boat, a floating hotel, otherwise you will not see the Delta in all its glory, as it simply cannot be explored adequately from a totally land-based tour.

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