Thursday, 28 February 2008
Destinations: Dobrudja - Romania & Bulgaria
Dobrudja (aka Dobrugea) is a large region that lies along the the Black Sea coast of eastern Romania and spread southwards into north-east Bulgaria. The northern border is the Danube Delta, the western the Danube. Much of Dobrudja is dry, rolling country, once mainly steppe, nowadays a mixture of steppe and vast croplands, with rather poor settlements scattered throughout. There are also some rugged, rocky hills and very birdy lakes and lagoons. Some deciduous woodlands, natural and planted, also dot the landscape here and there. All in all, this is a vast mosaic of birding opportunties. Dobrudja's breeding birds include Stone Curlew, Red-footed Falcon, Montagu's Harrier, Levant Sparrowhawk, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Common Quail, Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike, Tawny Pipit, Isabelline and Pied Wheatears and Short-toed and Crested Larks. In most years Rose-coloured Starlings invade and nest in noisy colonies. Reed fringed lagoons are home to Paddyfield Warbler, a decidedly "eastern" species that creeps into Europe here. From November through to March the region's vast fields of winter-wheat often attract flocks of Greater White-fronted and Red-breasted Geese.