Birding in the Danube Delta, Romania

Europe/Birding in Romania

Birds and bears – Danube Delta and the land of Dracula

Black Sea Coast, Danube Delta, Southern Carpathian Mountains, 10 days

Romania is a splendid location for every birdwatcher due to its wealth of habitats.
The Danube Delta offers most spectacular birdwatching: squadrons of pelicans, clouds of waders, ribbons of cormorants, reedbeds full of warblers, lakes and marshes crowded with herons, egrets and ibises. Woodpeckers, Hoopoe, Roller, Bee-eater and Golden Oriole abound.

On the Black Sea Coast of Dobrogea sought after raptors fly overhead and you can find Levant Sparrowhawk, Booted, Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Pallid and Montagu's Harrier, Pied and Isabelline Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Sombre Tit and Ortolan Bunting in the nearby forests, hills and plains. Rare resident species and thousands of migrating birds are drawn to the extensive wetlands along the sea, which provide habitat for White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Ruddy Shelduck and Paddyfield Warbler. Waders might include Temminck’s Stint, Broad-billed and Marsh Sandpiper, while Greater Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed and Caspian Tern are regularly seen.

The Carpathian Mountains provide a contrast of habitat and an excellent chance to discover exciting mountain species including Ural Owl, White-backed and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift, Ring Ouzel and Nutcracker. Romania has a sizeable population of Brown Bears and the Zarnesti area is the best place to see them from comfortable and secure hides.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

3 nights in Mamaia, a resort at the Black Sea
3 nights on a floating hotel in the Danube Delta
3 nights in Zarnesti, in the Southern Carpathians

Departure Dates

Saturday 26 August – Monday 4 Sept 2017

Price

from 2,205 € + 260 € (single room supplement)
Bearwatching is optional for an extra charge of 35 € per person. There is a very high possibility of seeing several bears at close range and the fee includes the permission to take photos and videos as well.
Ask for the actual price

Itinerary

1

Our English speaking guide meets us at the Bucharest airport. Travel to Mamaia on the Black Sea Coast.

2-3

We visit one of the best birding areas in Europe, the wetlands of Histria and Vadu. Muddy pools, ponds, extensive reedbeds, steppe and sandy scrub attract many resident and migrating bird species including White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Ruddy Shelduck, Ferruginous Duck and Paddyfield Warbler. Waders abound and might include Temminck’s Stint, Broad-billed and Marsh Sandpiper. Greater Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed and Caspian Tern are regularly seen. We visit Cheia Gorge, a scenic limestone area with breeding Levant Sparrowhawk, Booted and Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Rock Thrush and Ortolan Bunting. The nearby fields have Calandra and Short-toed Larks, while villages are a good place to see Syrian Woodpecker, Wryneck and Spanish Sparrow. Time permitting we might return to one of the coastal wetlands.

4

We head north towards the Danube Delta, passing through Babadag Forest. Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed, Booted and Lesser-Spotted Eagles, Sombre Tit have all been sighted here. Stop at the castle of Enisala before arriving to our floating hotel in Tulcea in the afternoon.

5-6

We spend 2 full days birding along rich waterways at the heart of the Danube Delta! We visit Mila 23, Fortuna Lake and Letea Forest among others. Riparian Forests are home to Black Stork, White-tailed Eagle, Black and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Thrush Nightingale and Golden Oriole. Ferruginous Duck, Squacco, Night and Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis and Pygmy Cormorant are found in masses. Both pelican species are seen daily and marsh terns are everywhere. Red-footed Falcons breed along the river and Bee-eater, Roller, Kingfisher are commonly seen.

7

We leave the boat and head for the Macin Hills to look for raptors, Rock Thrush and Pied Wheatear. In the afternoon we drive north to reach our hotel in Zarnesti nestled between scenic mountain peaks of the Southern Carpathians.

8-9

We spend 2 days in the Bucegi Massif. In Zarnesti Gorge we look for Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift, Dipper and Crag Marin. In the evening we visit the bear hide to watch Brown Bears. We search for Ural Owl, woodpeckers, Nutcracker, Crested Tit and Ring Ouzel in the old pine and beech woodlands. Finally we can take a small detour to visit "Dracula’s Castle" near Bran.

10

Travel through Sinaia, birding en route, to arrive to Bucharest Airport and fly home

bird photography and birding tours Hungary and Eastern Europe - Bee-eater on a branch

Online brochure:

Viev brochure