Friday, 25 May 2018

Romania with Naturetrek - Part 4

So it was with sadness that we left our house boat in Tulcea, we headed off to the Black Sea coast for the day, whilst our luggage headed to another guest house in Tulcea.

After about 90 minutes we arrived at a wetland area just inshore of the Black Sea, near to an abandoned minerals mine/factory.

We had good sightings of Bee-eater and Hoopoe, before walking along to first pools, there was an abundance of waders;
Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet, Wood Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper and Temminck's Stint.
Now here is I'm sorry to say another minus point for the tour. Our guide became totally fixated on the Temminck's Stint, we spent at least 30 minutes in the blazing sun watching this drab little wader, a number of the group where a bit peeved by the amount of time spent on this one bird, a number wandered off doing their own thing, so it took a while to get the group back together so that we could carry on.  It was a bit sad really, but Justin really pissed us off when, just a short while later, he said, we will have to get a move as we are behind schedule, when we were trying to look at the birds we wanted to!

It didn't help my mood as my camera was playing up and I wasn't able to take many photographs. Occasionally it would take a photo, but more often than not it was error-ing! In fact Tina had to tell me off a bit to calm down, hey-ho!

Anyway, to continue.....
I did manage a few hurried shots,
A test shot to see if the camera was working,
 Managed a distant Hoopoe, with lunch,
 a Reed Warbler,
 and a Reed Bunting.

In the same area as the Reed Warbler, we found a Paddyfield Warbler, but the camera wouldn't fire! It was also a great place for Terns, seeing;
Common, Black, White Winged, Whiskered, Caspian, Little and Sandwich Tern.

We also saw a number of Collared Pratincole, but again the camera didn't want to play! Other highlights here were; Both types of Pelican, Garganey, Great Reed Warbler, Spoonbill and off shore a Black-necked Grebe. There were many more but I won't list them all.

We eventually made it to the beach where we had a very nice picnic lunch.

After lunch we boarded the bus to head for an ice cream on Naturetrek (and a rather welcome toilet stop, it was now about 6 hours since we left the boat!) But had to stop when this popped up by the bus! A Bittern!
Not a great shot as it was through the bus window, we didn't want to open the doors as it was so close. It did fly off after a few minutes, but at least the camera worked!

After our ice cream we started heading back to Tulcea, but with a few brief stops on the way, for a 
 Black-headed Bunting,
 and a star bird, Stone Curlew
 hence its name, pretending to be a stone!
Again I was lucky that the camera did intermittently work. Whilst looking at the Black-headed Bunting, we had our first ever Pallid Harrier, this time though the camera packed up! The same goes for the Calandra Lark and Isabeline Wheatear that we saw.

A bit later we were taken to a gorge where we found Pied Wheatear, Black Redstart, more Suslik and Ortolan Bunting. The camera managed to get a shot of the Wheatear,
 and another Suslik,
but refused to play ball for the Ortolan Bunting, very frustrating.

Very tired we made it to our guest house, with just about enough time to take our luggage to our room, unpack what we needed, freshen up, drink a beer (G&T for Tina) and make it down 5 minutes late to dinner!

Our last full day, saw us exploring up near the Ukraine border, the day started very hot again, we were searching for Sombre Tit in a thinly wooded area but they didn't show! Instead we saw a Levant's Sparrowhawk, Turtle Dove, Golden Oriole, Spotted Flycatcher, Booted Eagle and some other raptors (dots!!).

We stopped briefly at quite a few places after this, one for Wryneck, but they couldn't be found either, I did find a Paper Wasp though,
and while trying to get the camera going a few other non-bird items;

A woodland stop found another lifer for us, and this time another first time bird for us and a record photo, a Red-breasted Flycatcher.

We tried another place for Sombre Tit, but the weather was taking a turn for the worse, so we headed for one last stop at a Quarry to look for Rock Thrush, before heading back and packing etc.

Once at the quarry the rain eventually stopped and we stayed for a while looking for a Rock Thrush, the group split up, but we elected to stay near the bus and was glad to say I found the bird and was eventually able to direct the others on to it. At this point of course the camera refused to play ball. But we had some great views that was the main thing.

So finally the next day was the long drive back to Bucharest and the airport, we did have a bit of excitement though, in a woody area on the main road, about an hour into the journey, at a place where we had seen Bee-eater a week earlier, an Owl was seen. So the bus was stopped about a 100 yards up the road in a lay bay and we walked back and it was well worth out for our first Long-eared Owl, and as you can see the camera, for no apparent reason, worked!

As you can see the Owl is on a nest and if you look closely at the top photo, you can just see the grey of chicks to the right of the bird. Interestingly this Owl had chosen its nest site in the middle of a Rookery! This didn't seem to bother the Rooks at all..

So that's it. Of course I haven't mentioned every bird that we saw on the trip, that would be incredibly boring, but for those that are interested here our complete list:

Avocet  ("Recurvirostra avosetta")
Bearded Tit  ("Panurus biarmicus")
Bee-eater  ("Merops apiaster")
Bittern  ("Botaurus stellaris")
Black Redstart  ("Phoenicurus ochruros")
Black Tern  ("Chlidonias niger")
Black Woodpecker  ("Dryocopus martius")
Blackbird  ("Turdus merula")
Blackcap  ("Sylvia atricapilla")
Black-headed Bunting  ("Emberiza melanocephala")
Black-headed Gull  ("Chroicocephalus ridibundus")
Black-necked Grebe  ("Podiceps nigricollis")
Black-tailed Godwit  ("Limosa limosa")
Black-winged Stilt  ("Himantopus himantopus")
Blue Tit  ("Cyanistes caeruleus")
Booted Eagle  ("Hieraaetus pennatus")
Broad-billed Sandpiper  ("Limicola falcinellus")
Buzzard  ("Buteo buteo")
Calandra Lark  ("Melanocorypha calandra")
Caspian Gull  ("Larus cachinnans")
Caspian Tern  ("Hydroprogne caspia")
Chaffinch  ("Fringilla coelebs")
Collared Dove  ("Streptopelia decaocto")
Collared Flycatcher  ("Ficedula albicollis")
Collared Pratincole  ("Glareola pratincola")
Common Crossbill  ("Loxia curvirostra")
Common Sandpiper  ("Actitis hypoleucos")
Common Tern  ("Sterna hirundo")
Coot  ("Fulica atra")
Cormorant  ("Phalacrocorax carbo")
Corn Bunting  ("Emberiza calandra")
Crested Lark  ("Galerida cristata")
Cuckoo  ("Cuculus canorus")
Curlew Sandpiper  ("Calidris ferruginea")
Dalmatian Pelican  ("Pelecanus crispus")
Dipper  ("Cinclus cinclus")
Ferruginous Duck  ("Aythya nyroca")
Firecrest  ("Regulus ignicapilla")
Gadwall  ("Anas strepera")
Garganey  ("Anas querquedula")
Glossy Ibis  ("Plegadis falcinellus")
Golden Oriole  ("Oriolus oriolus")
Goldeneye  ("Bucephala clangula")
Great Black-headed Gull  ("Larus ichthyaetus")
Great Crested Grebe  ("Podiceps cristatus")
Great Reed Warbler  ("Acrocephalus arundinaceus")
Great Spotted Woodpecker  ("Dendrocopos major")
Great Tit  ("Parus major")
Great White Egret  ("Ardea alba")
Great White Pelican  ("Pelecanus onocrotalus")
Greenfinch  ("Chloris chloris")
Greenshank  ("Tringa nebularia")
Grey Heron  ("Ardea cinerea")
Grey Partridge  ("Perdix perdix")
Grey Plover  ("Pluvialis squatarola")
Grey Wagtail  ("Motacilla cinerea")
Grey-headed Woodpecker  ("Picus canus")
Greylag Goose  ("Anser anser")
Hawfinch  ("Coccothraustes coccothraustes")
Hobby  ("Falco subbuteo")
Honey-buzzard  ("Pernis apivorus")
Hooded Crow  ("Corvus cornix")
Hoopoe  ("Upupa epops")
House Martin  ("Delichon urbicum")
House Sparrow  ("Passer domesticus")
Icterine Warbler  ("Hippolais icterina")
Isabelline Wheatear  ("Oenanthe isabellina")
Jackdaw  ("Corvus monedula")
Jay  ("Garrulus glandarius")
Kentish Plover  ("Charadrius alexandrinus")
Kestrel  ("Falco tinnunculus")
Kingfisher  ("Alcedo atthis")
Lapwing  ("Vanellus vanellus")
Lesser Grey Shrike  ("Lanius minor")
Lesser Spotted Eagle  ("Aquila pomarina")
Lesser Whitethroat  ("Sylvia curruca")
Levant Sparrowhawk  ("Accipiter brevipes")
Linnet  ("Carduelis cannabina")
Little Bittern  ("Ixobrychus minutus")
Little Egret  ("Egretta garzetta")
Little Gull  ("Hydrocoloeus minutus")
Little Ringed Plover  ("Charadrius dubius")
Little Stint  ("Calidris minuta")
Little Tern  ("Sternula albifrons")
Long-eared Owl  ("Asio otus")
Long-legged Buzzard  ("Buteo rufinus")
Long-tailed Tit  ("Aegithalos caudatus")
Magpie  ("Pica pica")
Mallard  ("Anas platyrhynchos")
Marsh Harrier  ("Circus aeruginosus")
Marsh Sandpiper  ("Tringa stagnatilis")
Mistle Thrush  ("Turdus viscivorus")
Montagu's Harrier  ("Circus pygargus")
Moorhen  ("Gallinula chloropus")
Mute Swan  ("Cygnus olor")
Night-heron  ("Nycticorax nycticorax")
Nightingale  ("Luscinia megarhynchos")
Nutcracker  ("Nucifraga caryocatactes")
Nuthatch  ("Sitta europaea")
Ortolan Bunting  ("Emberiza hortulana")
Paddyfield Warbler  ("Acrocephalus agricola")
Pallid Harrier  ("Circus macrourus")
Penduline Tit  ("Remiz pendulinus")
Pheasant  ("Phasianus colchicus")
Pied Wagtail  ("Motacilla alba")
Pied Wheatear  ("Oenanthe pleschanka")
Pochard  ("Aythya ferina")
Purple Heron  ("Ardea purpurea")
Pygmy Cormorant  ("microcarbo pygmeus")
Raven  ("Corvus corax")
Red-backed Shrike  ("Lanius collurio")
Red-breasted Flycatcher  ("Ficedula parva")
Red-crested Pochard  ("Netta rufina")
Red-footed Falcon  ("Falco vespertinus")
Red-necked Grebe  ("Podiceps grisegena")
Redshank  ("Tringa totanus")
Redstart  ("Phoenicurus phoenicurus")
Reed Bunting  ("Emberiza schoeniclus")
Reed Warbler  ("Acrocephalus scirpaceus")
Ringed Plover  ("Charadrius hiaticula")
Rock Dove / Feral Pigeon  ("Columba livia")
Rock Thrush  ("Monticola saxatilis")
Roller  ("Coracias garrulus")
Rook  ("Corvus frugilegus")
Ruddy Shelduck  ("Tadorna ferruginea")
Ruff  ("Philomachus pugnax")
Sand Martin  ("Riparia riparia")
Sandwich Tern  ("Sterna sandvicensis")
Savi's Warbler  ("Locustella luscinioides")
Serin  ("Serinus serinus")
Shelduck  ("Tadorna tadorna")
Shoveler  ("Anas clypeata")
Sombre Tit  ("Poecile lugubris")
Song Thrush  ("Turdus philomelos")
Spanish Sparrow  ("Passer hispaniolensis")
Sparrowhawk  ("Accipiter nisus")
Spoonbill  ("Platalea leucorodia")
Spotted Flycatcher  ("Muscicapa striata")
Spotted Redshank  ("Tringa erythropus")
Squacco Heron  ("Ardeola ralloides")
Starling  ("Sturnus vulgaris")
Stock Dove  ("Columba oenas")
Stone-curlew  ("Burhinus oedicnemus")
Swallow  ("Hirundo rustica")
Swift  ("Apus apus")
Syrian Woodpecker  ("Dendrocopos syriacus")
Tawny Pipit  ("Anthus campestris")
Temminck's Stint  ("Calidris temminckii")
Tree Pipit  ("Anthus trivialis")
Tree Sparrow  ("Passer montanus")
Tufted Duck  ("Aythya fuligula")
Turtle Dove  ("Streptopelia turtur")
Wallcreeper  ("Tichodroma muraria")
Wheatear  ("Oenanthe oenanthe")
Whinchat  ("Saxicola rubetra")
Whiskered Tern  ("Chlidonias hybrida")
White Stork  ("Ciconia ciconia")
White-tailed Eagle  ("Haliaeetus albicilla")
Whitethroat  ("Sylvia communis")
White-winged Black Tern  ("Chlidonias leucopterus")
Willow Warbler  ("Phylloscopus trochilus")
Wood Sandpiper  ("Tringa glareola")
Wood Warbler  ("Phylloscopus sibilatrix")
Woodpigeon  ("Columba palumbus")
Yellow Wagtail  ("Motacilla flava")
Yellowhammer  ("Emberiza citrinella")
Yellow-legged Gull  ("Larus michahellis")

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