Including a boat trip in the Danube Delta
Main areas to be visited: Romanian Dobrogea, Danube Delta, Southern Carpathian Mountains
Arrival in Bucharest and transfer to the easternmost part of Romania, the Romanian Dobrogea. It takes about 3 hours driving and on the way we may stop to check some wetlands and/or steppe areas, depending on how much time we have for birdwatching that day.
We will check-in for two nights in a guest house in a small village to the north of the city of Constanta.
In the morning we will explore some coastal lagoons and marshlands – Lake Sinoe, Lake Zmeica and other sites. Here we expect to find various water birds, including different species of herons and egrets, gulls and terns, Western Marsh Harrier, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, some species of reed warblers (like the Paddyfield Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Great Reed Warbler), Black-headed race of the Yellow Wagtail, etc.
In the afternoon we will move inland to the extensive steppe grasslands, where we will be searching for the Eurasian Stone Curlew, Tawny Pipit, Calandra Lark, Greater Short-toed Lark, Isabeline Wheatear. In the steppes we can also find the European Souslik – a small and cute rodent living in burrows. Here we will also visit rocky gorges, small woodlands and shrubs among the steppes, where we will be searching for the Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Eurasian Hobby, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Eurasian Hoopoe, Syrian Woodpecker, Pied Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Red-backed Shrikes, Lesser-Grey Shrikes, Woodchat Shrike, Barred Warbler. At the loess cliffs we will enjoy the colourful European Bee-eater nesting colonies, with European Rollers often nesting next to them on the same ground wall.
Today we will ravel further north to the town of Tulcea with a long stop in the Babadag Forests, where we expect to find various forests birds, such as the Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Warbler, Sombre Tit, Hawfinch, etc.
Then we will spend the afternoon in the riverine forests and reedbeds in the vicinity of Tulcea, looking for Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Bearded Reedling, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Icterine Warbler, and in the wetlands and steppes to the east of the town. In the shallow-waters lakes we will find breeding colonies of Caspian Gull, plus Black-winged Stilts and other waders and shore-birds.
Overnight in Tulcea
In the morning we will start our boat trip in the Danube Delta from Tulcea. During the next three days we will explore the core of the Delta, visiting a lot of pristine sites that hold a big variety of birds, including the Dalmatian Pelican, Great White Pelican, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, White-tailed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, Eurasian Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, Pallas’s Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warbler, Savi’s Warbler, Common Reed Bunting and many others.
Our accommodation for the next two nights will be in the village of Mila 23, an isolated traditional rural settlement in the core of the Delta.
Second day in the Danube Delta.
We can have an early morning walk around the village of Mila 23. Then we spend the whole day on the boat along channels and skirting lakes in the Danube Delta.
Cruising back to Tulcea with another opportunity to enjoy the Danube Delta wilderness.
Two nights in Tulcea
Today we will visit the Macin Mountain National Park, a volcanic mountain to the west of Tulcea. The key species of birds here include the Long-legged Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk, Eurasian Hoopoe, European Roller, Isabelline Wheatear, Pied Wheatear, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Rose-colored Starling, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ortolan Bunting, Woodchat Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike.
We will have a long transfer west (about 400 km) to the Southern Carpathian Mountains, with stops for roadside birding on the way and good chances of seeing the Lesser Spotted Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Hawfinch, European Serin.
Accommodation for three nights in a small hotel high in the mountains.
Day 9 and Day 10
In these two days we will be exploring the alpine zone and conifer and beech forests in the Southern Carpathians – the highest part of this mountain chain, spreading across Romania.
In the mountain rivers and streams we expect to find White-throated Dippers and Grey Wagtails. There will be a good variety of forest birds, including the White-backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Crested Tit, Eurasian Bullfinch, Common Crossbills, Spotted Nutcracker, Fieldfare, Wood Warbler, Wood Lark.
In the alpine areas we have very good chances to observe the Alpine Accentor, Black Redstart, Water Pipit, Eurasian Crag Martin, as well as one of the most beautiful and sought-after birds in the world – the Wallcreeper.
Transfer to Bucharest for departure