For a trip with only six days of dedicated birding at a time of year when many species have finished breeding and gone to ground, we did much better than I had dared to hope. With the help of Hobby Tours we managed to see all of the specialities of the Danube Delta as well as isabelline and pied wheatears, sombre tit, 5 woodpeckers and 15 birds of prey. The list total for just those six days was 160 species.

Romania certainly proved itself to be a supreme birding destination with such a wide range of habitats which I only just began to explore; from the low intensity agriculture of Transylvania with its shrikes, lesser spotted eagles and white storks to the extensive marshes of the Danube Delta with its herons, pelicans, cormorants, waders and warblers to the steppe-like habitat of Dobruja with its 4 species of wheatear (only 3 seen on this trip), raptors and sombre tit. We only fleetingly visited the high mountains and never really set foot inside the extensive forests. One trip cannot cover it all but I feel that with around ten days of birding in mid to late spring you would stand a good chance of finding all the European woodpeckers, Ural and perhaps Tengmalm’s and pygmy owl, saker, hazel grouse, horned lark, flycatchers and probably a few surprises on top of the species that we saw. Hobby Tours certainly has sites for most, if not all, of these species.

More than the individual species, however, is the ‘whole package’; the stunning and varied scenery, the history and the sheer spectacle and variety of the birds in huge numbers. Romania is a holiday I will not forget in a hurry. I shall certainly be back.

Bird Trip Report – Driving to Romania from the UK. 23.07.05-12.08.05

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