Atlantic Puffin
Finding Birds in South-east Romania

Finding Birds in South-east Romania

Dave Gosney

2019. From the fabulous Danube Delta to the magnificent Transylvanian Alps, this book covers all the sites that foreign visitors are most likely to be interested in, including many 'new' sites that have not even been described in previous publications.

It replaces the previous book, Finding Birds in Romania and actually includes a wider area. Hence, more sites are covered and in much more detail (roughly twice as much text, twice as many maps). It is based largely on observations made in 2019 when I located species such as Pallas's Gull, Wallcreeper, Horned Lark, Rock Thrush and Moustached Warbler and found several sites for species like Paddyfield Warbler, Pied Wheatear, Little Crake, Red-footed Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard and Isabelline Wheatear.

Unique features, compared to other publications covering the same area, this one:

  • Provides the most detailed maps - so you can easily find your way to the best tracks, footpaths, feeding stations, hides and bird towers.
  • Includes GPS co-ordinates to help you find the right turnings, parking spaces or viewing points.
  • Highlights the best areas only - and summarises the key attraction in the first paragraph so you can easily decide whether to read on or bother to visit the site.
  • Has a map on the inside cover which serves as an index so you can easily find any site in the book.
  • Is light and portable (and cheap).
  • Is complemented by a DVD showing you exactly what it's like to go birding in many of these sites.

Sites covered:

Hagieni forest - lots of really good birds.

Albesti steppe - a 'new' site, found by accident but with a range of steppe species including raptors.

Lake Techirghiol - a fantastic site, especially for passage birds, but you need to know where the best parts of the lake are.

Lake Tasaul - a terrific site for waterbirds such as pelicans and pratincoles and with Pied Wheatears nearby.

Cheia - famous as a site for Pied Wheatears.

Vadu - an essential part of any Romanian birding itinerary - not to be missed.

Jurilovca - a site with much potential, barely mentioned elsewhere.

- no longer the 'hotspot' that it was but still with some good birds nearby.

The Danube Delta - best visited by boat to see all the wetland species, including Pallas's Gull, as well as Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Collared Flycatcher, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and several woodpeckers.

Niculitel forests - exceptional numbers of Icterine Warblers and Red-breasted Flycatchers in some places, plus raptors, Black Stork and woodpeckers in others.

Macin hills and Greci - both Rock Thrush and Pied Wheatear are possible here but which of the many claimed raptors are actually likely?

Babadag forests - more woodpeckers, Icterine Warblers and Red-breasted Flycatchers and, surprisingly, River Warbler at two sites, too.

Around Harsova - a bird-filled lake, some of the best steppe areas in Romania, the easiest Red-footed Falcon site and one of the best, yet previously undescribed, wetlands in the country.

Ciocanesti fishponds - a beautiful place to go birding where pelicans and Little Bitterns should be easy to find.

Calarasi - another system of lakes and pools with lots of birds.

Canyons of Fetii - some species have now gone from here but it's still great for raptors, woodpeckers, etc.

Lake Oltina - can be exceptional for waders, ibis, pelicans, Ruddy Shelduck, etc.

Piatra Craiului - access is a problem here but it still has one of the best Wallcreeper sites in Europe.

Bucegi National Park - easy access to mountain areas where species such as Horned Lark, Three-toed Woodpecker, Red-breasted Flycatcher are all possible. If you miss Wallcreeper at Piatra Craiului there's another site here that is possibly even easier.

Transfagarasan pass - the easiest place to find Alpine Accentor.

The river at Carta - a great place for species such as Marsh Warbler, Little Bittern and Lesser Spotted Eagle.

Istria, Sinoie, Lake Ceamurlia, Enisala, Murighiol, Somovo wetlands, Poiana Brasov and the Rasnov gorge.

"In the time I've been birding, few countries can have changed as much as Romania. The whole infra-structure is vastly improved, making it an excellent place to visit. Depressingly, some of the birding sites, formerly among the best in Europe, have degenerated alarmingly but thankfully I found several 'new' sites that birders will love. Plus, of course, the Danube Delta is still an awesome place."

 - Dave Gosney

40 pages.

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