On the Danube Delta we saw hundreds of Great White Pelicans and Great Cormorants, often flocking together, plus occasional individual Dalmatian Pelicans and a handful of Pygmy Cormorants. I captured all but the Pygmy Cormorants on camera. The Dalmatian Pelicans are quite rare and the Danube Delta is one of the best places to see them – they look quite different to the Great Whites and the grey legs are the clearest sign in my shot – the Great White has pinkish legs.
One of the most exciting bird finds in the Danube Delta was when we turned into a small inlet and found another lifer for us – this Collared Flycatcher. Beautifully marked, it briefly darted in and out of the nearby bushes giving occasional opportunities to get a half decent picture.
We find it difficult to distinguish between warblers particularly when we are in a new environment. Fortunately, with Naturetrek, you are usually surrounded by excellent birders who know exactly what you are looking at.
We had two warbler lifers on this trip. Great Reed Warblers were regularly seen while we were on the Danube Delta – distinguished mainly by their size.
Plus, at the coastal marshes near Vadu, we found several tiny Paddyfield Warblers with their distinctively strong pale stripe over the eye.
The Danube Delta is blessed with huge numbers of herons and egrets. I can see grey herons, little and great egrets at home, so I focused on species that are hard or impossible to see in the UK. Black-crowned night heron, squacco heron and purple heron were around but some were easier to catch on camera than others.
The Danube Delta is full of marsh frogs and we saw them regularly. However, Florin our local Naturetrek guide, found us a more regional speciality – the yellow-bellied toad. Small, dark and very undistinguished from above – it has bright orangey-yellow markings underneath. As an extra bonus, one day when we came aboard our small boat and found a beautiful tree frog attached to one of the legs of a chair.