Romania: pelicans & cormorants

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.

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Pelecanus onocrotalus

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Pelecanus crispus

 

Romania: warblers

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.

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Acrocephalus arundinaceus – Danube Delta

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Plus, at the coastal marshes near Vadu, we found several tiny Paddyfield Warblers with their distinctively strong pale stripe over the eye.

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Acrocephalus agricola – Vadu coastal marsh

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Romania: brown bears

We have seen bears before.  On Vancouver Island we saw black bears on at least two occasions but I never took the opportunity to photograph them.  If you want to see great pictures of black bears then visit Tofino Photography.  In Romania they have European Brown Bears and, this time, I did get pictures.  Our guide and a local ranger took us to a hide on the side of a steep hill that overlooked an area some 300 metres below.  We saw at least four different adult bears – some gingery brown, some much darker.

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Ursus arctos – Carpathian foothills

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Romania: frogs and toads

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.

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Bombina variegata – Transylvania
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Hyla arborea – Danube Delta
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Bombina variegata – Transylvania
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Pelophylax ridibundus – Danube Delta