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Danube Delta – Dobrudja Autumn Tour downloadable itinerary

Day 1. After arrival in Bucharest we will need three hours to reach Sinoe village on the Black Sea coast, where our accommodation lies in a rural village close to the most important wetland sites. If time permits we will visit the closest birding destinations near Sitorman where an abandoned rock quarry can hold such species like Isabelline and Pied Wheatear. Night at Sinoe.

Day 2. We will start the day with an optional pre-breakfast birding around the hotel. After the breakfast we will visit the Vadu area where we hope to find places with shallow water which attract waterbirds like Caspian Tern, Collared Pratincole, Red-necked Phalaropes, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Stone Curlew or even scarce passage migrants. In the afternoon we move further north to Histria, a famous site to look for the scarce and elusive Paddyfield Warbler, more Collared Pratincoles and passerines. It can sometimes be dry in autumn in these areas and therefore we might change our itinerary and visiting also lake Techirghiol in a bit south as well. Night at Sinoe.

Day 3. After breakfast we will visit Grindul Lupilor / Wolf`s Peninsula wetland along the Sinoe lake. This is a superb site for waders, terns and pratincoles and promisable place to find the beautiful Pallas`s Gull!
Lunch in the accommodation than in the afternoon we going to visit Sitorman rock quarry a reliable site for Pied, Isabelline Wheatears and passage raptors. Early September still good for Isabelline but most of the Pied Wheatears are gone and we need luck to find the last birds. These sites are brilliant for migrating diurnal raptors in the Autumn period and we should see hundreds pass over Dobrudja. Raptors such as Lesser Spotted Eagle, European Honey Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Montagu`s Harrier, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Red-footed Falcon or local breeders such as Long-legged Buzzard and Levant Sparrowhawk should turn up and even the scarce Saker Falcon can sometimes be seen. Night at Sinoe.

Day 4. After the breakfast we will leave the lagoons behind and continue our journey to the north part of Dobrudja. We will spend some time in the Babadag Forest to find woodpeckers such as Black, Middle Spotted, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. Lunch will be taken in the vicinity of Murighiol salt lakes and then we start discovering the delta itself and enjoying the afternoon birding from our boat. Using our comfortable boat, we have two full days to experience a selection of the best birding locations within the Danube Delta’s most southern branch (Sfantu Gheorghe branch). We will concentrate our efforts on the mouth of this Danube branch to the Black Sea. The 20 kilometer long sandy Sachalin Peninsula is an amazing migrant trap and a very special place indeed in Europe. We hope to spend a full day at this magical location, which is simply impossible to reach any other way then getting to the end of the Danube branch. Our accommodation will be in Sfantu Gheorghe fishing village, in the eastern extremity of the Danube Delta. Night in the Danube Delta at Sfantu Gheorghe.

Day 5-6. In our two full days we will focus our efforts on the best locations in the southern part of the delta and the mouth of the river Danube. Sachalin bay in autumn is by far the best birding place in the whole delta, because its shallow lagoon offers refuge and excellent feeding possibility for many birds. This is the place to get the migration feeling and this is why we offer a different itinerary from our spring tour! This time of the year the breeding ’delta birds’ congregate around the best feeding sites with lots of juveniles joined by lots of migrants. This creates an unforgettable scene with such actors like Spoonbill, Squacco Heron, Great White Egret, Glossy Ibis, White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Caspian Tern, Broad-billed Sandpiper, masses of Sandwich and Common Terns, Black-tailed Goodwits, Avocets and a lot more. Silent and shallow corners with plenty of Yellow Water-lily and water chestnut leaves close to the reed edge are ideal places to catch a glimpse of a joung Little Crake or a ’frozen’ Little Bittern while in the reed groups of Penduline and Bearded Tits roam continuously. The bushy areas will be full with migrating passerines again and depending on the period different species dominate like Red-backed Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap and others. This is also the place for anything unusual to turn up and no doubt this will happen as it always did on every single time we have been at this magical place! Night in the Danube Delta at Sfantu Gheorghe.

Day 7. After an early breakfast in the Delta we start travelling to Murighiol. We would like to reach the harbor as soon as possible and continue our journey to the Baragan lowland. We going to cross the Danube near Braila city than heading a bit north to find the biggest and only known Dotterel moulting site in Romania. Night in Braila.

Day 8. After breakfast we leave Braila and start driving back to Bucharest. On the way depending on the flight time we have several birding possibility or a picnic lunch in a nice park just the outskirt of Bucharest.

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