Winter in the Danube Delta
Only the brave ones can live a great experience, an winter trip to the Danube Delta.
Many people ask me:
Why should we come in winter to the Danube Delta?
What can we see?
Maybe seems a little bit strange but in winter you can see around 100 species of birds that you can not see in the summer. You can see a frozen world, an world on ice or unreveal from mysterious fog, step by step.
It’s time to geese and ducks, is large raptors time, watching flocks of ducks and geese, of fluffy snowballs, Long Tailed Tit and many other birds. Let’s take them in order:
Geese: White Fronted Geese and Greylag Geese, we can see large flocks of geese moving from the place they sleep (on the water) to feeding sites (field), among them we have the chance to see some Red Breasted Geese, very beautiful birds and very very fearful. Red Breasted Goose is a species threatened with extinction.
Ducks: Besides Mallard Duck flocks, which are very common in the summer, you’ll see Tufted Duck, Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Teals, Goldeneye and other species of ducks.
Large raptor birds: White Tailed Eagles, the largest birds of prey in the Danube Delta gather in small groups dominating the flocks of geese and ducks, many pieces spend winter in our Delta so it”s almost certain that you will see some of these majestic birds. Besides these we can see the Common Buzzard, Long Legged Buzzard,Rough Legged Buzzard. It is time that we can see the birds very well on the leafless tree branches.
Herons: Not all herons leave Danube Delta in winter. Gray Heron, Great Egret, Great Bittern stay here and can be easily seen on the banks of thawed waters.
Pelicans and Cormorants: No, not all the Pelicans go to Africa, Dalmatian Pelicans stay here and winter is the best time that can be seen, all now are in the peak of the wedding plumage, males feathers grows, numerous and long, the beak is red – orange, color is very pronounced. Both the Pygmy and the Great Cormorants are present.
Many other surprises in the world of birds will appear.
Are more easily to be seen in winter, lack of vegetation expose them to viewers, thawed waters attract them like a magnet. Now we can see Otters that come out from under the ice with a fish in mouth, Raccoon Dog, sneaking Jackals, Deers, Wild Boars, Wild Cats and more.
Mosquitoes are not active :-).
Winter trip in the Danube Delta
Also requires proper equipment. You can not come in city shoes or thin sweaters. Going by boat is very different then car driving, boat is open, it is a cold region with strong winds and the run of the boat sometimes makes it feel more acutely.
You need a skiing equivalent equipment: waterproof pants and jacket, cold resistant, very warm, boots in that you really have very thick socks and enough room to make a layer of air between the foot and footwear, do not use shoes which will be set on foot.
On the head is required to have a thick cap, possibly with ear flaps, NO, caps will not help for anything, even if are “winter” design, after a few hours in the Danube Delta you will be frostbitten ears, no matter how strong you are at cold.
Gloves are also required, especially if you want to take pictures or to film.
We must not forget about hydration, water or tea kept in a thermos, protected from freeze. Alcoholic drinks are highly NOT recommended, especially as you are on the water, accidents are not desirable at this time.
What you can do:
- You can take boat trips
- You can photograph / film
What is not recommended to do:
Walk on ice or skating, ice thickness is not the same everywhere, you can enter on the river stream line and the ice ca be thin there.