On 21 st of December 2006, Jozsef Szabo jr. found and identified a Long-billed Murrelet, on the Avrig reservoir of the Olt river, near Porumbacu de Jos (Sibiu county). This is the first Romanian record for the species and in the same time the third for the whole Western Palearctic, after records in Switzerland (Zollikon, Lake Zurich, on 15 th December 1997) and Great Britain (Dawlish Warren, Devon , on 7 th November 2006). The Long-billed Murrelet is a special auk, which unlike its relatives (which nest on cliffs) is breeding in old grown conifer forest. The species is found from Kamchatka to the Sea of Okhotsk . Most birds winter in the seas around northern Japan with some reaching South Korea and southern Japan.
On the 17th of December the members of the Environmental Education Working Group held a presentation in front of 60 spectators in the Zoo of Tirgu Mures about the feeding of wintering birds. The second day of the event took place in the medieval fortress of the city, where the bird lovers in addition to the usefull informations regarding to the feeding of birds during the winter, recieved for free hand made bird feeders and crops.
The first fieldwork period of the Wintering Birds of Prey Monitoring Programme was between 1.-10. December. A total of 33 persons has participated in the programme, covering 25 sections. 613 raptor individuals has been observed belonging to 10 species. The Common Buzzard was the most frequently observed species (525 individuals), followed by the Sparrowhawk and the Kestrel. It is worth emphasizing the low number of Rough- legged Buzzards and Merlins observed, both species has been recorded only once. The most fieldwork has been carried out in Transylvania (18 sections), followed by Moldova (4 sections), Banat (2 sections) and Dobrogea (1 section). In Transylvania and Banat generally many raptors have been observed, mostly Common Buzzards. In the Danube Delta (Dobrogea) the Marsh Harrier was the most frequent bird of prey. In Moldova surprisingly low numbers of raptors have been observed, only 15 individuals on 38 kilometres covered. The second phase of the programme will be between 9.-18. Fevruary. Those willing to participate, but did not take part in the programme in December, should write to István Kovács by 31 st January to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Program „Dumbravioara – the village of Storks ” a very important step is the setting up of a „ Stork Center ” For this Center, the Teleki family offered part of their castle from Dumbravioara for a period of 20 years – the contract was signed recently. More details under the Stork Protection WG.