Between 10th and 20th January, the traditional International Waterbird Census (Midwinter Count), organized annually by Wetlands International, took place. In Romania the event is jointly coordinated by the Romanian Ornithological Society and the Milvus Group Bird and Nature Protection Association.
Due to the prolonged cold weather preceding the census, the water bodies were partially or entirely frozen in most regions. Thus, aquatic species have moved on large unfrozen reservoirs and rivers.
The program was attended by a number of 108 observers (ornithologists and volunteers), covering 238 wetland areas from 33 counties. In total 397,961 birds were counted of which 357,114 (89.7% of the total) were aquatic species. During the count, 147 species were identified, of which 60 species (40.8%) are considered dependent on wetlands.
The most numerous waterbird species were the following:
- Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – 121,851
- Coot (Fulica atra) – 83,771
- Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) – 20,306
- Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) – 18,185
- Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) – 12,053
- Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) – 11,548
- Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) – 9,789
- Greylag Goose (Anser anser) – 9,748
- Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans) – 9,727
- Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) – 9,042
The most numerous five non-aquatic species were the following:
- Rook (Corvus frugilegus) – 12,233
- Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) – 5,846
- Feral Pigeon (Columba livia f. domestica) – 3,582
- Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) – 1,853
- Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) – 1,631
Several species with sporadic occurrence for the country and some considered interesting for this period of the year have also been also observed during the census. These are the Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus – 114 ex.), Bean Goose (Anser fabalis – 5 ex.), Herring Gull (Larus argentatus – 1 ex.), Pallas’s Gull (Larus ichthyaetus – 6 ex.), Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus – 1 ex.), Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus – 1 ex.), Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos – 1 ex.) , Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea – 4 ex.), Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita – 4 ex.) and European Serin (Serinus serinus – 1 ex).