Results of the Wintering Waterbird Census 2019

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Milvus Group Bird and Nature Protection Association, together with the Romanian Ornithological Society (SOR) organized this year too the annual census of wintering waterfowl in Romania, survey coordinated on international level by Wetlands International. As in the previous years, the period of observations was between 10th and 25th of January. A considerable part of the data coming from the national survey was summarized by our association and uploaded into the Openbirdmaps database. The 47 members and volunteers of Milvus Group gathered data from 138 different wetlands of 23 counties. While in Satu Mare County members of the Transylvanian Carpathian Association (EKE), in Covasna County the members of the Gyurgyalagok group (Bee-eaters) joined our survey. The highest number of the visited locations in this year were in Mureș County (25), followed by Bihor (22) and Satu Mare County (17), but the size of the areas (lakes, fishponds and river courses) in these counties have mostly small surface. Totally a number of 148,466 birds belonging to 128 species were observed. Of these 126,136 are waterbirds, which represent 84,95 % of the total of observed individuals. This however is only the number of “strict waterbirds” other species which all year’s life cycle is attached to waters or marshes (White-tailed Eagle, Marsh Harrier, White-throated Dipper, Grey Wagtail) they were not counted here. In this year the highest number of observed birds were on two main sections of Danube River, between Drobeta-Turnu Severin and Calafat (20,957 individuals) and between Baziaș and Orșova (20,897 individuals). Outside birds, the observers recorded other addition data as date of observation, the used optical equipment, disturbing factors and their intensity and percentage of ice cover on the water surface. The five most numerous waterbird species were the followings: Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 61,735 ind., Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 8,898 ind., Greylag Goose (Anser anser) 5,672 ind., Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 4,950 ind. and Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 4,489 individuals. The number of several other species, such as Greater White-fronted Goose, Eurasian Teal, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye and Greater Cormorant exceeded three thousand individuals. Besides waterbirds the five most numerous other species were the followings: Rook (Corvus frugilegus) 7,188 ind., Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) 3,120 ind., Feral Pigeon (Columba livia forma domestica) 2,395 ind., Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) 1,017 ind. and Magpie (Pica pica) 883 individuals. During the census some observers had the opportunity to observe scarce or uncommon species for this period of the year. These are the Bewick’s Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) 54 ind., Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) 5 ind., Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) 5 ind., European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) 1 ind., Greater Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 1 ind., Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) 1 ind., as well as the two Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) and two Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea). We hereby would like to thank all the participants for their help with data collection.

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