Monitoring of wintering birds in Coastal Dobrogea and educational activities for the Red-breasted goose

Monitoring of wintering birds in Coastal Dobrogea and educational activities for the Red-breasted goose

In the period 11-14 January Green Balkans’ team has executed the third for this winter season monitoring of wintering birds in Coastal Dobrogea. The team has also joined the 43rd Midwinter census of water birds that has taken place in Bulgaria covering all wetlands as part of the global initiative.

On 11.01, in the first day of the monitoring birds in Pomorie Lake and Black Sea coast from Pomorie to Sunny beach have been recorded. Great diversity of species was observed in the lagoon – 35 species. These included rarer and interesting species like the Scaup (Aythya marila), Smew (Mergellus albellus), Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) and record high numbers for the coastal lagoon of the globally threatened White-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) – 24 ind.  Unusually high numbers of the Tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) – 498 and Shoveller  (Anas clypeata) – 318 ind. Most numerous in that day at the lagoon were the Pochard (Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and White-fronted goose (Anser albifrons). Sadly we had to find out that the area covered by illegally disposed waste had significantly increased in the past months almost impeding access to the Western part of the lake.

On Saturday the team continued monitoring along Northern Black Sea coast together with experts from BSPB and RIOEW Varna covering Durnakulak Lake, Kartliysko Marsh and Ezerets-Shabla Lake. Both teams together have recorded more than 900 Red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis) and approximately White-fronted geese (Anser albifrons). Interesting observation at Ezerets was the high number of the Marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus) – more than 30.

On Sunday the team continued its field work looking for geese in the farmland of the region with the aim to identify preferred feeding sites. Probably due to low abundance of wintering geese these were concentrated in only one field close to Krapets.

Larger geese flocks have been observed along the Southern black Sea coast where the grain crops have better growth rate this winter and the geese find better feeding sites.

On Monday the team concluded the field mission with environmental education activities dedicated to the Red-breasted geese: lectures were held in two schools in Spasovo and Kavarna bearing the name of the great writer whose short stories have memorized the life in Dobrogea - Yordan Yovkov. Info materials – children books, posters and leaflets were handed to the children and their teachers.

Monitoring of the wintering birds and environmental education activities in Coastal Dobrogea are implemented in the framework of the project „Long-term conservation of the Red-breasted geese in their main wintering grounds”.

For additional information:
Dimitar Popov, e-mail: