A couple of days ago we were in the car, close to the tourist resort Antalya in Turkey, heading towards a lake in the area where we could tick Dalmatian Pelican, the last bird for Turkey for us. We had heard about recent sitings of an Amur Falcon in Romania, it was reported on Tarsiger and also on Tommy Holmgrens Facebook. Someone dropped the comment – how far is it to drive there?
Our Turkey trip was finished, one week ahead of schedule, much due to all the help we got from Emin, but also due to the fact that we nailed the Caucasian Black Grouse in Georgia. Thus, we had extra time on our hands so we went twitching to Romania.
For our non-hardcore-birder followers, I now repeat some lister terminology.
- Twitch – Fly/drive/run/whatever to a reported rare bird.
- Twitchable – The reported rare bird is supposedly still there if you decide to go there.
- Tick – If you run a bird list (as we do) , a tick is a seen or heard bird.
- Tickable – Some birds cannot go on the list, they are not tickable due to the bird not being wild, but rather an escaped previously caged bird.
- Lister – a person that keeps a list.
- Dip – Go on a twitch, and not find the bird
So, with the extra time on our hands we went twitching in Romania. Easy and cheap to fly from Antalya to Bucharest and we went straight to the Red-footed Falcon colony in the Donau Delta where the Amur Falcon had been seen. Spent the better half of the afternoon and the evening scanning the colony.
Zero warblers in the patch of forest, probably due to the 60 pairs of Red-footed Falcons nesting there. The only other bird in that patch was an Oriole. Apart from the nesting Rooks, Red-footed Falcons steal the nests from Rooks. Seems to be a never ending fight.
No Amur Falcon though, but it was a delight spending time in the Red-footed Falcon colony, actually getting to know the individuals.
Next day we were in slight panic mode, we also needed to get Dalmatian Pelican. Some local guides we spoke to suggested we needed to go on their boat tour. Started early in the morning at the Red-footed Falcon site, but then went searching for Dalmatian Pelican. After an hour or so, we found a 2 cy bird.
Went back to the Falcon site, scanning. Yet another Dalmatian came flying over.
Eventually – we gave up. It’s a fucking dip!