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Ultima Frontiera - Ultimate Photography: Days Three and Four

Day Three

A rest from the hides this morning with a boat excursion to some of the inner lakes of the Danube Delta. With just eight of us on the boat, we all had a seat near the edge of the boat, ideal for photography. We hadn't long left the quay when we were treated to two White-tailed Eagles, perched up in the tall riverside trees and occasionally taking flight. We then made our way along reed-lined waterways with various herons and egrets taking flight, or occasionally standing still as we went past.


Top left clockwise - White-tailed Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron and Little Egret.


We eventually left the waterways and entered the large open water areas. Marsh Terns skimmed over the water's surface hawking for insects amongst hundreds of Sand Martins and smaller numbers of Common Terns.


Top row: Black Tern

Second row: White-winged Black Tern

Third row: Whiskered Tern

Bottom row: Common Tern


As we edged our way through the lake, passing Pochard and Great Crested Grebe we came across our target - a large flock of Great White Pelicans fishing as one in the shallows. The Pelicans herd the fish towards the shallow water and then scoop them up. Great and Pygmy Cormorants join the party, fishing on the edge of the pelicans.



Great White Pelicans


A few Dalmatian Pelican were also present:



After getting our fill of the Pelicans we headed back to the hotel lunch and then another hide session - this time in the Bee-eater hide. A single species hide really, but plenty of activity to photograph. The hide is set into the side of a sand bank, and allows for eye-level shots of the birds as they perch.



With plenty of images taken, we left the hide after a couple of hours and spent the afternoon sorting images, and resting before another night-time photography session.


A pair of Barn Owls were nesting in one of the derelict buildings on site, and the male was bringing food into the nest for the young. As darkness fell we settled down in one if the rooms which gave views out to the area where the male flew in with the prey items.



Day Four

Back to the wetland Jackal hide today and a different viewpoint using the low-level photo openings. However it was the Squacco Herons and Glossy Ibis that stole the show today as they walked around in front of the hide helping themselves to the frog and other aquatic life!


Eye to eye with a Golden Jackal



Pre-lunch was again spent having a wander around the Hotel area and downloading images. The afternoon saw another excursion, this time to the steppe area outside of the reserve and a saline lagoon. The afternoon was full of Red-footed Falcons on the steppes and waders, including Collared Pratincoles on the lagoon. Other waders included Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Avocet and Black-winged Stilt.


Top left clockwise: Flock of Red-footed Falcon; male Red-footed Falcon; male Red-footed Falcon; female Red-footed Falcon; male Red-footed Falcon.


Collared Pratincole


Upper row: Black-winged Stilt

Lower row: Avocet


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