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Mid-winter Counts in the Evros Delta

For one more winter the Evros Delta impresses with the concentrations of water birds it hosts. On Friday 26th January, the Evros Delta Management Body participating in the Midwinter Counts, which are being held simultaneously in many countries around the world, estimated the total wintering populations of birds in the wetland.

Ducks were numerous as usual. 29700 Mallards, 16586 Widgeons, 4310 Common Teals, 4200 Shovelers, 2358 Coots, 2044 Shelducks, 622 White – fronted Geese and 145 Greylag Geese were observed. 170 Ruddy Shelducks and 3 Red - breasted Mergansers were also counted.

Raptors were also quite numerous. Among others, 10 Greater Spotted Eagles, 2 White – tailed Eagles, 62 Marsh Harriers and 9 Hen Harriers.

Swans are also increasing in the Delta as winter progresses. 1.11Bewick’s Swans, 285 Mute Swans and 204 Whooper Swans were counted. One Crane was also count while flying.

Waders were plenty too. 1359 Dunlins, 168 Curlews, 700 Avocets, 133 Oystercatchers and 208 Lapwings were in the area.

66.874 birds were counted in total.

Flamingos during the day are feeding at the Turkish part and return at night for roost. 6728 were counted in Turkey at the same day, as the counts were held simultaneously in both parts of the delta.

The cooperation with the Turkish part of the delta that has been developed the last years on the context of the Midwinter Counts is very important. It gives us a more complete picture of the whole Evros Delta system, information about the movements of birds and the habitat use.

In the Turkish part of the delta 31277 birds were counted in total. The most numerous birds were the Common Teal (11042 birds), the Pintail (4706 birds) and the Coot (3538 birds). As always, thousands of swans were observed. 1243 Mutes, 2402 Bewicks and 310 Whoopers. Some interesting observations include one Black Stork, one Peregrine Falcon, 11 Common Snipes, 67 Dalmatian Pelicans, 126 Pygmy Cormorants and 4 Shags.