April in Transylvania

Central part of Transylvania is the coldest region of Romania, therefore the spring always late here.

This time of the year the higher peaks of the Carpathian Mountains still snow covered while in the lower altitude the forests start to become greener every day.

I have start to discover the lower regions and visit some interesting habitats after birds around Odorheiu  Secuiesc  and Sighisoara.

Unusual White Stork nest on a dead  tree top (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Sanpaul wetland in the Homorod Valley is one of the most important spot for waterbirds. I have observed in the second half of April amongst other the first Purple Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, Bitterns, Little Crake, Hobbies, Whiskered Terns;  migrating Red-necked Grebe, Red-footed Falcons, Montagu`s Harrier, Mediterranean Gulls, Little Gulls, and different forms/hybrids of Yellow Wagtails.

On 26th of April appeared again an adult male Citrine Wagtail as well!

A friendly Black-crowned Night Heron  (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Some Lesser-Spotted Eagle is still in migration others already occupied their breeding territories.

Soaring Lesser-Spotted Eagle (Photo: Zoltán Baczó)

Pure beech forests of the Kalonda plateau is quite calm, Mistle Thrushes song continually, first Common Redstarts occupied their breeding territories but the most interesting event was that a pair of Ural Owl choose to use as a nesthole one of our artificial nestbox, tested successfully in the Zemplén Hills.

Mixed woodlands around Sighisoara with beech, oak, common hornbean and  wild cherry trees looks very different. This woodlands has the most active birdlife in this time.  I have observed 6 species of woodpeckers included a pair of White-backed Woodpecker which is a scarce species in Transylvania, Collared Flycatchers, Common Redstarts, Hawfinches and the first singing Wood Warbler in this year.

I have found here a pair of Ural Owl sunbathing in the tree crown. They were so relaxed and allow to observe from underneath without disturb their siesta.

Ural Owl (Photos: Zoltán Baczó)

Yours sincerely,

Zoltán Baczó

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