Levant Sparrowhawk by Michael McKee.
Many of the species listed are present during the spring, summer and autumn only. White-tailed Eagle, White and Black Storks, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, (Eurasian) Nutcracker, Wallcreeper and Firecrest, as well as Ruddy Shelduck, Red-necked Grebe, Yelkouan Shearwater, Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Booted, Lesser Spotted and Golden Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawk, Red-footed Falcon, (Pied) Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Little and Slender-billed Gulls, Caspian, Black, White-winged and Whiskered Terns, Alpine Swift, Golden (European) Bee-eater, European Roller, Hoopoe, woodpeckers including Black, Great Grey and Lesser Grey Shrikes, (Eurasian) Golden Oriole, (Bearded) Reedling, Sombre, (Eurasian) Penduline and Long-tailed Tits, (White-throated) Dipper, Moustached and Paddyfield Warblers, Collared Flycatcher, (Eastern) Black-eared, Isabelline and Pied Wheatears, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, (Black-headed) Yellow Wagtail, Rock Bunting and Spanish Sparrow. Also a chance of Ferruginous Duck, (Western) Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, (Eastern) Imperial and Short-toed Eagles, Little Crake, Red-necked Phalarope, Great Black-headed Gull (which has bred in the Danube Delta since 2009), Pygmy and Ural Owls, Horned/Shore Lark (balcanica) and Alpine Accentor. Also, during the usually very cold northern winters huge flocks of Red-breasted Geese usually gather along the Black Sea Coast.
A chance of Brown Bear (mostly May-Sep), European Beaver (reintroduced), (Carpathian) Chamois, European Souslik and Muskrat, and an outside chance of Golden Jackal and Wild Cat (both especially in the Danube Delta). In May 2014 seventeen European Bison were reintroduced to the Tarcu Mountains Reserve in the southern Carpathians, with more to follow.
Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish
The wide variety of butterflies includes Clouded Apollo and Scarce Swallowtail, and dragonflies include Broad Scarlet and Blue Featherleg.
The rich flora of the Carpathian Mountains includes over 50 orchid species (best mid-June to mid-July).
The best times for Brown Bears are usually May to early June when they are fresh out of hibernation and hungry and therefore most likely to take advantage of any food put out for them within sight of hides (chocolate chips are a favourite), and the second half of September when they are fattening up before hibernation.
The best time for birds along the Black Sea Coast, including the Danube Delta, is from mid-April to October, with the peak times, when the majority of migrating birds are usually passing through, being the first three weeks of May and late August to mid-September. May is also when most of the birds in the delta are nesting.
The best time for flowers in the Carpathian Mountains is mid-June to mid-July.
Bradt Travel Guides: Central and Eastern European Wildlife by G Gorman. Bradt, 2008.
Birding in Eastern Europe by G Gorman. WildSounds, 2006.
Collins Bird Guide by L Svensson et al. Collins, 2010 (Second Edition).
Birds of Europe by L Jonsson. Helm, 1999.
Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by S Aulagnier et al. Helm, 2009.
Mammals of Britain and Europe by D McDonald and P Barrett. Collins, 2005.
Collins Butterfly Guide by T Tolman and R Lewington. Collins, 2009 (Third Edition).
Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide by H Aarnio et al. A & C Black Publishers, 2009.
Collins Bird Guide.
Where to watch birds in Europe & Russia by N Wheatley. Helm, 2000.
Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Europe? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.
Many trip reports, some for Romania, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Romania. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Romania' below.
The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.
There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.
While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.
Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Romania include the following.