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New Colony of Grey Heron in the Valley of the Arda River

A colony of 31 nests of Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) has been found in the the valley of the Arda River by the New Thracian Gold (NTG) team during the traditional Midwinter waterbird count (11 - 13 January 2013). Although its existence was assumed previously, the exact location was not discovered before. Project experts will inform the relevant authorities to secure the new nest location from negative impacts.

For the fourth consecutive year NTG project joined the traditional Midwinter waterbird count. The team led by Hristo Hristov, project coordinator on biodiversity, counted the birds in Kardzhali Reservoir, in Studen Kladenets Reservoir and along Arda River. The midwinter count is an element in NTG’s Youth Educational Program and students from the schools in Kardzhali took part.

2129 waterbird of 20 species were recorded during the count, of which the most numerous were mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) and Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus). In general, the number of birds observed was less than previous years, which is according to experts due to winter conditions.

This year, most birds (1,077) were observed along the Arda River in the city of Kardzhali. Among them was a Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), which is rare in the region.

The Midwinter waterbird count is an initiative of Wetlands International. This census is conducted since 1967 in almost all European countries. In Bulgaria, the coordinator of the waterbird census is the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB). The goal of the census is to determine the national and international population size of waterbirds and to assess the status of wetlands where they hibernate.


See here photos from the counting

Read here about the birds in the Eastern Rhodopes

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