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Midwinter Waterbird Count 2014 in the Eastern Rhodopes

2450 waterbirds of 17 species have been recorded at the two reservoirs – Kardzhali and Studen Kladenets – and along the Arda River in the Eastern Rhodopes during the traditional Midwinter waterbird count (18 – 19 January 2014).

Traditionally, the the most numerous were mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) and Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus). “This year, we saw along the valley of the Arda River Pintail (Anas acuta) and the listed in Bulgaria's Red Book Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), which we have not registered since years. For the first time, however, the team did not see Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus), who traditionally winters in the region”, said Hristo Hristov, the team leader of the count in the Eastern Rhodopes and Coordinator Wilderness in New Thracian Gold project.

For the second consecutive year, the number and the variety of the species of the winterbirds along the Arda River in the town of Kardzhali is very high. Among them was observed the extremely rare albino type of Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra).

New Thracian Gold joined the traditional Midwinter waterbird count for the fifth consecutive year. It was part of the NTG’s Youth Educational Program and the students Sasha Solakchieva, Todor Todorov and Milena Vassileva from Kardzhali took part in the counting.

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. 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 Waterbird count 2014


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