The annual monitoring of the wintering geese has started on November 23-24 by the BSPB and SOR teams in Bulgaria and Romania.
The top observation was from the Braila area, where the SOR/BirdLife Romania team observed and photographed for the first time in Romania a snow goose (Chen caerulescens). The range of this species covers the Northeastern parts of Siberia and the polar regions of North America. In Europe, it is a vagrant and is rare. Sometimes its appearance is associated with escaped birds from private collections or zoos.
The number of Red-breasted Geese (Branta ruficollis) in the region is still relatively low. About 3000 individuals were reported in several zones in southeastern Romania. Two of the geese tagged with transmitters – Emilia and Alexa, are also in Romania. In Bulgaria, only 42 Red-breasted Geese were observed in the area of the Svishtov-Belene Plain, and no one in Kraimorska Dobrudja.
It was expected that the largest number species at the time of the census was the Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) – 200,000 ind. in Romania and 14132 ind. in Bulgaria (the Svishtov region). In addition, 3 more geese species were count in the Romanian wetlands – 3400 Greylag geese, as well as the rare Lesser White-fronted goose (8 ind.) and Tundra Bean goose (2 ind.).
The counts will be made regularly in the autumn-winter period and will continue for the next 3 months. Along with geese monitoring, we collect information about the other species and their number. The monitoring is organized and carried out within the framework of project LIFE16 NAT/BG/000847 “LIFE for Safe flight” aimed at the conservation of the Red-breasted Goose along its flight path.