One evening after dinner, in our comfortable floating hotel, we were studying the map of Danube Delta to decide how to continue with our strategy for finding big groups of White Pelican. One thing I learnt, even if the linear distances from A to B are not immense, being in the Delta you have to navigate via channels, lakes, ponds even the Danube, and so from A to B can take you easily many many hours.
My guide Iliuta Goean was indicating me a region far north-east in the Delta, almost at the border with Ukraina were some lakes are usually visited by flocks of pelicans. So, let’s go there tomorrow!
As we navigate the next morning in the never ending maze of the Delta, I understand that these people here have some kind of GPS installed in their brain, there is no other explanation how to get thru these 1000s of channel crossways. By the way…GPS. Do you think we don’t have a real one? Of course we do! It’s in one of Helmut’s magic bags!! Every day he has something that surprises me in those bags. Today for example: we were more or less in the middle of nowhere in our small boat. I just had one of my sandwiches with ham and tomato when all of a sudden my mind went to something I’m addicted to: Dark Chocolate. You know, when you are awake and dreaming and you speak out your thoughts, like :”hmmmm, how wonderful it would be now to have a piece of dark chocolate!” I immediately see Helmut behind me in the boat, reaching for one of his bags and ualà! he has a box of dark chocolate (of one of the best german brands, of course!) in his hands. This man is unbelievable!!
OK, after the unexpected chocolate pause, we look for pelicans, which, guess what? Are not here!!
However, today it will reveal as a wonderful day anyway as we encounter a colony of Red-Footed Falcons in full mating activity. So we park the boat under a willow tree in the shade, surrounded by the calls of the falcons mating and fighting for territory against invading crows, and enjoy the activity in front of us for several hours. Today I completely forgot about the Pelicans and really had a proof of the Danube’s Delta various bird activity! What a magic place.
The long way back to our floating hotel will be lots of fun as we carry a big pair of red-deer antler (found on the ground in the forest, not in one of Helmut’s magic bags this time): everyone we encounter on our way is looking at these 3 weird guys wearing camo clothes in a camo boat and with horns in the front – “are these special wildlife guards?? And why are they laughing so loud???”
Manuel Presti / Wild Wonders of Europe
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.