I love the Danube Delta!

I may be biased as it is my home, the place where I was born but I believe these are also the things that make me love it more and more each day.

Living here in the Danube Delta as a child it was nothing special. It was just home.

When I was 8 my family decided to leave Mahmudia. My parents wanted a better life for us. So, growing up I discovered “civilisation”, I got a taste of “corporation Eve”

After 26 years I decided that for my family it’s better to leave all that behind.

Having come back to my childhood village, I now see things from a different perspective. There’s more to it than just remembering what I thought I had left behind. I have to learn from scratch.

To be honest, in the beginning, while starting to learn how to develop a tourism business and trying to make a living, I made a few mistakes and I fell into the trap of “mass tourism”.

Running a tourism business with people who come to the Danube Delta because it is a „trend”, is difficult and unpleasant. During regular tours I didn’t have time to discover. It was like a monologue to pass the time. “Pelicans, pelicans” – they are the symbol of the Danube Delta and I don’t want to make them seem less than they are, but there are many other wonderful birds here.

I am grateful that I had the chance to meet people who inspired me, not many to start with, but now more and more.

I learnt the major difference between the dullness of a tour with people that don’t understand and don’t care about the true beauty of nature and the beauty of a tour with nature lovers.

When I finally had the chance to present the Danube Delta to people who love nature, I discovered the wonderful experience of birdwatching or birding for myself (though I am still unsure of what the difference is between the two – still a lot to learn).

I finally truly “saw” one tiny beautiful bird: the Kingfisher. Now that I’ve learnt about it, it seems to be everywhere. Such a spectacular take off! Until recently I hadn’t had the chance to see with my own eyes how it hunts, maybe this season.

I was impressed by the magnificent White-tailed Eagle, surveying the sky like a guardian.

As bird-lovers you may well know about the widespread family of Herons: Grey, the Night, the Purple etc. For me, discovering them, was a clue about how poor my knowledge of birds was and how much I still have to learn.

The Cormorants for example, I knew as „those ugly black birds which destroy the fish and the nice trees”. I came to see that they may not be “the saints” of birds, but if you take a closer look at them, they are more than interesting. I now admire them in that strange position in which they dry up their feathers.

The Little Egret, the White Egret – they were one and the same for me 3 or 4 years ago.

Can you tell the difference between Sterna hirundo and Chlidonias hybrida? I still can’t.

All this new information or, better yet, the realisation that there were mountains of knowledge I was missing, made me seek help.

One of the people who inspired me and became a close partner, gave me a book: „Collins Bird Guide” by Lars Svensson and I recommend this book to anyone who wants to find detailed information about birds.

From then on, I began to develop my tours with this book in hand. Again, I slowly started to realise the multitude of things I had ignored or hadn’t observed. Being a guide seemed harder and harder. It is indeed hard, as much as it is rewarding.

I initially said that I would only organise birdwatching tours once I am “well prepared”.

Well, let me tell you: after 3 years of being in nature, with the many guidebooks I have studied and with all the information I’ve learnt from others and I now realise that my best teachers will most likely be my guests.

For all of you who had the patience to read my article, I am leaving you with only a few details about the wonderful Danube Delta.

It is the most well-preserved delta in Europe.

With more than 330 species of birds, the Danube Delta is home to 98% of Europe’s aquatic fauna.

So, if the weather is fine, you can enjoy birdwatching all year long.

I hope that the Danube Delta will become one of your favorite birdwatching places.

Andrei Prodan

P.S. Thank you Musat Constantin and Adrian Nasturica!

  • Andrei Prodan
  • : I am a young guy, in love with nature. After few years of "corporation Eve", I've decided that it's better for my family (my wife and my two boys) to return to traditions, to a healthy and simple living style.
  • : https://www.bunicamaria.com/
  • : https://www.instagram.com/bunica.maria/
  • : adult_(19_and_over_as_of_31st_december_2019)
  • : This story was originally published at http://www.bunicamaria.com.

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