Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Romania Part 2: Carpathians & Transylvania

After leaving Bucharest, we (I was with a Ramblers Worldwide Holiday/Ibis Tours group) headed into the Carpathians, based at Zarnesti. We went to visit the small castle at Bran and headed up toward a monastery and got a bit of a feel for Romanian birds (thoguh we didn't see too many...). The Collared Flyccather at Bran Castle was our only one on the whole trip and the undoubted highlight of an all too brief walk up the Zarnesti Gorge at Piatra Craiului National Park was a lovely tawny-coloured Ural Owl. We also saw the odd Alpine Swift and later got Lesser Spotted Eagles. We went to the bear hide on our second evening.
Bran Castle, purportedly an inspiration for Bram Stoker and his Dracula, but there is apparently no evidence Stoker even knew of the castle, so that was a waste of time...
Collared Flycatcher, Bran Castle
Fieldfare, Bran
The road to Coltii Chiliilor monastery, which eventually became too muddy pass. Imagine the fields resounding with field cricket noises and gangs of friendly mongrels I tagged Carpathian Mountain Dogs...
Juvenile Black-bellied Dipper, Zarnesti Gorge
Black-bellied Dipper, Zarnesti Gorge
Grey Wagtail, Zarnesti Gorge
Ural Owl, Zarnesti Gorge
Yellow-bellied Toad on the road to bear hide
A common, spotty ladybird-like beetle. Anyone know what it is?
Chamois, Zarnesti Gorge
This daisy like (Zarnesti Gorge) flower is apparently endemic to this part of the Carpathians

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