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Republic of Moldova

Stork
White Stork Ciconia ciconia ©Dick Daniels - Creative Commons Website

Birding Moldova

Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The total land area is 33,851 km2. The capital city is Chișinău. The largest part of the nation lies between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into the Black Sea. In the east, the Dniester is the main river, flowing through the country from north to south, receiving the waters of Răut, Bîc, Ichel, Botna. Ialpug flows into one of the Danube limans, while Cogîlnic into the Black Sea chain of limans. The country is landlocked, though it is close to the Black Sea. While most of the country is hilly, elevations never exceed 430 m (1,411 ft) – the highest point being the Bălănești Hill. Moldova's hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which geologically originate from the Carpathian Mountains. Its subdivisions in Moldova include the Dniester Hills (Northern Moldavian Hills and Dniester Ridge), the Moldavian Plain (Middle Prut Valley and Bălți Steppe), and the Central Moldavian Plateau (Ciuluc-Soloneț Hills, Cornești Hills - Codri Massive, ‘Codri’ meaning ‘forests’ - Lower Dniester Hills, Lower Prut Valley, and Tigheci Hills). In the south, the country has a small flatland, the Bugeac Plain. The territory of Moldova east of the river Dniester is split between parts of the Podolian Plateau, and parts of the Eurasian Steppe.

Moldova has a climate which is moderately continental; its proximity to the Black Sea leads to the climate being mildly cold in the autumn and winter and relatively cool in the spring and summer. The summers are warm and long, with temperatures averaging about 20 °C (68 °F) and the winters are relatively mild and dry, with January temperatures averaging −4 °C (25 °F). Annual rainfall, which ranges from around 600 mm (24 in) in the north to 400 mm (16 in) in the south, can vary greatly; long dry spells are not unusual. The heaviest rainfall occurs in early summer and again in October; heavy showers and thunderstorms are common. Because of the irregular terrain, heavy summer rains often cause erosion and river silting.

Much of Moldova’s wildlife is impoverished and as agriculture and tree cover loss continues most of the large mammals are extirpated although, the right habitat smaller mammals thrive. As farming is not yet as intense as in the UK birds are also still in good numbers and variety supplemented by migration and the proximity of the Black Sea for wintering birds.

12 IBAs have been recognised so far including Stânca-Costeşti Reservoir, Ghidighici Reservoir, Salaş Reservoir, Cuciurgan Reservoir, Lake Manta and Beleu Lake among others.

Contributor

Wikipedia

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 341

(As at February 2019) 318 are recently observed and well documented, some warrant more scrutiny.

State Bird - White Stork - Ciconia ciconia

Checklist

Checklist

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Reserves

Abbreviations Key

Moldova's IBAs

Webpage

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas
Number of IBAs 11
Total IBA area 124,438 ha

NP Orhei

Satellite View

The only national park designated so far in Moldova.

NR Codrii

Information

Satellite View

Codru Reserve is a scientific reserve in Străşeni District, Moldova. It was founded in 1971 and covers an area of 5,177 hectares.

NR Lower Prut

Information

Satellite View

Lower Prut is a scientific Reserve in Cahul District, Moldova and was founded on April 23, 1991. It covers an area of 1691 hectares.

NR Pădurea Domnească

Information

Satellite View

The 'Princely Forest' Reservation was created a in order to preserve the most representative natural forests and marshes located in the middle Prut River, the conservation and regeneration of rare plant species and animals, ecological recovery and the restoration of the biodiversity of meadow ecosystems.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012-2016 Birding in Moldova

PDF Report

Summary of a couple of short birding trips during the last years (2012-2016)

2013 [12 December] - Peter Reed

Report

This is a summary of the birds seen on various visits during 2012-13 for work purposes, with no dedicated time for birding. However there are various interesting birds in the city of Chisinau, the capital of the Republic of Moldova (as the country is officially known) and there must be opportunities for birders with time to find something interesting. The marshy Prut river valley along the border with Romania looked to have particular potential for birding.

2018 [07 July] - Neil Donaghy

PDF Report

...The roads were not in the best condition so our journey was rather ponderous but the sun was out and the countryside although quite flat and uninspiring looked good for birds as there were plenty of hedgerows and fields of wild flowers. Red-backed shrikes began to appear regularly on overhead wires, Common Starlings and Tree Sparrows were frequent roadside visitors, a small lake held fifteen Great White Egrets and a couple of Common Coot, while another had a Little Egret, a Grey Heron and the first couple of White Storks. Two European Bee-eaters and a Common Hoopoe flew overhead, while a brief stop saw a dark morph Booted Eagle fly right overhead, and a Black Kite also drifted over here...

Blogs

Dan Sochirca - Moldova Birds

BLOG

...a lot of English speaking birders contact me from this blog, so here is a page in English with useful information on birding in Moldova.

Other Links

Birding Moldova

Facebook Page

The place on facebook where amateur and professional ornithologists gather in Moldova

Finding Moldova with the Help of Birds

Webpage

The Republic of Moldova is a small country (33.843,5 km²) situated in the Eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine...

List of birds of Moldova

Information

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Moldova. The avifauna of Moldova includes a total of 300 species, none of which are introduced, accidental or endemic…

The Corncrake in Moldova

PDF Article

An article by Nicolai Zubcov…