Pallas’s Gull against a fiery sunset in the Danube Delta

Having seen his lovely cat earlier this year I was lucky to have an opportunity to see another of Pallas’s amazing creatures, this time his gull, in Romania’s Danube Delta, courtesy of my friend János Oláh and his Sakertour team. I remember when Janó was awaiting delivery of the ‘Borzas’ (= ‘shaggy’, after the Hungarian name for Dalmatian Pelican) almost 10 years ago and how excited he was about his plans for developing proper bird photo tours in the delta. They are very well evolved now and with the two Zolis, Gergely Nagy and Bacszo guiding the Sakertour groups in the delta I can think of few better tours in terms of numbers of easy-to-shoot great bird subjects. No-one else gets closer to the birds than the ‘Shaggy’ and so deep into the delta! Happily Pallas’s Gulls are becoming easier to see owing to the increasing numbers breeding in the delta and the Sakertour boys have got them well figured out now. We were able to spend a lot of time with them taking thousands of flight shots in lovely golden light both in the earl morning and evening. A few from the sunset session are shown below. Peter Simon Pallas (1741-1811) is one of the most well known German naturalists and his name is synonymous with amazing creatures from the east, where he travelled extensively, however, I had no idea he has a metal (from a meteorite) named after him as well, Pallasite! Thanks to Zoltán Gergely Nagy for guiding us and Romica Tiganov for driving the ‘Shaggy’ through the narrow channels in the heart of the delta so expertly.

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