Last weekend our team conducted the first practical session of BirdON. We chose Durrësi’s wetland for this first practical session, due to its ornithological importance on the one hand, and for the high intensity of poaching and bad management on the other.
During this session, students had the opportunity to observe in total 824 individuals, belonging to 28 bird species, mostly from aquatic habitats and mudflats, such as waders, herons, and cormorants as well as the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus). Furthermore, we observed 8 species of songbirds (order Passeriformes) like the water pipit (Anthus spinoletta) and the common linnet (Linaria cannabina), which can be found only during this period, as well as permanent species such as Zitting cisticola (Cisticola juncidis), Crested lark (Galerida cristata), etc. Furthermore, our participants showed motivation as well as an eagerness to learn, while some of them amazed us with their performance on identifying different bird species.
Beyond the identification techniques, we taught them the methods of waterbird counting and data collection on the field. Such data will be provided to the relevant authorities for improving the overall planning process and management of protected areas chosen by our course.
Our aim is to raise national capacities in the field of ornithology, to generate data on wintering bird species, and improve the management of Important Bird Areas in Albania.
Çafka e përhime (Ardea cinerea) ©O. Lama/ PPNEA