Satchinez marsh

Site description A remnant wetland associated with the Ier river. Extensive areas of reedbed (Phragmites) are interspersed with open water; wet meadows occur in the surrounds. Salix trees and bushes provide breeding sites for herons.

Key Biodiversity An important site for breeding and passage waterbirds, particularly herons and ducks. There are 69-75 breeding species and a further 79 species have been recorded on passage. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (5-15 breeding pairs).

This small area is all that remains of a vast stretch of periodically flooded wetlands in the far west of Romania. In the last 200 years most of this landscape has been drained and converted to farmland but about 100ha have been protected as the Satchinez Bird Reserve. This area of pools, marshes, reed beds and wet meadows holds important heronries and other breeding birds and this island in a sea of agriculture forms an ideal stopping-off point for migrants. About 150 species have been recorded on the reserve with about 70 breeding.

Breeding species include Grey, Purple, Squacco and Black-crowned Night Herons, Little Egret and both bitterns as well as White Stork, Black-necked Grebe and Marsh Harrier. This is also the best site in the country for Ferruginous Duck and there are breeding Corn Crake, Spotted and Little Crakes. Passerines include warblers such as Savi's, Great Reed, River and Marsh, in addition to Bearded and Penduline Tits.

Passage periods see visits from various waders and all three marsh terns and in winter Rough-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl hunt the marshes. The plains areas to the west and north-west of Timisoara are one of the few regular sites for Great Bustard in Romania.

The bird reserve lies close to Satchinez village which is about 25km north-west of Timisoara in the west of Romania. Timisoara can be reached by road, rail or air from other major Romanian cities. Spring and summer are the best times to visit with the most species present.

BIRDS INCLUDE Black-necked Grebe (Su), Great Bittern, Little Bittern (Su), Black-crowned Night Heron (Su), Squacco Heron (Su), Little Egret (Su), Grey Heron, Purple Heron (Su), White Stork (Su), White-fronted Goose (W), Greylag Goose (Su), Ferruginous Duck (Su), Marsh Harrier (Su,PM), Hen Harrier (PM,W), Rough-legged Buzzard (W), Merlin (PM,W), Corn Crake (Su), Spotted Crake (Su), Little Crake (Su), Great Bustard, Whiskered Tern (PM), Black Tern (PM), White-winged Tern (PM), Short-eared Owl (PM,W), Grasshopper Warbler (Su), River Warbler (Su), Savi's Warbler (Su), Sedge Warbler (Su), Marsh Warbler (Su), Reed Warbler (Su), Great Reed Warbler (Su), Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Great Grey Shrike (W), Jackdaw.

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Timis County - Satchinez, Variaș, Biled, Orțișoara