The census was taken 19-23 January 2001 at the Central and Eastern Sivash. There were counted 78 species of wintering birds, among them 49 at the Central Sivash and 67 at the Eastern Sivash (see the table). The length of motor-car routes was over 700 km. Relative counts were taken when the car was moving and absolute point counts were carried out at the stops. Both in December 2000 and the first half of January 2001 the weather favoured the birds. There were no severe frosts and snow cover was absent. During the second half of January many bays of the Sivash as well as fresh isolated water bodies got covered with ice because of low temperatures (up to -12°C) and so most of the waterbirds concentrated near air-holes.
In January 2001 the maximal number of Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis was found at the Sivash. In some flocks of the geese the number of this bird dominated and monospecies flocks were registered as well. The number of Anas acuta increased in comparison with the previous year, while the quantity of birds of prey such as Circus cyaneus, Buteo lagopus, Falco tinnunculus decreased. The same as in the previous years Grus grus was registered. There was recorded a Vanellochettusia leucura stayed at the small non-freezing wash made with waters of an acting artesian spring. In contradiction to the previous years there was no Melanocorypha leucoptera, Eremophila alpestris, Lanius excubitor, Turdus pilaris, Acanthis flammea, Erithacus rubecula. Panurus biarmicus was underestimated along with species of arboreal and synantropic complexes.Read the paper in a PDF file