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Post Info TOPIC: Hungary


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RE: Hungary


Just got back from a few days in Budapest for a mates stag do.
Stayed a couple of miles away from the Danube in a built up area and unfortunately not many birds at all in our area..

..except for

- Hooded Crows, lots, some around your feet
- few Black-headed Gulls over the river
- 1 Common Gull over the river
- few House Sparrows
- and an unknown Hawk that my bro spotted in the airport grounds


That was it!


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Simon Warford wrote:

If anyone is planning a visit to Hungary and requires any information please get in touch.


 But first, read Simon's excellent trip report (well illustrated!). It really is a great place to visit - and not too difficult either.

 



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My bird photos collection on Flickr and My Elton Reservoir highlights collection.



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Paul,
Hopefully when Ian gets on top of his "to do list" your excellent photo's should appear on his website soon. The May trip report looks good.

I hope to crack on with the Transylvania report now that the Autumn migration is almost at an end.

If anyone is planning a visit to Hungary and requires any information please get in touch.

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I've added some pics to my website that were taken in Hungary in May (and Hungary / Romania and September) - if anyone is remotely interested. Including pics of Wallcreeper, Nutcracker, WT Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Crested Tit, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed woodpecker, White Stork, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Night heron etc.

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My bird photos collection on Flickr and My Elton Reservoir highlights collection.



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Agree, did a weeks birding in Hungary in 2005, fantastic variety of birds & locations,
so many highlights, including the Great Bustards, Crane & close up views of Aquatic Warbler & a stunning Imperial Eagle that took off from a branch as we walked over the brow of a hill & literally almost took someones head off...don't know who was more shocked the Eagle or the gentleman concerned.
Our tour was led by Gerard Gorman, who is an exiled Evertonian & knows the country & pretty much the rest of Eastern Europe like the back of his hand.
Hawfinch, Red Backed Shrike & Golden Oriole by the dozen, 8 or 9 species of Woodpeckers including a trick Gerard used by tapping the trunk of a tree in response to a distant Black Woodpecker drumming & before we knew it, it appeared on a branch above our head to see who was making all the noise on its patch.
Not to mention the fantastic wetlands.
If you get the chance...go.

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Hungary is a great country to visit, it's not very expensive and well served by budget airlines from the UK.

We've just been on a brief family visit but managed some time in Tiszafured and visited the Hortobagy fishponds by train - we didn't get to see the massive numbers of incoming cranes as we had to leave before sunset but we did see a couple of hundred at various locations out of the train window, also a couple of Saker Falcons, Bearded Tits, Marsh Harriers, Pygmy Cormorants, Purple Heron, Caspian Gull, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker and lots of Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrows everywhere on the plains. Best bird for me was probably an Ortolan Bunting I spotted at the Hortobagy Hasasto railway station, I think maybe I ought to report that one!

A group we met on a guided tour at Hortobagy had seen large numbers of Great Bustards and were very pleased with their trip so far.

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Paul Wilson wrote:

Melanie Beckford wrote:

Birding is easy and exciting in Hungary, you don't work hard at all.




Does this include the long hard slog up the valley and hillside the get to the Ural Owl site and White-backed Woodpecker nest? Or the five hour walk in the blazing sun to get to the end of the fish pools - and the walk back cos the trains only run at weekends? Saying that though, the rewards were super.
Only one thing wrong with the trip Simon - coming back to Elton!





no.gifdisbelief.gifconfuse.gif me thinks you've been spoilt Mr Wilson, I thought Elton ROCKEDsmile.gif

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Melanie Beckford wrote:

Birding is easy and exciting in Hungary, you don't work hard at all.




Does this include the long hard slog up the valley and hillside the get to the Ural Owl site and White-backed Woodpecker nest? Or the five hour walk in the blazing sun to get to the end of the fish pools - and the walk back cos the trains only run at weekends? Saying that though, the rewards were super.
Only one thing wrong with the trip Simon - coming back to Elton!



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Our week in Hungary was wonderful....the abundance of birds that Simon and l enjoyed last year weren't here this year but that wasn't going to spoil our week.

Lesser Spotted Eagle and Ural Owl were my lifers this year, in 2010...l got approx 40 biggrin.gif

We stayed in The Nomad Hotel, run by the forever friendly Barbara, and her typically Hungarian mum. Freshly baked warm apple pie with vanilla cream for your breakfast anyone ?? Nooooo you think...but you will give in wink.gif
Their welcome,hospitality, breakfast and the volume of food cannot be matched. We cannot recommend them enough.

The hotel is nestled in forest and woodland,we spent many an early morning walk just toting up the birds here and just taking in the scenery. The woodland is a haven for these birds..unspoilt and untouched. You'll not find any McDonalds takeaways left on the side of the road or bags of dog mess hung on trees...
But if you get stuck in a ditch (like our driver got us no.gif....) feel free to flag down a local who will return to his village and call out reinforcements, get you out and with a smile and a handshake return to their day....biggrin.gif

Our second half of the trip was to visit the Hortabagy...simply fantastic place, last year l described it like Heaven. It's not that you see so many birds, it's that you see SO many of the same birds biggrin.gif
The weather was baking, our two guides (one from last year) were spot on and again, anyone wanting to visit should really get in touch with these guys.

Birding is easy and exciting in Hungary, you don't work hard at all. As said before, the villages are quiet, gentle and welcoming. To see farmland and fields with no fences up took a little getting used too, as did seeing the Beeater and Red Footed Falcon colony and with no 'manned' security...when l asked our guide....
''Why, haven't you got any CCTV to protect them'' ? He simply replied ''Why, who would harm them or take their eggs''? Our guide was beused to the fact that farmers over here have fences around their land and you are not allowed on, we were equally bemused that there you can drive round any fields (no questions asked) and the have Saker Falcons nesting on electricity pylons !!!
It's such a different way of life and so much of that is still evident, many Hungarians are still using methods of bygone days to farm their land...it's all there to see as you drive along.

BIG thanks to Simon who spent many an evening sorting out guides, accomadation, prices, birds to see, places to go, and routes to take, not for getting car hire and flights....thank-you with out you we wouldn't have had a memorable holiday in Hungary..x



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Some great birds there and sounded like a fantastic trip. After our jaunt to Extremadura and Andalucia last May, we are looking for an East European destination next Spring - leaning towards Bulgaria but could be swayed! Look forward to the trip report.

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Not much more can be added to Simon's list. As my first time birding abroad it gave me the most amazing view of a bird I have always wanted to see, Squacco Heron.

To stand next to the woods where the Red Footed Falcons nest with the birds flying all around is magical.

Long Legged Buzzard gave us wonderful views.

Night Herons were numerous and to watch over 20 of them going backward and forwards with nesting material was great.

Little Bittern was evasive but in the end gave good views.

Wryneck were numerous and you can hear them from your hotel room!

The villages with all the storks was geat. The lack of litter and crime was a nice change.

I can't say how much I would recommend the Nomad Hotel with the very friendly staff and the amazing amount of food. They served dinner late on 2 nights for us without any complaint and seemed happy to do so. The rooms were spacious and clean. Be warned, you will be spoilt and find other breakfast spreads lacking after staying here.

We also saw, Fire Salamander, Grass Snake, Fox, Hare and Steppe Polecat. Nearly forgot the dead moles.

Thanks again to Simon and Melanie for inviting us and for all the research which lead to the numbers of birds seen. To their skills in spotting and also finding the birds by call. Also for all the laughs we had. It's not often you see grown men wiping tears of laughter off their faces.

I've been left with so many amazing, happy memories. Warfy Tours rock!



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Hi Guys,

I ve never got round to visiting Hungary, but your list is full of real quality and in the context of some of the idyllic settings you describe, it really deserves serious consideration. I for one am looking forward to your "write up" and to Pauls photos.

From your list, 6 would be West Pal. "ticks" for me, with 3 of those, (White-backed Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, and Pygmy Cormorant) all lifers, but regardless of that it would be nice to see another former "eastern block" country as well.

...- Tempted Mr. Rayner?....

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It was 32 lifers for me! And although many of the birds did not present great photo opportunities I did manage to get some decent shots of some of the birds (Red-footed Falcons, Honey Buzzard - best view i've ever had, White Stork, Purple Heron, Corn Bunting, Red-backed Shrike, Whiskered Tern). For my first trip birding abroad, it was a fantastic start!

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Sounds a great trip - 4 lifers in that lot for me, somewhere IO might have to think about visiting!

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After our wonderful visit to Hungary last year we vowed to go back again this year and we duly did from the 7th to the 14th May, this time taking a small group with us! This year we decided to travel independently which had some advantages such as having the flexibility to decide which of the sites we visited last year to return to this year. We also wanted to try some new sites which had been researched beforehand.

Spring in Hungary was very late this year, with some insectivore species only just starting to return during our week. Perhaps we didnt realise how variable the seasons can be in Hungary with certain species arriving a good two weeks later than last year. Despite missing a few summer visitors we still had a wonderful week notching up 17 more species than last years organised tour!

I will do a full trip report soon, even if only to do Paul Wilsons photos the justice they deserve.

Here is a summary of our most notable sightings-

Bukk Hills NP Collared Flycatcher, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, White Backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Wryneck, Black Stork, Saker Falcon, Imperial Eagle, Barred Warbler, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Bee Eater, Red Backed Shrike & one of the main highlights of the trip a pair of Ural Owls.

Fishponds / Plains Little Bittern, Red Necked Grebe, Syrian Woodpecker, Black Stork, Purple Heron, Tawny Pipit, Crested Lark, Roller, Hoopoe, White Winged Black Tern, Caspian Gull, Red Footed Falcon, Icterine Warbler, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker & Wryneck.

Hortobagy NP White Tailed Eagle, Long Legged Buzzard, Saker Falcon, Honey Buzzard, Whiskered Tern, White Winged Black Tern, Ferruginous Duck, Squacco Heron, Spoonbill, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Little Bittern, Fed Footed Falcon (largest colony in Hungary consisting of 100 pairs), Corncrake, Savis Warbler, Penduline Tit, Bluethroat, Nightjar, Bee Eater, Montagus Harrier, Long Eared Owl, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Bustard, Stone Curlew, Quail & Wood Sandpiper.

Even the birding in or around the hotel grounds can be fantastic, prior to breakfast we could see with relative ease the following species Serin, Black Redstart, Hawfinch, Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, Icterine Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Sparrow (how common?), Wryneck, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Hoopoe & Wood Warbler.

We did however miss out on Grey Headed Woodpecker, River Warbler & Lesser Grey Shrike (which were all seen last year) & Aquatic Warbler for the second year running, they hadnt even arrived.

Its almost like stepping back in time with small quiet villages, each one having its own nesting White Stork, with environmentally friendly farmland surrounding and large areas of Beech forest. Birds like Tree Sparrow, Corn Bunting, Yellow Wagtail, Turtle Dove and Cuckoo are everywhere which is refreshing to see.

Hungary is a wonderful destination for general birding offering most of the typical eastern European species. Travelling is easy, stress free and on good roads with very little traffic, you can access pretty much anywhere with very little land being private. There is also no litter or dog excrement to stand in and no muddy dogs jumping up at you while youre birding. What more could you ask for?

Roll on next year.


-- Edited by Simon Warford on Thursday 26th of May 2011 11:44:23 PM

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