Finding Birds in hungary update

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The original Hungary book has just been rewritten based on observations in 2015 and is now available as a new book. Some of the observations below compliment what is said in that book; the site numbers refer to the new book, not the original.


17 May 2014 Driving towards Budapest we exited the motorway at J67 and drove through the eastern part of the Vertes Hills to the Csakvar meadows. There were quite a few Long-Legged Buzzards, particularly over the meadows, hovering constantly. Also Turtle Dove. Grasshopper Warbler was heard but not located. Red-Backed Shrike was common. No sightings of other birds of prey, apart from Kestrel. We were a bit disappointed in the lack of waders. It was very quiet. (Pat Harrison)

Lake Velence

17th May 2014 Drove along the southern shore of the lake to Dinnyes but access for viewing was poor all along the road. One stop gave access to the water but there was some kind of festival going on and hundreds of people were about. The reedbeds all around the research centre are vast, but give little or no access. There was no access either to the fishponds (site 3). Barrier across the entrance with nowhere to leave the car. (Pat Harrison)

Bukk Hills

June 2003 I had singing Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers, numerous Hawfinches and also several views of White-backed Woodpecker mostly in the next valley to the west of Lator, where I stayed at Farm Lator (47.9815N, 20.6347E), a guesthouse for birders run by a Dutch birder, Rob de Jong.(see ) (DG)

20th May 2014. Drove to Eger from Bogacs, where we were staying, and took the 2505 signed Repashuta. After about 2km a Lesser Spotted Eagle flew across in front of us. We jumped out and enjoyed great views. Suddenly it plummeted to the ground. A few moments later it rose again, followed by an agitated Long-Legged Buzzard. At Repashuta, we followed the road through the village until it became a track. We walked the track down through beech forest to the meadows. Saw Short-toed Treecreeper, Black Woodpecker and various woodland birds. No flycatchers. Back at the car, we drove back through the village, where we saw numerous Hawfinch. Back on the 2505 we parked in the layby and saw lots more Hawfinch in the puddles at the edge of the woods. We followed a marked trail and within minutes we heard and then located Collared Flycatcher. Several Great-Spotted Woodpeckers, also Coal Tit and Great Tit.  We had a brief glimpse of a Grey-headed Woodpecker at the side of the road on our way back to the hotel. Another day we went back into the hills and followed a forest track for about 2km. This produced Yellowhammer, Lesser Whitethroat, Red-Backed Shrike, Song Thrush, Long-Tailed Tit (white-headed), Jay, Chiffchaff , Common Buzzard and Kestrel. (Pat Harrison)

Aggtelek Hills

August 1999 I managed to get White-backed Woodpecker at site 1 (Paul Suter)

The Hortobagy

August 1999 At site 3 I had Little and Baillon's Crake. There is also an observation tower here, 1 km from the road, to the south. At site 2 there were Pygmy Cormorants on the marshes. (Paul Suter)

Nov 2005 At site 2, 8 Red-breasted Geese and Pygmy Cormorants too.  (Roger Smith)

19-24 May 2014  There are signs everywhere saying you need a permit. These can be purchased from the Kaparo Csarda bar at site 2. Opposite the bar there is a carpark. The quarry to the right of the carpark holds a colony of Sand Martins and 100's of Bee-Eaters. We followed the road (very poor condition) towards Nagyivan on several occasions and each time saw  Lesser-Grey Shrike and several Red-Backed Shrike. Lots of Marsh Harriers (mostly male), Montague's Harrier, White Stork, Great White Egret . Also Reed Bunting. We also trawled the tracks to the left of this road looking for Tawny Pipit but found little of interest except abundant Skylark and Marsh Harrier. (Pat Harrison)

22nd May 2014  At site 4 we had an excellent 5 hours' birding although the weather was very hot. This is a huge site and it took us a good 2.5 hours to walk to the furthest observation tower, birding all the way. To our surprise, we heard and then identified a colony of Caspian Gull. Amongst birds seen: Imperial Eagle, Crane, Bittern, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, Cormorant, Pygmy Cormorant, Mute Swan, Greylag, various ducks including close views of Ferruginous Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Black-Necked Grebe, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, Red-Backed Shrike, Golden Oriole, Cuckoo, Hoopoe, Nightingale, Bluethroat (white spot), Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Common Buzzard. The walk back, with stops only for drinks took just over an hour and a half. Walking back, a line of trees on the left hold nesting boxes. All were occupied by Kestrel and chicks. We saw one female feeding five chicks. There is a train which runs to the end and back, but you would need to check the times. (Pat Harrison)

Ferto Hansag N. P. – north of Fertod/Sarrod (not in my book)

May 2016 An Eastern Imperial Eagle flew over our heads.  There is a nest site in a nearby belt of trees (Harry and Denise Fairley).

Little Hortobagy

21st May 2014 Drove to the Borsodi Reserve in search of Saker. At site 6, we checked a line of pylons and found a Saker nest with three chicks. At this site we also had numerous Red-Backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike and lots of Yellow Wagtails. (Pat Harrison)


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