Tuesday, May 03, 2022

πŸ“– Birding Hungary πŸ‡­πŸ‡Ί (Days 4/5) Spring 2022

🌀21C Monday 2nd May 2022 ~ Today we spent our time stopping off at various locations along Route 33, which runs through the HortobΓ‘gy National Park. As you drive along you can't help but see lots of Marsh Harriers and Great White Egrets but today was all about Red-footed Falcons

This pair of Red-footed Falcon didn't seem particularly bothered by our presence!

As you drive there are various observation towers to view from but to be honest these are best used during the autumn and winter to observe the many Cranes and Geese. At the third tower along from the village of HortobΓ‘gy, there is a small wood which, with a permit, you can walk around. Amazingly among the many nesting Rooks and odd Kestrel, there are several nesting pairs of Red-footed Falcon

Female Red-footed Falcon

Male Red-footed Falcon

It's clearly marked but to be honest, the paths do take you a little close to the nesting birds, in fact, there's an observation tower right next to one. That said we maintained our distance and gingerly climbed the tower and the birds never seemed bothered by our presence. 

This Spotted Flycatcher arrived at the pond at dusk for a wash and brush up.

The garden of our accommodation still continues to impress. The large pond still attracts many species already mentioned in my previous post but tonight we added a Spotted Flycatcher and a pair of Pied Flycatcher. In addition to the birds a Pippisrelle Bat and what I think is a Dubenton's Bat has also been visiting the pond at dusk.

Black Woodpecker ~ The only shot I've managed thus far!

However, the star attraction has been a very vocal Black Woodpecker! Not to the pond but in the woods to the rear of the property and you can imagine my astonishment when the single shot I've managed this far actually came out!!


19C Tuesday 3rd May 2022~ Today a drive out to the Zemplen Hills, apparently the wildest hills in Hungary. Dazza was well pleased as we passed through Tokaj, which produces her favourite dessert wine! According to Dave Gosney's guide from 2015, it's good for Woodpeckers, including the sought-after White-backed Woodpecker but despite spending some time checking the woodlands the best we could manage was a fly-by Woodpecker Sp. and Great-spotted, although we were contending with a few thunderstorms. 

Collared Flycatcher

However, we did enjoy watching a pair of nesting Collared Flycatchers, along with Hawfinch, Serin, Wood Warbler, Treecreeper and oddly our first Chiffchaff of the visit. When the sun shone several Silver-washed Fritillary butterflies were on the wing but never settled. We also spent a little while scanning for Eagles at Regec Castle but with the angry skies it was challenging, Common Buzzard only, plus at ground level an obliging Hoopoe.

Red-backed Shrike

The road leading to the house produced Northern Wheatear, Corn Bunting and Red-backed Shrike but the garden didn't produce any new species this evening!

More Images of the Day...

Hoopoe at Regec Castle

Red-backed Shrike

Collared Flycatcher