decided on a last minute quick fix to see the wonders of Budapest.
Considering all we had heard about the city this turned out to be
a super idea, beauttiful buildings, lovely people and easy access
to all the major sights. We stayed in the Four Seasons Gresham Palace
which is just fabulous, so central and to be recommended. Car hire
was expensive and we only took a rental for one day. We did contact
Gerard Gorman to see if we could hire a guide for the hard to see
Woodpeckers. Our guide was part of his team András Schmidt
whom was excellent in the field and did find us not one but three
Grey Headed Woodpeckers which was the only new bird we could get
during August. We certainly would not have seen half the birds only
for his local knowledge, thank you András. His fee was €150
per day for both with transport.
we birded were Tata and surroundings to the north of Budapest, this
gave us most of the Woodpeckers
and a few woodland birds. Next day we worked the plains to the south
of Budapest for Saker, Bustard, waders and raptors. On the fourth
day with our rental we repeated the trip south but did the ringing
station Ócsa early am and evening. I do reccommend one goes
to the ringing station early as we saw Savi's. Reed and Marsh Warbler's
in the hand to name a few, the ringers were very accommodating especially
the head ringer Armin. The rest of the day was spent in the Plains
and Apaj at a Red footed Falcon colony. All sites mentioned are
to be found in Birding in Eastern Europe by Gerard Gorman.
saw around 120 species the more notable are mentioned in the list
below. Special species are two Saker, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Great
Bustard, Grey headed and Black Woodpecker. Birding is difficult
in the woodland and most of the Woodpeckers are heard more often
than seen and were a Guide proved valuable. The country is rich
in passerines and near passerines in spring but most have left by
August, we were impressed by the numbers of Bee eaters and Rollers.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker is common but damn difficult to see, Green
Woodpecker is a little easier and worth seeing as they are now split
from Spanish birds sharpi. On our last day we birded the
local park in Budapest which yielded a few surprises in lot's of
Wood Warblers and Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Great Spotted Woodpeckers
is a list of species of interest seen between the above sites, underlined
are links to images, or if one has time the link at the top and bottom
of this page brings you to page by page of images taken on the trip.