Hungary August 2014. Images Here

Hungary August 2014

We 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.

Areas 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.

We 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 and Nuthatches.

Below 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.

Paul and Andrea Kelly 2014.

Common (C) Localised (L) Rare (R)
Garganey (C) Stone Curlew (4) Nightengale (L)
Red crested Pochard(1) Wood Sandpiper (C) Savi's Warbler (2)
Grey Partridge (C) Mediterranean Gull (1) Reed Warbler (L)
Quail (C) Yellow legged Gull (C) Marsh Warbler (C)
Night Heron(C) Black Tern (1) Garden Warbler (L)
Great White Egret(C) Turtle Dove (C) Lesser Whitethroat (C)
Purple Heron (C) Common Cuckoo (1) Wood Warbler (C).
Black Stork (L) Bee-eater (C) Firecrest (1)
White Stork (C) European Roller (C) Collared Flycatcher (1)
European Honey Buzzard (C) Grey headed Woodpecker (3) Marsh Tit (C)
Spoonbill(1) Green Woodpecker (L) Nuthatch (C)
Short toed Eagle (2) Black Woodpecker (L) Short toed Treecreeper (C)
Marsh Harrier (C) Great Spotted Woodpecker (L) Penduline Tit (C)
Montagu's Harrier (6) Syrian Woodpecker (L) Golden Oriole (2)
Eastern Imperial Eagle (1) Middle Spotted Woodpecker (L) Red backed Shrike (C)
Red footed Falcon (30) Crested Lark (C) Lesser Grey Shrike (C)
Hobby (2) Tawny Pipit (L) Hawfinch (C)
Saker (2) Tree Pipit (C)
Great Bustard (20) Yellow Wagtail (C)