We visited Budapest
from the afternoon until night.
- We went to the Hortobagy National Park. When we arrived,
we made a nice sight of two Red-footed
Falcons and one Lesser
Gray Shrike hunting close to the road.
- We stayed for three nights at Mrs Irma Katona's house in
the village of Hortobagy.
We had a few difficulties finding the house and fortunately we
had the help of the owner of the campground of Hortobagy who
drove us to it (Zoltai Laszlo U7 - 4071 Hortobagy - Tél.
: 00 36 52 369 355).
- We arrived too late to buy the pass which allows us to visit
the Park. However, we visited a site East of the village where
there was a very big colony of Rooks.
We had the surprise to find a juvenile
albino. After, we got up in a tower to have a nice view of
the area and we made few interresting observations like a White-winged
Tern flying above a small pond far away.
- Early in the morning we bought the pass and we went to the
village of Hortobagy-Halasto.
It's the departure point of a walk towards eleven ponds used
for fish breeding in the past and where birds were welcomed now.
Just before we arrived, we saw a Little
Owl. A big neglected building now shelters a big colony of
swallows: Barn Swallows inside and Common House-Martins outside!
When I stopped the car a female Eurasian Golden Oriole landed
just above us...
- In the first pond, we saw our first Pygmy Cormorant. According
to the environment, we saw more or less easily: Squacco
Heron, Purple Heron,
Ferruginous Pochard, Common Tern, Whiskered
Tern, Black Tern, Eurasian
Penduline-Tit, Bearded Reedling... Western
Marsh-Harriers were everywhere.
- Unfortunately, in the middle of the afternoon, when we were
far from the car, a storm came up. We were close to an observatory
but it was inaccessible because the footbridge had partially
collapsed! We had to wait under the rain before coming back to
- After the storm of the day before, the weather was still
cloudy and we had a littke rain this day.
- As the most interesting part of the park was forbidden without
a guide, we decided to hire one. Thanks to him, we were lucky
enough to see the Great Bustard and the Aquatic Warbler. We also
see a nice colony of Red-footed
Falcon and European Bee-eater.
As we passed near the Rooks
colony, we saw 3 juveniles of Northern
Long-eared Owl. We saw the Saker Falcon in a place usual
for it. However we missed the White-tailed Sea-Eagle which nests
in a small woodland where we waited it for a moment. At the end
of the afternoon, we drove slowly to Arkus and Nagyivan
to see a couple of Barn Owls there but without success. All the
same we made some great observations of Red-footed
Falcon and one Long-legged Buzzard hunting.
This morning the weather was very bad! We began by the "bird
of prey" road, North of Hortobagy Park, where we saw almost
nothing because of the weather. Then, we drove to the Zemplen
Mountains near the Slovakian border. We went through some
nice places during this trip, particulary near the picturesque
ferry of Tisza River at Tiszalök. We saw our first Black
Stork here. We found a hotel at Tolcsva and we went for a small
walk at the end of the afternoon near Komloska.
- In the morning, we drove through the Zemplens
Mountains by Erdöbénye and Abaujkér and
we came back by Fony. On the first part, we stopped and tried
to see some Woodpeckers unfortunately without success. Nevertheless,
we saw a Collared
Flycatcher family and our first and last Eagle of the week
in the fog and obviously, we could not identify it... On the
road we saw a lot of Red-backed
Shrikes and Hawfinches: the population of this last bird
was really amazing in regards of the density we have in France.
We stopped and went for a small walk near Üjhuta without
more success concerning the Woodpeckers: only one sight of a
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
- After dinner, we went to Makkoshotyka, a high spot for the
Ural Owl. We did not hear it but we heard a Eurasian Pygmy-Owl
without seeing it just above us in a big pine.
- In the morning we focused on the observation of the Eurasian
River Warbler. We saw one bird very well singing on top of
bushes. We also saw a male of Eurasian Golden Oriole far away
- Then, after a short visit to Sarospatak for the Castle, we
went to Palhaza and we took the motorway until the Bukk
Hills. We chose a Hotel in Bogäcs. At the end of the
afternoon, we went for a small walk in stormy weather. This area
is well-known for birds of prey and Barred Warblers but we only
saw one Warbler and no raptor probably because of the weather...
We made some good sights of woodpeckers but not the Syrian one.
- All morning , we walked on a track along the Hör-Patak
river in the Bukk
Hills. This place is well-known for Red-breasted Flycatcher.
We did not find it but we made two interesting observations of
First, we found a nest in a big cavity in a dead tree. The two
adults came every five minutes to feed their young birds. A moment
later, we heard and finally saw an other couple alarming above
a Martre that I was lucky
enough to photograph!
- In the afternoon, we came back to Budapest to take our plane