Friday 31 May 2024

Hungary Day 3 - 20th May 2024 for Bird's Wildlife & Nature Tours

Another early walk produced my second sighting of what appeared to be a Wild Cat sloping off down the path but no Golden Jackal this time but the Black Woodpeckers, Wood Warbler, Quails and Tree Pipit were all heard again and a cracking Honey Buzzard drifted over us as we watched the sun come up and a male Red-backed Shrike seemed to content to take in some rays rather than fly away.

Volume up

Honey Buzzard

Honey Buzzard - Neil Colgate

Red-backed Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Great Spotted Woodpecker - Neil Colgate

Hoopoe contemplating approaching the nest - Neil Colgate

Cypress Spurge - Euphorbia cyparissias

Clouded Buff - Diacrisia sannio

The Geometrician - Grammodes stolida

Goatsbeard - Tragopogon dubius

Goldmoss Stonecrop - Sedum acre

Roman Snail

We had a relaxed breakfast before going through the mad moth trap (for which a full post will appear at some stage once my moth friends have helped sort things out!).  There were some familiar looking moths and I only had time for quick phone shots.  A taster.

Cream Spot Tiger - Arctia villica

Gold Triangle - Hypsopygia costalis

Poplar Hawk-moth - Laothoe populi

Swallow Prominent - Pheosia tremula

Chocolate Tip - Clostera curtula

The Kunpuszta with it crazy numbers of Bee-eaters and Rollers was our first stop and we caught up with Woodlarks, Linnets and Tawny Pipits around a clearing.  If I could have captured that grassland soundscape...


Onto the Peszéradacs where some new Butterflies were found in a meadow where a male Montagu’s Harrier was quartering. A noisy Black Woodpecker did the decent thing and circled the clearing whining  and we saw our first Green Woodpecker too. 

Chestnut Heath


Tufted Mallow Skipper - thanks Mr Tweed

Large Skipper

Small White

Safflower Skipper

Meadow Brown sp

Sooty Copper

Sooty Copper


Montagu's Harrier

Eristalis pertinax I think and on Hoary Alyssum - Berteroa incana

Rhynocoris iracundus - a very large Assassin Bug

Rose Chafer sp

Rambur's Pied Shieldbug

Pied Chafer sp

A family of Long-tailed Tits moved through and a Wryneck dashed through but did not stop.  Gabor went back to get the van and we took a different route back but did not get far as I could hear a Sylvia singing a little way off and with some patience we got to see a pair of Barred Warblers.  The male was performing vertical take-off display flights and a female was interested enough to come in for a look.  Gabor said that they could well be the first ever locally recorded breeders.

A riverine walk added Kingfisher and some new Dragons including the subtle White-tailed Skimmer along with a very showy Icterine Warbler and a pair of Penduline Tits around a delightful down made nest. 

Comfortably propped - like resting on a gate

European Pond Terrapins

Scarce Chaser

Black-tailed Skimmer

White-tailed Skimmer - subtle

Blue-eyed Hawker

Green-eyed Hawker

Four-spotted Chaser

Lesser Purple Emperor of the orange 'clytie' form

Lesser Purple Emperor of the orange 'clytie' form

Dor Beetle

Penduline Tit (top right) and nest (bottom left)

Icterine Warbler - Neil Colgate

Icterine Warbler

Allium sp

Perennial Pea sp

Non-native Cichlid

Hoary Alyssum - Berteroa incana

Water-chestnut - Trapa natans

Blue Fenugreek  - Trigonella caerulea

Non-native Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca - a real problem in Hungary

Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca

Lunch was taken amongst a Red-footed Falcon colony within the Böddi-szék with obligatory Rollers and Kestrels and watching them play chase and erm – other noisy courtship display was a special moment and one of the many highlights of the trip.  I suspect that with some time and patience you could get some wondrous images.

With Dark Spreadwings - Lestes macrostigma in the grass - 

Red-footed Falcon - female - Neil Colgate

Red-footed Falcon - male - Neil Colgate

Red-footed Falcon - male - Neil Colgate

Red-footed Falcon - female ringed U16

Red-footed Falcon - phwoar

Red-footed Falcons - Nick Baelz

The extensive marshes below were used a falcon hunting grounds and they shared the air with both White-winged Black and Whiskered Terns while Garganey, Ruff, Stilts and Avocets were added to the tally.

Even the hay bales are laid flat - I hope not to disrupt the view!

I was rather taken by the large free ranging herd of Donkeys!

At least two White Tailed Eagles circled and seven Black Storks were noted but the booming Bittern did not show and Rollers followed us on the wires on the way out.


We finished up at Lake Kolon and tried to view it from two places but it seems that although parts of it had been restored and opened up, they have not been managed to keep that way and as such it was a little frustrating and there were no Pygmy Cormorants or Squaccos and just a few Purple and Grey Herons.  

This should be open water.  The red is all Greater Bladderwort

Green Lizard

Greater Bladderwort

However we did hear at least two singing Moustached Warblers amongst the Great Reed, Sedge and Reed Warblers and find three reeling Savi's Warblers.  There was a fledged brood of Lesser Whitethroats and three musical Bluethroats which showed better in the flatter light with no haze.

Great Reed Warbler - a showy one - Neil Colgate

White-spotted Bluethroat - fab in the scope

A drumming Black Woodpecker rattled the dead trees behind us and a calling Syrian Woodpecker was our first although we could not find it and learnt the valuable lesson that the local Chaffinches end their song with a very Syrian like call too!

No native Gaillardia was prettily scattered through the lanes

And so the next wave approached

By dinner time the rain was hammering down once again dampening even the spirits of the Scops Owls.  I stood out on my covered thatched veranda in the complete darkness and enjoyed the storm. Electrifying.

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