Tuesday 28 May 2024

Hungary Day 1 - 18th May 2024 for Bird's Wildlife & Nature Tours

After a swift flight to Budapest we were met by Gabor and Andrea and set off into the vast Hungarian landscape of grasses, fields and dry and wet forests. Scarlet Poppies and fat purple nodding Thistles dotted the landscape.

We stopped first at the wet forest of Ocsa where the scent of Privet was heavy in the air and Cardinals passed between blooms.  There were familiar woodland songs with Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Robins, Wren, Marsh Tits and Blackcaps but these were interspersed with the liquid tone of Collared Flycatchers and rambling melodious Icterine Warblers. With some patience we saw both species.  

The Middle Spotted Woodpeckers did not attend their nest and a Short-toed Treecreeper was heard once we were back at the van.  There were dragonflies too with Hairy Hawkers and both Azure and Blue-tail Damselflies.



Green Veined White

Hairy Hawker


Chalcosyrphus nemorum

Anthidium manicatum or similar

Myathropa florea

Pyrochroa serritacornis

Icterine Warbler

Stag Beetle

Moving onto the plains of the Kiskunság Puszta delivered with two Great Bustards, two Eastern Imperial Eagles, Short-toed Eagles, hunting Saker, graceful male Montagu's Harrier, Hobby, Red-footed Falcons, Red-backed Shrikes and Collared Pratincoles along with some cracking butterflies.  

Red-footed Falcon

Med and Black-headed Gulls hawked over the fields where Brown Hares lolloped and Roe Deer watched our every move.  Curious high pitched squeaking came from the Sousliks in their burrows all around us and by watching the road we saw a couple zipping back and forth like little sandy sausages; stopping occasionally to stand up and survey for threatening raptors.  Our first Roller was seen but better was to come.

Med Gull - Neil Colgate

Brown Hares

Souslik in habitat shot...

Migrant (Southern) Spreadwing

Blue Featherleg

Chestnut Heath

Meadow Brown

Large Skipper

Green Underside Blue

Small Heath

Glanville Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Silver Studded Blue

Common Blue

Small Heath

Pale Clouded yellow

Wild Clary


Woolley Thistle

Galls on Elm

Vervain with Honey Bee

A Potentilla species I think

Down the road we drowned in colour at Kunpuszta with wires and posts dripping in Bee-eaters and Rollers which were joined by Turtle Doves, Wood Pigeons, shiny Starlings, Cuckoos and Little Owls while Golden Orioles whistled and Hoopoes probed the sandy paths where the Bee-eaters were digging tunnels in the track sides.


Bee-eaters and Little Owl

Bee-eaters, Rollers and Cuckoo





Bee-eaters and Roller

Bee-eaters with nests in the path side


Bee-eater - Neil Colgate

Bee-eater - Neil Colgate

Bee-eater - Neil Colgate

Roller - Neil Colgate

At Kondor Tanya we had a fine first dinner with our hosts and a short tour of the gardens gave us Redstarts, Hawfinches and Golden Os outside and churring Nightjars, three Scops and hooting Tawny Owls on a dusk time stroll with a Golden Jackal being spooked by Clara the neighbours huge chocolate Labrador that came for a walk with us.  I also saw a cat in the horse paddocks that felt and behaved very much like a Wild Cat.  It pressed itself to the ground in the gloom and then quickly belly crawled back into the woods.


White Wagtail


There were some moths around the lights outside but we were too tired to trap that night.

Blood Vein

Small Fan Footed Wave

Silver Y ish -
Names to come

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