SUMMER HOLIDAYS IN HUNGARY
Part 1 (Puszta)
Zurich – Budapest – River Theiss – Hortobágy Nationalpark – Fishponds – Saltlakes – Debrecen
Who would have ever expected that the trip to Hungary would be so incredibly rich in birds and wildlife.
I certainly did not!
In the two weeks I observed over 46 to me new species of birds. A personal highlight!
As soon as we arrived in Hungary, a river trip on the Theiss was already awaiting us. On this day alone, I was able to observe several species of herons and common terns. Then we continued to the Puszta, where another highlight was waiting for us: breeding European bee-eaters.
Day 2 – 3
We spent the next few days in the Hortobágy National Park. A beautiful part of Hungary where we encountered new species of birds, wildlife and plants every day: Red-footed falcons, imperial eagles, woodpeckers, several long-eared owls, wild horses (Przsevalskij's Horses) and also ground squirrels.
A Visit to the very species-rich fish ponds of the Puszta. The area was teeming with different species of birds: various songbirds (bearded tit, great reed warbler, etc), herons, hoopoes, glossy ibis', spoonbills and white-bearded terns. The beautiful sunset compensated us for the terrible – but still very photogenic – mosquito nuisance ;-)
My 18th birthday! To celebrate this day, we visited a hide for European rollers.
Day 6 – 7
We spent the last two days of our stay in the Puszta at the National Park's Nature Conservation Centre, which was right next to the salt lakes. Again, there were hundreds of herons (squacco heron, purple heron, grey heron and great white egret), colonies of greylag geese, spoonbills, whiskered terns, black-winged stilts, common sandpipers and little ringed plovers. What a great place to spend some hours observing and photographing all the birds!
Little Ringed Plover
Part 2 (Zemplén Mountains)
Tokaj – Bodrog-Wilderness – Budapest – Zurich
After a long day of travelling (Day 8), we finally arrived in Tokaj. Tokaj with its rivers invites one to go canoeing – unfortunately without a camera. Nevertheless, we were able to observe various birds at close distance: Black storks, white-tailed eagles, various heron species and at least 30 kingfishers.
On a hike in the mountains we could observe several woodpeckers (green woodpecker, middle and small woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker) and songbirds. Unfortunately we only heard the orioles and the light was too bad for good photos.
The next morning I got up early and busied myself with the camera on the many insects and butterflies around our hut in the forest. While I was focused on macro photography, the guide spotted an Ural owl in the woods! Unfortunately, it sat a little hidden behind some trees. Nevertheless, I did manage to get a good enough shot of it...
13 – as they say the unlucky number ... in this case unfortunately true. That morning I found my camera broken on the floor of our accommodation after a 30cm fall. To this day I still don't know how and why it broke.
However, I could still enjoy the last few days, even though I couldn't take any photos anymore.
Now we are already back home in Switzerland. The trip to Hungary remains unforgettable. I can only recommend it to every bird and wildlife fan!
Oh yes ... the camera and lens were repaired and are by now back to normal too! :-)