Migration SpecialKiskunság, Hortobágy and Zemplén Hills, 8 days
Hungary’s raptors take centre stage in this fascinating tour, as we observe them in their breeding habitat or in typical hunting grounds. Saker, Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed, Imperial, Golden, Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged and Honey Buzzard, Marsh and Montagu’s Harrier (with luck Pallid and Hen Harrier), Goshawk, Ural and Eagle Owl may all be seen at this time of the year.
Red-footed Falcons gather in their hundreds before migrating further south and can be seen in the evenings flying into their roost. Dotterels arrive late August to spend 2-3 months here. They can be seen in flocks containing up to 100 birds of all plumages. Other extras include 8 different species of woodpeckers, Great Bustard, Stone Curlew, Red-breasted Flycatcher, warbler migration peak and interesting waders!
The tour is designed to be a lively, well-paced holiday, including many extras in terms of birds, wildlife, food, culture, and of course, the opportunity to taste the well-known local wines!
- 8 days in Hungary visiting three national parks
- begin and end in Budapest
- staying in small hotels located close to the birding sites
- 1 day in the Kiskunság National Park exploring huge flat steppes and alkaline lakes
- 3 days in the Hortobágy National Park visiting fish ponds and steppes of the vast Puszta
- 3 days in the Zemplén hills visiting deciduous forests and the famous Tokaj region
- a diverse variety of birds and habitats
- numerous raptors, woodpeckers and other interesting bird species
- early migrants still at their breeding place
- many butterflies and dragonflies
4 nights in a countryside inn on the edge of Hortobágy
3 nights in a family pension located in a scenic village among the hills
Sunday 26 August – Sunday 2 September 2012
Saturday 31 August – Saturday 7 September 2013
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After arrival at Budapest Airport we visit the Kiskunság National Park looking for Great Bustard and raptors. Later in the day we travel across the country to the famous Hortobágy National Park, where we stay for 4 nights.
During our stay we take in the most important areas of the Hortobágy Puszta. In the Northern part we look for raptors including Saker, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon, Montague’s and Pallid Harrier. We search the Southern steppe for Stone Curlew and Dotterel. The latter are found in flocks consisting of all young and old birds in all type of plumages. The drained fishponds are ideal for migrating waders, warblers and flycatchers. Resident birds include Pygmy Cormorant, Bearded and Penduline Tit. Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole and Lesser Grey Shrike are still in the country, while the first Long-eared Owls can be seen in their traditional roost site.
We leave the Hortobágy National Park and head north to the Zemplén Hills. En route we expect to see a nice array of raptors such as Saker, Short-toed, Lesser Spotted and Imperial Eagle in the Borsodi Mezőség area.
Based in a scenic village we visit the Zemplén Hills for most of the country’s raptor and owl species. Woodpeckers are also in focus with good chances for Black, White-backed, Middle Spotted and Grey-headed. Hawfinch and the white-headed form of Long-tailed Tit are common in the woodlands.
Travel to Budapest with more opportunities for birding en route.