Hungary dragonflies&butterflies

Europe/Hungary

Hungarian butterfly and dragonfly holiday

Hortobágy, Aggtelek & Bükk National Parks, 8 days

Over the course of eight days our tour brings you to some of Hungary's most interesting butterfly&dragonfly sites! Working from three different bases we will discover North-Eastern Hungary, one of Central Europe's prime locations for butterflies and dragonflies. We explore lowland lakes and rivers on the steppes of Hortobágy and the Northern Hills of Bükk and Aggtelek, visiting 3 National Parks with different habitats and many possibilities for optional programmes.

Hungary's butterfly list boasts almost 200 species, as well as a further 3400 species of moth. The dragonfly list contains 62 species, including rarities such as Common Winter Damselfly, Green Snaketail, Lillypad and Yellow-spotted Whiteface.

Visiting many different habitats will offer the chance of seeing interesting bird species such as Pygmy Cormorant, Imperial Eagle, Saker, while Red-footed Falcon, Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrike are common.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

2 nights in the Hortobágy NP
3 nights at Jósvafő in Aggtelek NP
2 nights at Noszvaj in Bükk NP

Departure Dates

Saturday 3 – Saturday 10 June 2017

Price

from 1,540 € + 215 € (single room supplement)
Ask for the actual price

Optional extensions

Boat tour on Lake Tisza
Evening bat detection and identification
Visit to Baradla dripstone cave
Wine tasting at the famous Thummerer cellar, cellar of the Year in 2011, famous for its Bull’s Blood

Itinerary

1

Our English speaking guide will meet you upon your arrival at Budapest Airport before you head east to Hortobágy National Park. Should time permit we take a short break to look for Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon and our first butterflies and dragonflies.

2-3

We pass two days on the Great Plain or “Puszta” of Hortobágy, the westernmost part of Eurasian Steppe in Europe. The Hortobágy is regarded as a birdwatcher’s paradise, but it is also home to great butterfly species such as Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow and Large Copper. The fishpond systems are home to many birds and dragonflies. White-tailed Skimmer is a common species here. Saline lakes are a good place to find Dark Spreadwing and Southern Darter. There is an option of taking a boat tour to Lake Tisza, a great opportunity to enjoy this fantastic dragonfly paradise with such species as Lesser Emperor, Eurasian Baskettail, Lillypad and Yellow-spotted Whiteface. Birds are also abundant here with Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco and Night Heron, Savi’s Warbler, Penduline Tit and probably even White-tailed Eagle. In the afternoon we head north to Aggtelek National Park.

4-5

In Aggtelek National Park we explore a variety of habitats ranging from very dry hillsides to wet valleys. These areas boast a superb list of butterflies and should prove to be quite a treat. We expect to find such species as Eastern Short-tailed, Osiris, Mountain Alcon, Large, Chapman's and Anomalous Blue, Lesser Spotted and Pallas's Fritillary, Hungarian and Common Glider, Purple Emperor and Large Tortoiseshell. Aggtelek NP is also fantastic for dragonflies, and there is a good chance of seeing Beautiful and Banded Demoiselle, Small Bluetail, Common Clubtail, Small Pincertail, Migrant Hawker, Blue Emperor, Southern Skimmer and Ruddy Darter. Birds of prey are also common, including Honey Buzzard, Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagle.

6

We move on to Bükk National Park. We visit a site en route in search of Pallas’s Fritillary, Anomalous Blue and Purple Emperor among others. Then we drive through Uppony Hills where we visit a spectacular gorge in search of Hungarian Glider, White Admiral, Safflower and Orbed Red-underwing Skippers. Late afternoon we reach our family-run guesthouse situated in a tranquil village on the outskirts of the Bükk National Park.

7

Over the course of our visit we explore several key sites within Bükk National Park. We take in the karst plateau for a chance sighting of a late Clouded Apollo, Southern Small, Mountain Green-veined and Fenton’s Wood White, Alcon and Reverdin’s Blue, Twin-spot and Nickerl’s Fritillary. Our quest continues around Répáshuta and the humid Hór Valley. Several Copper species fly in this area including Purple-shot, Scarce and Purple-edged, as well as High Brown and Niobe Fritillary, Cardinal, Poplar Admiral, Camberwell Beauty and Lesser Purple Emperor. The park also provides home to dragonflies including Common Winter Damselfly, Norfolk Hawker and Vagrant Darter. During our stay in this ornithologically important region we may be rewarded with a chance encounter with Black, White-backed and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatcher, Barred Warbler and Hawfinch.

8

We return to Budapest for our flight home. Should there be sufficient time we might visit a site en route with a significant population of Great Bustards. Alternatively you can choose an optional, professional sightseeing tour of Budapest.

bird photography and birding tours Hungary and Eastern Europe - Bee-eater on a branch

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