Images taken from the hides: © Blaz Crepinsek, David Plummer, Mark Curley, Molnár Péter, Utassy Gyorgy, Mark Curley, Vivian Nichols
Europe/Birding in Hungary
Close Up and Personal- birding in Hungary at leisure
Kiskunság National Park, 4-6 days
A very relaxed, one base holiday with unbelievably close ‘armchair’ views of superb species from our own hides , with very little walking required.
The tour is centred around our recently inaugurated Eco lodge and the hides located nearby in the core area of the famous Kiskunság National Park, Hungary.
The scenic Kiskunság National Park in Hungary hosts one of the biggest populations of Great Bustards in Europe and has innumerable other highlights to offer as well. Alkaline lakes and seasonal flooded marshes and grasslands attract many ducks and waders. Species include Ferruginous Duck, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared and Black -winged Pratincole and many other migrating shorebirds and wildfowl. The steppe is ideal habitat for Stone Curlew, Lesser Grey Shrike, Roller, while the reedbeds hold Great Reed, Savi’s, Moustached Warblers, Penduline and Bearded Tits, riparian willows and bushes are home to Olivaceous, River and Barred Warbler and Golden Oriole. Bee-eaters are simply everywhere.
Raptors are well represented with some typically eastern species such as the mighty Eastern Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Red-footed Falcon and Long-legged Buzzard, but there are Montague’s Marsh Harriers, Goshawk and White-tailed Eagle as well.
Our Eco lodge is located in the tranquil village of Tiszaalpár, Hungary and run by the lovely family of Réka and István (aka Stephen). Réka – apart from looking after their 4 children – manages the newly opened lodge, while István, who runs and guides most of our tours here is a ranger of the Kiskunság National Park responsible for this unique and extremely rich area with an intimate knowledge of all the wildlife, including birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies, etc.
The lodge is a recently renovated old country house with 7 rooms, all with ensuite facilities. It has a huge garden just a few minutes from the spectacular church hill which has a superb overview of the Tisza River floodplain. Spending only half an hour in this spot one can see as much as in a full day’s birding in the best areas of Europe. Especially in spring when the heron colony is busy, and all the marsh terns are hunting over the water, Ferruginous Ducks, Garganeys, Black-necked Grebes are often disturbed by Saker, Peregrine Falcon or White-tailed Eagle.
The Hides – Unique way of bird watching
This birding tour offers a unique new way of watching birds, in the most relaxed way. Sitting in our cleverly located bird hides which are equipped with a photo-through glass, viewers see everything that is happening just outside the window, while the birds and other wildlife take no notice of those inside the hide. It is impossible to see behaviour, plumage details, feeding and interaction between birds in an ordinary birding tour, so why not take your chance and try our hides?
(The hides were built for photographers, but since professionals leave the hides by 9-10 AM we can offer our clients the incomparable opportunity to sit in the hides that would otherwise be inaccessible for the “general public”. Some of the hides must be occupied before dawn in order to ensure that the birds are undisturbed and not aware of people).
- 4-8 days in Hungary visiting various habitats of the Kiskunság National Park
- begins and ends in Budapest
- staying in our comfortable, family run Eco lodge located in the vicinity of the hides
- individuals and groups of different size are welcome to book
- all inclusive service with all meals, guiding and land transport
- birding at leisure offers super close-up views of over 40 bird species
- excellent variety of forest birds, shorebirds, wildfowl and raptors as the hides are placed in different habitats of wetland, forest, bushes and steppe
- optional half day birding trips, visiting flat steppes, alkaline lakes, fishponds and oxbow lakes of the River Tisza with a comfortable VAN or even in a small paddle boat
During a week in spring and summer the following highlights are possible from our hides, or during the walks in the nearby areas:
Great Bustard, Pygmy Cormorant, Black-necked Grebe, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, White-winged tern, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, Pied Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Little Ringed Plover, Purple, Squacco and Night Herons, Great Egret, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, Corncrake, Long-eared Owl, Saker Falcon, Imperial Eagle, Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Black Stork, White Stork, Stone Curlew, Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Lesser Grey Shrike, Kingfisher, Red-backed Shrike, Olivaceous, Barred, Moustached, River and Marsh Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat, Lesser Spotted, Middle Spotted, Grey-headed, Syrian and Black Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Nightingale, Black Redstart, Serin, Hawfinch.
Itinerary of the birding tour in Hungary
The days consist of visiting different hides for 1-2 hours in the morning and similarly in the afternoon. After the morning visits, the day can be used for some easy walks in the vicinity of the village or other interesting sites a bit further away, but no more than 1 hour driving distance. Alternatively the garden of the lodge can be used for relaxing.
The programme of the next day is discussed with the local guide the day before, and next morning he takes clients to the hides in groups of 2-3 persons, and then picks them up by the end of the session.
Optional Programmes in Hungary
Few hour drive from the Eco lodge are the scenic Bükk Hills, and we can organize optional trips of few days to this fantastic National Park. Ural Owl, Eagle Owl, Lesser Spotted Eagle, White-backed Woodpecker and big numbers of butterflies can be admired there, being based in another welcoming family run hotel. Special wine tasting programme is available here, as well as sightseeing in the charming baroque city of Eger.
Slovakia, Slovenia extensions
A few hour drive may take us to the neighbouring countries of Slovakia to the north or Slovenia to the south-west both offering yet another kind of scenery and hence birds and wildlife. In these countries we can organize bear-watching evenings from comfortable and secure hides.
Please ask for further details, or visit the respective country pages on our site.
all year round