Felsőtárkány – Our first stop was an area of oak woodland to the north west of Eger. We had Jay and Nuthatch as we got out of the car, and then I spotted our first tick of the tour, a female Middle Spotted Woodpecker. We watched it feeding at quite close range, giving us excellent views. The first of many Hawfinches flew over, with several of them singing. There were Blue Tits (dull birds, similar to British birds – part of the wintering population), and Great Tit present. Alarm calls rang out and a male Goshawk flew out of a tree just behind us. We had a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming and a Common Treecreeper was singing (known as “Hill” Treecreeper in Hungary). We kept hearing a distant Grey-headed Woodpecker calling, and in our search for this bird, we found five Hawfinches displaying in a tree. A male Black Redstart was singing in a youth camp on the edge of the wood, and on the way back to the car, we had good views of a male Middle Spotted Woodpecker.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker - Original artwork by Phil Jones
Bükk National Park Education Centre - We drove the short distance to the local park. Almost immediately, Roy located a Syrian Woodpecker. It showed well before being chased off by a Great Spotted Woodpecker. In a brief walk around, we heard a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, several White Wagtails, a Goldcrest, Great Tit, Chaffinch and House Sparrow. As we drove back to the hotel, we saw one of the only pair of nesting White Storks in Eger. Two ticks before breakfast wasn't too bad going.
GSW and Syrian Woodpecker - Artwork by Phil Jones
After breakfast, we headed to Roy’s local village. We drove down a rutted dirt track and stopped by some trees. Soon a female Black Woodpecker flew in from behind us and landed in the trees. We watched as it perched on the side of the tree and started to excavate a hole out. We had a Tree Sparrow, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Yellowhammer sang briefly, plus Jay and Buzzard. We drove a little bit further down the track to a LSW site. We had good views of a pair of Green Woodpeckers, Hawfinches flew over, a pair of Marsh Tits and a Raven also present.