Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Clayheads On Tour - Hungary 2012 (29 March)

Day One - We took off from Luton Airport at 12-15hrs on a EasyJet, and touched down at Budapest Airport at 15-30hrs. Our guide for the trip, Roy, met up with us in the airport and we immediately set off birding. Our first destination was 30 miles south of Budapest in Kiskunság National Park. En route we had our first taste of Hungary – very Eastern European in appearance and also extremely flat and dusty. There hadn’t been any significant rainfall since early January. On our journey down, we saw Buzzard, Marsh Harriers, and in one village a newly arrived White Stork was sat on a nest. We passed a lake and a Great White Egret flew over.

Apaj, Kiskunság National Park – We finally arrived at the site Roy was heading for. It must have took over an hour to get there.

The Clayheads have arrived in Hungary

We had Corn Bunting on the wires, many Greylag Geese and another Marsh Harrier over. On the flooded fields, there were 12+ Garganey, 10+ Ruff as well as Teal and Hooded Crows, Redshank, a Meadow Pipit over and 3+ Blue-headed Wagtails. There were several White Wagtails by a stream. On the opposite side of the road, there were two distant Great Bustards, our target bird for the area. We drove a little further up the road and soon the flock slowly increased in size. Eventually we had 44 Great Bustards, including at least one male displaying. Unfortunately, they were a little distant, the light was fading and it was extremely windy. As we drove back, a flock of 20+ Black-tailed Godwits flew over.

An example of the completely flat countryside

Part of the Great Bustard flock - honest!

We had a drive of two hours to our hotel in Eger in Northern Hungary. En route we added Blackbird and Green Woodpecker to our list.
Original artwork by PJ to aid you with finding the Bustards on my photo