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Friday 12 July 2024

Birding in Hungary 2024 - Day 5

Birding in Hungary V

Friday 12 July 2024

79A (Romania)

Although the title says Birding in Hungary this post will mostly be about going to Romainia to see some different species. I woke up at 4:30 am on Friday morning to go, with my grandpa, to Romainia to visit the Socodor Fishponds. By 5 o'clock we were on the road. We saw a few birds along the road such as a Jackdaw -which are less common here. Immediately once we crossed the border, I was trying to find birds to add to my Romainian list. I saw many common species in and around the towns of Varsand and Pilu, adding House Martin, Feral Pigeon and many White Storks. At a gas staition in Varsand we also found my lifer Little Owl perched on a fence post! Almost arriving in Socodor, I noticed a Kestrel in a tree and a Hoopoe flying past as well as a Pheasant on the road.

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Socodor Fishponds (Romania)

Just as we turned on to the road up to the fishponds I very quickly noticed my lifer Lesser Grey Shrike on the telegraph wire above our heads! And not only one, we saw six all perched up on the wires with a few Tree Sparrows! Further up the road, we had a Little Bittern fly right in front of the car and a Night Heron fly up from a pool. After an immpressive start, we drove along the south of the main lake, finding another Little Bittern and many Swallows. We parked the car beside a tree and I started scanning the flocks of ducks out on the lake. Unfortunately, they were only Mallards, but we did see a pair of Mute Swans and many Great Crested Grebes. After about 10 minuets, I found a white and orange heron flying over the reeds, at first I thought it was a Cattle Egret, but, when it turned around and landed beside the reeds I saw that is was infact a Squcco Heron; another lifer! It stood by the reeds of a while having its eye locked on a fish. I was checking the tops of trees and poles checking for Roller, a speciality species here. We didn't find any but went on the other side of the lake. While we were driving, my grandpa noticed a flock of egrets in a field. Sadly the car flushed a few herons, which were standing nearby. One of them, we noticed, was darker that the others; a Black Stork! Yet another lifer! I tried to take some dijiscoped photos but didn't magange to set it up in time. We heard a few Bearded Reedlings and had a Squacco Heron and a Little Bittern fly past us before we headed back to Hungary.

Doboz (Hungary)

Stopping on the way at a site that was recommended by a friend, we went to Doboz to see some woodland and river species. Entering I started hearing the beatiful song of Golden Orioles and a high-piched squeak. I located the squeak to a family of Spotted flycatchers with 4 young. I heard a Syrian Woodpecker and then found a pair of Golden Orioles at the very top of a tree. In the distance I also heard a Nuthatch which was calling. We quickly had a look at the castle finding a couple Song thursh, too.

The Romanian Flag

My lifer Squacco Heron
©Edgar Joly

My lifer Little Owl
©Edgar Joly

Thursday 11 July 2024

Birding in Hungary 2024 - Day 4

Birding in Hungary IV

Thrusday 11 July 2024

On Thursday, my parents and I went for a birding session in the morning since my mum had still not seen any Bee-eaters yet. We saw a different path on google maps to the west of the lakes that seemed like a good spot for some new birds, in particular, some waders. We walked towards the Fas-to seeing a pair of Red-backed Shrikes and watching a Purple Heron land right in front of us in a field! We kept walking, hearing but not seeing a Beared Reedling and a juvenile Night Heron. When we arrived at Fas-to we were already hearing many Bee-eaters but we couldn't find them. We did see a Common Sandpiper flying from a mud bank on the side of the lake.  Later, we had views of a flyover Sparrowhawk and a Great Reed Warbler.  We soon arrived at the new path we saw and found that there were huge numbers of Woodpigeons that got frightened by us walking by. We stopped for a few minutes under a tree for some shade, having a beautiful male Golden Oriole fly past us. We kept walking find another Red-backed Shrike and 3 Yellow Wagtails. We continued finding our first flyover Bee-eater followed by a few more in its wake. My mum then noticed a small bird in the bushes, we think it was a young Nightingale but we will have to check afterwards. As we continued we noticed many raptors soaring over us, with Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard, a Kestrel and my lifer, Hobby. Despite the heat we continued on, finding more birds than you could ever imagine! We saw Night Herons, Purple Herons, Grey Herons and Great White Egrets. Not forgetting all the Bee-eaters and Marsh Harriers. We even saw a Black-winged Stilt in a large flock of Lapwings and (at last!) my first Coot for the holiday. After getting in a bit of a mess with getting back to the main road we walked to the hide hearing Bearded tits again and getting a very quick glimpse of the Little Bittern we saw yesterday. The heat was getting quite bad by now with a humid 32 Celcius. We walked home quite quickly afterwards, at last seeing the Beared Reedlings from before.

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A distant photo of my lifer Hobby

A beatiful Bee-eater with food
on a wire

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Birding in Hungary 2024 - Day 3

Birding in Hungary III

Wednesday 10 July 2024 

On Wednesday, my mum, my dad and I walked towards the hide at Csaba-to seeing many very showing Reed warblers and a group of Mallards. We had a few flyover Night Herons on the way as well and few Savi's Warblers. At the hide we saw a couple Great Reed Warblers and a Sedge Warbler. Just as my dad left the hide my lifer Little Bittern flew out of the reeds! A bit later we saw the pair of Red-Backed Shrikes and saw two Clouded Yellow Butterflies; my lifer! Afterwards, we had a Hoopoe fly past and a few Marsh Harriers as well. We saw a few Goldfinches on the way back and a Syrian Woopecker in a tree as well as many Caspain gulls. We stopped to look for the Thrush Nightingale, which we heard calling in the trees again. After trying to find it and only getting glimpese of a small bird fly from a bush we went home since it was also getting dark. 

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A Great Reed Warbler in a tree