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Our very last birding outing saw us up and out at 6am. We visited some vine-yards just out of town to look for Woodlark.........

Woodlarks are mis-named really, in the UK they are usually confined to open heath or woodland edges, not strickly a woodland species. In the rest of Europe they are in any open spaces and here in Hungary they are found in vine-yards. We heard several, a few flew up to sing whilst others sat on posts giving great scope-views.

For the rest of this pre-breakfast outing we drove to the village of Novaj where we explored open grassland with areas of poplar woodland and open scrub. As we got off the bus a pair of Bee-eaters posed nicely on a nearby hedgerow, click! Click!

our best views of Bee-eater so far

As usual the air was full of bird song, plenty of Common Cuckoos, Nightingales, Golden Orioles, Red-backed Shrikes, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Barred Warblers all sought our attention as they delivered a crescendo of tuneful sounds.

A River Warbler buzzed from dense scrub, we did get a very brief view of it flitting from cover to cover, Red-backed Shrikes gave much better views.

Turtle Dove in song

Over the next hour we had some lovely sightings and despite the bad light and lack of sunshine birds continued to sing and show nicely. A Hawfinch perched high up and allowed us to briefly 'scope' it, a male Golden Oriole did the same but Turtle Doves, Barred Warblers and Red-backed Shrikes were far more obliging.

Female Red-backed Shrike

All too soon it was time to go back for breakfast, our birding was virtually over, we had a leisurely breakfast then an hour or so to pack and checkout of the hotel. Our minibus transport arrived at 12 noon for our return to the airport. Everything went smoothly and I am now in a hotel room at 6pm in London Gatwick finishing this blog. Tomorrow it starts all over again when our trip to Bulgaria begins, I have to be back in the terminal at 4am - such fun!