lMay 8th - 15th 2016   Price £975 single supplement £150.

Leaders:  Bob Buckler + local Guides

BIRDING IN HUNGARY

This Central European Country lies land-locked and bordered by 7 other countries, it sits in the Carpathian Basin and 50% of the country's area is flat plains known as the 'Puszta'. Our tour is based in close proximity to this Great Plain region in the eastern half of the country. 

 

 

 

 

 

members of the Cheltenham bird club - 2015 Tour

THE HORTOBAGY AND LAKE TISZA

The Hortobágy and Lake Tisza attract by far the most birds in Hungary and form the mainstay of our tour. Out of the four hundred birds recorded in Hungary, more than 340 species have been recorded in these two bird-rich areas.

The Hortobágy National Park is the most well known and most talked about bird-watching site in Hungary, . This vast National Park is the largest and oldest nature reserve in Hungary, founded in 1973 it covers some 820sq kilometers. Over 150 species of bird breed there and over 300 species have neen recorded. Great Bustards still roam these flat grasslands and we may also catch-up with Stone Curlew, Calandra Lark, Roller, Red-footed Falcon, Pallid & Montagu's Harriers, Saker Falcons and the majestic Eastern Imperial Eagle.

The marshes and wetlands within the Hortobagy, hold Bluethroat, Pendulime Tit, Savi's, Marsh, Moustached, Reed, Sedge and Great Reed Warblers. We can also look for both Black and White Storks, Common Crane, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Little Bittern, Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Black, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, Caspian Gull and a good selection of waders on passage.  

The Tisza River runs a north / south pathway through this vast area which traverse the country from north to south, it provides excellent birding opportunities as it supplies various wetlands, marshes, pools, ponds and lakes. This river was dammed in 70's to form the impressive Lake Tisza, this huge body of water covers 127sq kilometers and much of its northern shore is a designated nature reserve. Over 200 species have been recorded there, you will many terns, egrets, herons, ducks, birds of prey, not to mention the many passerines that breed in the reeds, acrub and riparian woodland that lies around the shoreline of this birding haven. 

OTHER BIRDING AREAS YOU WILL VISIT

BÜKK MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK:  this is a popular birding place and consists of beech forested mounatin-sides and is particularly good in the spring time especially for finding woodpeckers. Seven species may be found there including the most sought-after White-backed Woodpecker but you may also see: Great, Middle and Lesser Spotted, Syrian, Green and Black Woodpeckers as well as Wryneck, Hawfinch, both Short-toed and Eurasian Treecreepers, Spotted Flycatcher and the most wanted Collared Flycatcher.

 The open areas of the Bükk Mountain peaks have large tracts of grassland where Lesser-spotted Eagles hunt, Red-backed Shrikes breed and a host of butterflies can be found. Síkfőkút near Eger is another excellent area to find woodpeckers  Hór valley is also popular place for birding where you can see  Grey Wagtail and is another site to look for White-backed  Woodpecker.

Heves Plain holds one or two breeding pairs of Eastern Imperial Eagle, we can also look for Hobby, Long-legged Buzzard, larks and pipits.

We visit open farmland near Nosvaj where a small shallow valley holds a number of excellent species all within easy walking distance. You may see Tree Sparrow, Barred Warbler, Re-backed and Lesser Grey Shrike, Wryneck, Tree Pipit, Marsh Warbler, Spotted and Collared Flycatchers, Common Nightingale, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Hoopoe, Golden Oriole, Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Hobby and Long-legged Buzzard.

Several other excellent areas will be visited during your 7-day birding holiday. We also have time for a cultural afternoon-walk in the local town of Eger, this is followed by a wine-tasting evening at the local 'wine caves'  and culminates with a visit to a top restaurant where you will be served a tradtional Hungarian dish.

 Our Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Flight to  Budapest Airport and transfer to Eger. The journey to Eger is approximately 140km and the driving time is around 1.75 hours. If time allows after our arrival in Eger, we will take a walk from the hotel. Target species will include Syrian Woodpecker, Wryneck, Golden Oriole, Tree Sparrow, Nightingale, Scops Owl and Hawfinch. Dinner at hotel.

Day 2

06:00 – Optional Pre-breakfast walk at nearby lake with target species including Black and Grey Headed Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike, and Barred Warbler.

08:00 – Return to hotel for breakfast and to collect those who chose not to attend this early morning walk.

09:00 – Full day in the Bukk National Park. Target species will include White Backed Woodpecker, Red Breasted and Collared Flycatcher, Honey Buzzard and Short Toed Eagle. Return to Eger at around 18:00 for dinner at hotel.

Day 3

06:00 – Optional - Pre breakfast walk at nearby parkland with Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers amongst the target species.

08:00 – Return to hotel for breakfast.

09:00 – Full day around Lake Tisza and Heves Plain. Target species include Black and White Stork, Garganey, Penduline Tit, River and Great Reed Warblers, and White Tailed Sea Eagles. Return to hotel at approximately 17:30hrs. At 18:00hrs we will visit Hungary’s most famous wine valley with approximately 200 cellars to sample the famous wines of Eger. Dinner at hotel.

Day 4

08:00 – Breakfast

09:00 – Full day in the Hortobagy National Park with one of their expert bird guides. This is one of Europe’s best bird watching locations with various wetland birds everywhere and easily viewable. Red Footed Falcon, Great Bustard and Roller are also present in good numbers. 18:00hrs approximately return to hotel.

Day 5

06:00 – Optional - Pre breakfast walk in nearby woodland to see various Woodpeckers and Warblers. Also a good area to see Wild Boar and Red Deer.

08:00 – Return for breakfast.

09:00 – Walk in nearby valley with a wide variety of different habitats and in Spring and early Summer the bird song is spectacular.

14:00 – Return to Eger and visit the town. Guests will be free to walk around the historic town and view the many tourist delights Eger has to offer.

18:00  - Return to hotel for dinner

20:00 – Meet at hotel and visit nearby quarry in attempt to see Eagle Owl. We will also try and see Scops Owl in the valley around the hotel.

Day 6

08:00 – Breakfast.

09:00 – Full day trip to Bodrogzug and Tisza Floodplains. Target species include: Corncrake, Quail, Little and Spotted Crake, Black Kite, Saker Falcon and Osprey.

18:00 – Return to hotel for dinner.

Day 7

06:00 – Pre breakfast walk at disused quarry with good shrub cover. Species include: Rock Bunting and Black Redstart

08:00 – Breakfast

09:00 – Today we return to the plain and visit areas that are excellent for Wetland Birds and Raptors. Target species include Eastern Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon.

18:00 – Return to hotel

19:30 – Optional visit to award winning restaurant in Eger with traditional Hungarian cuisine, cost  £7 - £10.

Day 8

We will return you to Budapest Airport for your journey home. If time allows we will stop at an Arbotorium en route for Short Toed Treecreeper, Icterine Warbler and other species.

The Itinerary is meant as a guide and will be changed to allow for weather conditions, bird movements at the discretion of the Tour Leader. Lunch each day will be taken at traditional Hungarian restaurants (Except day 5). Cost is approximately 4 Euro (£2.50).

WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

1. 7 nights half-board accommodation at a 4 star hotel

2. All land Transport in Hungary

3. All entrance fees, tolls, fuel and taxes

4. All guiding fees

5. A checklist of Species and evening bird-log

6. Soft drinks/Water with evening meals

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?

1. Flights

2. Travel Insurance

3. Lunches (approx cost £2.50)

4. Tips and gratuities

5. All items of a personal nature: telephone calls, alcoholic drinks, snacks

For advice on flights please call or e-mail us, do not book your flights until we have confirmed your place on the tour

Check for availability on the 'Tours' page

 

 

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