Tour At A Glance

Cost:

1550.00

Deposit:

250.00

Single Room Supplement:

120.00

Tour Code:

Fairly Relaxed with some early mornings

Group Size:

Seven plus leaders

Syrian Woodpecker Great Grey Shrike Ferruginous Duck Russian White-fronted Geese Black Woodpecker

Hungary - Geese, Raptors and Woodpeckers in Autumn

Date: 4th - 10th November 2019 [SPACES]
Leaders: Jason Moss & local guide

Itinerary

 

DAY ONE

Fly UK/ Budapest and upon arrival, we transfer by private vehicle to our first base, just over an hour away, in the Kiskunság National Park. This vast lowland area to the south-east of Budapest is a mosaic of grasslands, wetlands, farmlands and woods. Some of the first birds we see should include Great Grey Shrike, Corn Buntings, often perched in groups on wires, Tree Sparrows, White Wagtails, Black Redstarts, which are common, Crested Larks and Hooded Crows. Both Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls are here, and Great Egrets are in a stronghold. Raptors such as Hen and Marsh Harriers, Rough-legged and many Common Buzzards, Peregrine and Merlin are possible, too. Herds of Roe Deer are often easy to find. We will check into our guest-house and have our first traditional Magyar meal, indeed; throughout the tour we will eat locally sourced produce.

Overnight Kerekegyhaza

 

DAYS TWO & THREE

We have two days to explore this wonderful region where the bird life will be diverse. Greater White-fronted and Greylag Geese are often in big flocks, with other species such as Red-breasted Geese mingled in – White-tailed Eagles are never far from these flocks. Pastures, flooded fields and drained ponds attract waders like European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Dunlin and Ruff. Another key bird we will look for is Great Bustard – this is Hungary’s national bird and the Kiskunság is its stronghold. At this time of year, males join females and young in flocks. We will certainly see more harriers and buzzards and visit regular sites for two very special Hungarian raptors: Eastern Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon, both have their main European populations here. Little Owls are viewable by day, as are Long-eared Owl which roost in good numbers hereabouts and are often confiding and easy to photograph. Most villages are home to Syrian Woodpecker. If the weather is mild, it is also not unusual to find a few late butterflies and calling Tree Frogs. Traditional old breeds of stock in this rural region include Hungarian Grey Cattle, which have impressive huge horns, and woolly Mangalica Pigs.

Overnights Kerekegyhaza

 

DAY FOUR

Today we move on, crossing the Danube, to our second base at Tata in Transdanubia. We will stop for birds as we go. For example, our local guide will follow up any news of Alpine Accentor and Wallcreeper - two birds which do not breed in Hungary but arrive to over-winter. Rock Buntings are often in the same spots, too. Woodlands should produce a few woodpeckers – Black, Grey-headed, Green, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Great Spotted are all possible. Marsh Tits and Long-tailed Tits are not uncommon, the latter often with white-heads, and there are often flocks of winter thrushes.

We will stay near the Old Lake at Tata, a key international wetland for passage and wintering wildfowl. Tata also lies in a famed wine producing region and we may well find time to sample the local varieties.

Overnight Tata

 

DAYS FIVE & SIX

The pleasant historic town of Tata lies at the heart of a range of bird habitats. Woods near our hotel host many woodpeckers, Hawfinch, “continental” Bullfinches and Short-toed Treecreeper amongst others. Fishponds, some deep, some shallow, some drained with exposed mud, are home to Pygmy Cormorant, Great Bittern, Common and Red-crested Pochards, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal and Black-necked Grebe. Geese often roost and visit to drink, offering more chances to find Red-breasted, Bean Geese [both Tundra and Taiga are regularly recorded here] and perhaps even the odd Lesser White-fronted amongst the Great White-fronts.  Reed beds hold Penduline and Bearded Tits. Above the town, the forested Gerecse Hills will give us more chances of the woodpeckers, including the rare White-backed Woodpecker – we might end up with eight species. Woodland passerines like Goldcrest and Firecrest, Common Raven, Peregrine and Northern Goshawk are here, too. If all this were not enough, there are also more Long-eared Owl roosts in this area.

Overnights Tata

 

DAY SEVEN

Today, we will head for Budapest Airport. If time permits, we can fit in some final birding. We will arrive back in the UK in the early evening where the tour will conclude.

 

 

Additional Information

 

WHATS INCLUDED
Return flights London/Budapest, luggage allowance, six nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to breakfast on final day, transport, services of leader and reserve entrance fees.
 
NOT INCLUDED
Travel to/from UK airport, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature
 
PASSPORT, VISA & HEALTH
Visas are not required by UK nationals. Passports must have 6 months validity beyond the return travel date. Standard health and innoculation requirements apply for UK nationals, visit www.masta-travel-health.com to check these and if necessary, download a free health brief to take to a travel appointment at your local medical practice. 

 

Tour Reports

 

2006 | 2007  2010  2012  2013

 

Testimonials

 

“A really enjoyable short break. You always seems to attract nice people to share the holiday with. I particularly enjoyed the sheer quality and diversity of the birding and the guide was one of the best I’ve seen. The hotels were rated as excellent and superb respectively and the tour was very good value for money” M. C. Glamorgan

 

" I particularly enjoyed the large numbers of birds seen on the tour and thought the accommodation was also ideal" R. C. London

 

" We same some good birds with an excellent guide and the food and wine were excellent. Hungary is a very nice country" M & F S Leicester

 

" It was very enjoyable to see the speciality raptors and woodpeckers as well as the good company. The hotels were of a much better standard than we expected and Gerard's knowledge and sense of humour were excellent. He also took great care to ensure comfort stops for the ladies were thought out well" A. J & M. S. London

 

"We enjoyed this tour very much and can't think a downside at all. The skills of the guide were first class and seeing all of the targets were particular highlights - even our non birding daughter enjoyed it! " P & J F Suffolk

 

" Many thanks for your organization of our Hungary trip. The travel arrangements went like clockwork and the holiday was all we expected - thanks for organizing it so well.  Most of the expected birds obliged and good views were achieved. Gerard was good company and his expertise was much appreciated. " D & L W Lincolnshire

 

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