Sunday, September 16, 2007
We went out today from Budapest, around the grasslands, farmlands and ponds of the Kiskunsag region. Within an hour of picking my TV film-maker chum Nigel and his wife up at their Budapest hotel, we were watching our first Great Bustards. Next up was a late juvenile Roller, then a couple of Turtle Doves, a few of Red-backed Shrikes and later a group of stunning Red-footed Falcons sitting on the ground and flying about hawking for insects... males, females and young birds. It was surprisingly warm, a glorious September day. After a rather too hearty Hungarian Sunday lunch we headed to some fishponds. Here we saw came across a Pond Terrapin crossing the track. On the bird front there was a Purple Heron, Penduline and Bearded Tits and Whinchats and White Wagtails moving through in good numbers. A Hobby was following a flock of Swallows. Finally, we scanned a pond that was being draine, a magnet for shorebirds including Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper... also a gang of Spoonbills and the first Little Gull of the autumn. All in all, a good mix of resident and passage birds.