Friday, October 24, 2008

Polish Autumn

I will soon be off to Poland to guide two tours. In the SE, mostly in the Tatras and other mountain ranges. Out main targets will be, besides birds, some of the large mammals found there such as Wolf and Brown Bear. I will let you know how we get on

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A pale Tree Frog

Here is a photo of a Europrean Tree Frog Hyla arborea taken in Hungary last week. Note how pale it is. They are usually bright green, sometimes brown, as their skin colour changes to blend in with the colour of their habitat background, usually vegetation, branches or walls. This one was probably spending most of its recent time on a light green surface.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eastern Imperial Eagle

One of the birds that that we had great views of in the last few weeks in Hungary was Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca. I managed to show these magnificent birds of prey to my fellow birders at four different sites. Hungary has the strongest European population with over known 60 pairs dotted around the country but most are concentrated in the east. Hungarian conservationists have a EU sponsored project on the species currently running and have placed information boards for the general public in key roadside spots (see photo left).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Autumn Fungi

I have just finished 2 birding tours in Hungary... we visited the Tata area, Kiskunsag, Bukk Hills, Heves Grasslands and the Hortobagy. The weather was mostly warm, very warm for this time of year. We found all kinds of great birds and other wildlife which I will try to find time to write about here in this blog in the next few days. But we also came across some fantastic, often large, fungi in the woods and on the plains, including Oyster Mushroom, Magpie Inkcap, Shaggy Inkcap, Parasol, Hoof Fungus and many others I could not safely identify.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn photo

Yes, very busy right now guiding visiting birders in Hungary... and not often able to get on line... but here is a photo of one of the main events at this time, the dusk fly-in of Common Cranes to their roost in the Hortobagy Nat Park. There are over 70,000 cranes there at this time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Busy month ahead...

My busy autumn season begins... today I meet a group from the UK and head off to the Bukk Hills to see a few woodpeckers and other woodland birds before heading down to the plain for wetland and grassland species. Then next week another group arrives for more of the same birding goodies... I will try to keep the blog up-to-date with our observations, but it not always easy to get on-line in the places I visit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Crane numbers increasing by the day

News from the Hortobagy in the east of Hungary is that the Common Cranes are now arriving in numbers. It is only the 1st of October but around 20,000 are already present. Last year saw a record count of about 100,000 at the end of October. The number of these gangly birds stopping over in autumn has steadily increased in recent decades... what will this year bring?