Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sound Recording

I have got myself some new sound recording equipment, namely an Olympus LS-11 linear recorder and a Sennheiser shotgun microphone. It's all high quality and fairly portable, too. Ideal for getting bird sounds. I tested it out in the woods the other day, even getting some recordings of a drumming and calling Black Woodpecker at the first attempt. That pleased me! I first plan to work on the woodpeckers more than anything else.... no surprise there I suppose.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Great Tour!

Well, another birding tour successfully completed! Some nice folks from the UK and Japan came out to Hungary. We saw all the Hungarian specialties, like 10 superb Great Bustards which flew into a field in front of us (and which was voted THE bird of the trip) and also Saker Falcons, Eastern Imperial Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Greater White-fronted and Red-breasted Geese and 1000s of Common Cranes. My favourite was not one species but the fact that I managed to find and show 7 species of woodpecker to the group in one day... hard work but we did it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Season Nearly Over

I am now preparing for the final birding tours of this year. I will be in eastern Hungary again, searching for the usual suspects... Great Bustards, Saker Falcons and Eastern Imperial Eagles on the plains and a range of woodpeckers in the woodlands. But with it being autumn flocks of Common Cranes and wildfowl will also be on the agenda... watch this space.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Roman Snail

I found this fine Roman Snail Helix pomatia recently in the garden. They are also known as "Edible Snails" though several other species are also edible. They are very common in central and southern Europe where there is limestone and chalky soils. Photo taken in Budapest, Hungary.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cranes on the Hortobagy, Hungary

Just back from a trip to the east of Hungary. There were all kinds of birding highlights, of course, but the main focus was to watch the Common Cranes that spend the autumn there. On one evening we stood in a secluded spot for an hour or so before dusk, from 5 to 6, and counted over 7000 of these impressive birds flying over us. Groups ranged from 1 bird to 200 birds and we were able to get flight photos and video footage. An official count that same evening produced a total of 22,550 in the whole Hortobagy area.

Friday, October 1, 2010

"Birds Matter: Feathers"

I was sent this link to an excellent short documentary on birds (in Spanish with English subtitles). It lasts about 5 minutes. The title is "Birds Matter: Feathers" and it is the first in a series planned by Dani Morcillo in Spain. Take a look: