Monday, May 30, 2011

Croatia - Rock Partridge

Group participant Nigel Sprowell has sent me some photos from our recent tour in Croatia... here is one of our main target there... Rock Partridge!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Zemplen Hills

It was hard work, it was hot, but we did it...9 out of 9 species of woodpecker and a bunch of raptors in these hills in north-east Hungary...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another tour nearly done

So another successful birding tour almost over... we head for Budapest today. We have seen some great birds in the east of Hungary, species like Saker, Red-footed Falcons, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eagle Owl, Great Bustard, Collared Flycatcher, Icterine, Barred and River Warblers, Caspian Gull, White-winged Black Terns and all 9 species of Hungarian woodpecker! We also saw a range of butterflies including a Camberwell Beauty as well as other wildlife such as Stag Beetle, Pond Terrapin and Red Squirrel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Woodpecker Day

Well, that was a great woodpecker day here in Hungary! We started with two Wrynecks, then a Middle Spotted Woodpecker at the nest, then a White-backed at a nest, a Great Spotted, then another Middle Spotted and finally a Black Woodpecker at the nest shown here...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eastern Hungary again

Just back from a trip to the east of Hungary... the Bukk Hills, Zemplen Hills, Hortobagy and areas in-between. Lots of good birds seen including 4 species of grebe, Pygmy Cormorants, Glossy Ibis, Black Stork, superb Ferruginous Ducks, daily White-tailed Eagles, several stunning male Montagu's Harriers, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Saker, Corncrake, a dozen Great Bustards, Eagle Owl, 7 species of woodpecker, etc, etc, etc. And, i almost forgot, the best, closest views of Common Quail I have had in years.  

Friday, May 6, 2011


One of my favourite places in Estonia is Soomaa, to be exact the Soomaa National Park. This lowland area in the heart of the country, of bogs, forests, meadows, pastures and rivers that regularly, and naturally, flood in spring, is an amazing place. Deer, Lynx, Wolf, Bear, Raccoon Dog and Lynx are all here, but as usual the carnivores are seldom seen. Birds are a little easier to find, and we had great views, for example, of Hazel Grouse last week. But truth be told, Soomaa is not a place for a quick dash in and out to see birds or anything... it is a tranquil place that needs time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Estonia success!

So, another great trip in Estonia completed. The country is a great place for birds and birders. Special birds we saw in the coastal, forest and bog habitats include rafts of Long-tailed Duck, 1000s of geese, daily White-tailed Eagles, drumming Black and White-backed Woodpeckers, a superb Ural Owl, 3 Hazel Grouse, Great Snipe, Citrine Wagtail, and Slavonian Grebe and Ruff in breeding plumage.