Thursday, December 31, 2015


It has been a great year for Probirder! Many thanks to everyone who helped make that happen. Here is a Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in Budapest, Hungary, to finish the year. Gerard Gorman. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Black-shanked Douc - Vietnam

Just returned from Vietnam. Besides the birds, which were our main targets, we were fortunate to observe several rare primates, too. Here is one, a Black-shanked Douc Langur in the Cat Tien NP, in the south of Vietnam.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cranes at dusk

So we have just finished our final tour of this year that focused on the wonderful Common Cranes (Grus grus) in Hungary. It is hard to say how many we actually saw, but over 100,000 were estimated to be in the region! Certainly, we watched and heard many 1000s at dusk each evening. Join us next autumn perhaps to witness this birding highlight?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Long-eared Owls again

We have been checking Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) roosts recently here in Hungary. Looks like they have done well this year as most roosts have birds in double figures. Here is a bird from a roost in a village south of Budapest. This was a very cooperative individual that stared straight at us.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Long-eared Owls

A highlight every autumn and winter in Hungary is seeing Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) at their roosts. Not unusual to find a dozen or so in one tree and they are usually easy to photograph. Here is one from a recent tour.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cranes, cranes, and more cranes!

Yes, it is that time of year again ! Eastern Hungary is now full of Common Cranes (Grus grus). Over 100,000 are estimated there right now. It is a great spectacle, and I have already taken birders there to see them! Off again soon, too.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Griffon Vultures galore!

Just back from Spain, the Western Pyrenees in Navarra to be precise. We saw many great birds including daily groups of Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus). Here is one that came in low! 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Another Hungary trip done!

Lost count of the number of tours Probirder has led in Hungary, Anyway, another one just successfuly completed... highlights included all 8 woodpeckers in one morning, many Hawfinches, 9 Long-eared Owls in one tree, raptors on passage galore and waders like this Wood Sandpiper.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Zeiss Victory SF binoculars

I am very pleased and proud to have just received a pair of Victory SF 10x42 binoculars from those nice folks at Zeiss in Germany. I have already tried them out and can say... WOW ! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Large Saw-tailed Bush-cricket

Large Saw-tailed Bush-cricket (Polysarcus denticauda), Hungary, June 2015. Grabbed this shot before it hopped off...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Black Redstart, Hungary

Here is a male Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) at Aggtelek, NE Hungary. A quite common bird in the region, this one posed in a village as I ate breakfast.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Black-headed Bunting in Dalmatia.

Black-headed Bunting (Emberiza melanocephala), a male photographed in Dalmatia, Croatia,a few days ago.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Red-footed Falcon

Well that is yet another birding tour successfully completed. Here is one of the many good moments from the trip... a male Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus declaring to everyone that this nest-box is his! Kiskunság, Hungary, Gerard Gorman.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Red-breasted Flycatcher ... always a winner!

Next up for Probirder ? Austria and the Czech Republic. Here is one of the birds we hope to see, Red-breasted Flycatcher (Ficedula parva) snapped on a previous trip in the foothills of the Alps.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hot off the press... Penduline Tit

Another birding trip successfully completed, a week in Hungary, mainly in the Kiskunság lowlands and the Zemplén Hills. Here is one of the last birds we saw, this morning before heading for Budapest Airport, a Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus). This little gem is always very popular.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bee-eaters nesting in the ground

Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) are very popular with birders, but yesterday in the Kiskunság region south of Budapest, we came across a particularly interesting sight. Around 100 of these these colourful birds were nesting in the sandy ground rather than in banks and sand-pits as they usually do. I have seen a few pairs doing this before but never so many.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

Ruff in breeding plumage

There are 1000s and 1000s of waders moving through Hungary right now on passage. Here is one, a dark breeding plumage Ruff from a trip to the Kiskunság yesterday.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eastern Orphean Warbler

One of the sought-after birds on trips in Croatia is Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris. Earler this week we found several singing on scrubby and rocky hillsides in Dalmatia and I managed to grab a shot of this one.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Croatia... Rock Bunting

A great day in the Velebit Mountains in Croatia today! All agreed that this stunning male Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia) was one of the highlights.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

It's April... it must be Croatia!

Probirder heads off soon to Croatia! Every April we go to this great country, spending much time in Dalmatian, with birds of rocky Mediterranean habitats the main targets. The likes of Blue Rock Thrush, Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Nuthatch, Crag Martin, Alpine Chough and Rock Partridge all wait us. Here is a view of the Paklenica NP, one of the areas we explore.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Woodpeckers and loggers

We went out into the forests in NE Hungary over Easter to check a few sites. Sadly, we came across some recent logging in one good forest for owls and woodpeckers, and it is spring! Logging in the breeding season is not good at all, and probably illegal, too. For example, this woodpecker hole looked new, freshly excvated, but the tree was cut. Thankfully, it is doubtful that the hole was occupied, probably just being made, as it is still early days, so the birds would have moved on and tried elsewhere.

Monday, March 30, 2015

After months away in warmer places the White Storks are back! Some, like this one in a village in NE Hungary yesterday, are already on their huge nests.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Smallest bird in Europe

We came across this poor chap struggling in the cold and snow a few days ago in the hills. Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) at 8.5- 9.5cm in length it is the smallest bird in Europe.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tawny Owls... breeding early

There is an urban park Budapest where Tawny Owls already have fledged young! That is rather early. Here is one of the chicks already out of the nest yesterday, on March 2nd.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tortoise in Morocco

Of course it was not all birds in Morocco recently... For example, we came across other wildlife such as this Spur-thighed Tortoise (Tesudo graeca). Absolutely wild, too. Sadly these reptiles are easily caught by those involved in the illegal pet-trade. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thick-billed lark !

Here is another great bird from my recent tour around Morocco: Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey). Morocco is particularly good for larks!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Morocco... Hoopoe Lark

Just back from Morocco where we experienced some extreme fluctuations in the weather, but still had a great trip and saw many great birds! Here is one, a Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes) taking off to begin its wonderful display flight. More images to come, so watch this space!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Great Spotted Woodpecker: a favourite garden bird

So after the exotics, it is back to my local birds. And who better than this regular visitor to our garden, Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. Budapest, Hungary, February 7th, 2015 (Gerard Gorman). A pair drop in every day now and visit the different feeders.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Back from the Philippines

Just back from a birding adventure in the Philippines. My main targets were the endemic woodpeckers, but of course many other fine birds were encountered. Here is one, an endemic starling species the Coleto Sarcops calvus, which is fairly common on most islands.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Philippines and flamebacks

Escaping the European winter, I am off to the Philippines to see a few woodpeckers... like these Spot-throated Flamebacks Dinopium everetti, endemic to the island of Palawan. Many thanks to Rommel Cruz, who I will meet in a few days, for this great image. I hope he has them lined up like this for me!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Nest boxes for owls

Yesterday we went out into the Hungarian countryside and put up a few nest-boxes for owls: 2 for Scops Owl, 1 for Long-eared owl and 1 for Barn owl. It was not as hard as when we put up the big boxes for Ural Owls recently, but it was cold, especially on the hands!