The great Hungarian plain is to this day an evocative and romantic place with its own special atmosphere and charm. Here one can appreciate the Hungarian’s ancestral roots, for these lands are populated by the descendants of those famed and feared invaders from the steppes far to the east, the Huns, who swept irresistible across Europe in the Dark Ages.
Despite the encroachment of modern agriculture there is still a good deal of original steppe remaining and its most notable avian inhabitant, the Great Bustard, can still be seen in some numbers in the grasslands of the Hortobágy National Park, whilst the wonderful Saker Falcon, Europe’s rarest falcon, still swifts across the plains.
In this tour we will explore the vasts extensions of Hortobágy and the extensive beechwoods at Zeplén Hills, where we should be able to connect with some of the most sought-after woodpeckers in Europe, especially Grey-headed & White-backed. We shall also find the enormous Ural Owl, and we hope to enjoy good views on some tricky Warblers including the extremely endangered Aquatic Warbler, and the always elusive River Warbler whilst having an eye in the sky to look for Lesser Spotted & Imperial Eagles, and Long-legged Buzzards.
Day 1. Arrival to Budapest – Hortobágy,
Meet and greet at Budapest International Airport (or arrival with the group if you choose our “flight-in” option) during the afternoon. Transfer to the Tizsa Lake, located in the famous Hortobágy National Park and check in in our accommodation. During our transfer we will have the first chances to see some big raptors including Lesser Spotted & Eastern Imperial Eagles.
Days 2 & 3. Hortobágy,
Two full days to enjoy the puzzled landscape of Hortobágy that comprises a variety of meadows, woods, and large open areas, including the largest steppe land in center Europe. Here it is possible to see Eastern Imperial Eagles and the very scarce Saker Falcon! During our first day we will explore the Tizsa Lake where we will enjoy with its good variety of Herons but also Black Stork, Caspian Gull and Ferruginous Ducks. This is also a good place to see Pygmy Cormorant, White-winged Black Tern, Marsh Warbler, White-tailed Eagle, Penduline Tit and Slavonian Grebes.
The farming areas around hold good densities of Red-footed Falcons, European Rollers and Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrikes. This open lands will also provide us with good chances to see the rather scarce Long-legged Buzzard. The steppe lands around keep some of the best densities of Great Bustard in Europe! Here is also possible to see the very scarce Aquatic Warbler, since Hungary has a small, isolated population from the main range of the species in Eastern Poland & Belarus.
Days 4 & 5. Muntanyes de Zemplen (Tokaj),
The lovely wooded hills around Tokaj host good density of almost every woodpecker species in Europe. Here we will try to see the often elusive White-backed Woodpecker along with Grey-headed and Syrian Woodpeckers. The mature decidious forests here are also home to Collared Flycatchers along with Willow Tit, Firecrest and Wood Warblers, and along rivers and channels we will try to see Icterine, Marsh Warblers & the elusive River Warbler.
Along these two days we will also search for Lesser Spotted & Eastern Imperial Eagles and, if lucky, we will see some of the Spotted Nutcrackers living in the area, and even Ural Owl! At sunset we may also find one of the common but difficult to see Eurasian Pygmy Owls living here.
Day 6: Budapest – flights back home,
We will go back to Budapest with enough time to ensure that everybody can take its flight back home. In the way we expect to have time for a pair of stops around Bükk, a noted area for birds of prey and other specialties. Arrival to Budapest International Airport, place where it will end the tour for those tour participants not choosing our “in flights” option.
VAT included in all prices.
5 nights of accommodation in twin/double room, breakfasts, lunches and evening meals, birding guides, ground transport, reserve entrances fees and travel insurace.
Transport to/from Barcelona, alcoholic drinks, any other item not listed as “INCLUDED”
3 accommodations in our itinerary. We will spend most of them in local owned, small accommodations in the privilegied locations and wonderful birding immediatly around. All dinners are in our accommodations.
You can expect 20ºC to 25ºC with mostly sunny but some cloudy or even light rains appearing. It is very important to bring strong insect repellent for this tour, long t-shirts and pants.
PASSPORT, VISA & HEALTH
Hungarian authorities depend all Passports to have an expiration date of at least 90 beyond your date of arrival into Hungary. Visa is not required to British, US nor Canadian Passport holders. Currently there is no health issues nor restrictions when accessing Hungary.
Reportes de viaje: