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HUNGARY with Gerard Gorman 2012 & 2013
Superb birding and value for money!
Client quote: “ I would recommend Gerard without question” J.S. May 2011
We are delighted to offer these new fantastic fully inclusive small group tours, with both spring and autumn departures on offer. They will all be led by Gerard Gorman, the acknowledged expert on Hungary and author of the definitive books of the region, such as The Birds of Hungary (Helm), Woodpeckers of Europe (Bruce Coleman Books) and Birding in Eastern Europe (Wildsounds) and his team of local guides. His special interest lies in the Picidae (woodpeckers). His latest book is The Black Woodpecker and he is currently working on a guide to all the world’s woodpeckers.
Hungary is a fascinating land-locked country that lies at the very heart of Europe, in the Carpathian Basin. It has an excellent selection of central European birds. It is a land rich in folklore and also famous for its full-bodied wines and hearty food. It also offers some of the best bird spectacles in Europe!
The main focus of these trips will be the rich diversity of bird life that occurs in spring and late autumn. Our spring trip is timed when most of the visiting breeding species will have returned to supplement the wealth of resident birds and these are also joined by passage waders. The autumn trips offer not only the resident species but also winter visitors. Targets include Wallcreeper amongst many others.
From the Hungarian capital, Budapest, we shall travel first to the Great Plain and base ourselves for three nights in the Kiskunsag National Park, a largely unspoilt region of "puszta" (grassland steppe), fishponds and marshes. Specialities here include Great Bustard, Moustached Warbler, Eastern Imperial and White-tailed Eagles plus Saker Falcon, with many other exciting birds such as Pygmy Cormorant, Little Crake, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-footed Falcon, Collared Pratincole, Caspian, Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls, White Stork, Whiskered and White-winged Black Terns, Ferruginous Duck, Roller and Lesser Grey Shrike. We will then move to the Zemplen Hills for our second three nights, whose broad-leaved forests hold Ural Owl and Black, Grey-headed, White-backed and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers. Syrian Woodpeckers are around our hotel. Other species here include Black Stork, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Honey Buzzard, Goshawk and Lesser-spotted Eagle. Warblers include River, Icterine and Barred Warblers to name a few. All these species and much more are possible and surprises have included Terek Sandpiper, Black-winged Pratincole, Little Gulls plus Eagle Owl during recent WildWings spring trips to Hungary.
From Budapest we will spend three days on the plains, again based at the Kiskunsag National Park. Vast numbers of birds occur at this time of year too with ducks and geese including Red-breasted and Lesser White-fronted Geese, Cranes, Saker, Eastern Imperial and White-tailed Eagles , Rough-legged Buzzards, harriers and Great Bustard. We will spend our second three nights in the Tata area where at this time of year specialities include Wallcreeper and Alpine Accentor. Woodpeckers include Black, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Syrian and possibly White-backed. Other species include Hawfinch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Great Grey Shrike, Penduline and Bearded Tits and photogenic roosts of Long-eared Owls. Most year’s flocks of Waxwings may also be present and this area is also good for geese with both Taiga and Tundra Beans possible.
All accommodation will be simple but clean with en suite rooms. The trips are fully inclusive, except for evening drinks.
Day 1: Depart London Gatwick to Budapest. Gerard will be waiting with the vehicle for your arrival. Welcome briefing.
Days 2 - 6: Five full days birding in Hungary. Group evening log call every night.
Day 7: Depending on flight times we should have almost another full day of birding before returning to Budapest for your evening flight back to London Gatwick.
Price includes: Return economy class flights including pre-paid taxes, all ground transport, accommodation in rooms with private facilities with all meals, reserve permits, bird checklist and services of leader/s in Hungary.
Price excludes: Travel insurance, evening drinks and other items of a personal nature.
Birds: Expected no of species Spring: 160+. Autumn: 120
WildWings, Davis House, Lodge Causeway, Bristol, BS16 3JB. UK