Showing posts from June, 2016

That Kondor Moment

Concluding the account of our trip to Hungary…

Day 5 – 28 May Gábor was working on construction of a water level feeding station in the pond this morning, so the pre-breakfast stroll concentrated on moths. A simple tap on any stand of vegetation was likely to disturb a few insects from their daytime hiding place allowing closer scrutiny. Among the many micros too small or mobile to photograph and/or identify we did see several pyralids, a white plume moth, magpie moth, heart and dart together with a rather splendid and boldly-marked speckled yellow. An encouraging start to what promised to be a most exciting day.

A party of ringers had arrived at the lodge from the Czech Republic to spend the weekend investigating the contents of some 300 nest boxes they had placed on telegraph poles and other suitable sites throughout the park. The essence of this programme, which is undertaken on a purely voluntary basis, is to increase the breeding population of rollers and it has been a resounding s…

East and West

Continuing the account of our recent trip to Hungary……..

Day 3 – 26 May Today’s pre-breakfast stroll revealed a family party of black redstarts that had recently nested on one of the Lodge’s roof supports together with a lovely spotted flycatcher in the process of doing the same. As I pulled back the cloth flap of the pond hide I disturbed a large grass snake that had been resting in the cool interior. That specimen slithered away before I could have a closer look, but several newly hatched individuals provided very close encounters as they swam in the shallows and sometimes investigated the dark opening to the hide. On more than one occasion I had to give them a gentle tap to discourage them actually entering; I was more concerned for their safety than mine. These bright, inquisitive creatures provided great entertainment as they silently explored every niche of the pond surround, while the nightingales, golden orioles and hoopoe enriched the scene with their song.

The main focus of the…

Hungary For More

Imagine waking up to the sound of golden orioles wolf whistling in the rustling poplars, nightingales stridently clattering behind screens of billowing ash and the ‘thrip thrip’ calls of bee-eaters slicing through the calm dawn skies. All of this bathed in golden sunlight caressing miles of dew-spangling grasslands bejewelled with myriad wild flowers. Sounds good, doesn't it? In fact almost too good to be true, but these things happened every morning of our stay in the Kiskunsȃg National Park of central Hungary. There were times when literally the only things that could be heard were the calls of wild creatures; the chirruping of crickets, the croaking of frogs and the aforementioned birdsong which provided pleasant background music all day long. There were seldom any man-made noises to intrude. But I race ahead of myself and should really begin at the beginning and recount the events of our week long Honeyguide holiday to this beautiful area as they unfurled.
Day 1 – 24 May There …