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Displaying Great Bustard
Saker Falcon
Dipper
Imperial Eagle
Rock Thursh
White-backed Woodpecker
Parliament with Margaret Island

 

Hungarian crane weekend.

Summary and recommendation: An unforgettable five day special trip to the best birding spots on the Hungarian Great Plain in search of the magestic Crane migration. Extensions available.


Destination country: Hungary. Arrive and depart Budapest.

Next schedules:
- 10-16, October, 2022 (1 space left)
- 17-23, October, 2022
(3 spaces left)

Duration: 5 days (extensions available, see bellow!)

Price: 590GBP + 80 GBP single supplement. Price includes: accommodations and meals (lunch is typically picnic!), drinking water, vehicle hire with fuel and driver guide, park entrance fees and ranger guides. The price exclude: bank transfer loss, international flight, visa, tips, drinks, personal travel insurance and any other activities of personal request e.g. laundry, toalet fees, phone calls, etc.

Photos:

- For some nice Crane pictures, please click here!

Accommodation: Three-star hotels with all rooms en suite.

Numbers: Min. 3, max. 7 tour participants.

Description: "...This trip is a must for anyone interested in witnessing the peak week of what must surely be the most dramatic scene from Europe's birdlife: the fall/autumn Hungarian Crane migration. The Hortobagy National Park is the most important migration stop-over for European Common Cranes, with up to 100,000 birds here during this peak week. The sight of tens of thousands of Common Cranes flying across a magical sunset silhouetted against the sky and trumpeting as they glide close overhead is unforgettable. We also visit some other "must see" birding habitats in the Hortobagy and Kiskunsag National Parks for Great Bustards, Dotterels, Saker Falcons, Rough-legged Buzzards, a wealth of shorebirds, plus much more.

Three day pre- and post-extensions are also available to visit Zemplen Hills and Aggtelek National Park..."


Transport: 4x4s.

Top birds: European Common Crane, Great Bustard, Pygmy Cormorant, Lesser White-fronted Goose, White Great Egret, Saker Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Rough-legged Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Hen Harrier, Dotterel, Long-eared Owl, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit, Great Grey Shrike plus billions of geese, ducks and shorebirds. Extension: Ural Owl, Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Alpine Accentor, Dipper, Rock Bunting and 8 woodpecker species.

Habitats: Buda Hills, Kiskunsag and Hortobagy National Parks, Lake Tisza. Extension: Zemplen and Aggtelek Hills.


Trip outline:

Day "0": Pre-extensions (see bellow).

Day 1: Arrive Budapest. Budapest birding for early arrivals at Margaret Island, Buda Hills and the Danube shore.

Day 2: Kiskunsag National Park. We start by visiting the wetlands and forests of Ócsa, then go birding in the charming landscapes of Apajpuszta and Kunpeszér seeking out typical steppe birds. This is a good area for Great Bustards with flocks up to 80-250 birds.

Day 3: Hortobagy National Park. We spend a full day birding at our so-called "Birding Mecca" of Hungary, Hortobagy halasto where literally billions of water and reedbed birds live. At dusk we enjoy the huge influx of European Common Cranes from very close quarters. Up to 60,000 birds usually fly over us.

Day 4: Hortobagy NP (Puszta-birding). We rise early to enjoy the sight of thousands of Cranes flying out from their roosts. We follow this with a full day birding on the endless open steppes and shallow lakes of the Puszta. At dusk we have another chance to enjoy the huge influx of Cranes from close quarters.

Day 5: We split up to form two groups. The first group leave Hortobagy to depart (Budapest) with en-route stops at various "Puszta"-like steppe and wetland sites. The second group continue on the post-extension trip to Tokaj, Zemplen and Aggtelek Hills - raptor heaven and excellent for woodpeckers (8 species) and owls, such as Ural- and Eagle Owl or White-backed Woodpecker.

Extensions:
- Pre-extension: Detailed Budapest sightseeing is available with Danube Bend (Visegrad Royal Palace, Esztergom' Basilica) and Szentendre. 1-2 days on request, before or after the trips.
- Post-extension: Visit Zemplen Hills and Aggtelek National Park for owls, raptors, woodpeckers and other woodies.



Black square=Budapest
Yellow dots=trip stations
Red dots=pre-extension
Light blue dots=post-extension


 
   
   



Upcoming trips & Expeditions

Bears and Butterflies o Transylvania. With Danube Clouded Yellow and High Carpathian extension; 2x July trips, 2022)

Slovenia butterflying (21 - 28 July, 2022)

Montenegro butterflying (01 -09 Aug., 2022)

Late summer birding trip (Hungary, 21-31 Aug., 2022)

Full tour calendar


Cranes with Moon
Crane
Cranes
More cranes...
Cranes with local barn
Influx
Pair of Cranes
Alarmed crane family
Cranes at dusk
Crane pair
Cranes at dusk
Cranes at night
Hungarian Gray Catle and his keeper
Well at the Hortobagy
Flooded Pusta 
Windmill
Danube Bend at night
Dusk above the Pusta
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