Monday, 30 June 2008

Hungary for Birds.

Where else can you wake up to the sound of dozens of Golden Orioles giving there flutey calls, 100 Bee-eaters rap-rapping. You can in Hungary. Every house seems to have a resident Black Redstart.
I stayed with relations, in a small farming village south east of Budapest, called Apc.
Every morning was a joy to go birding. Red Backed Shrikes, sat like sentinels on dried out trees.
the weather is hot here in the afternoon, 36 degrees C, and not much cooler at night too.
Steppe buzzards, are the main raptor. One afternoon I saw a Golden Eagle, come gliding down the famous Apc hill. This hill is half covered in trees, and the other half is bare. Is where I was given a great freight as a Eagle Owl decided to wait till I got close too it to leap up out of long grass. It was huge. Every afternoon around the Hill, came hundreds of Ravens, checking for fallen prey.
By the small river, Great Reed Warblers croaked like frogs. White Storks, made there nests on chimney pots, supposedly giving the occupant's good luck they say.
I all a great 7 days birding. But I am glad to be back where it is a bit cooler, and getting back some lost sleep hours.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

A slow day at Spurn Point

My first trip to Spurn this year. The news was that last weekend Spurn was a wash with migrants. Today we arrive at 10am on a misty, drizzling morning. First things first, we park at the Crown and Anchor pub, and declare Breakfast time. While we chill from the 130mile trip, we discuss what we may see, and what we have missed. At the picnic table I put my bins on some bird poo, not noticing of course. Breakfast over, lets do some birding. We only make it a few yards when a fellow birder tells us that a Common Rosefinch has been netted, processed, and will be released here in a few minutes. The Rosefinch, a female, resembled a streaky Greenfinch with no wing bars. Don't birds look totally different at close quarters. Good Start.
The Tide was in, so no waders to be seen. A walk (Anti-clockwise for a change), and we stop at the reedbeds and watch Reed and Sedge Warblers, Mute Swan with six cygnets. I catch a glimpse of a wader flying along the canal, Green Sandpiper, good spot. From the hide Little Grebe, And a very obliging Swallow posed for some pictures. With the tide on it's way out, we here that three Spoonbills are seen, We get them first at distance, but they flew towards us, showing that they have black wing tips, which indicates these are non-breeders for this year anyway. And that was it, A quiet day for here - should have been here last week.