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After Hortobagy, Lake Balaton is the best wetland in Hungary although the birding interest lies mainly in Kisbalaton, a Ramsar Site and Landscape Protection Reserve. Here, at the south-western end of one of the largest lakes in central Europe, is a marsh with extensive reedbeds, sedges and willow scrub at the mouth of the Zala River. Viewing can be difficult but there are fishponds at nearby Boglarlelle which harbour much the same birds.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver (W), Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Pygmy Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Tundra Bean Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, White-tailed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Grey Partridge, Common Quail, Common Pheasant, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Baillon's Crake, Corncrake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Black Tern, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, European Nightjar, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Wren, Common Nightingale, Bluethroat, Black Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Eurasian River Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Moustached Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Kisbalaton is situated 10km south of Keszthely and there is a ringing centre at nearby Fenekpuszta where guides can be arranged.
There are two parts to Kisbalaton, the marshland, which requires permit and guide, and the Kisbalaton Tarozo, a reservoir, part of which needs a permit.
Observation towers on Kanyavari Island can be visited without a permit.
Content and images originally posted by Steve