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Hortobagy & Bukk Hills in Early October (1 Viewer)

rdspalm

Well-known member
We are visiting the Hortobagy and possibly the Bukk hills 1st to 5th October. Has anyone got any experience of these areas at this time of year? Is Zemplen better thab Bukk hills?


Any recommendations for local guides?

Richard
 

rdspalm

Well-known member
I looked at Sakertours website. They seem to provide a good service. Have any of you used their services?
 

rdspalm

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice. Our party of 6 are heading to the Hortobagy National Park and the Zemplen Hills with Sakertours as guides at the start of October. We plan to spend 5 days birding.
 

LazDivaz

Well-known member
We are on holiday from Costa Rica, and are headed to Hortobagy National Park (today we are in Kecskemet and heading out in the morning). We find that we are in need of some local advice--today we went to Lake Kondor in Iszak in search of spoonbills, and found that the lake was a mere memory--a totally overgrown reed bed. But carefully preserved...
In our country, were you to be looking for the jabiru, of which there are only 47 individuals left, we'd lead you to Jesús in Caño Negro, who would take you to the secret lagoon where you would be dazzled by birdlife. We are not able to pay a private guide, and usually find our way around with some direction from the experts. Where is the Jesús of the Puszta?

rdspalm: We have looked at the Sakertours site, and it looks fabulous. Do you think we could just pick their brains or tag along for a few hours one day? How was your tour with them, or are you still holed up in a hide somewhere?

Any advice would be most welcome--we have only a few days, and would love to see 10,000 cranes and the odd spoonbill before we're off to the opera in Budapest!
Thanks!
 
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rdspalm

Well-known member
Sakertours are an excellent commercial guiding company and they have very reasonable daily rates. If you can't afford their rates it would be a pity. The National Park rangers at Hortobagy village may be able to help.

I reckon the Hortobagy is difficult without guiding as many of the best parts are restricted access. Also the territory is huge and relatively featureless. The Halasto Ponds are the obvious place to try.

We had a super time with Janos Olah the Managing Director of Sakertours. We had 128 bird types after 3 days in the Hortobagy and a day and a half in the Zemplen Hills. The highlights were a Pacific Golden Plover, the second ever recorded in Hungary. Eastern Imperial Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Saker, Dottrel, the cranes, Great Bustard, 8 species of woodpecker, Ural Owl and Eagle Owl.

If you've come all the way from Costa Rica, invest in a day with Sakertours, its excellent value and you won't waste your time.

Richard
 

rdspalm

Well-known member
Photos from Hungary

Took this photo of a Sparrowhawk near Debrecen, Hungary. The White Tail was in the Hortobagy. Sakertours have specialist photographic holidays which I must do next time.

Richard
 

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suffka

New member
hello,
could anyone advise please what does the event of cranes migration look like in Hortobagy? please excuse my a bit naive question ;) - Im not really an experienced birder (I'm fairly new with it) and I'm interested mainly from photographic perspective.

Richard> I went through your gallery, very nice :)

In addition to this I'd like to have an idea of the environment - are the cranes in huge flocks and easily to be found, are they "available" with the lens only like 400mm or do they stay on some remote locations/ponds. Any other tips&hints/links would be much appreciated, thanks
 

Hungarian birder

Well-known member
hello,
could anyone advise please what does the event of cranes migration look like in Hortobagy? please excuse my a bit naive question ;) - Im not really an experienced birder (I'm fairly new with it) and I'm interested mainly from photographic perspective.

Richard> I went through your gallery, very nice :)

In addition to this I'd like to have an idea of the environment - are the cranes in huge flocks and easily to be found, are they "available" with the lens only like 400mm or do they stay on some remote locations/ponds. Any other tips&hints/links would be much appreciated, thanks

Hi,
The best time for watching, "shoting" crane is the end of Oktober, but they are here in Hungary from September, in more or less numbers.
The place is not so difficult, you can go there alone, or with a guide.
If you want, you can use one of Saker's mobile hide for photographing Cranes, this is the most expesive choice, I think.
http://www.sakertour.com/hides.php

Good birding!
Laszlo
 

suffka

New member
Hi,
The place is not so difficult, you can go there alone, or with a guide.
If you want, you can use one of Saker's mobile hide for photographing

thanks Laszlo!
I consider Sakertour, but would like to be more comfortable with eg. the weather (and decide in the last minute if it's fine to go) and... money ;). No problem to do a hide/shelter on our own - of course if it's not a restricted area.
This is interesting that you say it's not so difficult location, the other members (earlier posts) say it's tough without a guide because of restricted areas - which I guess are the best locations to "shoot"...
Anyone has got a feedback to this?

Hi,
they are here in Hungary from September, in more or less numbers.
Laszlo
i'd be happy if you could elaborate. Is this "more or less" - more or less predictable? ;) I mean what is usually the scale of the event - are they dozens, hundreds, thousands, omphteens? I'm asking because in Poland we also have cranes but only in max "dozens" option at one place
 

Hungarian birder

Well-known member
thanks Laszlo!
I consider Sakertour, but would like to be more comfortable with eg. the weather (and decide in the last minute if it's fine to go) and... money ;). No problem to do a hide/shelter on our own - of course if it's not a restricted area.
This is interesting that you say it's not so difficult location, the other members (earlier posts) say it's tough without a guide because of restricted areas - which I guess are the best locations to "shoot"...
Anyone has got a feedback to this?


i'd be happy if you could elaborate. Is this "more or less" - more or less predictable? ;) I mean what is usually the scale of the event - are they dozens, hundreds, thousands, omphteens? I'm asking because in Poland we also have cranes but only in max "dozens" option at one place

Yes, Hortobagy is a difficult area, you should know uptodate info about birds, mainly target species, like Saker, Red-footed Falcon, Great Bustard, ect., but finding Cranes is an easy think in Oktober. They are there everywhere (almost). Easy to find a nice place for whatching them when fly to the roosting place: this is along the way between Balmazújváros and Tiszacsege, near Darassa (see the map!). There are hides you can use them, but never walk farther because of the calmness (quiescence) of the bird, mainly the Cranes! You should know: Hortobagy is a National Park, you can find the border of it, but I never leave the ways (road, footpath, ect.), however I know most of the rangers, they are my friend mostly!

In 2009 the total was more than 100.000 in Hungary, mainly Hortobagy. Last year was terrible, because of the extra water everywhere in Hungary, and all around Hortobagy: the birds stay out on the fields, standing on a water, was not necessary to fly to the fishponds, but that road what I mean was good. The max., counted number was 40.000-50.000, but lots of bird do not used the tradicional roosting places, stayed out on the fields. The estimated is the same than 2009 (~100.000). If you choise a good place (standing next to the trees, do not use a hide for taking photos) the cranes will flys 20-50 m above you! Beautiful feeling!
 

Hungarian birder

Well-known member
At risk of being accused of advertising (since I helped to edit the book) can I suggest that you might find the Crossbillguide [ISBN 978 90 5011 2765] on the Hortobagy useful? Details at www.crossbillguides.com

Tell the true, I do not know that book, but I willingly check it if anybody send me the birding aspect via e-mail. Otherwise, I would willingly help to make and other Crossbill guide, for the areas around Budapest. We have a lot of good places sometimes within the capital.
Useful or not useful? The guides were made usually within short period, and the wildlife (birdlife) is changing year by year. For example: 3 years ago we have 2 colony of White-winged Black Tern just along the main road, so was easy to find them. Since that, nothing! For the last year, the main heron colony (with Pygmy Cormorant, Purple Heron, Squacco, Glossy Ibis, Night Heron, so almost all) was changing to a new place! You can find birds easily in Hortobagy, but for the "targets" you need personal help: you will never find the Aquatic W, or Great Bustards without assistance, or will find a very angry National Park ranger!
 

MJB

Well-known member
Tell the true, I do not know that book, but I willingly check it if anybody send me the birding aspect via e-mail. Otherwise, I would willingly help to make and other Crossbill guide, for the areas around Budapest. We have a lot of good places sometimes within the capital.

The book is on sale at the Visitor Centre in Hortobagy village. If you want to volunteer to write one for the Budapest area, just go to www.crossbillguides.com and contact Dirk Hilbers.
MJB
 

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