Day 2 in Hungary. Sad but true, but I only had one target bird. In the morning we visited the fabled Hortobágy Marshes. The places dripped with marshland avifauna. But I only really had eyes for the Mustachioed Warbler (not that it has a moustache you understand). I had missed them twice before and it was late for singing. But we got one! A singing male at the back of the reed-bed. Worn, scruffy and to my eyes- just beautiful ; )- as it often is with new birds.
OK, here’s where we went:
Hortobágy (Hungarian pronunciation: ‘hortobaj’) is both the name of a village in Hajdú-Bihar county and an 800 km² national park in Eastern Hungary, rich with folklore and cultural history. The park, a part of the Alföld (Great Plain), was designated as a national park in 1973 (the first in Hungary), and elected among the World Heritage Sites in 1999.The Hortobágy is Hungary’s largest protected area, and the largest natural grassland in Europe (from the wikipedia article).
Shunting down the single line of a rickety small guage railway. Purple and Grey Herons, Great White and Little Egrets, Night Heron, Bittern, Spoonbill, and many Pygmy Cormorants were clocked, with glimpses of Penduline and Bearded Tits. Photo by Jeff Gordon.
At the end of the line bespoke hides, tower and birds; everywhere. Song flighting White-spotted Bluethroat by the station. Overhead Ferruginous Duck, Whiskered, Black and White-winged Black Terns and more egrets and herons. Singing in the phragmites; Reed, Sedge, Great Reed, Savi’s and finally- the Moustached Warbler
Caspian Gull colony
Short length of boardwalk from the Moustached Warbler, a Caspian Gull colony was in full swing. Several Yellow-legged Gulls were also present plus a superciliaris Black -headed Wagtail (we mostly saw BLue-headed).