TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT

Hungary in Spring

Sunday 23 - Sunday 30 May 2004


Leaders:
Neil Arnold
Sándor Konyhas

Zoltan (Zemplen Hills)

Dr Stefan Kovacs (Hortobágy)

Driver

Bela

INTRODUCTION

I am grateful to you all for making this such a great holiday. Your enthusiasm and vigilance resulted in a great 'collection' of wildlife. My special thanks go to all our guides, but especially Sándor whose good nature and unparalleled skill made the whole holiday go with a swing. Bela too must be congratulated for his excellent driving and for his ability to demonstrate his friendliness whilst knowing little English. Finally our thanks go to our agent Janos Vilagosi for organising the trip.

I hope to meet you all again at some time in the near future.

Best wishes

Neil Arnold

June 2004

THE DIARY

SUNDAY 23 MAY

WEATHER Cloudy,dull,w 5-6.

sunny late afternoon.

London, Budapest, Sárospatak

Everything went smoothly until we discovered that three bags had failed to arrive in Budapest. After a session of form filling we met Sándor, our local leader. We then set off for our hotel in Sárospatak. The most notable bird species en route were two Common Kestrels, five Marsh Harriers and some twenty-five Common Buzzards. After a good evening meal we turned in to prepare for an adventurous Monday.

MONDAY 24 MAY

WEATHER One of those 'Three seasons in a day' days. Sun, wind, heavy showers.

Zemplen Hills

Zoltan, our local guide met us at the hotel.

Our first port of call was the woodland at Hotykapatak Völgy. It was wonderful to be immersed in a fine area of mixed forest. Soon we were watching a smart pair of Collared Flycatchers at the nest. Next came views of both Great-spotted and Middle-spotted Woodpeckers. Our attempts to see White-backed Woodpecker at a nest came to nothing though because the young had fledged and the nest had been abandoned.

The one great triumph though was finding an Ural Owl which we all managed to see, eventually. This was entirely due to the great skill of our leaders in finding the sitting bird and then quickly placing the telescopes in the right place.

Later we moved on to Szarkakút. Almost as soon as we arrived we were enjoying close contact with a number of Yellow-bellied Toads that lived in the puddles in the track. Later we were also delighted when a Fire Salamander was discovered.

One again we were fortunate enough to see more woodpeckers. No sooner had we entered the woodland than a pair of Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers made an appearance. Then further into the forest we found a Black Woodpecker which we were able to watch through the telescopes. The woodland was full of bird song but many of the species were difficult to see. We managed to spend the whole day without seeing the very vociferous Blackcap.

Fortunately we made it to the vehicle just as a very violent hail storm started!

En route to Szegilong we encountered an elegant Lesser-spotted Eagle.

We then stopped at a small park in the village to eat our packed lunch, the most enjoyable feature of which was cherry soup. While relaxing here we were entertained by a host of birds including Golden Oriole, Serin and Black Redstart.

Soon after lunch we arrived at Mesces Major, a shallow valley dominated by vineyards and pasture. We were greeted by a Short-toed Eagle which soared above us and then posed on top of a huge pylon. Honey Buzzards, White and Black Storks also took to the air. Back at ground level we discovered a Barred Warbler and Red-backed Shrikes galore. Then ten Bee-eaters flew over our heads. Two insects then attracted our attention, one, Mother Shipton, a very cryptic moth, the other, Southern Festoon a flamboyant butterfly.

Our arrival at Erdöbénye Quarry coincided with a rain shower; spirits were not dampened however, as Zoltan immediately found us a roosting European Eagle Owl.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Honvédüdüló area. Once again we saw Black Woodpecker but a White-backed Woodpecker's nest proved to be empty, the young having flown the day before; luck didn't appear to be on our side here. We did see a Red Fox though. Black Stork and Short-toad Eagle then appeared on the 'menu' before we arrived at a wonderful flower filled meadow.

Here we had a brief encounter with a Golden Oriole before we went Corn Crake hunting. Much to our surprise not only did we hear Corn Crake but we also saw it, so our luck had turned. We also had great views of a Wryneck. As we were trying to identify a day flying moth a Hobby dashed by, took a House Martin and then sped off. This was another exciting bonus.

The day closed with an excellent meal at the Panzio Sos Borház where we were 'forced' to try a selection of the local white wines.

TUESDAY 25 MAY

WEATHER A 'Two seasons in a day' day'. 7/8 Cumulus, sunny but cool. Showers West 2-3.

Zemplen Hills and the River Bodrog

We arrived at Hidegpatak Völgy, a valley dominated by open grasslands and forest. Red Squirrel provided the first excitement, closely followed by sightings of Hawfinch. Soon though we were watching a pair of White-backed Woodpeckers and listening to the distant cries of Grey-headed Woodpecker. As if this were not enough a pair of Great-spotted Woodpeckers joined the fray.

Soon after we were scanning the open plain at Abaújhéti Legeló. The discovery of a Pearl bordered Fritillary was interrupted by the cry of "Imperial Eagle!" A fine adult bird was soaring high over the plain. Once this had disappeared we found a male Syrian Woodpecker foraging near its nest in a roadside Field Maple.

At nearby Vizsolyi Köbánya we spent some time enjoying the antics of Common Bee-eaters at the nest site. Then our attention was drawn to another Imperial Eagle which was obliging enough to fly much closer than the previous bird.

At the village of Baldogkóüifalu we were shown yet another roosting European Eagle Owl.

The lunch at Tokaj was a relaxing occasion in a restaurant with a wonderful family atmosphere.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the fringes of the Bodrog River. The highlight of the afternoon was the discovery of a number of singing River Warblers, two of which were seen through the telescopes. For the first time in the holiday we were to see a number of wetland birds including Cormorant, four heron species and five Whiskered Terns.

Yellow Wagtails and Barred Warblers were also seen well. A flock of thirteen White Storks was also notable. Birds of prey were represented by seven Marsh Harriers and a distant pair of White-tailed Eagles.

WEDNESDAY 26 MAY

WEATHER Dry. Varying amounts of cloud. Sun. Light breeze.

Sárospatak to Debrecen.

By 08.45 we were at the fish ponds at Tiszaladány. Not only was this a fine site for birds but we also found a good selection of insects.

The most notable feature of the ponds were the ducks and grebes. Although they were few in number we were rewarded with excellent views of Pochard, Ferruginous Ducks, Mallard and Great Crested Grebes. Herons were also abundant, as were storks.

The ponds abutted the River Tiszar so we were able to enjoy passing Kingfishers.

The highlight of the visit, though, was undoubtedly the sightings of Great Bittern. One flew from the flooded riverside forest into the ponds. It flew some three hundred metres so all of us had a sustained view. Eventually the bird tumbled into the reeds, soon to be followed by another that had been nearby.

A Wryneck then flew to a fence post and stayed in view long enough for us to study it through telescopes. It was then the turn of the warblers to make an appearance; these included singing Marsh, Sedge, Reed and Great Reed Warblers.

Sadly a flying Goshawk was distant.

Insects were abundant. The most exciting included Four-spotted Chaser, Beautiful Demoiselle, Scarce Swallowtail, Large Copper and Chestnut Heath.

We then made our way south crossing the River Tiszar on a rather primitive, if functional, ferry. As we left the ferry we heard a River Warbler which we then saw singing from a reed stem. It was the best view of this often-skulking bird imaginable.

Eventually we reached Aroke, further downstream, where we had an excellent lunch dominated by local fish dishes.

After driving through Tiszacsege we headed for the open steppe. We delighted in sightings of Little Owl and a flock of seventeen Common Cranes before driving further into the farmland. Whilst there we searched a huge open area that had been recently mown. Before long we had found feeding Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes and Northern Wheatear. Then the birds of prey captured our attention. Common Buzzards soaring overhead were soon joined by Kestrels, Marsh Harriers, a Honey Buzzard and a splendid Long-legged Buzzard. As we watched Quail called from the shelter of the local flower filled fields.

As we made our way to Debrecen we also discovered a drake Pintail on a roadside pond, a passing Hobby and a Red-footed Falcon.

We soon settled into our hotel on the edge of the Debrecen Great Wood. One of our number was so enamoured of his balcony that he compiled a list of the birds that could be seen below. He was delighted to find a Hoopoe.

After a satisfying evening meal at which we celebrated the silver wedding of Paul and Helen we reflected on the prospect of three more days of local exploration.

THURSDAY 27 MAY

WEATHER 5/8 Cu. A dull start, sunny later. W2-3

Debrecen, The Great Fishponds, Hortobágy, nearby fishponds.

A pre-breakfast wander in the surrounding woods enabled us to enjoy sightings of Spotted Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Short-toed Treecreeper and a number of other woodland bird species.

The morning was spent at the Great Fishponds. No sooner had we arrived than we were watching Savi's Warbler and Bluethroats through the telescope. As we moved deeper into the ponds we were overflown by Greylag Geese, a variety of herons including Squacco, and flocks of Pygmy Cormorants. We then spent sometime watching feeding Spoonbills sweeping their bills from side to side in search of small fish. The biggest challenge of the morning came when we came across a pond in which the water level had fallen. This was an ideal place for wading birds. Eventually we identified seventeen species of waders, including a flock of Broad-billed Sandpipers and a single Red-necked Phalarope. As we watched Common, Whiskered and Black Terns hunted in the deeper waters of an adjacent pool. Later we walked to a hide overlooking a deeper pool. Here we were to find a variety of wildfowl including Wigeon, Shoveler, Garganey, Tufted Duck and Gadwall. We also discovered four grebe species: Great-crested, Red-necked, Black-necked and Little. It was especially exciting to find Red-necked Grebe at close range. While we watched from the hide the reedbed birds also showed themselves. Great Reed Warblers and Bearded Tits were particularly confiding. The insect of the morning was the Lesser Emperor Dragonfly.

Lunch was taken at a fine traditional restaurant in the village of Hortobágy.

We then went shopping in the local stalls. Then a trip to the local art gallery gave us the chance to appreciate the collection of bronzes and oil paintings depicting the Hortobágy.

The rest of the day was spent exploring yet another set of fishponds where we were lucky enough to find a lone Collared Pratincole. Little Gulls and a flock of Curlew were also a feature of this area. A brief sighting of Little Bittern was also of interest.

There is no doubt that the local population thought we were mad as we stopped by the roadside scanning the huge electricity pylons with our telescopes. Eventually, however, we found a magnificent Saker Falcon surveying the area from the main crosspiece of one of the tallest pylons. We watched it preening and then dashing across the countryside until lost to sight.

It was a full day, filled with splendid surprises.

FRIDAY 28 MAY

WEATHER A perfect day. Clear, sunny, with a cool breeze.

Debrecen, Hajduszoboszlo Airfield, Hortobágy Fishponds, Nagyivan area.

As we drove to the southern edge of the town we noted a Hobby from the vehicle.

The first port of call was the Hajduszoboszlo Airfield, a grassland area noted for birds of prey. Kestrel, Marsh Harrier and Buzzard were seen within minutes and then an elegant pale Long-legged Buzzard drifted into the area and then settled on the airfield. At that moment we saw our first Suslik of the trip. No doubt these hamster-like animals were active due to the threat of finishing up as breakfast for one of the birds of prey.

We then set off for the fishponds near the village of Hortobágy. Grass Snake was one of the features of this stop, two being seen from the vehicle and a third by a pile of dumped fish.

Purple and Night Herons were seen at close range as were Spoonbill and two Red-necked Grebe. A striking adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was a surprise as it is a far-from-common passage migrant. A great deal of time was then spent reinforcing our knowledge of a selection of more common resident species. Whilst watching Ferruginous Ducks, however, we had distant views of a pair of hunting Saker Falcons.

Once again lunch was taken in a traditional restaurant, the specialities being an exceptionally tasty soup and very rich donuts.

Soon after lunch we visited a woodland which was christened 'Falcon Wood' by the 2003 group. We were soon aware of the significance of this name when we saw some twenty-five Red-footed Falcons. Some were at nest boxes, some hunting in the area. We were able to appreciate their agility as they turned and jinked in their attempts to catch flying insects. Other discoveries in the wood were a juvenile Long-eared Owl roosting in a tree and an adult sitting in a nest box surveying the scene through cold yellow eyes. Nearby were a pair of Rollers, which showed off their powerful flight and then perched on an electricity pole. The bright light emphasized their brilliant colours.

It was then time to set off for the isolated village of Nagyivan on the steppe. Here we met Dr Stefan Kovacs, the Warden of the National Park, who was to be our guide for the rest of the afternoon. We were soon standing on a vetch-strewn mound overlooking an area of wonderfully verdant steppe. Almost immediately Dr Kovac found a male Great Bustard which we were able to view through the telescope. Suddenly, though, it took off and powered its way to the south. It was a thrill to see this massive bird, perhaps the heaviest species capable of flight, take to the air. Soon we found another male that could be studied at our leisure. As we watched we heard Common Quail calling from the thick vegetation and then a male Montagu's Harrier began to quarter the ground in search of prey. A Brown Hare also became part of this wonderful mosaic of steppe-land wildlife.

We then set off on foot into an area of lush grassland which showed every sign of having been inundated in the past few weeks. Fortunately we were able to walk on dry shod until we heard the chattering song of Aquatic Warbler. Even more fortunately the bird was quite at home clinging to a reedstem, so were able to watch it for some minutes.

On returning to the Hotel we felt as though we deserved our leisurely dinner.

SATURDAY 29 MAY

WEATHER 6/8 Cu. Dull, light showers. Sunny, breezy afternoon.

Debrecen, Nadudvar-Minhal Yalma area of the National Park

A pre-breakfast walk in the Debrecen Great Wood produced records of Great-spotted, Middle-spotted and Syrian Woodpecker together with Short-toed Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Common and Black Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher.

The rest of the day was spent on the steppe and around its peripheral ponds. The star wader sighting of the morning was Black-winged Stilt. Water Rail was also heard 'sharming'.

Exploring the open steppe took up most of our day. We drove out into the open grassland until we came within two hundred metres of a shepherd's hut and barn. These were built on a slight rise giving a good all round view. We were surrounded by flocks of Racka Sheep attended by a shepherd, and huge herds of Grey Cattle under the supervision of a herdsman. All of these men were aided by lively dogs.

The shepherd's hut was also closely surrounded by guineafowl, turkeys and chickens. The shepherd also had dogs and a sturdy horse. The sense of remoteness under this big sky was almost tangible. The area was not without wildlife either. A Hoopoe called loudly from the ridge of the barn and a Little Owl perched amongst the thatch. Wheatear, Corn Bunting, Yellow Wagtails and Sky Larks seemed at home in this wild place. We also saw a Tawny Pipit near the area.

Birds of prey were represented by Kestrel, Red-footed falcon, Hobby, Saker Falcon, Common Buzzard and Marsh and Montagu's Harriers.

Careful hunting brought to light a pair of Stone Curlew. Sadly there was quite a heat haze but we managed to watch them through the telescopes.

After lunch we took to the steppeland again. We drove into an area of open grassland and deep dykes. As a result we were able to make sightings of Little Bittern, Night Heron and a number of other herons. We also saw two Quail and heard a Grasshopper Warbler. The windy conditions made the latter impossible to find.

Mammals were well represented. We noted Roe Deer, Red Fox and Brown Hare.

The trip into the grasslands summed up the wonder of this splendid habitat.

SUNDAY 30 MAY

WEATHER A fine,sunny day

Debrecen to Budapest

We called in at a huge reedbed before we left the Hortobágy. Marsh Harriers, herons and a Spoonbill were present as was a booming Great Bittern, Snipe and two Common Cranes. We were frustrated, however, to find at least two Moustached Warblers which proved very elusive. Eventually we had to drive on. As we passed through a local farm we spotted a number of Woolly Pigs, another local speciality.

It then seemed at though we were wished 'Good bye' by a guard of honour of Hoopoes and European Rollers!

The flight was smooth and comfortable and we all arrived home safely.

Neil Arnold

June 2004

SPECIES LISTS

BIRDS

KEY

ZEMPLEN AREA Z

BODROG-TISZAR RIVER VALLEYS BTV

HORTOBAGY H

PEAK COUNT ( )

ESTIMATED NUMBERS { }

TOTAL COUNTS [ ]

Counts/estimates are included for a number of selected species.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis Four,H

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena Eight,H

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus Twenty-four, BTV/H

Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis Two, Great Fishponds,H

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Common,BTV/H

Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmaeus Common,H-{150}

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Common,BTV/H

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Excellent views of this relatively common bird, BTV/H -[36]

Great White Egret Egretta alba Very common,BTV/H

Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides Fairly common,H-[18]

Little Egret Egretta garzetta Nine records, BTV/H

Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax Noted almost daily, BTV/H -[28]

Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus Two sightings of male birds,H

Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris Two at the Tiszaladány Fishponds, BTV

Black Stork Ciconia nigra Four records, Z

White Stork Ciconia ciconia Noted throughout. A common nesting bird, H

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Only H -[34]

Mute Swan Cygnus olor Only at the Great Fishponds (H) -[35]

Greylag Goose Anser anser A common breeding species, H

Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope Two drakes, Great fishponds, H

Gadwall Anas strepera Uncommon,H - [15]

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Common,BTV/H

Garganey Anas querquedula Uncommon,H -[11]

Pintail Anas acuta One,H

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata Uncommon,H -[6]

Common Pochard Aythya ferina Common,BTV/H

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca Uncommon,BTV/H -[23]

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Two drakes, Great fishponds,H

European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus Seven records,Z and one,H

White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla Two,BTV

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus Two,Z

Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus Three separate sightings of males,H

Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus Very common throughout but especially common,H -[98]

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis A glimpse,Tiszaladány ,BTV

Common (Eurasian) Buzzard Buteo buteo Very common enroute Zemplen,-(25) and in the hills,Z. Less common,H

Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus Two fine individuals,H

Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina Two records,Z. One was a fine bird at rest.

(Eastern) Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Wonderful views of two adult birds,Z

Saker Falco cherrug Six sightings at rest and in flight,H

Common (Eurasian) Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Noted on most days,most common,H -[21]

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus Excellent views at 'Falcon Wood' and throughout H - [37]

Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo A lone bird catching a House Martin,Z and four sightings,H

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix One,H

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix Heard on three occasions,H. Two seen in flight.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Common throughout.

Common Crane Grus grus Seventeen were seen feeding and then they flew over our heads, giving us magnificent views, and three other birds in flight,H

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus Heard 'sharming',H

Corn Crake Crex crex One seen,Z

Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Only a handful of records,H

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra Locally common,H. One,Z

Great Bustard Otis tarda Two magnificent males, one in flight,H

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus Two,H

Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avocetta Fifty at the great Fishponds,H

European Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus Two out on the steppe,H

Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola One,H was unexpected

(Northern) Lapwing Vanellus vanellus A few,Z and common,H

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola Seven records,H

(Greater) Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula Common,H -[34]

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius Sixteen records,H

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa Flocks in breeding plumage,H -[80]

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata The largest flock (23), at the Great Fishponds,H -[32]

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus One in winter plumage, Great Fishponds,H

Common Redshank Tringa totanus Small flocks,H -[26]

Turnstone Arenaria interpres One, Great Fishponds,H

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus One, Great Fishponds,was also a surprise,H

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago One, possibly two,H

Sanderling Chalidris alba One, Great Fishponds,H

Little Stint Calidris minuta Sixty at the Great Fishponds,H -[61]

Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii Six at the Great Fishponds,H

Dunlin Calidris alpina Large flocks,H -{500}

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Three at the Great fishponds,H

Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus Twenty-two at the Great Fishponds made a magnificent sight,H

Ruff Philomachus pugnax One at the Great Fishponds,H

Common Gull Larus glaucus One at the Great Fishponds,H

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis Common,H

Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans Common,H

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus One,H

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus An adult,apparently on a nest, Great Fishponds,H

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus Common,BTV/H

Little Gull Larus minutus A total of seventy,H

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida Widespread,BTV/H, -[51]

Black Tern Chlidonias niger Very local,H -[29]

Common Tern Sterna hirundo Nine records in all,H

Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia Common near habitation

Stock Dove Columba oenas Two noted,Z

(Common) Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus Widespread throughout,but never common

European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur Noted daily; a delight

Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto Common

Common (Eurasian) Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Common,especially,H

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo Single individuals were seen at roost in two quarries,Z

Ural Owl Strix uralensis A fine bird was brought to our attention in mixed forest,Z by mobbing birds

Little Owl Athene noctua Two perched on barns,H

Long-eared Owl Asio otus An adult in a nest box and a juvenile roosting at 'Falcon Wood',H

Common Swift Apus apus Two records,Z but common in towns,H

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Three at Tiszaladány,BTV

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster Thirty-eight records,Z and one,H

European Roller Coracias garrulus Four,or perhaps five,H

(Eurasian) Hoopoe Upupa epops One from the top floor of the hotel, Debrecen, one at the Great Fishponds and twelve on the steppe,H

(Eurasian) Wryneck Jynx torquilla Close views of one Z, and one at Tiszaladány,BTV

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor A pair,Z

Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius Four records,Z and two in the Debrecen Great wood,H

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos A pair,Z

Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopos syriacus Three,Z and one in the Debrecen Great Wood,H

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major Mainly recorded Z, but two records,H

Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius Heard throughout,Z. Two sightings

Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus Despite a determined search we only heard this species,Z

Crested Lark Galerida cristata Common throughout

(Eurasian) Sky Lark Alauda arvensis Common throughout

European Sand Martin Riparia riparia Very local,BTV/H

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Very common

Common House Martin Delichon urbica Very common

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Common, but less so,Z

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Three records,Z

White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba Noted daily

Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris One on the steppe,H

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Very common throughout, which was a delight

Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor Fifteen sightings,H

(Winter) Wren Troglodytes troglodytes One,Z

Common (Eurasian) Blackbird Turdus merula Very common

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos Common,Z

European Robin Erithacus rubecula Widely distributed but nowhere common

Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos Widespread,BTV/H

Bluethroat Luscinia svecica Singing birds at close range,H -[10]

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros Very common in built up areas

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus A pair, Debrecen Great Wood,H

Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata Common throughout

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe A handful of records,H

Bearded Tit (Reedling) Panurus biarmicus Fine views of eight individuals,H

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia One heard,H

(Eurasian) River Warbler Locustella fluviatilis Several singing,three seen well,BTV

Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides Heard and seen,H -[7]

Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon Two glimpsed,H

Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola A fine singing male,H

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Common,BTV/H

(European) Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris One seen, one heard,BTV/H

(Eurasian) Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus Common,BTV/H

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus Common,BTV/H

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita Scatterd records in woodland

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix Heard,Z

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla Very common

Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis Two singing males, one Z and one H

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca One male,H

Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria Wonderful views,Z/BTV

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Only noted in the Debrecen Great Wood,H

Collared Flycatcher Ficedula albicollis Several,including a pair at a nest,Z

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus Two flocks,Z

(Eurasian) Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus Two seen briefly, Great Fishponds,H

Coal Tit Parus ater One heard,Z

Great Tit Parus major Common

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus Common

Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea Noted,Z and in the Debrecen Great Wood,H

Common Treecreeper Certhia familiaris One heard,Z

Short-toed Treecreeper Certhia brachydactyla Only in the Debrecen Great Wood,H

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius Noted,Z

Black-billed Magpie Pica pica Widespread but nowhere numerous

Eurasian (Western) Jackdaw Corvus monedula Only,H

Rook Corvus frugilegus Huge breeding colonies,H

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix Widespread but never common

Common Raven Corvus corax Four sightings,Z

(Eurasian) Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus Heard throughout and seen briefly on many occasions

Common (European) Starling Sturnus vulgaris Common

Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra Fairly common throughout

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella Only,Z

(Eurasian) Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus Widespread,BTV/H

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs Common

European Serin Serinus serinus Common and widespread

European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris Common

European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis Common

Common Linnet Carduelis cannabina Local throughout

Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes Good views,Z

House Sparrow Passer domesticus Very common

Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus Very common

MAMMALS

Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus Six sightings,BTV/H

Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris Noted Z/H

Brown Hare Lepus europaeus Common throughout

European Suslik Citellus citellus Common in short grassland ,H

Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Three records, two Z and one H

AMPHIBIANS

Fire Salamander Salamdra salamandra One, Z

Fire-bellied Toad Bombina bombina Several,H

Yellow-bellied Toad Bombina variegata Noted ,Z

Edible/Pool Frog Rana esculenta/lessonae Common throughout

REPTILES

Green Lizard Lacerta viridis One,Z and one,H

Grass Snake Natrix natrix hree records,H

BUTTERFLIES

Scarce swallowtail Iphiclides podalirius Only at Tiszaladány,BTV

Southern Festoon Zerynthia polyxena At Z and Tiszaladány,BTV

Large white Pieris brassicae Only H

Small white Artogeia rapae Only H

Western bath white Pontia daplidice Two records,H

Large copper Lycaena dispar Several at Tiszaladány,BTV

Common blue Polyommatus icarus Common,H

Painted lady Cynthia cardui One,H

Pearl-bordered fritillary Clossiana euphrosyne One,Z

Meadow brown Maniola jurtina Common,Z

Small heath Coenonympha pamphilius Common throughout

Chestnut heath Coenonympha glycerion Several, Tiszaladány,BTV

Large skipper Ochlodes venatus One, Tiszaladány,BTV

MOTHS

Speckled Yellow Pseudopanthera macularia One,Z

Black-veined Moth Siona lineata Two,Z

Silver Y Autographa gamma One, Tiszaladány,BTV

Mother Shipton Callistege mi One,Z

DRAGONFLIES

Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata Only, Tiszaladány,BTV

Lesser Emperor Dragonfly Anax parthenope Several,H

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo Only BTV/H

White-legged Damselfly Platycnemis pennipes One ferry crossing,BTV

OTHER INSECTS

Hornet Vespa crabro Widespread

Violet Carpenter Bee Xylocopa violacea Widespread

Rose Chafer Cetonia aurata Only, Tiszaladány,BTV

Field Cricket Gryllus campestris One in a mown field,H


© The Travelling Naturalist 2004