eco
TOURS-EASTERN-EUROPE
Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic


 

Kiskunság, Hortobágy and Zemplén Hills end of Summer, beginning of Autumn, 8 days

 

The main attractions of this tour to see around 20 raptor species of Hungary at their breeding habitat or at their typical hunting areas. Saker and Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed, Imperial, Golden, Short-toed and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged and Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Marsh and Montagu's Harrier and with a good timing and some luck even Pallid and Hen Harrier can be on our list. by the end of the tour. 

 

Add to this some sought after Owls such as Ural and Eagle Owl which we have a good chance to find as well. Other extras to add will be 8 woodpecker species including White-backed and Black Woodpecker.

 

We should not miss the largest birds of the Hungarian grasslands, the Great Bustards and this is the habitat where we will look for Stone-Curlews and trip of Dotterels in all plumages as well. It is also the peak migration time for warblers and many interesting waders! The trip is designed as a well paced holiday, including many extras in terms of birds, food, culture and of course the possibility of tasting the famous local wines and refreshing beers!

 

 

 

Fact File

  • 8 days in Hungary visiting the famous Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Parks as well as the Zemplén Hills, which belongs to the Bukk National Park
  • start and finish in Budapest
  • using 3 accommodations located close to the sites, 1 is our own Kondor EcoLodge

Highlights

  • 3 days in the Kiskunság National Park visiting huge flat steppes and alkaline lakes
  • 3 days in the Hortobágy National Park exploring fish ponds and steppes of the endless Puszta
  • 2 days in the Zemplén Hills visiting dense deciduous forests & the famous Tokaj Hill
  • wide variety of birds and habitats
  • plenty of raptors, woodpeckers and other interesting bird species

Accommodation

  • 3 nights in the heart of Kiskunsag NP at Kondor EcoLodge
  • 2 nights in a small hotel on the edge of Hortobágy
  • 2 nights in a small hotel in Tokaj

Departure Dates

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar

Price


Ask for the actual price.
Our price includes:

all travel as noted in the itinerary;

all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

  • services of the leader(s);
  • trip materials.


Not included:

  • flight to and from Budapest;
  • optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;
  • airport and other departure taxes, tips;
  • food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;
  • excess baggage charges;
  • telephone calls;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • compulsory personal insurance.


If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.

Activity level

Generally easy to moderate walks

Optional programmes

Visit to the "Little Hortobágy" in the Borsodi Mezőség area

Itinerary

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Day 1

After arrival at Budapest Airport within half an hour we will be already at Kiskunság National Park area. The Northern part is home to the strongest populations of Great Bustards and it also has several fishponds and grassland with various species ranging from Collared Pratincole through Stone Curlew till Purple Heron and many more.

At the end of the day we arrive to our own wonderful, traditional Kondor Ecolodge where you can enjoy garden and near garden species such as Golden Oriole, Bee-eater, Roller, Tawny Pipit, Turtle Dove, Hoopoe, Tree Sparrow, Montagu's Harrier, Lesser Grey and Red-backed Shrike.

Days 2-3

During wet years Lake Kondor in front of us, once the best bird ringing station during the last couple of years started to get back its great species such as Bittern, Black-necked Grebe, Ferruginous Duck, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt and many more.

We spend the days with discovering the grassland areas of the Kiskunsag Puszta with various species including Stone Curlew, Lesser & Red-backed Grey Shrikes, Tawny Pipit and much more. Among the raptors we should find Red-footed Falcon, Montague's Harrier. Honey Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Hobby. Really common birds should be Kestrels and Common Buzzards. We also can spend some time at alkaline and freshwater lakes to look for various Herons, Egrets, waders and waterfowl.

Days 4-5

Today we leave Kondor EcoLodge, our favourite base and start to travel further East, first stopping at a fantastic oxbow-lake system full with birds, including Ferruginous Ducks, Pygmy Cormorants, Purple Herons, Squacco Herons, Spoonbills and many more. No wonder that White-tailed Eagle regularly hunts the area and sometimes Saker Falcon also checking it for food.

Later in the day we travel to the famous Hortobágy National Park, where we stay for 2 nights. We visit the best sites of the Hortobágy. In the Northern part we look for raptors including Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagle. This is the best time of the year for migrating Pallid Harrier and with a bit of luck beside Montague's Harrier we might see one of these rare birds as well. We search the Southern steppes for flocks of Dotterel and Stone-Curlew. The fishponds are ideal for Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed Eagle, Penduline and Bearded Tits, as well as for migrating waders, warblers and flycatchers including Marsh Sandpiper, Icterine Warbler among others. We also visit a roosting site of Red-footed Falcons, where sometimes several hundreds or thousands are present at this time of the year.

We leave the Hortobágy National Park and head north to the Zemplén Hills. En route we stop to look for Saker and Imperial Eagle in the Borsodi Mezőség area.

Days 6-7

Based close to Tokaj we visit the Zemplén Hills for most of the country's raptor and woodpecker species. Beech and oak forests are home to woodpeckers including Black, Grey-headed, White-backed and Middle Spotted. Syrian Woodpecker inhabits orchards in scenic villages. Golden, Lesser Spotted, Short-toed and Imperial Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Goshawk are all present in the Zemplén Hills. We look for Eagle Owl in abandoned quarries and Ural Owl in old beech woods. Rock Bunting, Dipper, Hawfinch and the white-headed race of Long-tailed Tit will also be on our menu in this untouched part of Hungary.

Day 8

Travel to Budapest with more opportunities for birding en route. Afternoon flight back home.