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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Hajduszoboszlo North East Hungary, Hortobagy and the Zemplen Hills, 4th-18th September 2012,
Common Cranes over the Hortobagy, Derek McAlone
This was our second trip to this part of Hungary but the first in autumn. It was something of an unknown quantity as most birders seem to visit either in spring or earlier or later in the autumn period. However, we had no reason to believe it would be other than interesting and enjoyable and so it proved. Highlights included a good selection of raptors including multiple encounters with Sakers, White-tailed Eagles and Eastern Imperial Eagles, seven species of woodpecker, a good selection of waders including Dotterel and Terek Sandpiper, regional specialities such as Ural Owl and Great Bustard and much, much more.
Few birders seem to travel independently to this area, though many tour groups include Hungary in their itineraries; indeed, in the course of two weeks’ constant birding, we never met a single birder other than Sakertour people. Most of our information came from our previous trip to the area coupled with that provided by Sakertour www.sakertour.com especially on our two guided days. We found little else in the literature that was sufficiently up to date to be of much use. We used the Michelin Motoring and Tourist Map of Hungary (no.732 at a scale of 1/4000000).
The weather was sunny and very warm for almost the entire trip, with about three hours of rain and a couple of cool mornings in a fortnight. However, an overnight thunderstorm did seriously affect the off-road tracks on the Hortobagy on the day we hired a guide, meaning that after almost coming to grief on a particularly slippery stretch, we had to abandon our hire car and use a 4x4 from Sakertour.
We flew from Manchester to Budapest with Jet2 www.jet2.com (£150 per person return). The flight was comfortable and on time in both directions. Our only complaint was that we’d paid for seats with extra leg room and were then told at check-in that we’d be unable to use them and were allocated new seats. Our complaint to Jet2 initially met with no response but more than two months, several emails and one letter later, we finally managed to extract a refund. At Budapest airport, we picked up a hired Opel Astra from Clickrent at a cost of £380 booked with Economy Car Rentals www.economycarentals.co.uk . The car itself was fine though we hadn’t expected to pay an extra 25 euros in cash for a vignette which was required to use the motorways and were even less pleased when the hirer tried to charge us another 10 euros for returning the car in what he considered a dirty condition. As we’d cleaned it ourselves that morning (it had been caked in two weeks’ worth of dust and mud), we argued the point and he backed down.
We pre-booked our first stay of five nights in the Hortobagy and our four nights in the Zemplen Hills. Having tried to book hotels direct and completely failed to elicit any responses to our repeated emails, we eventually asked Janos Olah of Sakertour to arrange our accommodation. This proved a good move, especially as we’d been previously unaware of the apartment at the Visitor Centre in Balmazujvaros. Janos is frequently away leading bird tours so if you are relying on Sakertour to make your arrangements then it’s advisable to allow plenty of time.
We stayed at the following: -
Apartment at visitor centre of Hortobagy Environmental Association at Balmazujvaros http://www.hortobagyte.hu/lifeplus_szallasfoglalas.php Comfortable and excellent value at 55 euros per night, the apartment consisted of a bedroom with three beds (normally two but an extra one had been put in for us), bathroom and well-equipped kitchen plus extra rooms forming part of the visitor centre which were never used while we were there and which we had the run of. There’s a very good and surprisingly reasonably priced restaurant at the Balmaz Hotel though this did appear to be the only place to eat out in Balmazujvaros. We pre-booked our first stay at the visitor centre through Sakertour and arranged our second stay while we were there. Handily situated for much of the Hortobagy region with good birding on the doorstep as it overlooks a large area of puszta which, whilst bone dry while we were there, is flooded from winter until spring and with a garden area that’s clearly something of a migrant trap. Birds seen in or from the garden included Black Stork, Goshawk, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Syrian Woodpecker Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Wood Warbler, Black Redstart and, best of all, a Thrush Nightingale. There is a lot of work going at the moment including construction of a new visitor centre and accommodation block as well as habitat creation and development.
|Visitor Centre at Balmazujvaros, Dave Thexton||Solyomvar Panzio, Dave Thexton|
Solyomvar Panzio at Komloska (Zemplen Hills). http://www.solyomvar.hu/ Four nights at 64 euros per night for two twin rooms for the three of us and including a very good buffet breakfast. Excellent evening meals were provided at terrific value with three courses and drinks working out at about £6.50 each, though eating later than about 8.15pm was not encouraged! Nevertheless comfortable, modern accommodation in a lovely rural setting and an excellent base for the Zemplen area. The hotel’s location produced some decent birds in the immediate vicinity including Black, Grey-headed, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Hawfinch and Tawny Owl.
For the second time on any of our birding trips (the first having also been in Hungary), we employed the services of professional guides to give us the best chance of finding some of the country’s specialist birds. In advance, we booked a guide for one day in the Hortobagy and one day in the Zemplen Hills with Sakertour.
On 6th September, we were guided in the Hortobagy by Sandor, a student at Debrecen University, who met us at our accommodation at 07.00. We had initially been advised that the Hortobagy was very dry and there would be no problem accessing all the sites in our hire car. However, heavy overnight rain had made many of the tracks impassable to ordinary vehicles and, having almost come to grief on the first track we encountered, we had no hesitation in accepting the offer of the 4x4 suggested by Sandor. It proved invaluable. Sandor drove us to sites for Great Bustard, Saker and Dotterel as well as showing us some excellent wader sites that we were subsequently able to visit on our own (he received news of a Terek Sandpiper while we were with him) and finished the day at a Long-eared Owl roost that we’d never have found otherwise. The day was not cheap at 140 euros plus 100 euros for the use of the 4x4 but we deemed it well worthwhile.
On 10th September, we were guided in the Zemplen Hills by Zoltan, a park ranger employed on occasions by Sakertour, who met us at our hotel at 07.30. Zoltan was enthusiastic, friendly, clearly had detailed knowledge of the area and its birds and was happy to stay out in the field as long as we wished. Brilliant impressions of Grey-headed Woodpecker saw him calling one down to the tree right next to us and he also managed to get a Black Woodpecker circling around us. He was determined to find us a Ural Owl and after visiting innumerable sites, he eventually succeeded; as he said “I never give up!” Birds seen during the day included Black Stork, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Saker, Black Stork, Grey-headed, Black, Lesser Spotted and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and Ural Owl. It cost us 140 Euros and we were able to use our own hire car.
Main Sites Visited
Hortobágy National Park
We spent about two thirds of our time birding this area and were rewarded with species that included Pygmy Cormorant, Great White Egret, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Bittern, Black Stork, White-tailed Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Osprey, Saker, Red-footed Falcon, Common Crane, Great Bustard, Little Crake, Dotterel, Temminck’s Stint, Terek Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, Great Grey Shrike, Roller, Penduline Tit, Bearded Tit and Thrush Nightingale. Water levels in all the fishponds vary according to activity at the time and their attractiveness to birds varies likewise; you need a permit to visit most, if not all, of them even if you’re not fishing and many have barriers preventing vehicular access. Areas that we visited included
|Puszta habitat, Hortobagy, Dave Thexton||Common Cranes, Hortobagy, Dave Thexton|
- the road from Balmazujvaros to Tiszacsege. This is one of the best open access areas for raptors and cranes, plus a range of other species.
|Squacco Heron, Hortobagy, Derek McAlone||Black Stork, Hortobagy, Derek McAlone|
- areas of puszta southwest of Hortobagy village. Tracks that were easily driveable in dry weather took us into habitat for Great Bustard, Dotterel etc,
- wader pools near Hajduszoboszlo. Turn right just before entering Hajduszoboszlo from the direction of Balmazujvaros on a tarmac road that becomes a track (impassable to a hire car when wet as we discovered!), pass the sewage works and continue until shallow pools appear on your left. This was some of the best wader habitat we visited and species here included Temmink’s Stint and Bar-tailed Godwit among a good variety of other waders.
|Wader pools near Hajduszoboszlo, Ian Kinley||Whiskered Terns, Hortobagy, Dave Thexton|
- the Balmazujvaros area including an area of puszta beyond the rubbish tip where there were lots of Susliks and so is hunted by Sakers. It was also the best site for lingering Red-footed Falcons and we also had Eastern Imperial Eagle and Great Grey Shrike here.
|Red-footed Falcon, near Balmazujvaros, Dave Thexton||Long-eared Owl, Balmazujvaros, Dave Thexton|
- the Halasto Fishponds are perhaps the best-known of the fishpond complexes on the Hortobagy. However, the access details given in Gosney are out of date and the area can now only be accessed on foot necessitating a very long hike - the trail is 13.5km long – or by using the train that operates on Saturdays only (at least while we were there) at a nominal cost but does not stop en route to the end of the trail. For this reason, we visited it just once. Even the limited time we spent here produced the likes of Pygmy Cormorant, White-fronted Goose, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed Eagle, Bittern, Purple Heron and Penduline Tit.
|Little Crake, Hortobagy, Ian Kinley||Purple Heron, Hortobagy, Ian Kinley|
- other fishponds were mostly found simply by exploring and, apart from the Ohat Fishponds, we rarely knew their names. Most consisted of large areas of open water and reedbeds good for Pygmy Cormorants, herons, Ferruginous Duck, Little Crake, Whiskered Tern etc. Just one of those we visited had recently been drained and this is where we had Terek Sandpiper.
|Drained fishpond near Balmazujvaros, Dave Thexton||Terek Sandpiper, Hortobagy, Ian Kinley|
The woodlands that we visited with Zoltan north and east of Komloska (at times very close to the Slovakian border) on our guided day were easily accessible subsequently on our own via minor roads and driveable tracks and produced a selection of woodpeckers including Grey-headed, Black and Middle and Lesser Spotted as well as Ural Owl and Goshawk. More open areas of cultivated habitat and farmland at lower levels south and west of our base at Komloska also proved productive with species such as Eastern Imperial and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Saker, Red-footed Falcon and Black Stork.
|Imperial Eagle habitat, Zemplen, Ian Kinley||Eastern Imperial Eagle, Zemplen, Derek McAlone|
5th September Budapest Airport to Balmazujvaros. Overnight at Balmazujvaros.
6th September Birding in the Hortobagy concentrating on the road from Balmazujvaros to Tiszacsege Overnight at Balmazujvaros.
7th September Birding in the Hortobagy, guided by Sandor from Sakertour and visiting specific sites for Great Bustard, Saker, Dotterel and Long-eared Owl plus several areas of puszta and wader habitat. Overnight at Balmazujvaros.
8th September Birding in the Hortobagy. Overnight at Balmazujvaros.
9th September Travelled from Balmazujvaros to the Zemplen Hills. Birding early morning around Balmazujvaros then en route to Komloska. Overnight at Komloska.
10th September Birding in the Zemplen Hills guided by Zoltan. Overnight at Komloska.
11th September Birding in the Zemplen Hills, Overnight at Overnight at Komloska.
12th September Birding in the Zemplen Hills, Overnight at Overnight at Komloska.
13th September Travelled from Komloska to Balmazujvaros. Birding in the Zemplen Hills and Hortobagy Overnight at Balmazujvaros
14th September Birding in the Hortobagy Overnight at Balmazujvaros
15th September Birding in the Hortobagy Overnight at Balmazujvaros
16th September Birding in the Hortobagy Overnight at Balmazujvaros
17th September Birding in the Hortobagy Overnight at Balmazujvaros
18th September Morning birding in the Hortobagy then journey from Balmazujvaros to Budapest airport.
We recorded a total of 158 species, listed below. The figures in brackets represent the number of days each species was recorded e.g. (4/14) means that a species was seen on four days during our 14 day trip (bearing in mind that the last day involved just a few hours birding and disregarding the first day when no birding at all was done) and gives a crude indication of how easy each species was to see. More details are given of the rarer or more interesting species.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis (4/14)
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus (5/14)
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (2/14) Singles on Hortobagy Fishponds on 13th and 15th.
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (9/14)
Pygmy Cormorant Phalacrocorax pygmeus (9/14) Fairly common in the Hortobagy.
Bittern Botaurus stellaris (1/14) One at the Halasto Fishponds on 15th.
Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax (1/14) Two at the Halasto Fishponds on 15th.
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides (2/14) Up to six on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta (5/14) Quite scarce with just small numbers seen on the Hortobagy.
Great White Egret Ardea alba (8/14) The commonest heron with up to 40 at a time on the Hortobagy, sometimes in dry fields. Several also seen in the Zemplen Hills.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea (12/14)
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea (4/14) Scarce with just low single figures on the Hortobagy, all juveniles.
Black Stork Ciconia nigra (7/14) On the Hortobagy there were four on 6th and singles on 8th, 9th and 13th. Also one in the Zemplen Hills on 10th and 15+ on the Bodrog floodplain on 11th.
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia (2/14) Two at the Hortobagy Fishponds on 13th and 120 at the Halasto Fishponds on 15th.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor (5/14)
Greylag Goose Anser anser (8/14) very numerous on the Hortobagy with some huge flocks seen.
White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons (1/14) A single bird at the Halasto Fishponds on 15th.
Wigeon Anas penelope (2/14)
Gadwall Anas strepera (5/14)
Teal Anas crecca (10/14)
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (12/14)
Pintail Anas acuta (1/14)
Garganey Anas querquedula (3/14) Small numbers on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Shoveler Anas clypeata (7/14)
Pochard Aythea farina (7/14)
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina (1/14) Three at the Ohat Fishponds on 15th.
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (8/14) Quite common on the Hortobagy Fishponds with up to 25 at a time seen.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula (1/14)
White-tailed Eagle Haliaetus albicilla (9/14) Frequent sightings in the Hortobagy, mostly involving juvenile birds, with one on 5th, three sightings of singles on 6th, three together on 7th and 8th, singles on 13th and 14th and four on 15th and 17th. In addition, one was over the Bodrog floodplain on 11th.
Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (4/14) Two on the Hortobagy on 7th, singles in the Zemplen Hills on 10th and 11th and one on the Hortobagy on 17th.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (14/14) Very common, particularly in the Hortobagy.
Goshawk Accipiter gentiles (3/14) A juvenile seen occasionally from the Visitor Centre at Balmazujvaros and an adult perched on a pylon in the Zemplen Hills on 11th.
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus (5/14) None until 12th after which we began to see them in the Zemplen Hills suggesting an arrival of migrant birds.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (14/14)
Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (4/14) Singles in the Hortobagy on 5th, 6th and 17th all from the road between Balmazujvaros and Tiszacsege plus one in Zemplen Hills on 9th.
Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina (2/14) Singles in the Zemplen Hills on 10th and 11th.
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (5/14) An area of lowland habitat and farmland close to the Zemplen Hills proved a reliable site and, with patience, produced some excellent views: here we saw two on 10th, one or two on 11th and singles on 12th and 13th. On the Hortobagy, there was a single on the puszta near Balmazujvaros rubbish tip on 16th.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus (1/14) A single on the Hortobagy on 6th.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus (14/14)
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus (6/14) Though most had departed, sightings were still quite frequent with three on the Hortobagy on 5th, 17+ on the puszta near Balmazujvaros rubbish tip on 8th, singles in the Zemplen Hills on 11th and 12th and singles on the Hortobagy on 15th and 17th.
Hobby Falco subbuteo (5/14) Singles on the Hortobagy on 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th with two seen there on 7th.
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (6/14) Frequent sightings and some cracking views. Two (adult and juv) near Balmazujvaros on pylons by the road to Debrecen on 6th; two singles on the Hortobagy on 7th; two in the Zemplen Hills on 10th; singles in the Hortobagy on 14th and 16th; two hunting Susliks over the puszta near Balmazujvaros rubbish tip on 18th.
Pheasant Phasianus colchacus (11/14)
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (3/14)
Little Crake Porzana parva (2/14) Six fem/juvs on one fishpond on the Hortobagy on 5th and six, including one male, on the same and an adjoining fishpond on 7th.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (5/14)
Coot Fulica atra (8/14)
Common Crane Grus grus (7/14) Common on the Hortobagy with numbers increasing all the time as more birds arrived; their bugling provided the soundtrack to many a day’s birding. Areas between Balmazujvaros and Tiszacsege were especially favoured
Great Bustard Otis tarda (2/14) Seven on the puszta in the Hortobagy on 6th and a single seen in flight nearby after being flushed by a farmer’s vehicle on 15th.
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (1/14)
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (1/14) A single on the Hortobagy Fishponds on 17th provided our only sighting.
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (3/14) Up to six on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (7/14) Common on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (7/14)
Dotterel Charadrius morinellus (1/14) A flock of 11 on the Hortobagy puszta on 6th.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola (2/14) Two on the puszta in the Hortobagy on 16th where we’d previously seen Dotterel caused us some initial confusion; two on the Hortobagy Fishponds on 17th were less problematic.
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (11/14)
Sanderling Calidris alba (4/14)
Little Stint Calidris minuta (6/14) Common on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii (1/14) Singles at the Hajduszoboszlo wader pools and on the Hortobagy on 14th.
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (6/14) Small numbers on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Dunlin Calidris alpina (8/14)
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (7/14) Up to 52 on the wader pools near Hajduszoboszlo and smaller numbers on on the other Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Snipe Gallinago gallinago (9/14)
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (4/14)
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica (1/14) One at the Hajduszoboszlo wader pools on 14th.
Curlew Numenius arquata (10/14)
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythopus (7/14) Up to 40 or more on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Redshank Tringa tetanus (1/14)
Greenshank Tringa nebularia (3/14) Small numbers on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus (2/14)
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola (5/14) Widespread, albeit in relatively small numbers, on the Hortobagy Fishponds/wader pools.
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus (3/14) A juvenile frequented a drained fishpond and nearby sluice on the Hortobagy from 6th to 13th.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos (9/14)
Turnstone Arenaria interpres (2/14)
Little Gull Larus minutus (1/14) A first-winter on the Ohat Fishponds on 15th.
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus (10/14)
Common Gull Larus canus (3/14)
Yellow-legged (/14) Larus michahellis (9/14)
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans (8/14) The commonest large gull, present in fair numbers on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida (5/14) Up to 25 on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Black Tern Chlidonias niger (1/14) At least one on the Hortobagy Fishponds on 13th.
Feral Pigeon Columba livia (14/14)
Stock Dove Columba oenas (1/14)
Woodpigeon Columba palumbus (9/14)
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto (14/14)
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur (4/14)
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (2/14)
Tawny Owl Strix aluco (2/14) One roosted in a chimney in Komloska.
Ural Owl Strix uralensis (1/14) One seen and one heard in close proximity to each other in the Zemplen Hills on 10th.
Long-eared Owl Asio otus (1/14) A daytime roost of 19 birds in the middle of Balmazujvaros on 6th.
Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (3/14)
Bee-eater Merops apiaster (8/14) Still quite numerous though becoming less so as time went on.
Roller Coracias garrulus (1/14) Two juvs on the Hortobagy on 8th.
Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus (5/14) Heard every day from the Solyomvar Panzio at Komloska in the Zemplen Hills and one seen very well in the Zemplen Hills on 10th after being called down by Zoltan.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis (3/14)
Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martiuso (4/14) One heard from the Solyomvar Panzio at Komloska on 9th; one seen and heard in the Zemplen Hills on 10th; one heard in the Zemplen Hills on 11th and three heard and one seen in strip woods on the Hortobagy on 17th.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus major (5/14)
Syrian Woodpecker Dendrocopus syriacus (8/14) Seen and heard regularly in and around Balmazujvaros, including in the Visitor Centre garden.
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus medius (1/14) At least seven in the Zemplen Hills on 10th, some of which gave good views.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopus minor (2/14) One heard in the Zemplen Hills on 10th and one seen and heard in a strip wood on the Hortobagy on 17th.
Crested Lark Galerida cristata (2/14) Surprisingly scarce.
Woodlark Lullula arborea (1/14) Two in the Zemplen Hills on 10th.
Skylark Alauda arvensis (10/14)
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (9/14)
Swallow Hirundo rustica (14/14)
House Martin Delichon urbicum (8/14)
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (4/14)
Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus (5/14) Two in the Hortobagy on 5th, one in the Zemplen Hills on 12th and 13th, four in the Hortobagy on 14th and one there on 17th. All were fly-overs and most were just heard.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (10/14) Widespread and quite common.
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea (2/14)
White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba (14/14)
Thrush Nightingale Luscinia luscinia (2/14) One seen well in the garden of the Balmazujvaros Visitor Centre on 6th and 7th.
Robin Erithacus rubecula (7/14)
Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus (1/14)
Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (11/14) Up to six in the garden of the Balmazujvaros Visitor Centre and occasional sightings elsewhere.
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra (9/14)
Stonechat Saxicola torquata (9/14)
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe (4/14)
Blackbird Turdus merula (7/14)
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos (1/14)
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus (1/14)
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus (3/14)
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca (2/14) Occasional migrants in the garden of the Balmazujvaros Visitor Centre and occasional sightings elsewhere.
Whitethroat Sylvia communis (2/14)
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (7/14)
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix (3/14) In the garden of the Balmazujvaros Visitor Centre, there were three on 5th, one on 9th and five on 15th.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita (7/14)
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus (4/14)
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa sriata (8/14)
Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (4/14) In the garden of the Balmazujvaros Visitor Centre, there were at least six on 7th, one on 9th and one on the 17th plus a single on the Hortobagy on 8th..
Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus (3/14) Occasionally heard on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalus caudatus (4/14) White headed form.
Marsh Tit Parus palustris (4/14)
Coal Tit Parus ater (1/14)
Blue Tit Parus caeruleus (11/14)
Great Tit Parus major (14/14)
Nuthatch Sitta europaea (5/14) Very common in the Zemplen Hills.
Treecreeper Certhia familiaris (1/14)
Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus (3/14) Frequently heard and occasionally seen on the Hortobagy Fishponds.
Red-backed Shrike Lanius colluria (14/14) Widespread in small numbers.
Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor (1/14) One on the puszta near Balmazujvaros rubbish tip on 16th.
Jay Garrulus glandarius (5/14)
Magpie Pica pica (14/14)
Jackdaw Corvus monedula (6/14)
Rook Corvus frugilegus (14/14)
Hooded Crow Corvus cornix (14/14)
Raven Corvus corax (5/14)
Common Starling Sternus vulgaris (14/14)
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (14/14)
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus (14/14)
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (9/14)
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis (9/14)
Linnet Carduelis cannabina (6/14)
Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes (1/14) One from the Solyomvar Panzio at Komloska on 12th.
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (6/14)
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoenicus (3/14)
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra (1/14) Scarcer than expected.