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Birdwatching Tours around Budapest.

Since the guide moved outside Budapest only 2 or more day birding tours are possible. For half day and day trips we are searching for a birding guide.

Budapest lies right on the border of the Hungarian Great Plain, the so called ”puszta”. This vast lowland is the transition zone between the deciduous forests of Western Europe and the steppes of the east, hence it is made up from the mosaics of grasslands and forest patches, maintaining a unique ecosystem, often referred to as the Pannonian Ecoregion. Only a few kilomtres SE from Budapest you can find large flocks of Great Bustards, colonies of Red-footed Falcons and Bee-eaters as well as several other species that rarely come up in western countries. Our tours focus on the areas of the Kiskunsag National Park, which is one of the three national parks in the ”puszta”.

steppe (puszta) en zoutmeren nabij Budapest Hongarije
Half day birdwatching: The Upper-Kiskunsag Alkaline Steppes
Though these steppes are flat as a pancake, several habitat types can be found on them ranging from dry grasslands with sparse vegetation to extensive reedbeds and lakes. During breeding time the wetlands are home to Little and Great White Egrets, Purple Herons, Spoonbills, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Mediterranean Gulls, Whiskered and White-winged Black Terns. A few pairs of Collared Pratincoles also breed in the area. Drier points are inhabited by Stone-curlews, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Tawny Pipits, Little Grey Shrikes, etc.

Grote Trap nabij Budapest
The population of Great Bustards is well above 100 pairs here but the total count for the Kiskunság National Park is more than 600 individuals. The Red-footed Falcon has become an endangered species, but they can still form remarkable colonies here. Their relative, the Saker Falcon is also a regular breeder of the area. In spring and in autumn, a multitude of transient shorebirds visit the wetlands and it is always exciting to examine their huge flocks in search for rarities such as the Marsh Sandpiper. Cranes also stop here in good numbers on their way to or from the Skandinavian breeding sites. There is a fishpond in the area, too, which serves as a perfect feeding ground for shorebirds, if drained. In winter, the puszta seems rather desolate but some wintering species, like Merlin, Hen Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Water Pipit or Great Grey Shrike are worth looking for. Thousands of geese spend the winter on the arable fields surrounding the steppes. Most of them are Greater White-fronted Geese, but an observant eye may find some Red-breasted or Lesser White-fronted Geese among them. Caspian Gulls visit the area all year round. All winter tours count as half-day tours.

Full day of birdwatching,
Birding from dawn until dusk: The first half of the day is actually the same as the half-day tour. After that, there are two options: 1) The Fülöpháza Sand Dunes and Lake Kolon The Fülöpháza area is a unique, inland sand dune range maintaining a dry forest steppe vegetation with bird species like Woodlark, Roller, Red-backed Shrike, Tawny Pipit or Hoopoe. Nightjars are outstandingly numerous, though they can be observed only at dusk. En route to the dunes, we stop at a sedge meadow too, where several Montagu’s Harriers nest every year. The last stop of the day is at the bird ringing centre. It is located near an ancient reedbed, called Lake Kolon. Moustached, Savi’s, Sedge, Marsh and Great Reed Warblers, Penduline and Bearded Tits as well as Wrynecks are among the birds caught regulary.

Draaihals bij het vogelringstation
2) Upper Kiskunsag Alkaline Lakes and Lake Kolon Alkaline lakes are considered as the most extreme habitats of the region. They are very shallow and their shores are completely barren as higher plants cannot tolerate the alkaline and salty environment. On the other hand, these circumstances are optimal for certain planctonic creatures, which attract large flocks of shorebirds. While the wetlands of the steppes are preferred by Tringa species, these lakes are visited by Calidris species, such as the Temminck Stint, as well.

White-tailed Eagles also like to hunt in the area for geese and other wildfowl. One of the biggest Red-footed Falcon colony of Hungary is located a few kilomtres from the lakes. After checking them out we head for the ringing centre (see option 1).
zoutmeren Hongarije

Click here for information and bookings

Rates may change according to the meeting point, special requests, etc. Having an own/hired vehicle reduces the rates with 40-50 %!! Transportation: by car (1-3 persons) or minibus (4-6 people).
Your guide:
Your guide is Csaba, born in 1984, in Kecskemet, Hungary. He started birdwatching when he started walking as his parents worked at the Kiskunsag National Park and were also birdwatchers in a way. So, by now he has collected a comprehensive knowledge about the places in the Kiskunsag National Park where the best species can be observed with the least effort and the least disturbance. Csaba graduated as a BA biologist in 2010. His thesis was about the effects of climate change on the vegetation of the Kiskunsag. He is also an English-Hungarian translator and a contractual tour guide at the Kiskunsag National Park. He is specialized in birdwatching and botanical excursions. Csaba has been a member of the Hungarian Ornithological Society for 12 years and whenever he has time he works at the bird ringing center of the national park as a volunteer. He and his family nurse injured birds. Some remarkable species successfully repatriated: White Stork, Roller, Bee Eater, Syrian Woodpecker, Golden Oriole, Barn Owl etc. Besides birdwatching Csaba is a keen mountain climber, hiker and long-distance cyclist.
Information and meeting point.

The meeting point can be your hotel, the international airport or anywhere in the region. Unfortunately using train or other means of public transportation do not reduce either the travelling time or the total costs.
Multiple-day tours in the Kiskunsag National Park and/or in other regions of Hungary are also avialable. Please send an email for itineraries and rates.

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie Nederlandse versie