I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Hungary for a few days R&R the end of this last week. The omens bode well with the registration of the car being very apt - LEP! I was fortunate to have one of those cars that can go literally anywhere...yes, a hire car! I will be honest it did me proud, 1000km and did not ground once, despite some of the very challenging off-roading....
|Registration LEP 748....|
The fabulous blue skies of Yorkshire seemed to be Europe-wide, and I spent Friday about Hortabagy, looking mainly at birds, as the cool wind seemed to suppress any butterflies until the afternoon. The hungarian plains have loads to offer, and were a bit wetter than previous visits. Loads of Marsh Harriers, summer-plumaged waders including magnificent Spotted Redshanks with Ruff, Quail and Golden Orioles from every field and copse, plus Cranes, Storks, various Herons, of which Great White Egret was by far the commonest, and Pygmy Cormorants.
|Great White Egret|
The morning started fine but cool, but the deteriorating weather getting cooler, windier and eventually wet too made butterfly watching rather difficult. Checking out the valleys north of Szin (an interesting place to live in I'm sure...) produced a few more butterflies.
|Some proper meadows..|
The rain eventually closed in and a drive through the beech woods of Bukk produced dozens of Hawfinches, probably the commonest bird, seemingly collecting roadside grit.
On the last day with the weather starting poorly and improving, gave me a last stab at the plains area again, and was lucky enough to get good views of Imperial Eagle and a fine Montagu's Harrier.
|Beech woodland in the Bukk hills|
So a great few days, with perhaps not as many moths/butterflies as I had hoped for, but was still an incredible pleasure just to immerse myself in many common and not so common species of Hungary.
So that was the good news, and the bad....well I lost my job today. So every silver lining has a cloud.