Welcome to my world..............

Monday, 9 May 2011

A few days away.....good news and bad news

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.
Pygmy Cormorant
Great White Egret
White Stork 

Purple Heron
Friday night was cold, and 3 hours with an actinic produced just the two moths.  Saturday was spent on the limestone ridge in the north-east of the country around Aggtelek on the Slovak border.  The cold weather and increasing cloud and wind was just not conducive to butterflies, and most of those I saw were ones I could see in the UK...except for the Woodland Ringlet I suppose...

Silver-studded Blue
Dingy Skipper
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..
Wood White
Woodland Ringlet
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.

Beech woodland in the Bukk hills
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.
Imperial Eagle
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.


  1. Cracking photos Gramps. What's the small bird above the Imperial then? And which one is the Pygmy.......? Hard luck with the job. I'll never fly Jet2 again (not that I ever have!)

  2. 1/ That is a mark on the screen...2/ and I worry when you have a choice of one and still can't get it....and 3/ unfortunately I have to fly with them again having booked my summer break. I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of taking my money and getting nothing for it