Saturday, 19 May 2018

Bats in the Belfry....Hungarian holiday continued..May 2018.

Never dull on one of our photographic forays!
Yesterday we visited the ancient Cistercian church and monastery at Belapatfalva near where we are staying in the Bukk Hills... not to admire the view or say a few prayers but to climb up into the roof space to photograph bats.
We were led by Peta, one of Hungary’s top bat experts who gave us a detailed description of the roost and the species.
Later that evening we visited a forest pool with him and watched as he caught 4 different species in his mist nets as part of his ongoing research.
At the church we saw Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats, and at the forest we saw Whiskered, Brandts, Daubentons & Barbastelle.

The town of Belapatfalva is the site of the best preserved Romanesque church building in Hungary.
It was built after 1232 with the abbey being destroyed in the 16th century, leaving only ruins.
Destruction of the abbey happened after invasions by the Mongolians and the Turks.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Birds in Hungary Day 3. 15th May 2018.


A few more images from my day in Hungary, (and the previous evening as well!).

An amazing evening last night at the hide for the nesting Hoopoes with both adult birds feeding their chicks with insects.


A quick hour at a nestbox that has nesting Wryneck viewed from a canvas hide and a few dozen poorly lit images!


After the Wryneck David and I donned our mosquito nets and headed in to the reedbed amongst some of the tallest reeds I've ever seen.... at least 3 feet higher than my 5'10''.
We went to see another wonder of nature, the nest of a Penduline Tit.
I did see a few in Poland a few years back but this was hanging away from any vegetation under a huge Willow.

Penduline Tit.
Then this morning we awoke to heavy rain which slowed down our adventures to a sedate 7 o'clock start!

I spent the morning in a woodland reflection hide and despite the low and challenging light managed to get some shots of Hawfinch, Black Redstart,Common Starling & Tree Sparrows.

Common Starling.


Black Redstart.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Birds in Hungary Day 2. 14th May 2018.

Black necked Grebe.

I was out of bed and in the truck at 4:20 this morning for a short trip to the Great Salt marshes.
Had a floating hide to myself and it was just before sunrise so I was all set up when the sun came over the horizon.

Needed chest waders to get to the hide which was tethered to some posts driven into the ground.
All photos were taken from the “lying down” position in order to get the low vantage point for ducks and grebes as they hopefully went about their daily lives.

This did however play hell with my neck and shoulders, craning to look through a camera from the prone position... not ideal but it paid off handsomely!

Delighted to have got such great species as Red Necked Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Little Grebe, Garganey, Pochard, Greylag Geese, Little Crake and several others.

Here are a few examples.....

Red Necked Grebe
Red Necked Grebe
Drake Garganey in flight

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Birds on Day 1 in Hungary. 13th May 2018.

Grasshopper Warbler

I found this very approachable Grasshopper Warbler this morning whilst out in the grasslands of the Tizsla river in Hungary.

The birdlife here is incredible and it does make one feel a bit sad thinking that ours at home should be like this but isn't!

As I watched this bird and listened to it's "fishing reel" song I could also hear Bittern booming, cuckoo, hoopoe, turtle dove and quail all within close distance.

Hoping to post some more pics as the time and internet availability allows.

Yellow Wagtail

Friday, 4 May 2018

Hare, Wadebridge, North Cornwall May 2nd 2018.

I got lucky with this hare as it kept coming closer and closer until I couldn't get him all in the frame with the lens I had on the camera.

Always love watching hares and this time was no exception.

It was "drumming" its front legs which I understand may be some kind of cleaning routine but this didn't show on the still photos so I've attached a short video clip which was amazing quality but had degraded badly as it's been downsized for the web but you may get some idea of what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Shelduck this evening in North Cornwall. Wed 2nd May 2018.

Had a flock of 42 Shelducks in a freshly tilled arable field this evening.

Every now and then some would leave the field and come to the water to bathe and also to wind up the Canada goose pair that think they own the pools!

So I was quite pleased with some of the photos that follow......

Monday, 30 April 2018

Cornish Choughs in West Cornwall. 30th April 2018.

Had at least 6 and probably more Cornish Choughs today in West Cornwall.

I spoke to the RSPB guy keeping an eye on them and he saw 12 yesterday!

I settled in down amongst the rocks after first checking with the guy that I was nowhere near any nest site.

Amazingly they flew in and started to feed very close to me and then the adult male (with the yellow and blue leg rings) landed and proceeded to feed the adult female just a few feet away.

So exciting to see our favourite Cornish birds looking so good!