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Migration Extravaganza

Birdwatching in Hungary is excellent the whole year round, but autumn birding offers a particularly memorable experience: the spectacular Common Crane migration.  These birds use Hungary as a stop-over site on their journey from the breeding grounds in northern Europe and Asia to their winter quarters in the North Africa.  The number of migrating cranes has increased in Hungary in the last decades and now the country plays host to over 100,000 migrating cranes.  Watching these birds, in the evening light, as they come in their thousands to settle in for the night, must grade as one of most spectacular birding experiences.    

The location of the country in central Europe means that it is ideally positioned in the middle of several migratory routes of other birds as well.  The country hosts a great proportion of the European population of Lesser White-fronted Geese, which together with Red-breasted Geese can be found amongst tens of thousand of migrating White-fronted Geese.  Ducks also occur in big numbers and the globally threatened Ferruginous Duck can be found here as well. 

The variety of wetlands host a considerable number of migrating waders, but of a particular significance are flocks of Dotterels which reach over 100. 

The wide open skies are the domain of such raptors as Saker Falcon, Merlin, Hen and Marsh Harriers, Long-legged Buzzard, the majestic White-tailed Eagle, but above all, the globally threatened Imperial Eagle, which is also the national bird of Hungary.   

Some resident birds that are difficult to see in spring and summer, form bigger groups in autumn and are more approachable.  Those include the globally threatened magnificent Great Bustard, as well as the Great White Egret, Spoonbill, Pygmy Cormorant, Penduline and Beared Tits.  

The rocky hills covered in both deciduous and coniferous woodlands are home to nine species of woodpeckers and an array of interesting passerines, including Hawfinch, Rock Bunting and crossbills, amongst others. 

But our experience of an autumn visit to Hungary will not end in extending our bird list.  Culinary tradition forms an important part of Hungarian culture and we will have great opportunities to indulge ourselves in good food and wine.  Wine connoisseurs will be glad to know that Hungary has a long tradition as a wine producing country and wine-making has evolved here over many centuries.  In the Edger region, where we will stay for part of the tour, wine has been made for over 1000 years.  Some wines can be found in the cellars that are over 300 years old and still improving in bouquet!

With a selection of such attractive birds supported by an array of unspoiled habitats and good tourist infrastructure, Hungary is a delightful birding destination hard to beat in Europe.  To enhance our chances of seeing all the important birds, a local guide will accompany us throughout the tour.

Detailed Itinerary Booking Info



Tour Details

Date
2-7 October 2017

Price
£1280

Single Supplement
160

Group Size
6-8


Outline Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival to Budapest and transfer to Horobágy National Park

Days 2-4
Horobágy National Park

Days 5
Bükk National Park

Day 6
Departure from Budapest


Price Includes

all accommodation on a shared basis

all meals

all excursions and transfers by vehicle

park and tour guide fee   


Price Does Not Include

all items of a personal nature

flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance

scheduled return flight to Budapest.  A group booking is made, but you will have to deal with a travel agent directly.  Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements


Please Note

all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip

a deposit of £100 is requested with a booking  form.  The final payment is required by 1 July

walks are easy over flat terrain but, in the Northern Hills, we could encounter some slopes.  Those, however, will be taken at a gentle pace