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Hungary NEW! A Red-breasted Goose Chase!

A 6-day, single-centre, small group birdwatching tour to Hungary

Limosa’s November birdwatching tour to Hungary is an all new adventure centred around finding Europe’s two rarest geese: the spectacular Red-breasted Goose and the endangered Lesser White-front. But there is so much more to look forward to on this late autumn visit to the celebrated Hortobágy National Park: there should still be thousands of Cranes about and other major targets here include Greater Spotted and Eastern Imperial Eagles, Saker Falcon, Rough-legged Buzzard and Great Bustard. We’ll see Long-eared Owls at their daytime roost and go in search of up to six species of woodpecker, Hawfinch - and possibly even Wallcreeper, too. Join Gary and Zoli for what promises to be a quite superb late autumn birding tour to Hungary!

Tour Dates

2020

Spaces
10

Leaders
Gary Elton
Zoltan Ecsedi

Max Group Size: 10
Duration: 6 Days

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Cost: £1595

inc return flights London Heathrow-Budapest, nonstop with British Airways

Deposit: £300

Single Supp: £125
Land Only: £1445

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Red breasts Hungary Sandor Borza Sakertour

Small flocks of Red-breasted Geese join the Russian White-fronts on their journey from the Taimyr Peninsula © Sandor Borza

One of Eastern Europe’s truly great bird areas, a late autumn visit to the Hungarian Hortobágy is hard to beat! In addition to its wealth of scarce resident birds, the sweeping steppe grasslands, woodlands and reed-fringed lakes of Hungary’s most famous National Park are a vital staging post for huge numbers of passage migrants and winter visitors streaming south to escape the onset of the harsh Russian winter further north.

Early November is a fantastic time to visit the Hortobágy. Flocks of winter wildfowl and droves of stately Great Bustards assemble on the plains, where they are joined by legions of trumpeting Common Cranes. Though many of the cranes will have left by early November, nonetheless, there should still be thousands of these magnificent birds in the area during our stay!

With them from the north come skeins of wild geese. The majority of those arriving will have bred on the vast, open Russian taiga. The largest flocks will consist of Russian White-fronted Geese, but we should see Eastern Greylag and Taiga Bean Geese, too. Best of all, with the help of our expert local guides and contacts, we will seek small flocks of immaculate Red-breasted Geese - sometimes numbering more than 100 birds. And with careful scanning, we hope to find the rare Lesser White-fronted Goose among them, too. Set against a backdrop glowing red with the last rays of November sun, the stirring sight and sound of the many goose flocks here is an experience never to be forgotten.

The Hortobágy’s extensive grasslands support significant populations of rodents, notably the squirrel-like European Souslik. These in turn attract numerous birds of prey - and November is an excellent month to look for them. Eastern Imperial and Greater Spotted Eagles, Goshawk, Merlin and Saker... we have seen them all here in autumn. As we search the steppe for them, we may encounter a solitary Great Grey Shrike or a Rough-legged Buzzard hovering over the fields.

The Hortobágy also boasts many fine wetlands.  Here we may see the immense White-tailed Eagle, spreading panic amongst the gatherings of winter wildfowl - and often causing them to take flight in huge, swarming flocks. Great and Pygmy Cormorants, Ferruginous Duck, Eurasian Bittern, Great Egret, and Bearded and Penduline Tits are also resident, while for any larophiles amongst us there are Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls to check through and become confused by. Much easier to identify (although you need local knowledge to find them) are Long-eared Owls, already gathering in significant numbers at their favoured 'winter' roosts across the Hortobágy.

On the edge of the steppe, in freshly cut fields of alfalfa, Great Bustards will already be gathered in post-breeding flocks. A November visit also adds the chance of seeing some of the region’s more unusual wintering passerines; although their appearance is somewhat unpredictable, these can include Twite, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting - and sometimes even Wallcreeper!

To round off our stay in eastern Hungary, we’ll pay a visit to Debrecen Great Wood, where there are plenty of trails for us to explore. Come early November, the picturesque autumnal forests of oak, beech, hornbeam and cherry are a glorious sight to behold - and as a bonus, we could find as many as six different species of woodpecker, including Syrian, Black and Middle Spotted.

What more could you possibly want from this exciting late autumn break?

Our detailed Tour Itinerary for this 6-day Hungary tour is currently being finalised and will be posted here soon!

If you would like to receive our Tour Info Pack for this trip as soon as it's ready, just give our friendly office a call - or click here and ping us a quick email!

Meantime, BOOKING IS NOW OPEN for this tour.

What To Expect

Our detailed Tour Itinerary for this 6-day Hungary tour is currently being finalised and will be posted here soon!

If you would like to receive our Tour Info Pack for this trip as soon as it's ready, just give our friendly office a call - or click here and ping us a quick email!

Meantime, BOOKING IS NOW OPEN for this tour.

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