Dave Wedd took this photo of a Ural Owl on our 2017 autumn trip. More pictures to follow soon.




This magnificent Ural Owl in the Zemplen Hills was photographed by Chrys Mellor on our 2013 Autumn tour, and here are some more of her lovely shots:


Big skies are a feature of the lowlands

Common Cranes , there were about 70,000 resting and feeding in the Hortobagy during our visit. This is an ancient migration stop-over area.


Serin and juvenile White-tailed Eagles.


Long-eared Owl, Greater Horse-shoe Bat and Green Tree Frog, all seen at close quarters in the daytime.





Below are some photos taken during our 2012 trip.

Cranes (Janos Olah)


Hungarian Grey Cattle (Janos Olah)


Long-eared owl (Janos Olah)


Peregrine (Janos Olah) 




Saker (Janos Olah)



                       Ural Owl in the Zemplens (Janos Olah)                                                                                                         Common Cranes by tour member Barbara Murphy




Dotterel on the Hortobagy (Janos Olah)






Pictures taken on our Autumn tour


Cranes over a traditional well on the puszta.

We ran two tours here in Autumn 2009; one was an RSPB members group special.













Traditional old farming methods are used in this UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Hortobagy.




Even the dog kennels are made in the age-old way. This tall structure made of reeds keeps the dogs cool in the hot sun.











A stop to take pictures of this castle in the Zemplen Hills allowed us to see Syrian Woodpecker, Merlin and a pair of Raven.




White-tailed Eagles were common on this trip. After this one had glanced down at us, it took off after an Imperial Eagle.



This Imperial Eagle was eyeing up the 100+ Dotterel on the plain below.



About 41,000 Cranes gathered to feed on the plains before migrating south for the winter.



The cranes would fly in to roost with thousands of Starlings




Skein after skein of cranes would fly over us at dusk each night.






Great Bustards feed in a specially protected area on the puszta. Their Hungarian warden took us to see them. He ensures there is plenty of food for them and they are free from disturbance as birds that leave Hungary have been shot in Italy.







The old carts gave this place a wonderful peaceful feel. The glorious landscape makes birding a real pleasure. No checking rubbish tips or sewage farms on this trip!








We didn't tire of the thousands of cranes we saw each day.














This Little Owl was sat beside an old drain where it would roost when the day heated up.





Hares & Roe Deer are common here.




More cranes!



This Imperial Eagle was being mobbed by Rooks. A close look revealed that a shrike had joined them!



and more cranes!





and more!



40,001, 40,002, 40,003, 40004...........




The first Huns to arrive in Europe from Asia brought old breeds of sheep, cattle, pigs and water buffalo.





Sunset was always a joy as the cranes settled to sleep.






Hundreds of Long-eared Owls breed on the puszta, which used to be almost treeless. As a result the birds would gather to roost in the few villages.

As they were not disturbed, they still use these ancient sites and massive numbers can move into the villages. We counted 36 in one tree!










A Black Woodpecker in the garden each morning was a nice way to start the day.







The Long-tailed Tits here are the gorgeous white-headed race.







White-backed Woodpecker is rare but we managed a couple, as well as Middle-spotted, Grey-headed, Syrian, Great-spotted, Green and Black.




The Zemplen Hills were the place to see the woodpeckers & Ural Owl, as well as sampling local wines.












A quick city tour of Budapest on the way to the airport meant that we did not have time to kill.








40,097, 40,098, 40,099........


all pictures by Phil Palmer



Please note: The above photographs were taken on previous trips. Itineraries change from time to time and therefore you cannot rely on these photographs as being an exact representation of what can be expected on a future tour. For details of the each tour, you should refer to the brochure write-up.



click here for details of our next tour to this destination


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