Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Destinations: Kiskunsag - Hungary

The Kiskunsag is a flat lowland region in eastern Hungary that lies between the Danube and Tisza rivers. It begins less than an hour SE of the capital by road. The town of Kecskemet lies at its heart and Szeged is to the south. Habitats include salt-lakes, marshes, fish-ponds, reedbeds, sandy dunes and large expanses of arable land and puszta (lowland grassland) dotted with robinia copses. The puszta can be wet or dry, depending on the year's rainfall, and with long grass or short, depending upon the grazing regime. Whatever, the region is good for birds all year round though all things considered, mid-late April (shorebird passage), May (summer visitors back), August (return migration) and October-November (wildfowl passage) are probably the best months to bird. There is a rich mix of wetland and grassland bird species and many, such as Great Bustard, are resident and can be found all year round. Other classic Kiskunsag birds include Kentish Plover, Collared Pratincole, Stone Curlew, Eurasian Roller, Red-footed Falcon, Lesser Grey Shrike and Whiskered Tern. In winter there are often a few Red-breasted Geese scattered amongst larger flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese. Several fragmented areas, including most of the salt-lakes along road 52, comprise the Kiskunsag National Park.

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