Sunday, 25 July 2010

Special Birds: White-backed Woodpecker male

This photo of an adult male White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos was taken in Hungary by Laszlo Becsy. There are two races of this species, the nominate leucotos in northern and central Europe eastwards into Asia (as the bird here) and lilfordi in southern Europe, in the Mediterranean and Balkan countries.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Books: The Birds of Hungary

The Birds of Hungary by Gerard Gorman (Christopher Helm, London) is a status handbook of all the birds known to have occurred in Hungary up to 1995. Introductory sections cover Nomenclature, Geographical Background, Land Use, Habitats, Climate, Conservation, Reserves & Parks, and Migration. The bulk of the book is taken up with a species by species status review and each species has a range map (this is the first time ever that maps have been produced and published for all the birds occurring in Hungary). As well as Status data notes on Distribution and Timing indicate the areas and periods where and when each species is present. There are also very useful tables and charts covering such topics as Aquatic Warbler numbers and trends and the Status of Breeding Birds of Prey. The book is enlivened by black & white line drawings by John Davis. If the visiting birder uses this book with one of the above mentioned guides he/she will be wonderfully equipped with all the practical information needed to plan and execute a successful visit.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Destinations: Burzyn, Biebrza NP - Poland

This spot, near the hamlet of the same name, offers a great view over the marshes and flood plain of the Biebrza River. In spring, April and early May, masses of wildfowl, gulls and waders gather here and some stay to breed. Burzyn lies on the western side of the Biebrza National Park, in the SW, a few miles north of Wizna.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Special Birds: The Ural Owl

Ural Owl Strix uralensis is a bird that is often high on the list of species that visitors to Eastern Europe want to see. It inhabits forests throughout the region from the Baltic States to the Balkans. Photo by Juozas Miskinis taken in Lithuania.