Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Special Birds: Ring Ouzel















Ring Ouzels Turdus torquatus breed in forests at high elevations in C & E Europe. They are migratory and can be seen in lowlands when on the move at the end of summer and again in early spring. This one was photographed in Austria by Thomas Hochebner.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Special Birds: Moustached Warbler













Acrocephalus melanopogon is an often skulking little songbird, that is not always easy to see well. It occurs in reed and rush fringed wetlands in the south of the C & E Europe. This one was photographed in Eastern Austria by Thomas Hochebner.  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Common Birds: Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax are fairly common locally in the SE of the region. They breed in colonies around wetlands and are migratory, arriving in spring and leaving in autumn. Here is a migrating group in Hungary in October (Gerard Gorman).

Friday, 31 October 2014

Special Birds: Black-headed Bunting

One has to get down into the Balkans, from May through summer, to be sure to see this bird, although it has bred as far north as Hungary: Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala. Photo taken at Plitvice, Croatia, by Gerard Gorman.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Cranes, cranes and more cranes !!!

Every autumn Common Cranes (Grus grus) pour through eastern Hungary. Numbers often reach over 100.000 which stop over for some weeks from late September to November as they head south. It is a great birding spectacle, surely one of the best in Europe.  

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Special Birds: Honey Buzzard

Eurasian Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus. Not uncommon locally in summer in much of the region. Photo taken over the River Tisza, near Tiszacsege, Hungary, by Gerard Gorman. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Special Birds: Black Woodpecker

Although it has still not been confirmed as occurring in Britain the Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) is quite common and widespread in Eastern Europe. Indeed, it has increased and expanded its range significantly in recent decades. It is no longer strictly a forest bird, but has adapted to many secondary and lowland wooded habitats.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Special Birds: Long-eared Owl

Long-eared Owl Asio otus is a common resident and breeder in much of Eastern Europe. In winter roosts of dozens of birds also occur. This recently fledged young bird was photographed in the Kiskunsag NP, Hungary, in May 2014 by Gerard Gorman.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Special Birds: Crested Lark

Crested Lark Galerida cristata is a familiar and quite common bird in the southern parts of Central and Eastern Europe. As well as grasslands, it is often rather urban inhabiting farmyards, roadsides even car-parks and flat rooftops.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Special Birds: White-backed Woodpecker















White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos is rare in western Europe, but doing better in Eastern Europe. It is Europe's rarest woodpecker and can be seen in mature deciduous and mixed forests from the Baltic States to the Balkans, though it is often localised and not always easy to track down. This is a female, note the black cap, taken in the Bukk Hills, NE Hungary, by Gerard Gorman.