Experience fall migration and Hungarian birding, wine, and culture on this 10-day Venture through the plains, forests, and scenic mountains during ‘wine festival’ season.
Though only about the size of Indiana, landlocked Hungary boasts 10 different national parks and is considered to be among the best destinations for birding and wildlife holidays in Eastern Europe. On our relaxed, 10-day tour, we begin with visits to the world famous Hortobágy and Kiskunság National Parks. This is the ‘Great Hungarian Plain,’ which constitutes part of the Eurasian Steppe, a vast ecoregion which once stretched contiguously from Eastern Europe to the Far East and Manchuria. From our comfortable rural accommodation built in the authentic, thatch- roof Hungarian style, we explore the grasslands, alkali lakes, and marshes for a number of specialty birds including Ferruginous Duck, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-footed and Saker Falcons, White- tailed and Imperial Eagles and a host of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, and waders. This is also the home of the largest population of Great Bustard in all of Europe, and we should see these majestic birds here. Around our very lodge in the gardens we will find such breathtaking denizens as European Bee Eater, European Roller, and Golden Oriole. We then leave the open areas for the lovely beech-dominated woodlands of the Zemplén & Bükk Mountains, where as many as 9 species of woodpecker await (including Blac lus Ural Owl, Northern Goshawk, Hawfinch and more.
Hungary is also world-renown for its wine; before the World Wars, Hungary was the 3rd largest producer of wine in Europe, after France and Italy. As this is a ‘Birds & Wine’ trip, we will learn about Hungary’s wine culture while enjoying an excellent selection of local wines produced in the regions we’ll be visiting, such as Tokaj and Eger. There will be the option for wine tastings on most evenings and we will get to visit several award-winning wineries along the way as well.
The birding pace will be laid-back and we’ll certainly be stopping to look at all the marvelous landmarks we encounter, from Budapest’s fantastic collection of Baroque and Classicist architecture to Eger’s medieval cathedrals, churches, and fortresses. With its well-developed infrastructure, and well- preserved natural heritage, Hungary may just be one of our new favorite places. Come experience the beautiful natural areas, great birding, excellent local cuisine, and famous Hungarian hospitality for yourself!
Some of the Birds We Hope to See
Ferruginous Duck, Ring-necked Pheasant, European Turtle-Dove, Great Bustard, Eurasian Thick-knee, Northern Lapwing, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff; Black-headed, Yellow-legged, and Caspian Gulls; Whiskered Tern; Gray & Purple Herons; Eurasian Marsh, Montagu’s, and Hen Harriers; Imperial and White-tailed Eagles; Black Kite; European Bee Eater, European Roller; Woodpeckers galore (Great Spotted, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Eurasian Green, Black, Syrian, White-backed, Gray-headed, and Eurasian Wryneck); Red-footed Falcon, Red-backed Shrike, Eurasian Jay, Hooded Crow, Marsh & Eurasian Reed Warblers; Eurasian Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher, Black Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear; Western Yellow, Gray, and White Wagtails; European Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, and many, many more.