About us


Hungarianbirdwatching.com is an association of young, enthusiastic birders. We organise birding tours and birdwatching holidays in Hungary and in Budapest. Our birding tours are higly customised to your needs. 

During our birding trips to Hortobágy, Lake Fertő, Kiskunság, Lake Tisza, Bükk and Zemplén Mountains you have a reasonable chance to to see Great Bustard, Saker, Imperial Eagle, Pygmy Cormorant, Woodpeckers, Eagle and Ural Owl etc. 

We operate with small groups, and in our trips you will also have the opportunity to taste good Hungarian wines and explore the cultural heritages of Hungary.


Common Redpoll Invasion in Hungary …

… long awaited by Hungarian birders (posted: 04/02/2018)

Many Hungarian birders’ dream came true this winter when they had a good view of a Common Redpoll. The Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea) is a regular winter visitor in fluctuating numbers in Hungary. In the past ten years Redpolls overwintered only in small numbers, and there were years with no or less than 5 observations. The graph below shows the sightings of Common Redpolls in Hungary based on the records of www.birding.hu.

Common Redpoll Sightings pic

The winter 2017-2018 is an invasion year and between 28 October 2017 and 3 February 2018 314 sightings were uploaded to birding.hu. Largest flock reported was around 80 species. Lesser Redpolls (Carduelis flammea cabaret) were also observed in higher numbers then in the previous years, 13 sightings in W2017/18. The Redpoll on the picture was photographed in January 2018 in Budapest.

Common Redpoll pic

Oriental Turtle Dove in Hungary …

… vagrant or an escaped dove? (posted: 22/01/2018)

These days Hungarian birders from across the country make pilgrimages to Siófok to see an Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis), which is an exceptional rare vagrant in Hungary. In November and December 2017, an Oriental Turtle Dove was seen several times in Tószeg (near to Szolnok) and on 11 January another one (or the same?) in Siófok at Lake Balaton.

There are disputes whether the Oriental Turtle Dove(s) are vagrants or escaped ones from captivity. Nevertheless, dozens of Hungarian twitchers travelled to Siófok in the past few days to see this exotic turtle dove, including Bence Kókay, who made this wonderful shot on January 20th, 2018.

Oriental Turtle Dove pic

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

...from Hungarianbirdwatching.com Team (posted: 21/12/2017)

Whooper Swan Xmas card

76,000 Common Cranes in Hortobágy …

… but where are the missing 60,000 (posted: 16/10/2017)

In crane migration in Hortobágy, usually mid October is the strongest. In 2014, 2015, 2016 each, the number of Common Cranes (Grus grus) peaked at 135,000. This year's numbers are lagging behind the previous 3 years' numbers, and reasons are uncertain yet. The synchronous count in Hortobágy on 15th October, 2017 indicated, that the number of Cranes reached 75,780, 60,000 less, than expected. Once we know the reason we let you know.

Crane count graph 15-10-2017

First successful breeding of Red-rumped Swallow in Hungary …

… with 3 chicks successfully fledged (posted: 28/07/2017)

Red-rumped Swallow (Cecropis daurica) is a very rare vagrant in Hungary, less than ten records until May 2017. On May 5th, 2017 a pair of Red-rumped Swallows was seen among Barn Swallows by Gábor Bodor in Balatonfüred. A few days later their nest was found at a garage of a hotel. Reports from the following weeks indicated a successful breeding . Around 3-5 July 3 chicks fledged and were seen together one of the adults. We hope next year the adults or the chicks will return to Hungary will breed again.

Our photographer guide Zoli Oláh took photos of the adults and the nest approximately a week before the chicks successfully fledged. Congratulation to Gábor for finding the Red-rumped Swallows and to Zoli for the excellent photos.

Red-rumped Swallow pic

Successful breeding of Common Cranes in Hungary …

… second record since the 1910s (posted: 16/07/2017)

Common Cranes (Grus grus) were breeding regularly in Hungary until the 19th century, but the last breeding were noted in 1917 and 1918. In 2015 it was big sensation in Hungary, that successful breeding of Cranes were reported and documented from Transdanubia, Veszprém County.

Early July, 2017 another successful breeding was reported from the same area. Gábor Kaufmann documented the details of the breeding in his blog in Hungarian, while Péter Hencz made excellent photos of the nest, habitat, the adults and the only chick. We hope in the following years there will be more successful breeding of Common Cranes in Hungary. Congratulation for Gábor, Péter and many others for documenting the breeding, and safeguarding the nest.

Common Crane pic

Siberian Accentor in Hungary …

… first record ever (posted: 22/01/2017)

Siberian Accentor (Prunella montanella) is a rare visitor in Europe, until 2015 there were only 32 records, mostly from Scandinavia. In the autumn of 2016, there was a large influx of this species between 4 October and 6 November. Altogether 212 sightings were reported from Finland to Great Britan. During this unprecedented influx, the species was recorded for the first time in Britain, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and the Netherlands, whereas there had been only one record before this influx in Czechia, Denmark, Lithuania, Norway and Poland.

Hungarian twitchers have been long awaited the arrival of this nice accentor in Hungary. On 18th January 2017 an amateur birder Lídia Molnár posted a bird photo in a Bird Identification Facebook group, seeking for advice to identify it. When it turned out, that the bird is a Siberian Accentor in Pest County, only 35 km-s from the downtown of Budapest, several birders travelled to see it the following day. In the last few days several birders spent hours in the extreme cold weather (-10 to -15 C) to see and photograph it, including Tamás Gaidosch, who took this nice photo of the Siberian Accentor. Congratulation to Lídia for finding the bird, and to Tamás for the excellent photo.

Siberian Accentor pic

You can find a nice article on the European influx of Siberian Accentors here.

Whooper Swan in Budapest ...

... cold weather brings many intersting species to the capital (posted: 14/01/2017)

Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) was breeding regularly in Hungary in the swamps of the Tisza River until the 18th century. It extinct from Hungary, but since 2005 one pair has been regularly nesting in natural marshlands of the Ipoly Valley. In Hungary the Whooper Swan is a rare, but regular migrant and winter visitor, most common in Transdanubia, but also regular on the Danube and Tisza Rivers.

The cold weather brought this Whooper Swan to Budapest, to the Soroksári-Duna branch. Though the water is covered by thick ice, at one section it’s not frozen, since a wastewater treatment plant pumps warmer water into the Danube. On this area hundreds of ducks, coots, gulls, swans can be seen. This Whooper Swan is not shy at all, behaves like the Mute Swans around.

Whooper Swan pic

See more photos on our Facebook page …

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...

...from Hungarianbirdwatching.com Team (posted: 22/12/2016)

Ural Owl pic

First Yellow-billed Loon record in Hungary...

... found on Lake Balaton (posted: 10/12/2016)

Last week was very cold in Hungary, and the arctic wind brought a new species in Hungary, the Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii). The bird was found on 3rd December by our guide Bence Kókay on Lake Balaton. Bence was birding with his pals at Balatonföldvár, and listening to his instinct he left his friend for a while going to the opposite direction, when he spotted the Yellow-billed loon. It was the first record in Hungary.

Yellow-billed Loon pic

József Mészáros (aka „Becher”) a well known bird photographer in Hungary was among Bence’s friends and took this excellent picture of the loon with a 400mm lens. The photo was widely published in the Hungarian media. Congratulation for Bence, for finding the first Yellow-billed Loon in Hungary, and for József for the excellent picture. You find more pictures of „Becher” on his personal website, Becherfoto.hu

Nature Photographer of the Year 2016

From 9 November to 31 December 2016 (posted: 23/11/2016)

The Hungarian Nature Photographer of the Year 2016 competition was organised by Naturart the Society of Hungarian Nature Photographers. This year was special, since two photographers in the adult category achieved exactly the same scores, so there are two winners of the competition: Csaba Daróczi and Dániel Selmeczi. Competition in the youth category was also very strong, with two winners as well: Ádám Ceglédi and Levente Szekeres.

Early morning take image

The photo exhibition displaying the best pictures of the competition was opened on 9 November 2016 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 31 December 2016. You find more photos of the competition at Fotoklikk.hu website (click on Képek tab) ...

More than 135.000 cranes in Hortobágy…

... and approximately 150,000 in the Carpathian Basin (posted: 25/10/2016)

If you have time, visit Hortobágy these days, since there are still more than 135,000 cranes in the area. Harvested corn fields offer plenty of food for foraging cranes, and if the weather remains as these days, the cranes will remain in the area in the next two weeks. Good news, that crane flocks also explored new roosting sites beside Hortobágy. See more photos on our Facebook site.

Cranes pic

Near 100.000 cranes in Hortobágy…

... though numbers lagging behind last two years’ numbers (posted: 11/10/2016)

The synchronous count on 9th October, 2016 indicated, that the number of Common Cranes reached 96.500 in Hortobágy. It’s less then the last two years’ number, when it was around 110.000. You can follow the number of cranes on the website of Hortobágy National Park.

Crane Count pic

Griffon Vultures in Budapest...

... on the chimney of a thermal power plant (posted: 03/10/2016)

Today was an unforgettable day for many birders in Budapest. Two Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) were reported from South-Budapest. The two birds were sitting on the chimney of a thermal power plant all afternoon. Griffon Vulture regularly occurred in Hungary in the 19th and the first part of the 20th century. Nowadays Griffon Vulture is a rare vagrant in Hungary mainly in summer and autumn.

Griffon Vulture pic

To see a short video footage visit our Facebook page...

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition...

... can be seen in Budapest from 4 May 2016 to 4 August 2016 (posted: 15/05/2016)

The exhibition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 competition is closed now at London's Natural History Museum, but you can see the pictures in Budapest at the Hungarian Natural History Museum. We are happy, that among the finalists of the Bird category, there was a Hungarian photographer Zsolt Kudich. László Novák was finalist in Land category. Congratulations.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 image

The photo exhibition displaying the 100 award-winning photographs of competition was opened on 4 May 2016 and can be seen in the Hungarian Natural History Museum till 4 August 2016. You find more photos of the competition at Natural History Museum's website ...

Bird Jokes

Magician and his parrot

A magician was performing on cruise ship and each night while performing his pet parrot keeps saying quotits up his sleeve "its in his pocket". "Its in his shoe". "In his pants" etc and the magician was loosing his patience.

One night while performing his tricks the ships boilers blew and the ship sank, the lucky magician was able to grab onto a ships table and float on the sea for a few days. The parrot in the mean time seemed non plussed and was looking quizzically at the magician for a few days whilst drifting.

On the 4th day the parrot looks at his master and says "I give up... what did you do with the ship?"

Old man got drunk

An old man was sitting on a bench in the mall when a young man with spiked hair came over and sat down beside him. The boy's hair was yellow and green and orange and purple. He had black make up around his eyes. The old man just stared at him.
With an attitude, the boy said, "What's the matter, old man, haven't you ever done anything wild in your life?"
The old man answered, "Well yes, actually, I have. I got drunk once and had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you were my son.


Spying picAlbatross bragging picPhotographing birds pic

See more birding jokes...