See the photo highlights from our 2011
trips to Hungary.
As many bird photographers know only too well, the most critical
issue in getting good photographs is how to get close to your subject.
In modern-day photography, a hide is often necessary - if not essential
- to achieve this, especially with shy and secretive species. Hide
technology has evolved dramatically in recent years and the best
ones are those that integrate into the natural setting of the environment
in which they are situated and become accepted by the species one
wishes to photograph. Look no further than those established by
our good friends in Hungary, who have developed a superb network
of hides in and around the Hortobágy National Park. Created exclusively
for bird photography, the hides:
- are designed to get us close to birds and we are able to photograph
them in relative comfort.
- are built from natural substances so sit in perfect harmony
with the surroundings
- have unique glass windows that is covered with a innovative
special layer; this is not a one-way glass but it does reflect
the photon spectrum of natural colours of the environment
- offer large glass panorama windows making photography an unforgettable
experience as you are integrated into nature and in the centre
of all the bird action; movement behind the glass does not generally
disturb the birds. this special glass layering does not interfere
with the contrast and sharpness of the picture (even though you
may lose around a stop of light) - so you can get perfect results!
- most of our hides in the network are located in the world famous
Hortobágy National Park, which is one of the most important sites
in Europe for both breeding and migrating birds. The special atmosphere
of this World Heritage Site can be experienced in a very different
way in our hides.
Day 1 Saturday 25 April 2015
We depart London Heathrow on a scheduled flight to Budapest. On
arrival in Budapest we'll meet our local guide and drive for about
three hours to our hotel at Balmazújváros ideally
placed on the eastern edge of the Hortobágy National Park
for a seven-night stay.
Day 2 - 7 Sunday 26 April - Friday 1 May 2015
We will have six full days of bird photography allowing us to enjoy a variety of the hides on offer (see below). Our daily routine is to split into three or four groups and have either full day or two half-day photo sessions each day. Full day sessions are the norm and last from around
0500 - 1800 hrs. If we split the days, the morning session usually starts at around 0500hrs (after a cup of tea or coffee!) and finishes at around 1100hrs. We take a packed breakfast to the hides. We will then have an early lunch and offer some free time to download images, charge batteries and review your work. We then head back into the field for an afternoon session at a different hide from around 1500hrs to 1800hrs.
Full days in the hides will depend on the subjects on offer, the
weather forecast and timings will depend on whether we have to enter
hides before sunrise. Packed lunches will be provided for full days
in the hide, Dinner will be taken upon return to the hotel. Hopefully
each photographer will have the chance to use a minimum of four
different hides. We hope to photograph around 35 - 40 species.
Day 8 Saturday 2 May 2015
We sadly have to leave this remarkable area and head back to Budapest
where we take a flight back to London Heathrow.
THE HIDES WE USE:
Pygmy Cormorant Hide (Click
here to see this hide)
This hide is located in a fishpond system in the western part of
the Hortobágy National Park and was installed in March 2008.
The fishpond is used as a bird feeding pond and there is no fishery
activity for most of the year. In summer most of the pond is covered
with floating Yellow Floating Heart which serves as a lovely yellow
background for photography. The hide is located at the edge of the
reedbed and has a circular island in front of it which is used by
birds for resting, preening, feeding etc. There are also several
branches around the hide for birds to perch on.
It is about a 100m walk through reeds on a raised boardwalk to
reach the hide which is comfortable for two photographers. Some
of the more interesting species one may be able to photograph from
this hide include Red-necked Grebe, Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bittern,
Black-crowned Night, and Squacco Herons, Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis,
Eurasian Spoonbill, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Marsh Harrier, Little
Crake, Water Rail, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Yellow-legged Gull, Caspian
Gull, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, Common Kingfisher, Yellow Wagtail,
Bluethroat, Savi's Warbler, Great Reed Warbler and both Bearded
and Penduline Tits.
Egret & Stork Hide (Click
here to see this hide)
This hide is located in the northern part of the Hortobágy
National Park. It was installed in April 2012. There is a 25 m long
and 5-10 m wide pool in front of the hide. This pond serves as a
feeding place for fish-eating wading birds like Black Storks, Great
White Egrets and sometimes Spoonbill. White-tailed Eagles often
visit and it can also be good for passage waders like Wood Sandpiper,
Greenshank and Spotted Redshank.
Passerine Drinking Hides (Click here
to see these hides)
These hides operate throughout the year. The hides were installed
in the superb old oak forest of Debrecen in October 2008 and 2011.
There is a drinking pool in front of the hides. It is a 300m gentle
walk to the furthest hide, which is comfortable for three photographers.
Some of the more interesting species one may be able to photograph
from this hide include Common Buzzard, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern
Goshawk, Turtle Dove, Black, Green, Grey headed, Great Spotted,
Middle Spotted and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Common Nightingale,
Common Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher,
Pied Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit,
Eurasian Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Oriole, Eurasian
Siskin, European Serin and Hawfinch.
Red-footed Falcon Tower Hide (Click
here to see this hide)
This hide is located in the eastern part of the Hortobágy
National Park in a wood that is a regular breeding area for the
falcons. It was installed in March 2008. Nest boxes are placed around
the hide and there are several strategically placed branches (with
good backgrounds) for the falcons to perch on in front of the hide.
It is possible to drive to the hide which is 5m above ground level
and has windows either side of the hide. It is comfortable for four
photographers. Some of the more interesting species we may be able
to photograph from this hide include Common Crane, Marsh Harrier,
Red-footed Falcon, Common Kestrel, Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, European
Roller, Hoopoe, Black Redstart, Marsh Warbler, Lesser and Common
Whitethroats and Red-backed and Lesser Grey Shrikes.
Shorebird Hide (Click
here to see this hide)
Usually located in shallow water in a temporary grazed wetland
in the northern part of the Hortobágy National Park. It is
usually enclosed by water so birds can go around, and usually requires
a short walk of 10m in knee-deep water (rubber boots / waders will
be provided). It is comfortable for two photographers. Obviously
the species likely to be photographed depend upon the positioning
of the hide, but include a variety of ducks, waders and other wetland
species. Possible birds in this period include Black-winged Stilt,
Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Curlew Sandpiper,
Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank,
Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, White-winged
Black Tern and Yellow Wagtail.
Heron Flight Tower Hide
This is not a hide as such but and observation tower close to one
of the biggest heron colonies in Europe. It is only good to take
flight pictures from this tower. It is good for two photographers.
Possible birds in this period include Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron,
Great Egret, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Marsh Harrier.
Our ground agents in Hungary have several mobile hides (eg. for
Hoopoes) and we may use them for species presenting good photographic
2015 Operating Dates
Sat 25th April
Sat 2nd May
Group Size - maximum 7 photographers
Need more Information?
No problem! We'd be delighted to discuss this holiday with you.
Please call us on 01950 460939 or drop us an e mail.
for Our Travellers Fact File