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 17 June 2017
We depart London Heathrow on a scheduled British Airways 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 18 - Friday 23 June 2017
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 to take maximum advantage
of morning and afternoon / evening light, we will have either full
day or two half-day photo sessions each day. Full day sessions tend
to be restricted to the drinking pool hides (see below) and last
from around 0500 - 1800 hrs. On split days, the morning session
usually start at around 0500hrs and finish at around 1030hrs, at
which time we head back to the hotel to download, review work, recharge
batteries and have lunch. We then head back into the field for an
afternoon session from around 1530hrs to 2000hrs. Full days in the
hides will depend on the subjects on offer and the weather forecast.
Packed breakfast will be taken to the hides every morning (but tea
and coffee and a few nibbles will be available before departure
from the hotel) and packed lunches will be provided for full days
in the hide. Dinner will be taken either at lunch time for split
days or on return to the hotel. We have run pho-tours annually to
Hungary since 2010 and it is fair to say that we would hope to offer
great (if not fantastic!) photographic opportunities for around
35 - 40 species.
Day 8 Saturday 24 June 2017
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:
Prior to our arrival, our friends and ground agents
will have placed mobile hides in order for us to photograph Roller,
Bee-eater, Lesser Grey Shrike and Hoopoe. These hides will offer
truly outstanding opportunities to photograph birds perched, preening,
with food and even in flight.
The trip is likely to be popular for these species alone - particularly
for those guests who have joined us on previous trips to the region
since 2010 and wish to repeat the Hungary pho-tour experience!
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.
Canopy Drinking Tower Hide (Click
here to see this hide)
This unique hide is located in the garden of
the Bíbic Eco Lodge in Balmazújváros on the
very edge of the Hortobágy National Park. It is placed in
small woodland on the edge of the Nagy-szik soda lake. It is a 60m
walk to the hide which was installed in October 2013. As far as
we know this is the only and first-ever canopy drinking hide in
the World. It is comfortable for three photographers. The main attraction
is the rare opportunity to photograph drinking Golden Oriole. Other
possible species include Black Redstart, Wood Warbler, Tree Sparrow,
2017 Operating Dates
Sat 17th June
Sat 24th June
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