Some images from a superb morning in Hungary. I travelled with two friends on a Saker tour photographic hide trip, the weather was not great but I got some reasonable images as can be seen in some of my other recent posts. we stayed in the Thermal hotel Balmaz in Balmazujvaros and travelled widely in this area to the excellent hides.
We were told that if a black woopecker turned up it was your lucky day as they are only seen about twice a month so we were chuffed to see this big male land at the drinking pool. He did not budge from this position so I never saw the whole bird, bur what a superb specimen it was!
Such a beautiful bird, and such a shame that so many are blasted to pieces on their migrations, it was revealed to me by a person who visits Malta each year in an effort to try to stop the slaughter, that one of the main reasons they cannot stop it is the involvement of the maltese police most of whom are the ones shooting them. He also said that non shooters were regularly threatened.
Just two of the many images I took of these crackers, there were three of us in a small hide, the temperatures were almost 40degrees C, and for much of the time we did not notice as the action was so good
When it first flew up to the perch from the water it looked very bedraggled, but in five minutes it dried out and looked quite a smart little bird, it is less than half the size of the cormorant found in the UK.
A wonderful spectacle to watch at close quarters, the parents and one of last years youngsters flying to the nest with prey for the rapidly growing chicks, the Hortobagy national park is very rich in food, with crickets, grasshoppers and what look like locusts, together with various beetles we observed to be in their diet.