Short visit to Ferencmajor fishponds

Spent an hour at the fishponds to see the status of the drained ponds whether suitable for shorebird photography. The lake #11 is under refilling while the lake #10 is started to be drained. A few mudflat was still available for the shorebirds to feed.

Some records:

Peregrine Falcon 1 imm. (probably female)
Pied Avocet 2
Black-winged Stilt 1
Northern Lapwing 59
Little Ringed Plover 8
Common Redshank 8
Spotted Redshank 6
Green Sandpiper 1
Ruff 55
Dunlin 5

The female Peregrine Falcon was sitting and calling on a high-voltage power fence. When a Greylag Goose closed he started to chase the goose. I could not decide if it was a real hunting attempt or just a training. This bird was originally identified as a Saker Falcon by its very unusual pale coloration but based on the comments of one of my birding mate the bird considered to be a very pale immature female Peregrine. Thanks for the clarification!



Outing in a beautiful spring day

This has been the first warmest and the most beautiful day this year. At midday I visited the Ferencmajor fishponds and counted the shorebirds and looked for some potential photo sites. In the next couple of weeks more suitable habitats will be available for shorebirds as other ponds started to be drained as well.

Some records:

Pigmy Cormorant 1
Black Stork 2
Common Crane 2
Little Ringed Plover 7
Common Ringed Plover 3
Pied Avocet 21
Northern Lapwing 51
Common Redshank 15
Green Sandpiper 7
Spotted Redshank 5
Black-tailed Godwit 3
Ruff 25
Dunlin 1

In the afternoon I visited the Gerecse Mountain with Andi where we enjoyed watching the acrobatic display of Eurasian Buzzards and hovering Northern Goshawk and Common Ravens. Passaging flocks of Stock Dove and Chaffinch were seen during our stay. On the way we saw a White Stork near Tata.


Shorebirds at the Ferencmajor fishponds

I had a little chance between business meetings to visit my favorite local birding site, the Ferencmajor fishponds. The available time limited me to visit the only drained pond. The weather was pleasant and I wished I had more time to have a walk around.


Ruff at the Ferencmajor fishponds. © Gyorgy Szimuly

As this was my first birding day outside since the 1st of January 2008 I was really enjoying to watch migrating Black Storks, the hovering Western Marsh-Harriers and Eurasian Buzzards. Above the lakes I spotted two Barn Swallows.

Some records:

Pygmy Cormorant 1
Black Stork 2
Little Ringed Plover 7
Pied Avocet 2
Northern Lapwing 28
Common Redshank 20
Green Sandpiper 2
Common Snipe 4
Eurasian Curlew 1
Ruff 45

Try to spend some more time here during the week-end when real spring weather forecasted. Maybe some photography will be included.

American Wigeon: the 2003th lifer

Today I picked up my kids and visited the area where a drake American Wigeon have been recorded a week ago by keen birdwatchers at Alsó-Szúnyog near Apaj in the Kiskunság National Park. At our arrival to the site we tried to find bird by our own. As the lights turned unpleasant we headed to the opposite side of the flooded meadow where other birders tried to find this rarity.

The bird was finally found by two separate birders. Unfortunately not all of us was able to relocate it based on the site description of others. I was among the lucky ones to see it for a couple of seconds with the help of David Laposa. Thanks for it. It soon disappeared in the crowd of Eurasian Wigeons and couldn’t found it again. Soon after loosing the bird an adult female Northern Goshawk chased the wildfowl providing attractive turns of the whole flock of ducks.

This was the ever first record for Hungary. For me another lifer, the 2003th.

The site was full of birds and local movements were quite intensive between the given site and adjacent habitats (fishponds). Selected bird records are listed:

Red-breasted Goose 2
Greylag Goose 800
Greater White-fronted Goose 1,200
Eurasian Wigeon 600
American Wigeon 1
Northern Shoveler 80
Northern Pintail 30
Eurasian Teal 80
Northern Goshawk 1
Eurasian Golden-Plover 600
Northern Lapwing 2,200
Eurasian Curlew 30
Common Redshank 20
Ruff 30