What a strong start – first Oriental Turtle Dove for Hungary

Yesterday an interesting record appeared on birding.hu as an European Turtle Dove is present in NW Hungary. As discussion started about this record some documentary image has been uploaded by the observer. It soon became obvious that the bird wasn’t an European Turtle Dove but the Central Asian race, the meena of the Oriental Turtle Dove. That is a real mega species and it will be the first ever official record for Hungary if accepted.


Oriental Turtle Dove at Fertörákos, Hungary. © János Oláh, Jr.

I had a chance today to visit the area and try for this rare bird. I could not join to the first batch of birders in the morning but arrived at around 1PM. A team from Budapest was arriving at the same time so I had a chance to see it through a spotting scope. The bird was spotted immediately on the tree where it was found. It was in a flock of a few Eurasian Collared Dove.

Thanks to the superior optic quality of the latest generation of KOWA top line spotting scopes the observation was really a joy. I must admit that under those overcast conditions the picture I could see through the lens was extraordinary. One of the birding mate had a brand new KOWA TSN-883 Prominar Lens Spotting Scope with Kowa TE-10Z 20-60 Zoom Eye Piece. Even at 60x magnification the image quality has not decreased at all. It is known that I have been hesitating for a while which brand to buy but I think it was decided today.

This is awesome how this year is starting. One lifer and two new to my country list in the first 13 days of the new year. I am really happy by this record. I hope the next lifer will be the long time sought after species, the Ural Owl, but that is gonna be another story.

Thanks to Sándor Mogyorósi for the incredible finding and guidance. Thanks to Zoltán Bajor for the perfect view through his scope and the team for nice company.


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