20th local bird ringing camp opens with a stormy afternoon

Twenty years ago a very few of us decided to organise a bird ringing camp for local birders and nature enthusiasts rather for educating purposes than scientific one. I was the leader of the camp for the first 7 years and was a memorable part of my birding career.

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Common Nightingales was calling everywhere around the mist nets. It was also ringed today. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Today I visited the camp for bird watching from the camp’s hide. It is a good spot to cover a very large part of the northern ponds as well as the sky for migrating flocks. The morning was hot and humid but a cold spell forecasted for the noon and it is arrived. At the time of writing this report there is a huge thunderstorm a few miles away from the camp.

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A freshly fledged Little Bittern was ringed early in the morning which posed for the camera for 5 minutes after being released. © Gyorgy Szimuly

In the morning a few birds were seen mainly flying over the area. Birding was generally quiet. Purple Herons moved intensively between suitable feeding sites. Purple Heron was first confirmed breeding in the Ferencmajor fishponds this year. Last year it was supposed to breed here but we could not find evidence.

Regular birds like moulting Mute Swans, hundreds of Eurasian Coots and the local breeder Greylag Goose families were dominant on the site. Other birds of interest is listed as follows:

Greylag Goose 75
Mute Swan 110+
Mallard 45
Grey Heron 4
Purple Heron 2 ad + 5 juv
Little Egret 2
Black-crowned Night Heron 10
Little Bittern 9 (one pair still carries food to a certain spot in the reedbed)
Common Buzzard 2
Western Marsh Harrier 2
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 2
Common Kestrel 1
Eurasian Hobby 1
Eurasian Coot 200+
Wood Sandpiper 4 (flew over the ponds)
Black-headed Gull 25
Common Tern 6
Black Tern 6
Stock Dove 2
Common Wood Pigeon 3
Common Swift 12
Eurasian Golden Oriole 4
Hooded Crow 45

Yesterday while setting the line of mist nets a Thrush Nightingale was caught.

No Black or White Stork were seen. Many still breeding country-wide but in the next few days or a week some movement should be visible. I am expecting the first Western Ospreys in a week and hopefully there will be a drained pond available for migrating waders during the camp.

I am planning to post update on the numbers of the top 5 ringed birds on a regular basis.

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