Passing by Barn Swallows, late Black Storks and arriving Greater White-fronted Geese

What a busy week-end. Planting oak saplings in our birding camp area, celebrating EuroBirdwatch 2010 and a birders garden party made this week-end. OK, I am a bit silent by dipping a Common Eider at the Lake Balaton yesterday. Anyway the last few days was really nice with some birding and some lovely birds.

This evening I picked up two young and local birders and drove to Ferencmajor fishponds to see possible night roosting gulls. There’s been 3 ponds drained with huge mudflats available for migrating birds. At our stop of the most busy ‘shorebird’ pond there was a slight increase in the number of birds and some new species have appeared as well. Dunlins makes their turnover really fast. A few days ago only summer plumaged birds were counted while yesterday and today only moulting or juveniles were seen. New comers are Grey Plover and Common Ringed Plover (both new to me for 2010 – Hungary only!). Shorebird diversity was just the same as in the past couple of days but species composition is changing all the time. Today we found our first ‘in-water’ Spotted Redshanks but have not seen Common Snipe.

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This is the first day I could see some Common Ringed Plovers this year in Hungary. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Shorebird list from this evening.

Northern Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus: 1
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola 2
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 3
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 7
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia 3
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus 5
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola 5
Little Stint Calidris minuta 3
Dunlin Calidris alpina 98
Ruff Philomachus pugnax 13

At another drained pond large number of herons and gulls were seen. Over 200 Grey Herons were hunting for large fishes with about 60 Western White Egrets and 5 Little Egrets. Surprisingly 2 juvenile Black-crowned Night Herons was spotted which is not so common in early October. On both ponds which has large area of mudflat a sum of 130 White Wagtails were seen.

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It was a fun to see large number of White Wagtails today. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Among other interesting sightings there were a Peregrine Falcon (possibly female) chasing about 400 Common Starlings behind the ponds, a big flock of Barn Swallows with about 95 birds and two late juvenile Black Storks.

On the duck-pond the number of Eurasian Coots and Mallards have increased to about 1,500 and 1,100 accordingly. Water is running out of the pond for fishery but the site is still good for waterbirds. A very small group of wild geese contained the first Greater White-fronted Geese (2) and 6 Tundra Bean Geese. Lights were decreasing heavily when we left the fishponds.

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Greater White-fronted Geese is at the corner. Soon several thousand birds will be using the area. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Finally gulls have left the fishponds as night roosting site should be somewhere else.

Year list moved to 204.

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