Chasing the Hungarian Red-flanked Bluetails

I’ve been hesitating to write about the happenings of the last two days but by now I am fine with lurking smiles on your face after reading the following story.

On October 12 a Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus was trapped in western Hungary at a ringing camp. Unfortunately the bird was in a bad condition and was immediately released. The bird was seen every day since then, expect on October 17, when we were there. We tried to find it on the place it was repeatedly recaptured without any luck.


The bird was very close to the Fort of Somoskő where I hunted for the White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis this January.

In the meantime, on October 16, another Red-flanked Bluetail was caught in northern Hungary in good condition. The bird were also seen every day since then by many birdwatchers. Yes, it was relocated on the same spot even this morning when I got an SMS “We see the bird now.” Despite heavy rain here we packed for a trip to northern Hungary to give it a chance. I was alone in searching the bird in the scrub and had about 3.5 hours to find it.

Unfortunately the bird did not show up. I saw tons of European Robin in the scrub. Overflying Red Crossbills and many flocks of European Siskins provided no compensation.

And if all these failures would not be enough I read the following news when opened my MacBook: “the Red-flanked Bluetail in western Hungary was again recaptured today at 4PM and was released. The bird is gathering fat.” I am not sure what I should add to this. Should I go tomorrow morning for the third try? If it was a general rarity I would stay home but no-one has ever seen this species in Hungary before therefore is considered to be a mega species.

By the way, Red-flanked Bluetail is not lifer to me as I have seen it in Finland a couple of years ago. Anyway I want to see it in Hungary. I need some success…


2 thoughts on “Chasing the Hungarian Red-flanked Bluetails

  1. I try for it again tomorrow morning as one of my local birding mate saw the n Hungarian bird this morning. I can’t believe it… :))

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