Two days ago I felt little chance to see any of the Red-flanked Bluetails trapped at two different locations of Hungary. Since my failure to find this rarity in the last few days, ongoing reports has been received about the relocation of both bird. I just had to decide if I give it the third try. Andi supported my endeavour to finally get it and we packed for an early morning departure. I am grateful to her.
I had to decide which place to visit and finally decided to go to northern Hungary as I found that place easier to overlook for the bird. Weather wasn’t so pleasant where I live but it was nice at the scene. Sun was about to shine near Salgóbánya, where the bird was seen every day since its discovery. Later in the morning wind became stronger, and the constantly falling golden coloured leaves made spotting a single bird in the bushy area really challenging.
I started birding just before 9AM and seen almost exclusively European Robins again. I had no luck to pick the Red-flanked Bluetail in the mixed Common Hawthorn and Blackthorn bushes despite I heard it many times. The Black Redstart-like call was repeated successively which sometimes sounded like the call of the Willow Warbler. That gave me a little hope to force searching for it. A few minutes before midday it called repeatedly when I could find low in a bush without any coverage. The 1st winter female bird provided a perfect view for a few minutes but looked to be jumpy. Lastly I left it alone and was happy to see all its characteristics well.
Other birds seen in the area: Red Crossbill 17, European Robin 12, Great Tit 14, European Blue Tit 5, Long-tailed Tit 11, Eurasian Bullfinch 6 (first for the season to me), Eurasian Jay 7, Common Raven 2, Common Blackbird 40, Redwing 2, Hawfinch 7, Eurasian Siskin 25, Dunnock 2, Eurasian Wren 1.
I could not take an image of this rarity so let me share some awesome fall colouration from the bordering beech forest.
Special thanks to Peter Szeimann who lent his binocular for this trip, to Róbert Gődér and Tamás Zalai for precise direction of bird.
All images were taken in the Karancs-Medves Nature Reserve. © Gyorgy Szimuly