Unsuccessful search for a pair of Saker Falcon

Today I went out with Dani for raptor search to the northwest side of Gerecse Mountains. The idea was to try to locate the territory of a Saker Falcon pair as well as a new Black Stork territory as they have not yet been found. We had a nice weather which further improved by the afternoon.

Our spot was a regular raptor watching place where we could see a large area. As we are in the beginning of migration of raptors I did not expect so many species and exciting movements. However there was a clear sign of migration. While Common Starlings have started holding territories in Hungary we saw many migrant groups. About 150 birds in small flocks passed the area towards northwest direction. Similarly Common Wood Pigeons are building nests in my town while many migrants were heading northeast sometimes flying quite high. Those are most probably the breeders of Scandinavia.


Eurasian Hoopoe is a regular breeder in the area. © Gyorgy Szimuly

We heard and saw the first Eurasian Hoopoes on the sandy grassy dunes in front of us. Raptors did not started to fly before 11AM so the first two hours was a little bit eventless. A single adult White-tailed Eagle and a Western Marsh Harrier kept us awake. The White-tailed Eagle was carrying a fish for the chicks or the incubating female. They have been breeding very close to our spot for many years. Common Buzzards performed awesome display flights but we witnessed their mating as well.


Common Buzzards were seen frequently when temperature raised. © Gyorgy Szimuly

White Stork 1 (soaring together with the Western Osprey)
White-tailed Eagle 1 ad
Western Osprey 1 ad
Western Marsh Harrier 1 ad male
Common Buzzard 15
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 4
Common Kestrel 1
Northern Raven 17
Common Wood Pigeon 46
Stock Dove 8
Eurasian Hoopoe 2

There was no sign of Saker Falcon neither the Black Storks today so we repeat this raptor watch in a few weeks maybe by involving other birdwatchers on other spots.


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