A mega species and some more uncommons

This morning I got a call of my local fellow birder about a mega finding at the Ferencmajor fishponds. I could not imagine what that species could be and was really surprised when Peter said that a 2nd year old Pallas’s Gull had been found at the drained pond.


Adult Pallas’s Gull is a striking and easily identifiable. Image was kindly offered by my Indian friend, Mital Patel. © Mital Patel

Pallas’s Gull (Ichthyaetus ichthyaetus) which has an eastern range from Ukraine eastwards and has a very low number of records every year for the whole country. I saw this species for the last time at the Danube Delta back in August 2008.

I was on a business trip this morning to Budapest and had no chance to visit the pond before 2PM. As for the Eurasian Oystercatcher as couple of days ago, I had no luck neither today to relocate the gull on the pond number 2. There were a nice number Black-headed Gulls but the Pallas’s was not seen on any of the surrounding ponds.


On the completely drained pond there was 6 Pied Avocets, 2 Common Greenshanks, 1 Common Redshank and 25 Ruffs. In the reedbed the first Savi’s Warbler was seen.



Common Greenshank is a regular migrant in the area. © Gyorgy Szimuly

As many gulls are using the Old Lake for night roosting I tried to find the Pallas’s at the lake. While we were guarding over Kea I looked over the hundreds of hunting Black-headed Gulls over the water but there was no sign of the mega species. However I saw to uncommon bird species flying over the lake towards northern direction. Two striking Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a single Western Osprey was seen just over the Castle of Tata.


From the Castle of Tata there is a nice view towards the lake. I could spot many nice species from here. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I hope I have a better luck in the coming season…


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