Probable first breeding of Great Egret at the fishponds

Periodically I need to go out birding as an escape from the numbers and calculations. It seemed to be a good decision this evening. I visited the fishponds with my son and my business mate in a beautifully calm and warm weather.

On our way to the fishponds I saw the first Whinchat of the year. OK, they have already been feeding their chicks so that was my laziness not to find them earlier. By entering the gate of the fishponds some lovely Common Terns were calling and flying over the pond. On the other side 17 Great Egret were flying off the reedbed. One of the bird were carrying dead reed in its bill. This was an indirect sign of the breeding attempt for Great Egret for the very first time in the history of Ferencmajor fishponds. Independently another local birder had also observed this behaviour on the same day.


Great Egret is a common bird at the fishponds. We are focusing on proving its breeding. © György Szimuly

Based on an agreement with the site owner the water level of the pond number 3 was decreased for providing suitable nesting habitat for Common Terns and Pied Avocets as well as for Little Ringed Plovers. The small island was immediately occupied by 2 pairs of Common Terns. Ground and aerial display has been seen during our presence. Surprisingly an uncommon Little Tern was also seen on the island. This species has at least one record of every year of the last few years but we consider it a rare migrant. As I informed the local birders, some of them could come and they also saw the bird. Later Black Terns and White-winged Terns landed on the small island for preening. 


Beautiful White-winged Tern hunting. © György Szimuly

Some records:
Greater White-fronted Goose 3
Common Ringed Plover 1
Little Ringed Plover 2
Black-tailed Godwit 2
Eurasian Curlew 1
Common Greenshank 3
Wood Sandpiper 15
Common Sandpiper 4
Curlew Sandpiper 1
Dunlin 2
Ruff 40
Little Gull 5
Common Tern 9
Little Tern 1
Black Tern 60
White-winged Tern 6

Year list moved to 198.


Whinchat was observed for the first time in 2011. © György Szimuly


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