Back to the roots – revisiting my home local patch

It’s been a while since I did a proper birding around the lakes of my former local patch, the Ferencmajor fishponds. Prior to my east Austrian birding trip, I visited the fishponds with my friends in a gloomy and rainy morning.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that 10 seconds after entering the site I had goosebumps by listening to a singing Common Nightingale. This bird(?) has been returning to the same territory for more than 15 years. Since Common Nightingale is pretty restricted in England, it is always a pleasure to hear its beautiful song.

Further along the paved road towards the fishermen’s house, an endless number of territorial Great Reed Warblers sang their characteristic strophes, while unusually, hundreds of Barn Swallows and Sand Martins flew over the reedbed. This spectacle reminded us of the young age of this fishpond system in the early 90s when Hirundines were a lot more abundant than these days.

On lake #10, drake Red-crested Pochards flocked in their full glory around the females and for my happiness, 2 Ferruginous Ducks flew over the multiple Greylag Goose families. At the edge of the lake, European Golden Orioles and Common Cuckoos were actively singing. Here we saw a perching Black Woodpecker as well. From the southern reedbed, Eurasian Bittern was booming which is again a classic sound of the spring of the Ferencmajor fishponds.

Over the lake #3, Little Gulls and Black Terns were hunting and an adult White-tailed Eagle flew towards the Gerecse Mountains. In and out. Purple Herons flew to their suspected breeding sites at the lake #9 and 8. On the lake number #6 a Black-crowned Night Heron was roosting and we counted additional Greylag Goose families. We heard a Savi’s Warbler from the reedbeds.

The road between lake #1 and 4 was very peaceful yet full of activities. The biggest surprise was to see 2 migrating Barred Warblers next to the road. Little Bitterns, Western Marsh Harrier, Red-backed Shrike, Common Cuckoo and European Turtle Dove were of note. Near the lake, we saw an adult Black Stork on the agricultural field. Great Reed Warblers were singing from numerous locations.

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