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HUNGARY: RED-BREASTED GOOSE SPECIAL

Geese, Cranes, Raptors and Bustards

Birdquest's Hungary: Red-breasted Goose Special birding tour visits the famous Hortobágy plains at the time of year when birdwatching focuses on migrating cranes and geese. Our Hungary: Red-breasted Goose Special tour is an enjoyable short break that features Red-breasted, Lesser White-fronted and Taiga Bean Geese, Imperial Eagle, Saker, Great Bustard, Jack Snipe and many thousands of Common Cranes.

Wednesday 7th November — Sunday 11th November 2018
(5 days)


Leader: János Oláh

Group Size Limit: 10

Tour Category: Easy walking and comfortable accommodations

The magnificent Great Bustard still thrives in Hungary and will be one of the highlights of our visit to the splendid Hortobágy (János Oláh)

The magnificent Great Bustard still thrives in Hungary and will be one of the highlights of our visit to the splendid Hortobágy (János Oláh)

In autumn the Great Hungarian Plain takes on a very different character from that of late spring and summer. Gone are most of the summer visitors but in their place come huge numbers of geese, ducks and Common Cranes on their way to winter in the Mediterranean Basin and the Nile Valley, turning the Hortobágy into one of the great migration staging posts of Europe.

The Hortobágy contains a fascinating diversity of habitats and offers some of the finest and yet most undisturbed birdwatching in Europe today. Indeed, the gigantic crane roosting flights are one of the most exciting birding spectacles in all Europe.

An exciting feature of Hungary in late autumn is the increasing numbers of Red-breasted Geese that are turning up on the Hortobágy (they now occur in tens or even hundreds), and this rare and beautiful goose is the prime focus of this short tour. Furthermore, amongst the flocks of Greater White-fronted, Taiga Bean and Greylag Geese we shall also be looking out for the Lesser White-fronted Geese which use the area as a refuelling stop on their journey from their arctic breeding grounds to wintering sites in the Balkans. This species is now a cause for great concern as the numbers of this delicate cousin of the Greater White-fronted Goose have decreased alarmingly in recent years, with only very small numbers now being recorded from its traditional wintering sites in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. Like the Slender-billed Curlew its rapid slide towards extinction has gone almost unnoticed and last-minute conservation measures may not be enough to ensure the survival of the species.

Despite the encroachment of modern agriculture there is still a good deal of original steppe remaining and its most notable avian inhabitant, the Great Bustard, can still be seen in some numbers in the grasslands, whilst the huge Imperial (or Eastern Imperial) Eagle and the powerful Saker Falcon, Europe’s rarest and most sought-after falcon, still sweep across the skies.

At the many fishponds Jack Snipe can be found, alongside European Penduline Tits and Bearded Reedlings.

Above all the friendliness of the Hungarians and their obvious enthusiasm to show off their culture, country and natural heritage will ensure a memorable break during which we shall see some of Eastern Europe’s most exciting birds.

Birdquest has operated tours to Hungary since 1989.

(Note: The above is a summary of the tour. For more information please download the detailed, day-by-day itinerary. The button is at the top right of the page.)

Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotel at Nádudvar is of good standard. Road transport is by minibus and roads are good.

Walking: The walking effort is easy throughout.

Climate: Rather variable at this season. Many days are quite warm, dry and sunny but cool (or even cold) overcast weather with some fog or rain is not unusual.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are good.

Tour Price: £880, €1000, $1150 Budapest/Budapest. Single Room Supplement: £88, €100, $115. Deposit: £300, €360, $390.

Includes surface transportation, accommodations, meals, water, entrance fees and tips/gratuities.

Base prices for this tour are in Euros. The exchange rates applied at the time of costing were: £1 = €1.140 and €1 = $1.150.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency will be pleased to arrange your air travel on request, or you may arrange this yourself if you prefer.

Huge numbers of Common Cranes (up to 70,000!) pass through the Hortobágy in autumn (János Oláh)

Huge numbers of Common Cranes (up to 70,000!) pass through the Hortobágy in autumn (János Oláh)

The spectacular Red-breasted Goose will be high on our agenda (János Oláh)

The spectacular Red-breasted Goose will be high on our agenda (János Oláh)

... as will the globally threatened Lesser White-fronted Goose (János Oláh)

... as will the globally threatened Lesser White-fronted Goose (János Oláh)

Hungary is also home to a number of typical European species such as Long-eared Owl (János Oláh)

Hungary is also home to a number of typical European species such as Long-eared Owl (János Oláh)

... and Hawfinch (János Oláh)

... and Hawfinch (János Oláh)

Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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