With one week behind and one to go in the Hungarian Puszta, I can only say, again, that it is not easy. Up at four this morning to catch sunrise with the Egrets at the Lake Csaj, midday and early afternoon chasing Bee-eaters hovering and landing in strong wind (that managed to blow over my tripod, with my camera, 500 mm telelens and remote control system), and late afternoon and evening 70km away from basecamp at a drinking place set up in the woods in Pusztaszer.
My specific targets were Golden Oriole and Green Woodpecker, I have seen them there but have not yet caught on camera. Some shots of the Green WP but it was mostly sand bathing behind the pond so nothing spectacular.
First hour was busy enough but there were no exciting species, and not even a sighting of my two targets. It was often totally empty and quiet. Then a male Sparrow Hawk made its first attack sending a good ten birds that had been bathing to all directions in complete panic. And caught one. Quite a hunter. Sometime later I spotted a female Sparrow Hawk sitting on a branch near by. No wonder there was no action! With two predators hanging about, the others were not going to bathe and drink.
So I am still waiting for the Golden Oriole and Green Woodpecker but have some nice Sparrow Hawks to compensate. And there were the regular Starlings, and some Tits, Nightingale, Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Songthrush, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Yellowhammer, Hawfinch, Chaffinch,Turtle Dove, Hoopoe, Blackcap. I heard a Black Woodpecker calling but it didn’t venture out to bathe, like two days ago. Neither did the Cuckoo.
Now, at ten in the evening I am heading out to a small hide in the midst of high reeds on Lake Csaj to photograph Egrets, Spoonbills, Gulls, Herons etc. Last night’s sleep, all two hours of it, are starting to feel a little bit too short. Not much time for sleep tonight either!
Ps. The Turtle Dove’s wing beats were in sync with my camera speed. First 8 pictures were totally identical with the wings spread out beautifully, but in front of its face. Then its wing beat rhythm changed and I caught the face too. It was an incredible stroke of luck to catch a Turtle Dove hovering over the pond water.
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