Hungary Birds of Prey trip report 1 of 3
The first two days of the Hungary Birds of Prey tour took us out on the Great Hungarian Plain, the Puszta. The aim for the days was to capture the events that would unfold outside the Eagle Hide. On this trip I had three guests with me and that was Frode Wendelbo, Kenny Isaksson and Peter Bernerfalk. All whom I met before and two that I actually had travelled with before.
The Eagle hide can accommodate four photographers which meant we didn’t have the expertise at hand from our guide Zoltán as there where no space for him in the hide. Still I had been there before and had a good grasp about what to expect.
We had a bite of luck on the first night as it had snowed and the site looked pristine with a light layer of pure white snow. This would help the cameras to get faster focus acquisition and that you also could raise the shutter speed a little even during the darker parts of the day. Sadly the temperatures did climb above zero during the day which meant that the snow started to melt leaving us with brown and green patches in front of the hide, and that was how it would stay for the rest of the trip.
Both days produced a decent amount of good pictures and as usual I took the biggest amount of pictures the first day before one really started to think and not just react to the situations in front of the camera.
On the downside we were unfortunate to not get any Eagles in front of the hide these two days. We had White-tailed Eagles that showed themselves both days and a juvenile actually sat just behind the hide when we got picked up on the second day. That knowledge surely gave me hope of better success later on as it probably indicated that the Eagle was hungry.
Still both days had plenty of action as the Common Buzzards took over the site when no Eagles were around. The Buzzards are a good indicator for you when you sit in the hide pondering about if there are any Eagles around. If you have several Buzzards on the ground feeding, then you can be dead certain that no Eagles are nearby, but if you have just one or two on site then you can be positive that you most probably have an Eagle nearby.
In the gallery you can find a couple of typical photos that can be taken when the Common Buzzard is present in front of the hide. They are almost always fighting for the food making it possible to get good interaction photos. It is claws first and they regularly do hurt each other.
When you do this type of hide photography you must know that it is early hours meaning you need to be in the hide almost an hour before sunrise. Still you can be productive during the dark hours as we were on the second day when we had a lovely orange moon just before it went under the horizon.
I hope you all enjoy these first eight photos from the Hungary Birds of Prey tour.