Long-eared Owls and the Hawfinch hide
I was so tired this morning and that was a first for me in a long, long time. I was more like a zombie than living when Zoltan picked me up in the morning.
Today’s first attraction was the Red-footed Falcons. There were at least five couples in this particular area close to Túrkeve. Zoltan had put up many nest boxes here for Falcons but also for Owls and I soon understood that there actually was an Owl box that was in use.
The first box that we saw was in use but after looking at the picture we could confirm that it was a Kestrel. We continued along the road slowly looking for Falcons and at the same time the first one was seen a big Owl flew from the same tree. This raised my hope to frame a flying Owl in the camera seeker.
This raised the bar for me and I suddenly felt more awake then before. We also started to see many of the resident Falcons circling in the air but some stood their ground even when we stopped a couple of meters from tree so I actually could take some okay photos. Zoltan could also see that one set of eggs had hatched in a nest and that the Falcons had 2 chicks there. This was actually very easy done as he had put a mirror on the inside of the nest boxes roof.
We stayed in the area for some time eating a light breakfast but also getting the sought after image of the Great Reed Warbler that we have tried so many times before. This one was actually posing nicely just 10 meter from the car. Sometimes they do it easy for you and that is really nice.
Zoltan thought this Long-eared Owl should have chicks by now so we stopped to check the box. Unfortunately he saw that none of the 3 eggs had hatched so this probably meant this Owl couple won’t have any young this season. Sad but I also got the chance to get the Owl flying as it came passing by on the field just in front of me. It is not the best photo I have taken but it still is an Owl and that I like.
We took a detour to see if the Barn Owl was where we last spotted it but we discovered that none was at home. So we turned back home to the house before the Hawfinch because I also needed my second camera. On the road to the hide we stopped at a Graveyard and went in to look at the Long-eared Owl family there. One adult and 3 young ones was spotted. This is the first time I have seen any young owls and that was thrilling to see.
Zoltan left me at the hide and I spent a couple of hours there seeing lots of different small birds drink but also bathing. Of course the Hawfinch was there but also Syrian Woodpecker, Whitethroat and Nightingale. The other birds were more or less known to me.
This was my last day here photographing the wildlife in Hungary but I am considering coming back for the Eagle season. I have to do some thinking but it sounds appealing to me.