Will Hungary bring my desired Kingfisher photo today?
Day 1 in Hungary was going to be spent with Kingfishers and Owls in mind. That was at least the plan. At pickup Zoltán told us that Arnes suitcase didn´t arrive during the night. That meant someone had to freeze if we didn´t get him warmer clothes to wear. The good thing is that Arne and Zoltan are similar in size so he could lend some clothes from Zoltan so we had to drive to Zoltáns house to get the clothes, but also to fetch a tripod for Arne . I also gave him a pair of wool socks and a warm sweater which helped him during the day.
Before we left the house in which we stayed we could see a Great White Egret on the other side of the small thermal lake and just in front of the Egret there where a Kingfisher. It is always nice to see the little jewel even if we couldn´t take any good photos of it.
After dressing Arne we headed towards a better Kingfisher site in the town of Berekfürdö. Now we realized that the road conditions weren´t that great as the snow had melted and then frozen to ice during the cold morning hours. It was really slippery even with Zoltáns 4×4 vehicle. Therefore we arrived later than planned, but still we would have plenty of time to catch the blue jewel on photo. When we arrived we set everything up and started to wait.
Unfortunately the wait wasn´t fruitful as the Kingfisher never appeared. So we decided that we should go back to the house to see what could be done with the Kingfisher there, but first we were going to the the other side of this canal as there where Long-tailed Tits in the area. They are really nice birds that I like and I have never before had the chance to photo them so this wasn´t an opportunity I could pass. With Zoltáns expertise we could lure the birds to come out and show us their best side, but that don´t mean it was any easy task as they are quick and agile birds.
On the way back to the apartment Zoltán got a call that Arne suitcase had arrived. During the drive back to Kisújszállás we stopped along the road to take photos of Common Buzzards. It felt like the Buzzards were sitting in the top of each tree looking out over the Puszta. They are common back in Sweden, but not if you compare it to here in Hungary.
Back at our house we could see both a Grey Heron and the Great White Egret. We did some stalking photography before we went into the center of town to photo the Long-eared Owls. They aren´t that many this year because of the mild winter, but Zoltán thought it could be around 100 individuals just in the city of Kisújszállás. It was really nice to see this many Owls in one place as I never have experienced it before.
The day ended where it began with the same intent. We wanted to see what we could do with the Kingfisher. Sadly we couldn´t locate it, but instead we found the Great White Egret again and this time we could sneak upon the bird as it was hunting. It was a nice treat even if it wasn´t a Kingfisher.
As we were going to call it a day I saw something move fast over at the other side of the lake, from the middle of the small island. We soon verified that it was the Kingfisher I had seen so now it was game on again. We managed to lure it out into the open, but it just passed us flying over he water surface. Even with great light it would have been hard so this wasn´t to be this day. At least we now knew that it seems to be resident here and therefore we rigged a branch that it hopefully will perch on so we can have a go on getting the desired photos of the King of the lake.