Thunderstorm over the Puszta
The day started when Zoltan picked me up and we went away to search for the Hoopoe. They have a couple of nest sites at an old airfield so that was where we started. The couple that is staying here had already a couple of juvenile and now they probably had started the next incubation. So the chances were slim that we could get any good pictures at this site. Still there were two juveniles there but they were not cooperative. We also made a try at the nest site but neither of the adult birds was flying back and forth because they had no chicks to feed. Tough luck.
Instead we saw a good thunderstorm build up and therefore we left this site and drove to the Great Bustard Reserve. We looked in the museum and then went out to take photos of the resident birds here. They are big ones so it was interesting to see how easy they flew when a group of Bustards headed further into the reserve.
This stop turned out to be a gem when Zoltan’s old University friend told him of a nesting site for the Kingfisher. He also meet his Ranger friend here and he confirmed that there were a nest at the place but said it was going to be hard to taken any photos there.
This opportunity couldn´t be missed. The place was at an old bridge along one of the channels that feed the fish ponds with water. The drive to the bridge, along the channel, was eventful and we saw many Night Herons that have a nesting site here. We immediately saw the Kingfisher when it darted over the water to a good hiding spot. So after the car was turned into a hide we just had to wait for it to reappear.
It did so after some waiting and the Rangers fear was confirmed. We still had overcast and the hole was just 30 centimeter above the water’s edge so it was in a dark place. The shutter had to be lower but that also meant that every time the Kingfisher moved the pictures turned out blurry. Still a really good sighting and one I wouldn´t have liked to miss.
They are pretty these small birds but still hard to find even if they are this colorful.
A short walk was also made and I was able to get photos of Penduline Tit, Squacco Heron and White Egret in just a matter of minutes.
After lunch and a quick rest at home we headed out to see the Barn Owl. This turned out to be a great afternoon expedition with birds of prey like the Red-footed Falcon, Common Buzzard, Barn Owl and interaction between a Marsh Harrier and a Common Pheasant that was protecting its nest.
All in all a good day even if we had thunderstorms and no Hoopoe luck.
Tomorrow will be weather dependent and either we start at the Garden hide or we go back to the Bee-eaters and the Hoopoe hide that we actually built ourselves some days ago.
So now its bed time and I see lighting in the distance so another thunderstorm might be approaching.