Day two in Hungary was truly stupendous!
Malka, my camera woman and I met with Gerard Gorman and his client Joan Clark who was an amazing octogenarian with an incredible world list of over 6700 species. She has spent many years traversing every continent in the world to accumulate this grand total. Indeed, she has seen a representative from every bird family known to science.
She was in Budapest for a couple of days whilst cruising up the Danube on what looked like a mega-long luxury liner. Instead of going off on a group expedition to explore Budapest she chose to contact Gerard for a birding trip.
Gerard Gorman, Joan Clark and TUB
So, 45 minutes after picking her up, we were in the Hungarian hinterland finding such mouthwatering delights as Great Bustard, Roller, Bee-eater, Caspian Gull, Little Bittern, Spoonbill, White Stork, Purple Heron, Ferruginous Duck, Saker, Red-footed Falcon, singing Quail, Savi's Warbler (both of which I didn't see of course!), Marsh Warbler, many Turtle Dove, Tawny Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Great Reed Warbler, Red-backed & Lesser Grey Shrikes and more Golden Orioles.
The moment of the out of town excursion was seeing an Otter scamper across the road in front of us as we slowly drove down a dirt track in a fish pond area. It was a magical and unexpected moment, as man and beast were both surprised to see each other - both momentarily eyeing each other up before the Otter broke the spell and crept of into the reedbed on the other side of the road.
The typical countryside vista outside Budapest
A White Stork nest in a town whose name loosely translated means 'Woman's knickers'!
After an amazing half day, we returned to southern Budapest and another island in the Danube to chase down some woodpeckers in a small urban park. Within minutes we were watching a family of Syrian Woodpeckers whilst Gerard broke down the pertinent id features. It was an education.
We dropped a delighted Joan to her 'cruise liner' and Gerard dropped myself and Malka at our hotel. Malka had been ill all day with suspected tonsillitis. So she got sent to bed for an early night, in order for her to be shipshape for tomorrow's shoot day.