The view from my hotel balcony
I arrived in Budapest with Malka, my camera operator, under dark rainy skies - a far cry from the solid hot sunshine that I had originally imagined. In fact, a friend of mine had just returned from this city raving about the weather. Thankfully, the rain soon subsided to reveal a cloudier day.
We are staying at the Danubius Health Spa Resort, Margitsziget (Margaret's Island) in the middle of the Danube. The island is about 5km around, so was a bit bigger than what I imagined. After receiving a tour around the hotel's impressive health and spa by the duty manager, I nipped out to meet with Gerard Gorman, my guide for the next few days. We strolled around the island whilst chatting and discussing the plans for tomorrow. The island itself was like a large area of wooded parkland inhabited by tons of people. Despite this we heard several Nightingales in full song and to Gerard's great surprise, several were out in the open hopping on the ground like Robins!
Aside from the by now obligatory Hooded Crows and Blackbirds, several Golden Orioles rang out their beautiful tropical sounding songs. I never tire of hearing these gorgeous birds. My pained achilles ruled out any major walk so we ended our stroll back at my hotel to watch a male Black Redstart belting out its scratchy song.