Hungarian puszta in spring

vast plains and wetlands of Hortobágy National Park

Discover unique steppe region in Europe. Hortobágy National Park is one of the top European birdwatching destinations. Explore the landscape that hides breeding sites of Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron or Red-footed Falcon. And have you already seen Roller or Bee-eater? Let’s join us!

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characteristics: One of the largest and the westernmost grassland in Europe. Mosaic of pastures, meadows and marshes creates unique lowland landscape. Large fishponds in the Hortobágy National Park are important breeding and migrating sites for birds. More than 320 species of birds have been registered in the National Park.

highlights of this area: wetlands in alkaline grasslands, dry habitats in alkaline grasslands, Lake Tisza, ecocentre in Poroszló, traditional settlements, delicious cuisine

other highlights (possible to include in to the trip itinerary): thermal spa Egerszálok, Debrecén – the second largest city in Hungary, wine cellars in Eger

protected areas visited: IBA and National Park Hortobágy (Hortobágy Nemzeti Park), a UNESCO World Heritage Site

target species: Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus), Western Great Egret (Egretta alba), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) and other waterbird species, Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca), White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Long-legged Buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), Common Crane (Grus grus), Great Bustard (Otis tarda), Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus), Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus), Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida), Barn Owl (Tyto alba), Little Owl (Athene noctua), Roller (Coracias garrulus), River Warbler (Locustella fluviatilis), Savi’s Warbler (Locustella luscinioides), Bearded Reedling (Panurus biarmicus), Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica), Thrush Nightingale (Luscinia luscinia), Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris), Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor)

other species: local breeds of domestic animals: Hungarian Grey Cattle, Water Buffalo, Raczka Sheep, Mangalica Pig, Nonius horse

Trip length: 3 days

Terrain difficulty: all terrains during this trip are easy walking, the area of the trip is lowland

Accommodation: rural guesthouse

Day 1: departure from Bratislava in early morning hours, arrival to Hortobágy in the afternoon, accommodation; visit of the village Hortobágy with the NP information center; visit of animal park with local breeds of domestic animals; after the dinner: an evening walk (Barn Owl, Little Owl)

Day 2: morning: birds of fishponds of Hortobágy (herons, ducks, cranes, waders, warblers, …); lunch; visit of colony of Red-footed Falcons and Rooks, birds of steppe (Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Grey Shrike, Saker Falcon, Great Bustard)

Day 3: morning: walk in the puszta; visit of the ecocenter in Poroszló (elevated wooden sightseeing path in reeds with observation tower and hides, aquariums and local fauna exposition); lunch; departure, arrival to Bratislava in late evening hours (Upon request it is possible to shorten the program and to depart earlier.)

Starting and final point: Bratislava. Possibility to get an extra paid transfer from airport Vienna. Transfer to/from Budapest for no extra charge.

Recommended term: April – June

Prices for guiding in English for 1 person:

395,- € / 3 – 5 participants

275,- € / 6 – 10 participants

245,- € / 11 and more participants

Price includes: transportation, accommodation for 2 nights, recreational fee, half board (2x breakfast, 2x dinner), full guiding service, local guide, binoculars and bird identification guide rental, corporate insolvency insurance, National Park entry fee, ecocenter entry fee

Price does NOT include: individual travel insurance, lunch

If you are interested in this trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by email to info@watching.sk or give us a call at +421 948 495 111. We can then discuss the date that suits your needs the best.

More info about this area could be also found in our trip report:
Hortobágy field check trip