It is the insensible birder who doesn’t learn something on each and every birding outing. And on a week-long trip especially devoted to birding in a place that a birder has never been the amount a birder can learn is pretty much unlimited. I do try to experience and learn as much as I can on every trip and my week in Hungary was no exception. Rather than force you to go all the way to Hungary to learn on your own the five main lessons I learned I figured sharing them here on the blog would be worthwhile. Just consider saving you having to go to Hungary to look at birds as one of the many services we here at 10,000 Birds provide.
Without further ado then here are…
Five Things I Learned While Birding in Hungary
1. Common House Martins have feathered legs and feet. I actually learned this lesson without even leaving the airport, as martins actually nest outside of the terminal at Ferenc Liszt International Airport, which serves Budapest. How cool is that?
mud-gathering Common House Martin Delichon urbicum
2. When Europeans say “That is a really bright Wood Warbler,” it means something very different from when Americans say “That is a really bright wood-warbler.” Poor, deprived, Europeans.
3. If you hear a bird singing in Europe and you momentarily misidentify it as a House Wren it is actually a Chaffinch. Yes, every single time.
singing Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
4. Every Song Thrush is French, even those that have never been to France. I present the image below as evidence.
snail-bashing Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
5. Black Woodpeckers are mythical creatures that Europeans, jealous of our Pileated Woodpecker, made up. I am not sure how this relates to the treecreeper conspiracy but I will figure it out one of these days.
I hope you found this helpful and that I saved you from having to bird Hungary yourself. What’s that you say? You’ve just booked a flight to Hungary because you want to see some of the really cool birds there? Well, go ahead, but don’t come back saying you have seen a Black Woodpecker unless you want to look really foolish…
My week-long trip to Hungary was a familiarity trip organized by the wonderful folks at Swarovski Optik to introduce their new line of superior spotting scopes, the ATX and the STX modular telescopes. We visited Hortobágy National Park, the Bükk Hills and places in between. Many thanks to Swarovski Optik for inviting me along and letting me experience both some awesome new optics and the natural wonders of the wonderful country of Hungary.
I just came back from Britain and from what I could see Rule 3 should read “If you see a bird, it’s a Chaffinch”.
I knew I had a similar observation to #3, but didn’t realize how much so.Note the title.
@Paul: They are everywhere, aren’t they?
@Jason: I really liked that bird.
Aha, so it’s gonna be Black Woodpecker…
one day You should visit Poland, as long as we (still) have some wild nature, including birds 😉
You forgot lesson #6: even visiting Hungary won’t make you beat me in the 2012 year list competition! 🙂 🙂
@Jochen: Yes, I want a Black Woodpecker. Badly. And I can’t believe you got that many more birds in Kazakhstan!
@Onibe: Poland is a place I really want to visit.
So what’s a wood warbler in europe? -from Indiana
@Casey: Europeans have a species called “Wood Warbler” but, unfortunately for them, it is an old world warbler, which means that it is bland compared to our gaudy birds. You can see one in this post.
I happened on your website because I was looking for the number of hours of daylight in NYC on the winter solstice. Your photos and knowledge about birds are amazing and truly inspirational. I am interested in photography and was wondering what kind of equipment you use to take these fabulous bird shots. I am in the woods in PA and would like to become more knowledgeable about birds and also include them in my photography adventures which, to date, have mostly included flowers and insects. Thank you!
@Betsy: Mostly I use a Canon EOS 50D attached to a Swarovski spotting scope, though sometimes I use other lenses as well. And thanks for the compliment!