The warm climate and the limestone caves of Hungary’s Bükk National Park provide a perfect habitat for bats and this tour offers us a chance to see between 17 and 20 species (25 have been recorded in the area) in what is the richest and bat-wise most explored areas of Europe. These national parks protect an amazing landscape of karstic valleys with rows of dolines, blind valleys and sinkholes, called devil´s holes by local people.
Our local guides are National Park rangers with expert knowledge and many years experience of monitoring and protecting bats and their habitats. We’ll visit Greater Horseshoe and Geoffroy’s Bat roosts, the latter numbering in their thousands. We’ll see large summer roosts of some species, others we’ll find by mist-netting with researchers. The list of species we’ll encounter is impressive with all or most of Bechstein`s, Mediterranean Horseshoe, Brandt's, Pond, Natterer’s, Alcathoe Whiskered, Daubenton’s, Pygmy Pipistrelle, Nathusius Pipistrelle, Greater Noctule, Leisler’s, Noctule, Parti-Coloured, Western Barbastelle, Brown Long-eared and Schreiber’s Bent-winged Bat on the agenda.
Imperial Eagle, Saker and Black Woodpecker are some of the great birds we’ll look for in Kiskunsag National Park and there’s abundant Odonata as well as sought-after butterflies such as Pallas’s Fritillary, Hungarian and Common Gliders, and the recently separated Maculinea ligurica. We rarely get to see smaller mammals in the field and so it will be a great pleasure to accompany a researcher who can introduce us to the diminutive Pygmy Shrew and show us how to differentiate Lesser White-toothed Shrew from Bicoloured White-toothed Shrew. Harvest Mouse will be a highlight and we’ll likely be shown Yellow-necked Mouse, Striped Field Mouse, Steppe Mouse and European Pine Vole. A dormouse nest box scheme will allow us to view both Edible Dormouse and the nicely-marked Forest Dormouse. One evening will be dedicated to watching the secretive European Beaver on the edge of theHortobagyNational Park. We’ll see Badger, Wild Boar, and both Roe and Red Deer, and September is a good time to hear Wolves howling as we study the smaller creatures!
Mammals, especially Bats. Also Butterflies, Dragonflies and Birds.
Relaxed and easy. However please note that you will be entering caves and other old buildings – please bring a torch.
All mist-netting and small mammal trapping will be conducted with local researchers who are permitted to conduct such research in these areas. Mist-netting of the bats takes place after dinner and usually finishes around 23.00. The small mammal trapping will run alongside. Because of the special structure of the days we will offer siestas in the afternoon and late breakfasts. As bats usually use old, often abandoned houses, buildings and churches we will select places with little risk of injury and the necessary protective helmets will be provided. On some occasions we will visit the colonies in shifts of 4-5 at a time in order to secure the peace of the bats.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation inHungary. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.
One leader for a group of up to 8, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 15.
The first three nights will be at the excellent Kondor Eco-Lodge in the heart of the Kiskunsag National Park. Attractive rooms with comfortable beds are in traditional thatched houses. The home-cooking is superb, and so too the wine, and the extensive garden is designed to attract wildlife, with many notable birds, butterflies and moths making their home there. The excellent Nomad Hotel will be our base for the second half of the holiday. Nicely furnished rooms look out over the southernBükkMountains. Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Wryneck breed in the garden! This hotel produces fantastic local cuisine and has some of the best Bulls Blood wine in the region. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
UK direct return flights are from various London airports, Manchester* or Edinburgh* to Budapest. Indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Warm, sometimes hot, and often sunny though rain is not uncommon and can be prolonged.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Mammal, bird, butterfly and dragonfly checklists are available.