Great bustard photography

 The male Great Bustards perform one of the most spectacular breeding display

In Hungary there is a healthy population of Great Bustard which means 1200-1300 birds. In our area we have around 300-350 individuals, these birds live on grassland or steppe defined by open flat landscapes. These birds use the traditional displaying areas every year to meet each other at the beginning of April. During the tour you will be able to photograph the male Great Bustards lekking trying to attract females, this will be in the National Park protected areas.

During the tour we will combine the hide photography with field work, we can practise our photography skills on a few captive birds.

Destination: Hungary, Kisujszallas, Turkeve and Koros-Maros National Park

Date: 1-6 and 6-11 April

Size of group: 2 participants per week

Cost of the tour: 330000 HUF/per person

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1st day:

We will pick you up from the airport or we will meet at our Villa Aquila in Kisujszallas where your accommodation will be. During our dinner we will talk about the possibilities and put together a plan for the next few days.

2nd day

We will visit the Hungarian Great Bustard conservation centre in the Koros – Maros National Park, where we can meet and photograph the Great Bustards in a 3-hectare fenced area. Here you can practice your photography skills and observe these birds close at hand. In the afternoon we will use one of my photo hides taking pictures of Syrian Woodpeckers, Hawfinches and many other birds.

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3rd day:

Today will be spent doing hide photography. We will be able to use the special photo hide in the heart of the displaying area in the Koros-Maros National Park. This hide is for 2 photographers only. You will spend the day here from the very early morning until the late afternoon. During the day you will be able to photograph displaying Great Bustards in their natural environment.

4th day

Today we will have a Jeep safari and discover different habitats around the National Park. This activity will be guided by a National Park Ranger. We will visit those places where we can observe and photograph Great Bustards. During the day we will photograph other birds including Skylarks, Corn Buntings and with a bit of luck even Short Eared Owls sat in good light. In the afternoon we will visit one of my hides to photograph different birds at the drinking pools or the feeders.

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5th day:

Today we will visit the hide in the National Park again. The Great Bustards should be active again and we can get some top-class pictures from the close range of the hide, this will hopefully make it a good day out.

6th day:

Before our way back to the airport if we have enough time, we will visit a fish farm here we will try to photograph Bearded Tits. With a bit of luck, we will also hopefully see Bittern and Penduline Tits, this would be a good end to the tour.

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This tour is a unique possibility to photograph the Great Bustards in their natural environment, therefore I only take 2 people per week on this tour. During the tour you will be able to visit those secret and protected areas in the Koros-Maros National Park which are only open to people with permits. The birds are very shy, so when we use the hides we must be there in the dark early morning, we will leave in the dark evening. The other days will be easier, but those are also interesting and productive days. I recommend this tour for all photographers who are happy to spend a full day in and around the hide and take a Jeep safari in the National Park.