A Fine Day in the Pilis

My very good friend and climbing partner Istvan (Hungarian for Steve) has birdwatching as a hobby. He frequently goes to take wonderful photographs, not only of birds but anything he finds interesting. I thought he could share one of his recent trips here. As his English is not that strong yet, he asked me to translate and post. The following story and pictures are his work.

On Monday I didn’t work so I went to the Pilis (mountain area in Hungary) with one of my friends who, like me, loves birds.
At first we didn’t find anything for our cameras to capture so we just enjoyed the distant birdsong. But then, as we were approaching the car we caught sight of a Northern Wheatear /Oenanthe oenanthe/ on a heap of stones. I got really excited as I’d never encountered this species, not to mention taking a decent picture of it. So I got down on the ground in the split of a second and in the next moment I was already crawling up on the stones like some predator. Very slowly, I stuck out my camera, followed by my head on the top of the heap and the bird was sitting right in front of me although still too far for a good picture. No sooner than it had turned its back on me I hid behind a stone and tried to get closer. I succeeded! The bird is already within shooting distance, I only have to do the right exposure. The only problem is that I’m panting from the crawl and my hands are trembling! Take a deep breath, hold it, fire!
I got it, quite good as a first photo of the species but far from perfect.

Northern Wheatear

I’m glad though, at least I know that I can run into it again here…

I’m happily cleaning my muddy trousers, since the Northern Wheatear is a rare „prey”.

We go on, as my friend catches sight of a bird sitting on a branch right on the side of the path.


The red breast seems like the bird is wounded so it is probably a Linnet /Carduelis cannabina/ and later at home I find out that it is indeed a young male.

It was worth coming out as I could capture two „new” birds I’d never photographed before!

We continue our walk near a fishpond where we catch sight of a Mallard /Anas platyrhynchos/



and a White Wagtail /Motacilla alba/.

White Wagtail

Unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures of the Nightingale /Luscinia megarhynchos/, the Common Chiffchaff /Phylloscopus collybita/ and the Whitethroat /Sylvia communis/ although we could hear them sing nearby.

During a particularly adventurous section we caught sight of a Northern Goshawk /Accipiter gentilis/, but, of course, I was too slow for a good photo.

Northern Goshawk


There was not much life on the pond, I only could see a Common Sandpiper /Actitis hypoleucos/ but the picture is only good for identification!

Common Sandpiper

Later we went to a safe „hunting” area, the parking lot of a nearby supermarket where we thought we could see some Crested Larks /Galerida cristata/.

And we were right, after some search we found them, they were searching for food in the grass.

Crested Larks


We even saw a House Sparrow /Passer domesticus/.

House Sparrow


Then our road took us to a horse farm:



The horses fooled around a bit just to please us!

7 thoughts on “A Fine Day in the Pilis”

  1. OMG! Yep, considering these are ‘far from perfect’ pictures I’m awestruck by them, the pictures of the Wheatear and Linnet are first class! :star: You must have tremendous patience to get close enough. Although I guess, judging from the shallow depth of field, you are using a reasonably long lens. If so, how do you achieve such crisp camera-shake free shots?

  2. Thank you, for the remarks!
    I am happy, that like the photos! 😉
    The photos were taken with a big long lens really (150-500mm),against shaking in, a sure hand and many deleted photos is needed! 😆

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