In June 2019 we travelled to Hungary with six other Wildlife Photographers.
We met for the first time and became good friends.
Our accommodation was at the Bibic Nature Lodge in the Hortobagy National Park. The lodge sits on the edge of a soda lake.
This location was excellent for discovering the abundant wildlife and the hospitality was impeccable.
The Hortobagy National Park is a vast area over 80, 000 hectares of grasslands, marshes, also fishponds with a few roads and access points. It is one of the top nature reserves in Europe. It is Hungary´s first National Park, holding exotic species of plants and animals.
The Hortobagy is first, and foremost, a bird sanctuary, with over 300 species on record, offering exceptional, birding opportunities.
Early each morning we visited different parts of the Hortobagy. After a short break for lunch our guides dropped us off at a different location for the afternoon experience.
It was amazing to see so many birds in their natural environment.There were no no baiting setups for photographs. We took photos of the birds mating and bringing food to feed to their chicks.
Breeding activity is the highest at this time (May-June) Just like anywhere in the northern hemisphere breeding activity is high.
We witnessed many species feeding their young including; Red Footed Falcons, European Rollers, Bee-eaters, Hoopoes, Pygmy Cormorants, Little Owl, Shrikes, both, Red-backed and Lesser Grey, Woodpecker, Black Stork plus many more there are too many to list.
Since returning from Hungary we have spent two days in the Farne Islands photographing Puffins.
We are now planning our next destination to Costa Rica.
Within 10 minutes of arriving home we ordered some prints to be delivered on the next day ready to be framed over the weekend to install in our Birds of Gambia Exhibition that started at 8am on the Monday (We love pressure lol)
We had an amazing time in Gambia
We took some pencils, crayons and notebooks with us to give to the children as the schools do not provide these for the children
We are planning a second trip in November when we will visit a wholesalers and purchase supplies for the schools, as we are limited what we can take with us due to luggage charges.
Whilst there we used the services of 3 local wild life guides. We used one guide Lamin Camera on 4 occasions.
We wanted to help Lamin, so we have sponsored him by paying for and designing his own website to enable him to attract more business. The website is live and we are still updating it see http://www.thegambiabirdguide.com . When we told Laming he nearly cried he was so grateful.
Winterton Rangers Football Club
Friday 25th August 2017
Unlike our previous exhibitions this will be a one night only exhibition. The Club do have some of our pictures on permanent display
We have added lots of new photographs to this exhibition
Photos will be professionally printed and framed also printed on canvas and will be available to purchase or order on the night.
The venue has recently undergone refurbishment if you haven’t been recently it’s worth a visit
Jo Bird & Bob Riach
The puffin is one of the country's favourite birds and there are few better places to see them up close than on the Farne Islands
The puffin is unmistakable; once seen, never forgotten. With its beautiful markings, strikingly coloured bill and almost comic gait it is a bird that has endeared itself to millions.
Though often known as a sea parrot, locally in Northumberland, the bird is known as a 'Tommy noddy'.
Each year, puffins return to the Farnes to breed. This is generally between April and late July with the peak breeding season being in May and June. For the remainder of the year, the birds fly out to sea, overwintering on the water, only returning to land each year for a short window to breed and raise their young. It is while out on the water, that they shed their brightly coloured bills, in favour of a dull grey winter bill colouring. But, as spring approaches, the vibrant colours return and, by the time they settle on land again, the bill is clear again for all to see.
Puffins are an red-listed bird species. This means there has been a severe decline in the population of puffins over the last 25 years. Over half of the UK population is based at just a handful of sites.
Amazing birds to see over 50,000 on the island at the moment and they will all leave the island in the next few weeks
Jo Bird & Bob Riach June 2017