Saturday, August 13, 2011

Postcard from Hungary

Phil is... currently enjoying Hungary.

The emphasis of the trip is on bats, many different roosts have been visited so far this week from small roof spaces and chimneys to natural cave roosts.

Any late summer trip in Central Europe is going to throw up some great encounters with splendid creatures. We visited one chalk grassland area that was hooching with wartbiters (Decticus verrucivorus).

A first for me was an adult common spadefoot, recorded after rain in Aggtelek NP one night. There are very few records for the park apparently.

Another great find was the Carpathian purple slug (Bielzia coerulans) - here in rather drab autumn plumage.

Dragonflies get a look-in of course. This Orthetrum brunneum was a nice year-tick and we are hoping for many more species when we hit some steppe plain wetlands later on in the trip.

Visiting so many bat roosts is a rare privilege, we have seen 13 species at roost or in the hand so far. Grey long-eared bat gets the comedy award.

Take me to your leader.

Reptiles are proving surprisingly elusive but sand lizards have performed, alongside common wall and green lizard.

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