eco
TOURS-EASTERN-EUROPE
Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic


Moths & Butterflies Tour

Kondor EcoLodge, Kiskunság National Park, Hungary - 7 days, but can be tailor-made

The total number of recorded Lepidoptera in Hungary is close to 4000 species. Compared to the size of the country it is a huge number, due to a big variety of habitats and microclimates.

Our region, the Kiskunság National Park is famous to have the Westernmost Asiatic steppes in Europe, plus arid, sandy areas dotted with fishponds, alkaline lakes and oxbow lakes with riverine forests. As a result we have a very interesting mix of different habitats thus plenty of interesting species. From May till September almost every week we can have different species of moth at and around our Kondor EcoLodge. For several years we have not used professional moth traps, because in our area there is very limited light pollution, so generally it was enough to use outside special lightbulbs and the white walls of any of our buildings. We had amazing variety of species even with this method.

Nowadays we use a professional Robinson moth trap to catch & observe moth species in our garden. Actually the very first time we run the moth trap we caught 6 different Hawk Moth species plus many other interesting moth species, lot of them extreme rarities in UK or do not even occur, so many of them do not even have an English name such as our local endemic species.

Many thanks especially for Colin Williams who brought over from UK the Robinson Moth trap and helped us to learn not just how to use it successfully, but also to try to ID the the various moth species during the first evening sessions.

Please note that collecting or taking living specimens of any stage is strictly prohibited by the Hungarian law. We will provide literature about Hungarian and Central-European Macrolepidoptera fauna as well as a few special books on Micro moths, although most of them are written in German or Hungarian.

 

Fact File

- 7 days in the centre of the Kiskunság National Park, Hungary

- start and finish in Budapest, Hungary

- using 1 accommodation



Highlights

- wide variety of habitats

- moth trapping during the night

- rare moth species

- rare butterfly species depending on the month including Large Copper, Freyer's Purple Emperor, Cardinal, Southern Festoon and many more



Accommodation

6 nights at Kondor EcoLodge in the middle of the Kiskunság National Park, Hungary

www.kondorecolodge.hu 

Departure Dates

From May till October

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar


Price

Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- flight to and from Vienna;

- optional programmes to places of interest and its entrance fees

- passports and visas

- airport and other departure taxes, tips

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries

- excess baggage charges,

- telephone calls,

- alcoholic beverages,

- compulsory personal insurance

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us



Activity level

Easy walks in and around our Kondor EcoLodge garden at butterfly and moth reach habitats



Itinerary


The following list is just a short list of species we have trapped during end of May, beginning of June. But each month, well, actually quite regularly every week has its own special list, so from April till October there are always a lot to look for.

1 Small Elephant Haewkmoth Deilephila porcellus
2 Orange Moth Angerona prunaria
3 Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata
4 Bordered White Bupalus piniaria
5 Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia c-nigrum
6 Pine Hawkmoth Hyloicus pinastri
7 Orange Footman Eilema caniola
8 Riband Wave Idaea aversata
9 Large Yellow Underwing Noctua comes
10 Double Line Mythimna turca
11 Delicate Mythimna vitellina
12 The Flame Axylia putris
13 Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidana
14 Heart And Dart Agrotis exclamationis
15 Pale Prominent Notodonta ziczac
16 Treble Lines
17 Mottled Rustic
18 Common Wainscot
19 Pale-shouldered Brocade Lacanobia thalassina
20 (species of grass moth) Catoptria falsella
21 (species of puss moth) Zeuzera pyrina
22 Cream-spot Tiger Arctia villica britannica
23 Poplar Hawkmoth Laothoe populi
24 Buff Arches
25 Straw Dot
26 Portland Ribbon Wave
27 Lilac Beauty
28 Swallow Prominent Pheosia tremula
29 Marbled Minor
30 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua janthe
31 Large Dark Prominent Notodonta torva
32 Rustic
33 Buff-tip
34 Green Oak Tortrix
35 Spotted Sulphur
36 Bedstraw Hawkmoth
37 Poplar Kitten
38 Chocolate-tip
39 Barred Red
40 White-point
41 Lychis
42 Sprawler spp.
43 Eyed Hawkmoth
44 Birdswing
45 Gold Triangle
46 Bright-line Brown-eye
47 Ethmia bipunctella
48 Beautiful Hook-tip
49 European Corn Bearer
50 Silver Barred
51 Tawny-barred Angle
52 Dioryctria simplicella
53 Poplar Grey
54 Least Carpet
55 Spurge Hawkmoth
56 Golden Twin-spot
57 Mottled Beauty
58 Tissue or Scarce Tissue
59 Sharp-angled Peacock
60 Oblique Striped
61 Mullein Wave
62 Meal Moth Pyralis farinalis
63 Goat Moth
64 Mullein   
65 Dark or Grey Dagger
66 Pebble Prominent
67 Muslin Moth
68 Three-lumped Prominent
69 Silver-Y
70 Turnip Moth
71 Shark spp
72 Figure of Eighty
73 Lobster
74 Burnished Brass
75 Flame Shoulder
76 Orache Moth
77 Sub-angled Wave
78 Geometrician
79 Common Emeald
80 Pine-tree Lappet
81 Fan-foot
82 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
83 Yellow-tail
84 Four-spotted Footman
85 Barred Straw

Central-European Butterfly Tour

 

Hungary - Czech Republic – Slovakia, 15 days

This tour is designed to visit some of the best butterfly regions in Central-Europe. The Carpathian Mountains host many attractive mountain species while within the huge Carpathian Basin you can find an amazing variety of different habitats ranging from wet meadows, alkaline marshes, steppes through to extensive oak, beech, evergreen woods, limestone slopes and volcanic hills. No wonder that Hungary is one of the richest countries in terms of butterfly and dragonfly species in Europe with almost 200 butterfly species, about 3400 moths and 65 species of dragonflies. During the 15-day long tour we visit many national parks in Hungary: Balaton Uplands, Őrség, Bükk, Aggtelek, Hortobágy and the Carpathian Mountains of Slovakia and Moravia in the Czech Republic. The trip will be escorted by local guides.

It is possible to leave this tour earlier on the 9th day in Budapest or join the tour for the second half. Those who only sign up for the first part will complete 9 days starting and finishing in Budapest. Those who join the tour for the second half will have a 7-day holiday starting and finishing in Budapest.

 

Fact File

- 15 day long butterfly holiday that can also be done in a 9-day or a 7-day short version

- visiting 3 countries: Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia

- start and finish in Budapest, Hungary

- using 6 accommodations



Highlights

-visiting 6 National Parks

-wide variety of habitats, wildflowers, birds

-around 100 butterfly species on tour

-including many Hairstreaks, Coppers, Blues including 4 Maculinea species, Fritillaries, Purple and Lesser Purple Emperor, Camberwell Beauty and many more

-moth trapping on some nights



Accommodation

1 night at our own Kondor EcoLodge, Kiskunsag, Hungary

3 nights in Bakonybél in the Bakony Hills, Hungary

3 nights in a small family hotel in Moravia, Czech Republic

1 night at Danube Bend, Hungary

2 nights at Bükk National Park, Hungary

2 nights at Aggtelek National Park, Hungary

2 nights at Hortobagy National Park, Hungary



Price


Ask for the actual price.
Our price includes:

Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- flight to and from Budapest;

- optional programmes to places of interest and its entrance fees

- passports and visas

- airport and other departure taxes, tips

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries

- excess baggage charges,

- telephone calls,

- alcoholic beverages,

- compulsory personal insurance

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us



Activity level

Easy walks at great butterfly habitats; some days can be hot

There are a few days when we have couple of hours drive with stops at perfect butterfly habitats



Optional programmes

- visit to the World Famous Herend China-Factory and exhibition

- wine tasting at the Best Wine-maker of the Year at Bukk Hills

- visit one of the most amazing dripstone caves of Europe in Aggtelek

- travelling through the Hortobagy Puszta with horse-drawn carriages

- short sightseeing in the charming capital, Budapest



Itinerary

butter1

 

1

Upon arrival at Budapest Airport we head south towards the Kiskunsag National Park through an area which is a stronghold for Great Bustards. We aim to the Kondor EcoLodge which is our own lovely traditional thatch-roofed family style hotel with a garden full with songs of Golden Oriole, Common Redstart, Bee-eaters and Rollers. In and around there are attractive butterfly species as well, such as Cardinal, Swallowtail, Short-tailed Blue and many more.

2-4

We travel west towards the Bakony region above Lake Balaton. These days will be spent exploring the Bakony Hills featuring areas of oak and beech woods alternating with steppe like meadows.

5-7

We head to the easternmost foothills of the Alps. This is an area characterised by damp herb-rich meadows and sub-alpine vegetation, which we will visit en route. Afterwards we head for the White Carpathian Mountains, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve where we spend 2 days. We then head to the South and visit an the dolomite Tematinske Kopce Hills.

8

On our way back to Hungary we stop in the Small Carpathian Mountains. Re-entering Hungary, we travel to the famous Danube Bend Region and stay for one night at the foot of the Börzsöny Hills.

9-10

We leave the Börzsöny area and travel to Bükk National Park. On the way we travel through Budapest and it is possible to leave the tour at this stage or to join the group for the second part. The southern part of the park is well grazed with areas of longer grass, rocky outcrops and scrub with an abundance of wild flowers and high insect diversity.

11-12

Our journey to Aggtelek National Park takes us through the Uppony Hills, where we will visit a spectacular gorge in search of Hungarian Glider. During two days we explore a mixture of habitats ranging from dry hillsides to wet valleys.

13-14

We move on to the Zemplén Hills, which should offer us the best chance of finding Pallas' Fritillary. Later we visit the Hortobágy region where we spend 2 nights. This part of Hungary is scenically very different to what we have experienced so far, being part of the great plain or "Puszta".

15

We travel to Budapest for our flight home.

Butterfly & Dragonfly Tour

Wildlife: Butterfly & Dragonfly Tour with Birds, Mammals, Wildflowers

3 National Parks inHungary, 8 days

The butterfly list of Hungary contains almost 200 species and there are about 3400 moth species in the country. The dragonfly list has 65 species, including some really exciting rarities such as Common Winter Damselfly, Green-eyed Hook-tailed Dragonfly, White-faced and Bulbous White-faced Darter.

Our Hungary trip takes us to the best wildlife spots in the country, visiting 3 strikingly different areas. First we travel to the famous steppe or "puszta"of Kiskunság National Park, followed by the limestone hills of Bükk National Park and rolling country of Aggtelek National Park.

Nicer still lesser known than Hortobágy, the scenic Kiskunság  preserves the Westernmost parts of the once continuous Eurasian steppe with the biggest populations of Great Bustards, localized butterfly and moth species like Freyer's Purple Emperor, unique, endemic wildflowers such as Onosma arenaria, rare dragonflies like Spotted Darter or Lilypad Whiteface and interesting mammals like Souslik or Steppe Polecat.

On the other hand Bukk Hills is a fantastic place for many sought after owl & woodpecker species including Ural & Eagle Owl or White-backed & Black Woodpecker; the Southern slopes & valleys are one of the best butterfly habitats with amazing species from Poplar Admiral through Camberwell Beauty to Purple-shot Copper; Norfolk Hawker and Vagrant Darter.

In Aggtelek National Park we explore a mixture of habitats ranging from very dry hillsides to wet valleys. These areas boast a terrific list of butterflies and dragonflies andwe should be in for quite a treat. We expect to find many rare Eastern European species.

 

 

Fact File

- 8 days in Hungary, visiting 3 wildlife-rich, contrasting National Parks

- start and finish in Budapest

- using 3 accommodations, all literally on site, 1 is our own charming Kondor EcoLodge



Highlights

- visiting 3 National Parks for a wide variety of habitats

- around 100 butterfly species possible

- long list of dragonflies including rarities

- rare birds: Pygmy Cormorant, Imperial Eagle, Saker, Great Bustard



Accommodation

3 nights in the Kiskunsag NP at our own wildlife-rich Kondor EcoLodge

2 nights in Aggtelek NP

2 nights in a tranquil village in Bükk NP



Departure Dates

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar


Price

Ask for the actual price.

Our price includes:

- all travel as noted in the itinerary;

- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);

- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);

- services of the leader(s);

- trip materials.

Not included:

- optional programmes to places of interest and its entrance fees

- passports and visas

- airport and other departure taxes, tips

- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries

- excess baggage charges,

- telephone calls,

- alcoholic beverages,

- compulsory personal insurance

If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us



Activity level

Easy walks at great habitats; some days can be hot



Optional programmes

Boat tour on Lake Tisza

Horse-drawn carriage ride and evening Puszta Party into the steppe of Hortobágy

Evening bat detection and identification

Evening moth trapping and identification

Marvellous tour into the Baradla dripstone cave system, a World Heritage Site

Cultural visit of the charming historical town of Eger

Wine tasting at the famous Thummerer cellar, wine maker of the year with famous Bull's Blood

Short sightseeing in the charming capital of Budapest



Itinerary

 

butterflies hungary eastern

1-4

After arriving at the Budapest Airport we head towards the Kiskunság National Park. Great Bustard, Saker, Red-footed Falcon, Ferruginous Duck, Pygmy Cormorant, Collared Pratincole and Stone-Curlew will be our main targets. In the garden of our charming Kondor EcoLodge and walking distance from it we can have Rollers, Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles, Common and Black Redstart, Scops and Little Owl, Nightjar, just to mention a few.

Alkaline lakes and temporary flooded areas of grassland, channels and the 2 largest rivers in the country and their oxbow lakes are all perfect habitats for different dragonfly species, including Migrant Spreadwing/Southern Emerald Damselfly, Lesser Emperor and Emperor Dragonfly, Common & Ruddy Darter, Norfolk Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser, White & Black-tailed Skimmer. Depending on timing and some luck we might find even Spotted Darter or Lilypad Whiteface alongside the rivers and lakes.

Butterflies range from Eastern short-tailed Blue through Lesser Fiery & Large Copper till Lesser Purple Emperor and even such localized species as Freyer's Purple Emperor.

The grasslands are colourful with Viper's Bugloss, large Blue Alkanet and Field Eryngo. Close to the Kondor EcoLodge we can find fields with Cornflower, Corn Gromwell and Corn Cockle. Large areas can be covered by Field Poppy dotted by Scented Mayweed. Yellow and White Bedstraws are really common and we should find a very nice Speedwell, Veronica longifolia as well. Alongside the shores of alkaline lakes because of the high salt concentration we regularly can see Sea-Lavender Limonium gmelinii, while at the sandy areas it is possible to find Dark Red Helleborine and lots of Euphorbia seguieriana. At other points Cut-leaved Self-heal and Scabiosa ochroleuca can be found side by side.

Mammals can be found sometimes even in or around the hotel garden includes Roe Deer, Eurasian Hare, Eastern Hedgehog, Red Squirrel and we also have a huge area with a big population of Sousliks, major food-source for Saker Falcon.

4-6

On the way from Kiskunsag to Bukk Hills we visit a fantastic wetland, breeding site of Pygmy Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, herons, Ferruginous Duck. Black Stork and White tailed Eagle breed in the "gallery forest" of the River Tisza and Spotted and Little Crake calls from the reeds, Corncrake from the wet meadow where at the edges we can find River Warbler as well.

Most of the Bükk Hills is characterized by vast beech woods and open limestone meadows with all the different karst forms produced by erosion such as fissures, sinkholes, underground streams and caverns. It is a perfect area for birding, where raptors soar above the valleys and dense deciduous woodlands provide home for woodland species such as owls, warblers and woodpeckers including Ural Owl, Black, White-backed, Grey-headed, Green, Great Spotted, Middle Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Syrian Woodpecker, plus Wryneck. Other attractive species in the Bükk Hills are Barred Warbler, Hawfinch, Red Breasted Flycatcher, Imperial Eagle and Collared Flycatcher. Eagle Owl might also be seen with a bit of luck.

6-8

After a final morning at the Bukk Hills we drive towards Aggtelek National Park through Uppony Hills, where we visit a spectacular valley in search of Hungarian Glider, White Admiral, Safflower and Orbed Red-underwing Skippers. Late afternoon we reach our family-run hotel in a tranquil village in the Aggtelek National Park.

Over the course of our stay we explore a mixture of habitats ranging from very dry hillsides to wet valleys. These areas boast a terrific list of butterflies and we should be in for quite a treat. We expect to find such rare species as Eastern Short-tailed, Osiris, Mountain Alcon, Large, Chapman's and Anomalous Blue, Lesser Spotted and Pallas's Fritillary, Hungarian and Common Glider, Purple Emperor and Large Tortoiseshell. Aggtelek NP is a fantastic place for dragonflies as well. We will have good chances for Beautiful and Banded Demoiselle, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Green-eyed Hook-tailed Dragonfly, Migrant Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Scarlet Skimmer and Ruddy Darter. Raptors are also widespread here including Honey Buzzard, Imperial and Short-toed Eagle.

On the last day we travel back to Budapest for our flight home. If time permits we can offer a professional sightseeing before we reach the airport.

Hungary - Butterflies & Moth

Butterflies

Hungary is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains that hold many attractive mountain species while within the Carpathian Basin you can find an amazing variety of different habitats ranging from special wet meadows, alkaline marshes, steppes through to extensive oak, beech, evergreen woods, limestone slopes and volcanic hills. No wonder that Hungary is one of the richest countries in the Old Continent in terms of butterfly and dragonfly species. The country hosts almost 200 butterfly and more than 3600 moth species including Hungarian Glider, Southern Festoon, Lesser Clouded Yellow, Large Blue, Iolas Blue, Zephyr Blue, Large Copper, Freyer's Purple Emperor, Poplar Admiral, Scarce Fritillary and many more.

On our tours we visit the finest butterfly habitats of the country and in case of relevant weather our target list may cover more than 120 species. Dragonflies, birds, other animals, culture and history will always be in focus, too.

Ecotours is supporting Butterfly Conservation and also BC European Interest Group in the UK, and we have organised several joint monitoring projects in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Romania over the years in cooperation with different National Parks as well. We are also supporters of the Szalkai Hungarian Lepidopterist Society.

Moths

Hungary is famous for its high wildlife diversity. No wonder that many birdwatchers and butterfly enthusiasts come for a visit to this beautiful country. It is not widely known that with regard to moths the situation is even better. It is hard to imagine that such a small country has almost 4000 moth species, including ones typical for the high mountainous regions of the Carpathians and the Alps as well as for the dry steppes and semi-deserts of Siberia. Hungary has a special geographical location, which allowed many species to survive after the ice age, while others could penetrate the country from the Mediterranean. Hungary is also a kind of meeting point for eastern and western fauna. It is not rare to see above 100 species excluding Micros during one night, and you can sometimes reach 200 species. It is not only the diversity of moths, but the vast amount of specimens you find on the sheet, in a warm, humid night, before the arrival of a rainy weather front. Sometimes you can see your moth sheet fully covered by insects of an amount, which can be experienced only in the tropics.

 

Butterflies

Butterflies in Western Hungary, 8 days

This butterfly tour is designed for those who don't want to travel from one area to another but want to discover a region in details from one base. One of the best areas in Central Europe to spend at least a week with butterfly-quest is in the Bakony Hills and Balaton Upland National Park, Western-Hungary.

During this 8-day-long tour we visit Bakony Hills and Balaton Upland National Park plus our newest National Park, Őrség at the border of Austria and Hungary. Scenery is excellent and you get some feel of the culture of the areas visited.  The trip will be escorted by local lepidopterist guides who both speak the language and are specialists in the natural history of the areas we plan to visit.  We hope to see close to hundred species including many rarities.


Itinerary

 

butterflies hungary western

1

After the arrival at Budapest Airport, we head north-east towards the Bakony region centred around Lake Balaton. Bakony Hills is a mixture of mainly limestone, ancient sandstone, granite and volcanic rock. During our first stop we can find Eastern Bath White, Eastern Short-tailed Blue, Reverdin's Blue, Woodland Ringlet. In the evening, if the conditions allow, we will run a moth trap near our hotel.

2

Most of our time over the next few days will be spent in the countryside around Herend and Markó where oak, beech and yew tree woods alternate with steppe like meadows.  Today we will check part of this area which is rich in Fritillaries, Coppers and Hairstreaks and we will also search for species such as Green-underside Blue, Mountain Alcon Blue, Lesser Clouded Yellow, Mountain Small White and Dusky Meadow Brown.

3

Today we will visit an attractive valley at the Balaton Upland where Sloe, Ilex, Blue-spot and White-letter Hairstreaks should be on the wing and in some of the wetter areas we should find Large Copper and the Nettle-tree butterfly.

4

First we will visit a nice valley which gives a second chance for the species we missed yesterday, plus offers Large and Scarce Copper and a real bonus would be Assmann's Fritillary.

The area around Úrkút is famed in Hungary for its unique geological formation – a primeval karst with many fossils dating back 200 million years – which holds a very interesting flora and fauna which we shall be able explore at our leisure.

5

For today we suggest a day-long circle trip to our newest national park, Őrseg NP at the western border of Hungary.

It is characterised by damp herb-rich meadows and subalpine vegetation. The main highlights should be Idas and Dusky Large Blue, plus many different Fritillaries including Marbled Fritillary, Lesser Marbled Fritillary, Weaver's Fritillary.

6

Again, not far from the hotel, we will try to complete our list from this area. Nearby Kőris Hill with its extensive beech forest has strong populations of both Purple and Lesser Purple Emperor. Later we can visit the botanical garden at Zirc where Large Tortoiseshell, Scarce Large and Dusky Large Blue have all been recorded.

Another optional programme, if there is time and interest, is to visit the local Natural History Museum which boasts of a large collection.

7

We will spend our final day in the Bakony region close to Herend. This tiny village produces world-famous handmade porcelain. We also dive up to a nearby hill which offers among many other species White-letter Hairstreak, Small and Scarce Copper, Purple Emperor, Camberwell Beauty, Spotted, False Heath and Nickerl's Fritillary, Pearly Heath and Large Chequered Skipper.

8

Today, we travel to Budapest for our flight home.

If time permits we might take a short sightseeing trip to Budapest or we drive directly to Ócsa (Kiskunság NP), to have a look on one of the most impressive Romanesque churches in Hungary and the Great Bustards.