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Hungarian colleagues report impressive concentration of Redbreasts for the first time ever

Our colleague Gyorgy Szimuly infromed on details about the high concentration of Redbreasts recently recorded in Hungary.
On 6 November 1,733 Red-breasted Goose were counted. Most of the birds were found in the Hortobágy National Park in Eastern Hungary. A single flock of 581 birds and another big one of 412 birds were present on two fishpond. On the wetlands of the Old Lake of Tata and the Ferencmajor fishponds resulted 5 Red-breasted Geese, but this number has increased to 29 by today.

Hungarian goose experts speculated that this event was the beginning of the split of the wintering sites. In recent years the development of windfarm industry in Dobrudzha – the main wintering ground and hunting pressure is causing significant problems for the species and pointed by many as key driver to decline and shift from traditional roosting sites.

On the very same day more than 50 Lesser White-fronted Goose and tens of thousands Greater White-fronted Goose were counted across the country. Worryingly low numbers of Tundra and Taiga Bean Goose have been registered there, while it had been a dominant goose species in the ’90s. Less than 1% of the total number of wild geese (15,000 birds) was Tundra or Taiga Bean Goose on the Old Lake of Tata that morning reported László Musicz.

A new count update was done on 10 November 2014. The Hortobágy National Park (HNP) Authority published an update on their website with the final total number of Red-breasted Geese counted during the census. According to the report over 2,000 Red-breasted Geese have been recorded in the whole country including 1,806 birds within the Hortobágy National Park territory. More than 230,000 Greater White-fronted Geese were present in the HNP alone.

Two globally threatned species in a flock in Hortobagy NP - © János Tar
geese on the Pusta - © Attila Szilágyi
Redbreasts in Hungary - © Sándor Borza