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Buda and Pilis Hills and Danube Bend - BirdForum Opus

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With much of its area within the limits of Budapest, Hungary's capital, the Buda Hills is an easily accessible site for those with limited time or resources.

An excellent range of typical eastern European birds can be found here, particularly those of deciduous woodland. These hills are covered with a mix of mature Oak, Hornbeam and Beech woods, there are streams and open meadows, rocky crags, scrubland and some cultivated areas. Part of the hills is included in the Buda Hills Nature Reserve.


Notable Species

Famous for its woodpeckers this area supports seven species including Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker and Middle Spotted Woodpecker as well other woodland birds such as Short-toed Treecreeper and perhaps also Common Treecreeper, Collared Flycatcher, and a few Pied Flycatchers. Hawfinch and European Serin are common, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike and Barred Warbler also present in summer.

Bohemian Waxwing is a common winter visitor.

A little further afield are the Pilis Hills which adjoin the Buda range at its northern end and stretch north to the Danube where it turns sharply southwards forming the Danube Bend. Also covered with deciduous forest, the Pilis Hills have a similar range of birds to Buda but with the addition of small numbers of breeding Saker Falcon and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and Eastern Imperial Eagle on passage. Black Stork nest in these hills and White Stork in lower villages closer to the river. European Bee-eater also breed and in the higher areas there is Rock Bunting.


Birds you can see here include:

Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Tundra Bean Goose, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Common Kestrel, Saker Falcon, Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Woodcock, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, European Nightjar, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, European Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Syrian Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Common Nightingale, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Eurasian River Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Collared Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Short-toed Treecreeper, Penduline Tit, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Northern Redpoll, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Rock Bunting, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Other Wildlife

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Site Information

History and Use

The hills can be extremely busy with day trippers from the city at weekends but during the week they are much quieter.

Areas of Interest

The Pilis Hills can be reached on Road 11 northwards from Budapest along the river to Szentendre then east into the hills, on Road 10 to Esztergom which passes through the hills, or via Pilisvorosvar on Road 1.

Alternatively there are boat trips from Budapest to Visegrad which are likely to produce Black Kite and White Stork. In winter this stretch of the river, known as the Danube Bend, and the large Szentendre Island in particular, is important for waterfowl. Black-throated Diver, Tundra Bean Goose, Smew and Common Scoter and Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye and Goosander occur and White-tailed Eagle may also be present. The stretch between Vac and God is often the best area, reached on Road 2 from Budapest.

Access and Facilities

The Buda Hills lie on the northeastern side of Budapest and easily reached by road from the city centre. For those without their own cars the area well-served by public transport and the hills have networks of good paths. Normafa and Harshegy can be reached by bus from Moszkva-ter and the highest hill, Janos-hegy, has a chairlift from Zugliget.

A railway winds through the area linking the various hills from Huvosvolgy to Szechenyi-hegy. Budapest has plentiful hotel accommodation, there are also hostels and campsites.

Contact Details

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External Links


Content and images originally posted by Steve