Having driven for two days straight from Amsterdam to Hungary, pretty done after 1,500 kilometers of tarmac, the last thing you wanna hear upon arrival is: “This is actually a very bad year for butterflies here”. Well, the first thing we heard upon arrival after two days straight on the road and 1,500 kilometers of tarmac was our host saying: “This is actually a very bad year for butterflies here.” Thank you so much for your encouragement Rob!
Our host Rob at http://www.farmlator.hu, a Dutch biologist married to a Hungarian woman, told us that it had been unusually cold and wet in Hungary. The good side of it was that my friend and I could expect to see some species that normally would be long gone. And we did, boy we did. Turns out that a mediocre butterfly season in Hungary is a butterfly photographer’s paradise through Dutch eyes. And truth be told, Rob more than made up for his welcoming statement by directing us to some very, very fine butterfly locations.
In between us, we saw some 60 species in just five days. I could add a dozen or so new species to my evergrowing list.
Let me first show you how abundance looks like. We encountered several Scarce Swallotails (Iphiclides podalirius) smack in the middle of a village in Aggletek NP: a finger-licking spectacle for any Dutch butterfly photographer!
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM f/7.1 1/640 ISO 125
In the same village down a dark forest path, a party of ten Wood Whites (Leptidea sinapsis) was licking minerals from the mud. The peculiarities from my previous blog continued as one landed on top of the other.
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM f/8 1/125 ISO 400
A few meters further, a group of Silver-studded Blues (Plebejus argus) was having a gathering. Note the bigger specimen in the middle which is Reverdin’s Blue (Plebejus argyrognomon).
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM f/6.3 1/500 ISO 640
Stay tuned for more Hungarian butterflies in the next episode.