Finding Birds in poland update

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Site and page references match those in the new book, (Finding Birds in Eastern Poland) and not the original

Bialowieza forest

June 2007 There now appear to be no Pied Flycatchers in the Park at site 4, page 26. All the birds at nestboxes were Collared Flycatchers of which I counted at least 9 singing males. Pied Flycatcher seems to have become a rare bird at Bialowieza; I had none at any of the sites I'd found them before and I've read several recent trip reports in which they are not listed among the species recorded. The Hotel Iwa building has been substantially redone to include a museum, restaurant, etc. Personally I much prefer the rural charm of the Hotel Dom. Mysliwski. What you lose in facilities (very basic) you gain in 'garden birds' with Wryneck, Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Rosefinch, Serin, Black Redstart and Hawfinch all viewable from our room. (DG)

10th-16th May 2016 At site 4 page 26, lots of Collared Flycatchers, but no Pied. At site 6, page 30, Three- toed Woodpecker (female) about 600 metres beyond the rail line; viewed from less than 5 metres!  Another Three-toed Woodpecker at site 1, page 32. At sites 2 and 3, page 32 Barred Warbler, as usual, from the rail bridge; with Red-backed Shrike.  In at least a dozen visits to this area, early mornings, day-time, evening, we’ve never seen Nutcracker. (Harry and Denise Fairley)

May 2017 Several of the sites mentioned in the Wild Poland guides and in Gosney had yellow signs prohibiting entry from April 1st indefinitely, due to forestry work, although I never actually saw any work being done. This applied to the ‘Yellow Trail’, the Three-toed site 7 (Gosney page 30) and many of the smaller side paths to the south of the railway line described in the Wild Poland guide, making some of the longer walks described in the guide much less interesting, and in some cases even impossible to complete. Sad to see that increased forestry activities are threatening access to some of the most interesting wildlife areas, although the ‘official’ wildlife trails are not affected.

Site 11, p28

A great walk, very productive – singing Icterine Warbler, GH Woodpeckers, RB Shrike, and northern Long-tailed Tit and Marsh Warbler at the bridge. My only Robin and Crested Tit of the trip.

Site 2, p28

Boardwalk now renewed, so this is a really nice walk with a good car park. 1km to the north there is a new watchtower with car park, giving views over the meadows and the Strict Reserve, I had Spotted and WT Eagle and lekking Ruff from there, well worth a visit.

Site 5, p30

Collared Flycatcher singing and seen well in woodland adjacent to the car park. As mentioned above, the Yellow Trail may be closed.

Sites 2 and 3 page 32

Good views of Barred Warbler at the bridge and viewpoint, Nutcracker at the car park,  RB Flycatcher on the Carska Tropina Black Trail (point 10 in the Wild Poland guide), and Hazel Grouse heard calling and glimpsed from the car along the approach road. Good views of Cranes, G Oriole and Hawfinch and the only Treecreeper of the trip – a great site! (Chris Barfield)

June 17 Around Bialowieza we found many tracks/walks closed to the public, even the forest road to Narewka is officially closed.  The notices say “until revoked” or Polish words to that effect. A lot of dead trees have already been destroyed and we were told that the path closures are so the work can be done without people seeing what is going on  (Harry and Denise Failey)

May 2018 There is now no vehicular access along the Narewka road as it has been blocked with a bank of earth at Janowo at the north end and another a few kilometres in from the south end.  Therefore you cannot drive to Kosy Most, whether you can cycle or walk there we don’t know. (Harry and Denise Failey)


June 2007  At site 1, high water levels meant there were very few waders in this area and no sign of either Red-necked or Black-necked Grebes. Spectacular views of all 3 marsh terns though, with Barred Warbler, Hoopoe and Woodlark around the caravan site just inland. At site 2 look for a channel to the right of your track; there has been a pair of Citrine Wagtails returning to breed at this site for over ten years. The male often perched on stems on the far side of the channel (but so do the local Blue-headed Wagtails too) but, if not, scan up the channel for signs of either of the pair feeding along the margins. PLEASE don't walk along the channel as this would disturb one of Europe's rarest breeding species. If you keep to the track along the causeway you should find Marsh Warbler and Penduline Tit in the bushes on your left and you stand a good chance of White-tailed Eagle overhead. (DG)

May 2016 No sign of Citrine Wagtail at site 2 and again no sight or sound of Ortolan Buntings at site 4 (Harry and Denise Fairley).

Biebrza marshes

May 2007 There is another watchtower overlooking the Biebrza marshes, at the village of Mscichy, (much further north than Brzostowo, accessed via the road from Osowiec to Radzilov) From here I had Wood and Green Sandpipers, White-winged and Whiskered Terns, displaying Ruff and the only Black Stork of the trip. There is now a magnificent observation tower at Osowiec [site 16, page 8] and there's a boardwalk nearby from which I had Bluethroat and Penduline Tit, both nesting. (Stuart Greer).

June 2007. At site 1 page 16, there was no sign of Little Gulls and we were late for displaying Ruffs but lots of Black-tailed Godwits and Marsh Terns are easily seen. There are now several observation towers, almost one in every field adjacent to the marsh; the owners ask you to pay 2 zlotys per person (about 40p) to use them. At least one of the farms here offers B&B facilities. The White-winged Black Terns didn't seem to be nesting at site 8, page 14 - though there were plenty everywhere else! We were told there were no Great Snipe at the lek at site 2, page 10 this year. Some say it is due to the marsh drying out, others suggest the birds have been disturbed by the building of a new observation tower right next to the site. To see this species you may now need to hire the help of a local guide (e.g. through Marek Borkowski or Wojtek ('Maly') Jastszebski ). It may still be worth visiting here for views of the marshes; to find it, there is now a signpost from the road indicating a car park at 1km. We didn't get Aquatic Warbler at site 2, page 2, but there were two pairs of Barred Warbler near the bridge (site 3). (DG)

4th to 9th May 2016 Page 10, site 2 – we’ve never had any success with Great Snipe here in 6 visits since 2004.  (We did get our best ever views of some at a lek at a site on the marshes near Narew; just after sunset, 15th May; visited from Bialowieza.  It seems to be a very popular site regularly visited by local guides, we saw a group there). At site 5, page 12, we spent 15+mins watching a singing Aquatic Warbler around noon, 5th May, from the far end of the boardwalk; we were the only people there.  Surprisingly little sound or sight of Sedge Warbler.  Fine male Montagu’s Harrier over the reed beds. Site 8, page 14 seemed very dry this year; a few White-winged Terns around. At site 6, page 16 we had a Citrine Wagtail (female) by the track as we walked towards the hide (our only one of the trip).  Good numbers of Ruff and Wood Sandpiper in this area. At site 1 page 16 we had Little and Temminck’s Stints from Mr. Konopka’s tower hide (3zl per person to use). No sight or sound of Ortolan Bunting on the nearby roads (Harry and Denise Fairley).

May 2017

Site 9, page 6

The track alongside the river produced a surprise male Citrine Wagtail in the riverside scrub about halfway along, the only one I saw on this trip.

Site 13, page 6

Well worth walking along this trail through the wet woodland, but take a good insect repellent! I had good views of White-backed Woodpecker, also Marsh Tit, LS Eagle, Green Sandpiper, Pied & Spotted Flycatcher and Nuthatch.

Site 16, page 8

Well worth spending time here, Bluethroat, Marsh, River, Savi’s and Grasshopper Warblers, Penduline Tit, Common Rosefinch, Garden Warbler etc.

Site 3, page 10   Even with wellies I wasn’t able to reach the tower, it was too wet.

Site 5, page 12

3-4 Aquatic Warblers singing midday from the end of the boardwalk were very easy to hear with no other birds singing, but I only had fleeting glimpses. Added Curlew, Coal Tit, Raven and Turtle Dove to the list in this area.

Site 7, page 14

Great views of around 100 WW terns from the road, so I didn’t do the tracks off the Zajki road. (Chris Barfield)

May 2018

The tower hide at Brzostowo is no longer available to use.  Mr. Konopka died during the winter and his son has dismantled the hide as he doesn’t want to continue with the arrangement. (Harry and Denise Failey)

Dojlidy ponds, Bialystok

A series of fishponds which offers one of the few sites in Europe where it's possible to see all 5 European grebes. Black-necked and Red-necked are seen relatively easily but Slavonian is often absent or difficult. To get there: Where the main road from Hajnowka reaches the outskirts of Bialystok, look out for a well-decorated cemetery on your left, then turn right at the next junction. (Coming from the other direction, look for a town park with ponds on your right, then take the next left.) Having turned off the main road, look for a track on the right (signposted ul Dojnowska) after several hundred metres which leads to the edge of the ponds. There's a further track to the right which leads through the centre of the ponds.

June 2007 The nearest ponds had lots of noisy Black-headed Gulls but towards the far end of this track was a large pond on the left which had both red-necked and Black-necked Grebes. There were about 6 Red-necks visible, mostly in the distance, and we had only 2 Black-necks which were seen only briefly and distantly. Other birds included Penduline Tit, Marsh Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Golden Oriole, etc. (DG)

May 2017 Definitely worth a visit, make sure to go as far as the big lake at the far end. WT Eagle fishing, great views of RN and BN Grebes, Marsh Warbler, possible Caspian Gull distantly. Gadwall, Whiskered Tern, Reed Warbler (Chris Barfield).

Chechowizna Lake

May 2017 I found it difficult to find a good vantage point, workmen in the yard on the right just before the shore politely stopped me from walking to the shore from there but said I should park round the back by the cottages, then it’s a short walk over fields to a high point where you can scope the reservoir. WT Eagle and Montagu’s Harrier distantly & booming Bittern. Just past the turnoff from the main road, a very wet area alongside the road held a pair of Wood Sandpipers (Chris Barfield).


Finding Birds in Poland

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