Eastern Poland

23rd  – 31st  May 2020  - 8 nights

 

PRICE:  £1250   SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £150

LEADERS:  BOB BUCKLER & LOCAL GUIDES

GROUP SIZE: MAX 12  

THE TOUR

Poland is one of Europe’s premiere birding locations and our tour takes you to two of the best areas  found in this vast wilderness situated in the North-Eastern Region of Poland adjacent to the border with Belarus.

Our two-centre tour begins with 3 night in the wonderful Biebrza Marshlands which forms a natural barrier between Poland and Belarus.

The second half of the tour incorporates a 5 night stay on the edge of the Bialowieza Forest area. We visit all of the best sites of this pristine primaeval forest looking for some of its treasures such as Spotted Nutcracker, Pygmy Owl, Great Spotted Eagle and Aquatic Warbler.

Surrounding both of these locations are Wild flower meadows, scrub and thousands of hidden pools where wildlife abounds. As we seek out the diverse and bountiful wildlife we pass through traditional landscape with small, wooden houses and tiny farming areas that have remained untouched for hundreds of years.

                                                                                                   Three-toed Woodpecker                   

We visit in June, when breeding is in full swing, it is the best time for late breeding birds such as Thrush Nightingale, Aquatic Warbler, Corncrake, Red-backed Shrike, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Barred & River Warblers and Common Rosefinch. Still a good time for large mammals like Bison, Elk, Beaver and others. Also at this time of the year there is an explosion of wildflowers, butterflies, dragonflies and other invertebrates.            

HABITATS

PRIMEAVAL FOREST

                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Bialowieza Primaeval Forest was once a piece of forest that covered most of central Europe, once preserved as a Royal Hunting ground, the remnants of which fall under modern protection as a National Park and a UNESCO World heritage site. This is the largest remaining remnant of Primaeval forest in Europe, the Polish section is dominated by deciduous species, with oak, hornbeam and lime being the most common of six main species.

The forest is one of the best areas for Spotted Nutcracker, Hazel Grouse, Greater Spotted Eagle and Pygmy Owl. But it too has wetlands giving us a great variety of habitat to explore. It is also an excellent area for Corncrake, Great Snipe, Aquatic Warbler, Barred Warbler and most of Europe’s woodpeckers including the most sought-after White-backed Woodpecker.

 

                            European Bison

MARSHLAND

The River Biebrza stretches over 150 kilometers cutting a meandering ribbon through vast marshland, water-meadows and woodland. Numerous, ox-bow lakes are formed within a huge basin covering some 8,000km2. The habitats range from swampy impenetrable forest, much favoured by breeding Black Storks and Common Cranes, to wide extensive grasslands, hundreds of small pools appear in the spring where thousands of Marsh Terns return to breed each year.

Main Target species:

Woodpeckers:  White-backed, Three-toed, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Black and possibly Syrian.

White-backed Woodpecker

Warblers:  Aquatic, Icterine, Barred, Savi’s, Great Reed, Marsh & River Warblers

River Warbler

Owls:  Pygmy Owl

Other species:  Greater & Lesser Spotted Eagle, Hazel Grouse, Bluethroat, Red-breasted & Collared Flycatcher, Penduline Tit, Thrush Nightingale, Great Grey Shrike, Citrine wagtail, Marsh Terns in good numbers (Black, White-winged and Whiskered). Plus, many more, you should see around 150 species.

Penduline Tit

Mammals: European Bison, Pine Marten, Elk, Racoon Dog, Red Squirrel, Red & Roe Deer,

Elks in the marshes at Biebrza

Insects: 

Butterflies: many species will be on the wing during our visit, it does depend a lot on the weather of course. We shall look for: Camberwell Beauty, Black Hairstreak, Chequered Skipper, Glanville Fritillary, Map Butterfly, Scarce Fritillary, Scarce Heath, Popular Admiral, Woodland Brown, Violet Copper and many more.

 Scarce Fritillary

Dragonflies: Dark Whiteface, Lilypad Whiteface, Small Whiteface, GrYellow-spotted Whiteface, Geen-eyed Hawker plus many damesellflies

Places visited during a TYPICAL 8 NIGHT TOUR

Biebrza Marshes

  • Arrive at Warsaw and transfer to Biebrza Marshes  (3hrs)
  • Knyszyn fishponds, Waniewo, Wizna marshes  east side of southern basin on the Csars road
  • Middle Basin- Kuligi Bridge, Goniadz area incl Osowiec - Twierdza
  • we may visit Grzedy on the outskirts of Czerwone Bagno 
  • Lawki Bagno boardwalk for Aquatic Warbler
  •  Southern Basin Dobarz area, Csars Road south of Dobarz, transfer to Bialowieza via the Dojlidy Fishponds on the outskirts of Bialystok         

Bialowieza Forest

  • Bialowieza Village and Palacowy Palace park
  • Strict Reserve (with a local forestry guide),  Dyrekcjny Park, Carska Corner area
  • Bialowieza Forest west of Bialowieza
  • Bialowieza Forest – Narewkowska Road (this road has been closed for over 2 years  it may be open)
  • Siemienowka Reservoir
  • Transfer to Warsaw for afternoon flight (4hrs)·        

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF WALKING ON THIS TRIP AND INSECTS CAN BE A PROBLEM IN THE MARSHES.

Bluethroat

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

·       Full-board Accommodation in good quality guest house all rooms en-suite

·       Guiding throughout – Local Guides and Forest Wardens

·       All land transport

·       All entrance fees, taxes and tolls

·       A checklist of species and evening log

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

·       Flights - Flights cost around £130-£150 from London to Warsaw, regional airport prices may differ. Please confer with us before booking your flight.

·       Travel insurance

·       Alcoholic drinks all items of a personal nature

To book this tour complete the form on the 'contacts page' shown below and we will get back to you promptly                         http://www.wingspanbirdtours.com/contact

                                                         or call us on 01935-426152

Latest Trip Reports

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    This inaugural WINGSPAN TOUR of North Eastern Poland was run in conjunction with Wild Poland and Cheltenham Bird Club. Ten participants enjoyed a fabulous 9-day tour of two very contrasting habitats. We toured the vast marshes of the Bie...

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