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.
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.
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.
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.
Woodpeckers: White-backed, Three-toed, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted, Black and possibly Syrian.
Warblers: Aquatic, Icterine, Barred, Savi’s, Great Reed, Marsh & River Warblers
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.
Mammals: European Bison, Pine Marten, Elk, Racoon Dog, Red Squirrel, Red & Roe Deer,
Elks in the marshes at Biebrza
Dragonflies: Dark Whiteface, Lilypad Whiteface, Small Whiteface, GrYellow-spotted Whiteface, Geen-eyed Hawker plus many damesellflies
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF WALKING ON THIS TRIP AND INSECTS CAN BE A PROBLEM IN THE MARSHES.
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
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...View Report