Friday, 5 September 2008

Poland in Spring 9 - 16 May 2009

My annual birding tour to Poland for Shetland Wildlife will run from 9 - 16 May 2009. The trip is restricted to 14 guests and currently has just three spaces left. Further details are available here . As a taster, here is a summary from the May 2008 trips along with a few pictures:

"Our annual visit to Poland in May sold out so quickly that we were delighted to offer an additional week! Birding in this country is always full of superlatives and highlights were many. In Bialowieza Forest we recorded nine species of woodpecker including White-backed, Three-toed, Middle-spotted, Black, Grey-headed, Lesser Spotted and Wryneck. We discovered no less than five nest sites for White-backed and had stunning views as they fed chicks! Pygmy Owls and Tengmalm's Owls also gave us superb views at our 'stake outs' and other forest gems included Hazel Grouse, Red-breasted Flycatchers, Golden Orioles, Icterine and Barred Warblers, Collared Flycatchers, Hawfinches, dapper male White-spotted Bluethroats, plenty of Lesser spotted Eagles, Hobbies, Honey Buzzards and Black Storks. Nearby at Siemianwka Lake we enjoyed a dazzling singing male Citrine Wagtail and crippling views of a dog Otter. Lekking Great Snipes were seen at our usual site and a handsome Red-necked Grebe entertained us at the Bialystok fish ponds. We were also fortunate to see a superb Roller on the second week which is now a critically endangered species in Poland. Biebrza marshes yielded us with great looks at Aquatic, River and Savi's Warblers, Corncrakes, Greater spotted and White-tailed Eagles, masses of Ruff, Wood Sandpipers and Spotted Redshanks, a single Marsh Sandpiper and truly staggering numbers of White-winged Black, Black and Whiskered Terns. For many the highlight here was a beautiful male Pallid Harrier - a vagrant to Poland and even though we found one in 2007, nothing could prepare us for this bird! Both groups had the pleasure to watch this superb singleton display to a female Montagu's Harrier. Words cannot describe the sky-dancing antics of this pint-sized harrier but if birds were Olympians, this bird would have scored 9.9 from everybody! Other critters also featured and we recorded Pine Marten, Otter, Polecat, Elk, Northern Birch Mouse and several species of amphibian."










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