Sunday, June 1, 2014

Poland in the Spring - Part 2/2

So onto the Biebrza Marshes, covering an expanse of marshland, boggy areas, forests, and big skies.  An abundance of birds can be found here.  Using Goniadz as a base, the first stop was the bridge over the river just north of the village.  Here, there were plenty of marsh terns with striking White-Winged Black Tern accompanied by a few Black Tern, their summer plumage pristine against the intense sunlight.

At this site, Thrush Nightingale sang from the bushes, Yellow Wagtail were common around the marsh, a Marsh Harrier showed well, and a Hobby pursued House Martins near to the bridge.

Yellow Wagtail

The sandy path to Barwik is a traditional site for lekking Great Snipe, but deciding to leave this for another time, a short walk through the woodland and marsh produced a singing male Pied Flycatcher, Hawfinch, and Middle Spotted Woodpecker.  Over the marsh, a Honey Buzzard appeared out of the woodland and soared out into the open area.

On the way back to the car, the pursuit by the flies was relentless but rewarded with a flyover Spotted Eagle being harrassed by a Common Buzzard.

The sunshine was golden, the heat was slightly too intense.  A viewing tower in the shade near to the village of Zajki overlooked the expanse of the marsh.  My girlfriend connected with a large soaring bird as I scanned the marsh.  Looking into the distance, an adult White-Tailed Eagle thermalled above the woodland.  An awesome site.  Here, there were drumming Common Snipe, singing Golden Oriole, Fieldfare, around fifteen White-Winged Black Tern, three Marsh Harrier, and a calling Corncrake.

The final site at Dluga Luka is a relatively new boardwalk a few hundred yards south of the traditional causeway, but we had to wait a few hours as the skies darkened and an impressive electric storm moved over at a glacial pace.  Heavy rain, lightning and thunder had us cacooned in the car until the evening when the rain subsided.  Along the boardwalk, at least three Aquatic Warbler sang from the short grass with one giving a good but brief view as it then flew low and away into the reeds.  Overhead, numerous Common Snipe were drumming, such an evocative sound.  There were calling Corncrake here, and just before leaving as dusk approached, a gleaming male Montagu's Harrier flew low and direct over the reeds towards its roosting site in the forest.  One of my favourite birds.

Poland is a magical place for wildlife.  It is cheap, and rich in history.  Please don't tell too many people about it.

Brief Poland Highlights

1 comment:

  1. Looking good! Looks like a place you get get lost in. Nice pics too. Loving the Showpan. Very classy.