Dates: 16-24 May 2019
Price: €1,600, not including international flights
Our Poland spring tour takes in the country’s most famous national parks: Białowieża and Biebrza National Parks. The former is Europe’s biggest, last, undisturbed, primeval lowland forest. Its 10,500 ha are home to European Bison, Wolf, Eurasian Lynx and Wild Cat. Many rare bird species nest in the park including Black Stork, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Honey Buzzard, Hazel Grouse, Pygmy Owl, White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, River Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Nutcracker, Golden Oriole and Hawfinch. Nearby Siemianówka Reservoir has breeding Citrine Wagtail and is a magnet for migrating water birds.
Biebrza NP is the largest national park in Poland. Created in 1993, it covers nearly 60,000 ha of vast marshes, wet meadows and woods. The River Biebrza floods most of the area between March and May, creating a shallow lake that holds a huge number of waterbirds. Some 275 bird species have been recorded in the park, the most notable being Aquatic Warbler, Greater Spotted Eagle and Great Snipe. Elk and Wolf also inhabit the park and there is a good chance of Elk in spring.
Our English-speaking guide will meet us at Warsaw Airport and we head to Biebrza NP. We will bird along the banks of the Biebrza River, expecting Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles, Ortolan Bunting, Thrush Nightingale and Common Rosefinch. We make our way to the lekking grounds of Great Snipe in the late afternoon, and visit the southern basin of the Biebrza NP to look for Aquatic Warbler and Corncrake. Black Grouse will be displaying early morning, so we’ll need an early start to see them. We explore Red Marsh Reserve, where ancient oak forests, marshlands and sand dunes are home to woodpeckers and Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles. The middle basin of Biebrza NP has flooded meadows and pastures hosting waterbirds and raptors, while the adjacent reed beds hold Bearded Tit and Eurasian Bittern.
We transfer to Białowieża NP birding en route to search for Red-necked and Black-necked Grebes and Penduline Tit, as well as various species of terns and gulls. We explore the ancient forests of the national park to search for White-backed, Three-toed, Middle Spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Hazel Grouse and Pygmy Owl, as well as European Bison. Song birds are well represented, with River Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Golden Oriole and Hawfinch all possible. Siemianówka reservoir is the last stop on our itinerary. Located in the northern part of the forest, ducks, waders, White-tailed Eagle, Black Stork, Whiskered and White-winged Tern and Citrine Wagtail may be observed.
We travel back to Warsaw Airport for a return flight to London.
This tour is operated for Birdwatch and BirdGuides by Ecotours Wildlife Holidays (a limited company registered in the UK with combined tour operator liability insurance at Camberford Law PLC, valid for all destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa, and offering free financial protection to all clients). The price includes travel as noted in the itinerary, accommodation based on shared rooms (single rooms for extra charge), three meals per day (generally breakfast, packed lunch and a three-course dinner), on-board coffee, tea and biscuits, mineral water, guiding, entrance fees to national parks and trip materials. Not included are international flights, optional programmes, tips, excess baggage charges, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, compulsory personal insurance and other expenses of a personal nature. For further information or to make a reservation, please call the company on +36 20 4585921 or email email@example.com.
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