Birdwatching in Poland
Poland is a country that attracts bird-watchers from all around the world. The seaside, the river mouths, lagoons and the largest swamps in Europe. This is the ranking of five best places for bird watching in Poland. Each of these places is especially beautiful at a different time of year – luckily there are so many diverse ecosystems in Poland, that you can enjoy the beauty of birds all year long.
1. Biebrza in the spring (May weekend)
Biebrza is a perfect place for observing ducks and waders. The flights and battalion courses make terrific impression. Whole flocks takee turns like one formation (it can be compared to a shoal of fish). Flocks of snipes are equally stunning – the easiest place to observe them is the „Bialy Grad” educational path.
In Brzostowo there is a cozy agritourism center, from the windows of which extends a gorgeous view at the Biebrza swamps. This might be the only place in the world, where you can fall asleep listening to the sounds of rykes. A ryke is relatively easy to recognize, even for a beginner
bird-watcher – during the mating season males have a beautiful, rusty neck. Which stands out from other species. Biebrza is an excellent place for observing not only birds, but also other animals. One of the symbols of the Biebrza National Park is the moose (In Burzyna you are almost guaranteed to encounter one).
2. Karsiborska Kepa in the summer
A visit to Karsibor makes a huge impression because of the enormous diversity of birds – more than 140 various species were noticed there. It is really worth visiting this place in the spring or early summer – the ponds that are created at that time are an excellent place for observing seedlings of redshanks, plovers, and even tooting battalions.
This is one of the largest refuges of aquatic warblers in the world. This bird species became the reason to create a nature reserve on the island. Because of the diversity of birds inhabiting the reeds along the drainage channels, it’s not easy to identify the aquatic warbler. In order to distinguish the aquatic warbler from the twin similar sea buckthorn, you must pay attention to its head – the aquatic warbler stands out with a white parietal strip, which crosses through the midle of the shag. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to spot the white strap, as you’ll be able to find out yourself. The aquatic warbler deserves special attention from tourists, because it is the rarest type of migratory singing bird in continental Europe. Currently, 25% of the global population of these birds is nesting in Poland, which is why many ornithologists come here to tick this small representant of reed birds off their list of birds to spot.
Plan your visit
The best time to go to the island is the late afternoon or the early evening. That’s when the aquatic warblers are the most active, and even if you don’t spot them, you will definitely be able to hear them singing. The birds are accompanied by frogs and together they create stunning background music for the sunset. The landscape is complemented by Polish horses, which are descendants of wild horses known as tarpans, which used to run wild through the Polish land. The Polish horses might not be completely wild, but they are still an excellent subject for photographers.
3. The mouth of the Vistula river in the late summer and early autumn
Late August and early September is the best time to visit the mouth of the Vistula river. That’s when hundreds of thousands of birds arrive at the „Mewia Lacha” ornithological reserve. This is an excelent place for observing terns, especially the great tern, which is an incredibly rare species in Poland. Here you can observe gatherings of many thousands of ducks, including marine species. It is also the only place in Poland where you can observe large flocks of mudguards and nobles.
The birds are protected and monitored by the „Kuling” Bird Research Group. Every year during special summer camps, volunteers girdle the birds with special rings.
4. The mouth of the Warta river in the autumn
In the „Ujscie Warty” National Park there are backwaters, which are created in the place where Warta falls into the Odra river. This is an incredibly crucial stop for birds during their migrations. The best time to visit this place of the period of autumn flights. That’s when hundreds of thousands of geese come to the backwaters. Their clucking is accompanied by the clangor of crane birds, the number of which is equally stunning. This dining area for birds is also visited by predator birds. There can be dozens of white-tailed eagles as well as buzzards, including hairy ones.
Keep an eye out for hunting eagles
The flocks of hunting white-tailed eagles are amazing. They spend most of their time sitting calmly on the ground, but sometimes they launch into the air, when they spot some fine prey. Sometimes you can also see a flock of geese launchig into the air and blocking the sun.
5. The coast of the Baltic Sea in the winter
Winter is a time, when you can’t spot many birds in the wetlands deep within the country. Larger lakes also turn to solid ice. However, the Christmas break or the winter vacation is still an attractive time for observing birds at the Baltic Sea. That’s when sea ducks appear at the coast, creating an amazing view to admire from the beaches.
The Hel Peninsula
The best place to do that is definitely the Hel Peninsula. That’s whenn you can expect birds breeding in this area, such as bandits, cherry birds and mergansers. There are also species from the north, which cannot be observed at any other time in Poland, including eiders, uhles, long-tailed ducks and markers, just to name a few.
Apart from those 5 bird places described above, there are many other places full of birds, such as the Bialowieza Forest, extensive mountain chains, the Milicz Ponds and others. Regardless of the time of year, breeding periods or flights, there are plenty of places in Poland where you can observe these wonders of nature.