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Poland Bird Watching Tour

Poland Bird Watching Tour
When: Sun 7 May - Fri 19 May 2023
Leaders: Chris Douyghty and Valdi Krasowski
Poland Bird Watching Tour
Warsaw to Warsaw (13 Days) $6,684
Single Room Supplement $570
Poland Bird Watching Tour
Throughout much of Europe, the vast primeval forests and extensive wetlands that once existed, have largely been cleared and drained, reducing them to scattered remnants. However, in much of Poland the natural habitats have been preserved on a grand scale, largely due to the slow rate of agricultural development during the communist era. Poland is one of Europe's premier birding locations. Not only does it offer some of the finest birding in Europe, it does so in remarkably unspoiled surroundings. During the tour, we will visit three very different areas, within fairly easy reach of each other. From Warsaw, we drive to the east and explore the vast and ancient Bialowieza Forest. Encompassing an immense tract of country shared by Poland and Belarus, it is Europe's finest remaining area of untouched lowland forest. Once the hunting preserve of Polish kings and later Russian czars; the forest is home to one of only two populations of European Bison left in the wild, and an exciting selection of beautiful birds, including Black Stork, Hazel Grouse, River Warbler, Collared Flycatcher and Eurasian Golden Oriole. We then drive to the north, to the great Biebrza Marshes, where a maze of channels, lakes, reedbeds and wet meadows, extends as far as the eye can see. It is an internationally important breeding site for a number of threatened wetland birds, including the endangered Great Snipe and the rare Aquatic Warbler. There are also a great many other exciting birds including Red-necked Grebe, Eurasian Bittern, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Common Crane, Ruff, White-winged Tern, Citrine Wagtail, Barred Warbler, Thrush Nightingale and Bluethroat, as well as a range of mammals, including Elk, Eurasian Otter, Eurasian Wild Pig and Eurasian Beaver. Next we drive south, close to the border with Slovakia, where we will enjoy a few days of forest birding in the stunning Tatra Mountains, the highest and most spectacular part of the Carpathian Mountains. They are Poland? only alpine-type mountains, and have a true mountain feel about them. The highest elevation on the Polish side, is Mount Rysy, at an impressive 2,499 metres. The mountain forests are inhabited by such exciting species as White-backed and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Icterine Warbler, Crested Tit and Spotted Nutcracker. Mammals include Alpine Marmot, Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear and Alpine Chamois. At this time of year, all the migrants will have already arrived. They will all be in full breeding plumage and will be singing and displaying, making them so very much easier to locate. There will be no need for pre-breakfast birding; the spring days are long and we will have plenty of time to track down our quarry, and enjoy prolonged views of both the birds and the mammals. Come with us and enjoy this fabulous Poland Bird Watching Tour.
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