Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Poland Dash

26 - 29 September 2013
A hastily arranged quick zip over to Poland, only two full days but had sights set on two full days of birding just fingers crossed for the weather. We arrived mid afternoon and just made it to the reserve at dusk. In time to see some 2000 Cranes fly over us and go to roost. This was accompanied by thousands of Swallows streaming through the reserve and 14 Goosander.
 The next day and the weather was kind, no rain. Outside the house a Pied Flycatcher was calling and our Gluchowo Black Redstart was on the barn roof. An early morning walk at the reserve concrete road was brisk and sharp but added White-tailed Eagle, Blue-headed Wagtail, at least 100 Great White Egrets (below) as notables.
Into Kostryn for a coffee to warm up and a quick look at the fishermans walk on the way. Here and en route we saw an Osprey with fish, Marsh Harrier, Black Kite a group of 150 Spotted Redshanks, Ruff and Water Rail.
Then a drive past the pumping station and along the raised bank back to Gluchowo. Fieldfares, tons of Chaffinches on migration, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a single White Stork, quite why this one hadn't left with the rest was a mystery as it wasn't injured.
A large Tit flock caught our eye and while watching both Willow and Marsh Tit we heard some Long-tailed Tits calling, and there they were caudatus the Eastern race looking more like Snow Buntings.

About 20 birds in all, in varying states of full white heads. Time for the second raised bank and on that drive we saw Great Grey Shrike and Red-backed Shrike, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite and White-fronted Goose.
The next day started misty so did a woodland walk. We were rewarded with 50 plus Hawfinches, more caudutus Long-tailed Tits, Golden Oriole and loads of Nuthatches. On route to the northern part of the reserve we saw large flocks of Spotted Redshanks again and Ruff.
A walk near somewhere I can't spell gave us our best Raptor views with Lesser Spotted Eagle, at least 4 White-tailed Eagles, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Goshawk and Osprey. Recovering from that we then sat and watched a family group of Penduline Tits.
A raised bank drive on the way home and a look at an area that is good for Black Woodpecker. Heard it calling then seen flying through the trees. Greta but even better was a second bird seemingly stuck to the side of a tree !
View from the raised bank over towards Gluchowo.
 and finally for the day a Sparrowhawk.
The final morning and a flock of some 3000 Chaffinches had just six Brambling.
All this birding was to the backdrop of thousands of Grey Lag Geese, Tundra Bean Geese, more Grey Herons and Great White Egrets than you can shake a stick at, Cranes everywhere and the ever present White-tailed Eagles.

If you fancy a quick weekend away, it's cheap with flights at about £50 return and this house is available !!! Also cheap......

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