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Monday 29th April – Saturday 4th May 2019

POLAND - BIALOWIEZA FOREST & BIEBRZA MARSHES

Northeast Poland has long been a popular destination for birders. The small villages and unspoilt countryside, including large wildflower meadows attract a fantastic range of species.

We will visit the Biosphere Reserves of Bialowieza Primeval Forest and Biebrza Marshes, which are two amazingly wild areas of Europe.

The forest holds exciting species such as Hazel Grouse, Eurasian Three-toed, White-backed, Grey-headed, Black and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Eurasian Wryneck, Corncrake, Red-breasted and Collared Flycatchers, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Eurasian Pygmy Owl.

Biebrza has Great Snipe, Aquatic Warbler, Spotted Eagle, Citrine Wagtail, Marsh Sandpiper, White-winged Tern, Thrush Nightingale and Bluethroat. We will also have the opportunity to see Elk and the magnificent European Bison - King of Bialowieza.


Tour Leaders: Steve Grimwade & local guides
Maximum Group Size: 14


Day 1
We take a morning flight from London Stansted to Warsaw Modlin and travel eastwards to the Bialowieza Forest, which is the last well preserved lowland forest in Europe. After checking in to our atmospheric and comfortable guesthouse, we may spend time exploring habitats close to the accommodation which hold Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Wryneck, Hawfinch, Eurasian Hoopoe, Barred Warbler and Red-backed Shrike.
Overnight: Bialowieza Forest

Day 2
Making an early morning start, we will explore some glades and meadows in search of European Bison and also have a walk in the forest to find species such as Eurasian Wryneck, Lesser Whitethroat, Collared Flycatcher and Hawfinch. Woodpeckers including Lesser Spotted, Grey-headed and even White-backed are all possible before breakfast!

After a substantial breakfast we explore the Strict Protection Area of the Bia?owiez?a National Park. We will enter the core area of the forest which is a MAB Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This forest of huge, century old trees of over 20 species host thousands of creatures, some on the verge of extinction. Species which we hope to see here include Black, White-backed, Middle Spotted and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers.

In the evening we will set off for a journey through the forest visiting some of our favourite patches of forest where Collared Flycatchers and Wood Warblers are plentiful, along with the elusive Hazel Grouse. At dusk Pygmy Owl’s call from the dense forests as they establish territories and mammals are often seen with good chances of Bison, Wild Boar and European Beaver.
Overnight: Bialowieza Forest

Day 3
After breakfast our first stop will be the wonderful birdwatching site of Siemianowka Reservoir, an artificial lake on the Narew River which is a breeding site for Citrine Wagtail, White-tailed Eagle, Black Stork, Whiskered and Black Terns and Caspian Gull.

After a substantial Polish dinner we will spend time visiting a Great Snipe lek, where we should have memorable views of these fantastic birds! Also in the area Common Snipe 'drum' and Woodcock can be seen 'roding' overhead with a chorus of Corn Crakes in the background. Other species we may see include Montagu’s Harrier, Roe Deer and Elk.
Overnight: Bialowieza Forest

Day 4
We leave the Bialowieza Forest and set off to the amazing Biebrza Marshes, one of the most important wetland areas in Europe. We visit numerous small reed-fringed ponds along our way that are abundant with White-tailed Eagles, Western Marsh Harriers, Black and Red-necked Grebes, White-winged, Black and Whiskered Terns, Little Gull, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warblers and lots more.

On reaching the heart of the Biebrza National Park we will make a stop to see if any Aquatic Warblers have arrived from their wintering grounds in Africa.

We arrive at our cosy guesthouse in the Biebrza Marshes in time for dinner, after which we will discuss our plans for the following days whilst enjoying a cold drink!
Overnight: Biebrza Marshes

Day 5
After breakfast we continue birding from tower hides and roads to find breeding species including Spotted and White-tailed Eagles, Montagu's Harrier, Common Crane, Little Gull, White-winged Tern and Bluethroat.

Waders are present on the flooded meadows with breeding Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Redshank, Ruff, Dunlin, migrating Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Temminck's and Little Stint. Lesser Spotted Eagle also occurs in the damp woodland.

There is also a chance to see the majestic Elk, as there are around 600 individuals on the marshes, so it should be quite easy to spot them! With a bit of luck we will find Beaver and Otter which are also frequent in the area.

The day concludes with a visit to a tranquil fen that is home to the elusive Aquatic Warbler, whilst the songs of Thrush Nightingale and Corn Crakes can be heard. Other species we may see here include Montagu's Harrier, Common Crane and Elk.
Overnight: Biebrza Marshes

Day 6
We will spend the morning birding before departing for Warsaw and our journey home.

Tour includes
Flights from London Stansted to Warsaw Modlin
Full Board accommodation for 5 nights
All ground transport in Poland
Full guiding throughout


Not included
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1


Pace
Relaxed with some optional morning and evening excursions. Two to three miles per day.

Birds
Expect around 150 species

Ground Price: £TBC

*Air Price: £TBC

Total Tour Price: £TBC

Single Supplement: £TBC

Deposit: £TBC


*Please see our tours page regarding flight costs