Poland - Bierbrza Marsh and Białowieża Forest
North eastern Poland is the location of some of the richest wildlife habitats remaining in Europe. The main focus of this two-centre holiday will be on birds, but we will also be looking at other aspects of natural history, particularly mammals.
This holiday will take us first to the vast wetland complex of the Biebrza Marshes. Here, peat bogs, flooded meadows and seemingly endless marshes of the floodplain of the River Biebrza form what is believed to be the most natural inland wetland in Europe. More than 180 species of breeding bird include Aquatic Warbler, Black Stork, Corncrake, White-winged Terns and one of the highlights of this area, the Great Snipe. We will be visiting a lek site one evening to watch as the males gather at dusk for their bizarre courtship display, leaping into the air with a flap of their wings to impress the females.
From here, we will travel south-eastwards towards the border with Belarus and the Białowieża Forest. This is one of the last great tracts of the original ’wild wood’ left in Europe, an unmanaged primeval forest home to some of the iconic beasts of the forest: European Beaver, Elk, Wolf, Eurasian Lynx and one of the last remaining European Bison herds.
Nine of the ten European species of woodpecker make their home in the forest, alongside other exciting forest species: Pygmy Owl, River Warbler, Collared Flycatcher and Hazel Grouse will all be possibilities during our time amongst the ancient oaks, poplars and spruce of this untouched wilderness.
Our local guide is Marek Borkowski of Wildlife Poland, one of Poland’s leading conservationists who has dedicated his life to protecting the wildlife of the region.
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