Poland’s got new islands (2). Birds already know!
Latest update from the Polish project we recently wrote about:
Good news for terns and gulls in Southern Poland. Several new islands are inviting them to breed! A short update and photos from Tomasz Wilk, the OTOP/BirdLife Poland coordinator behind this project in Partnership with Górażdże Group.
Most European rivers have lost their natural features such as islands, sand and shingle banks as well as their dynamic river bed. In consequence bird species breeding in such habitat, eg. Common Tern or Little Tern, need special conservation measures to prevent them to slip into the international Red List. Protecting natural river islands but also providing substitute habitats for those species proves highly successful.
This is the idea behind the partnership project “Strengthening the role of waterbodies in Górażdże Group mining sites for conservation of island-breeding birds”. Two brand new islands have been floated in Nowogród Bobrzański mining site, to provide nesting place for Common Terns. The spot has been chosen carefully – large reservoirs located close to river Bóbr (acting as a migration corridor for birds) and observations of single pairs of Common Terns breeding in the neighbourhood in previous years, suggest that this is a promising place.
The islands are a novelty for Poland – they are made of concrete reinforced with special, high-strength fibre. This ensures their long term resistance to water, frost and sun, and at the same time provides stability and protection – so much important for birds! This type of islands, invented and patented in Czech Republic, has been used for the first time in Poland! First Common Terns have been observed on the islands just the next day after their floating. We will soon find out wether the birds will make use of them for nesting. Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, the Czech Society for Ornithology is providing 24 new islands of the same type on 6 sand and gravel pits in partnership with the extractive industries.