Biebrza, third day

This video, in English, is about nature in Biebrza in Poland.

22 May.

Like yesterday, we are in Goniadz, Poland.

A linnet on a shrub.

Cuckoo and golden oriole sounds.


A male and a female Montagu’s harrier, circling around each other, not far away. When a female marsh harrier arrives, they drive it away.

In the reed beds, a blue tit (visible), and a Savi’s warbler (invisible, singing).

The bus takes us to a sedge peat bog.

We hear the aquatic warbler singing. Later, we see this exciting rare species at close distance.

This is a video of a singing aquatic warbler at Nagyivan, Hortobagyi National Park, Hungary.

A woodlark in one of the few trees in the bog. A common snipe, flying.

Skylark, singing.

Two moose.

A kestrel.

Then, a female hen harrier. This species stopped nesting in Poland years ago. Here was their last stand. That this bird now is here as late as 22 May, may mean that hen harriers will start nesting again. Recently, this species has declined in the Netherlands.

This video is about hen harriers in Scotland.

We continue, to a few small lakes. There, two hoopoes sit in a tree.

Sounds of corncrake. Corncrakes in the Netherlands: here.

And a skylark, singing.

Black terns, white-winged black terns, and whiskered terns flying over the lakes, diving sometimes.

Some white-winged black terns try to drive away a fox.

Black-tailed godwit and redshank at the next stop.

At the stop after that, a common tern sitting on a log in the middle of the river.

At the next stop, “our” Polish biologist sees a carrion crow, which is rare in Poland.

And someone else sees a golden oriole, singing. Which is also rare: not hearing the singing, but seeing this species, which usually is hidden near leafy tree tops.

This is a golden oriole video.

Our last stop turns out to be the best stop of today. From a watchtower, where barn swallows nest, we have an excellent view over mudflats, meadows, and water.

A black stork flying among many white storks. Great egrets.

Near the bank: wood sandpiper. A greenshank, catching a small fish. Little ringed plover.

A female ruff. Grey lag geese.

Then, both a male and a female citrine wagtail.

This is a citrine wagtail video.

As we arrive back in Goniadz, a lapwing tries to drive away a male Montagu’s harrier.

Greenfinch. Whitethroat.

Fox, cranes, and lapwing in Poland

This video from Poland is called Biebrza National Park – Summer 2017.

Poland, 21 May.

As I mentioned, we arrived in Goniadz village, on the edge of Biebrza national park, late in the afternoon.

Sounds of golden oriole, chiffchaff, serin, greenfinch.

Barn swallows drinking from the river while flying just above it.

On a coniferous shrub, a male and a female linnet.

This video is from Stibbe in the Netherlands.

Many fieldfares flying to treetops.

There is a greenfinch nest with chicks in a small coniferous shrub in the garden.

As we walk along the river, we see four adult elks and one calf through the telescope.

Swifts flying. An icterine warbler (see also here) singing.

Then, we hear a wryneck sound in a distant tree. When the Polish biologist in our group plays a recorded wryneck sound, the bird immediately flies to the big tree above our heads.

This is a video of a wryneck; recorded in Breskens, the Netherlands.

The wryneck keeps calling, while making the neck movements from which its name is derived.

Meanwhile, under the wryneck tree, a common frog jumps through the grass.

A Savi’s warbler‘s song from a river reedbed.

A white stork arrives back on its nest, where its sitting partner welcomes its with a clattering sound. Hear stork clattering sound here.

We reach the bridge, where we put up the telescope.

Across the river, we see two cranes. They are asleep already, though it is not really dark yet.

Then, not far from the cranes, we see a fox. Probably, the fox is eating something quite big, as it keeps eating for a long time. However, the long vegetation hides what exactly the fox is eating.

A lapwing tries to drive the fox away, by flying closely to it and calling loudly. This wakes up the cranes, who stand up and start calling.

A black-tailed godwit tries to drive the fox away. It has as little success as the lapwing: the fox keeps eating.

Then, a redshank tries. The fox is still unimpressed.

The lapwing tries again, with the same result.

Meanwhile, the cranes have started dancing. These big birds are apparently the only ones which might impress the fox enough to leave its meal. However, will they do it? Sometimes, one crane walks to within a few meter of the fox. The fox then lifts it head to watch. As soon as the crane walks away, it starts eating again. Sometimes, both cranes walk to within a few meter of the fox. Again, it lifts it head. And goes back to its food, as soon as the cranes walk away again.

Then, the night falls, making it impossible to see how this story ends.

A bat detector detects a commun noctule bat flying near the river. Tree frog sounds.

Biebrza, second day

This video is called Biebrza National Park – Summer 2017.

Poland, 21 May 2009.

Like yesterday, we are in Wosnawies.

Thrush nightingale and golden oriole sounds.

Hear the thrush nightingale singing on ARKive: here.

Tree sparrows. Hoopoe calling.

A whitethroat.

Two jays.

A red-backed shrike in a coniferous tree.

We go by canoe down the Narew river.

From the reed beds near the river banks, we hear great reed warbler, and reed warbler.

And sedge warbler.

We sometimes see the great reed warbler, as it is so big that it is more difficult for it to hide. And the sedge warbler, as it often flies upwards, singing.

We don’t see the secretive reed warbler, however. Except maybe when we see a nest hanging from reed stems. A little brownish bird flies out. Too quickly to see whether it is a sedge warbler or a reed warbler, or maybe another species yet.

Reed bunting sitting on a reed stem. Yellowhammer on the right hand side bank.

Our canoe passes a mute swan.

A collared dove.

The sounds of the skylark, cuckoo, hoopoe.

And the Savi’s warbler.

As we leave the canoe for dry land, we see a scarlet rosefinch (aka common rosefinch).

From the bus, two roe deer.

A turtle dove.

This is a video of common cranes in France.

A crane in a meadow near the Biebrza river.

Black-tailed godwits. A curlew.

A yellow wagtail on a leafless branch.

Then, a rare bird: a Montagu’s harrier. First, a male. Soon, a female joins it.

This is a Dutch video about Montagu’s harriers in Poland.

Then, a much bigger bird of prey: a greater spotted eagle. It has a small radio device attached to it, so its movements can be studied.

A lesser whitethroat sings.

Finally, two white-winged black terns.

We arrive in Goniadz village.

Common rosefinch and wryneck migration: here.

Common rosefinch in the Netherlands: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Biebrza, first full day

Poland, 20 May.

In the morning in Wosnawies, where we arrived yesterday, a hoopoe is calling.

Also: golden oriole; chiffchaff.

Tawny owl call. Fieldfare.

Greater celandine flowering.

Willow warbler. Thrush nightingale.


Sounds of yellowhammer and cuckoo.

Swift. Whitethroat.

Grasshopper warbler sound.

A red squirrel on a coniferous tree.

The bus takes us into the reserve.

Two ravens.

A kestrel.

In the park’s rehabilitation center for injured animals, wild boars; and a female moose with a two-day old calf. And a buzzard in a cage.

A red-breasted flycatcher in the telescope.

Then, a male cuckoo sits in a treetop. We see it calling, while most people usually just hear it.

In the sandy soil of parabole dunes in this part of the reserve, the antlion lives.

A brimstone butterfly.

Mouse-ear hawkweed flowering.

Common juniper shrubs.

An orange tip butterfly.

A tree pipit singing in a tree.

This is a video of a tree pipit near Hilversum, the Netherlands.

A flying hoopoe.

A woodlark.

This is a video of a woodlark made in The Netherlands, Strabrechtse heide.

Then, we see a moose. Not a captive one, like in the rehabilitation center, but a wild one, eating, through the telescope.

Our second stop is in a forest growing on old peat ground.

Someone in our group sees a wood warbler and a wryneck.

Lily of the valley flowering.


Later, a walk on a sandy road.

A skylark takes a sand bath on it.

A great grey shrike.

A dead young grass snake, killed on the road.

A meadow pipit sitting on a birch tree.

A male marsh harrier flies past.

Like the skylark before, a yellowhammer takes a sand bath on the road.

Eastern Poland is famous for a bird which about reaches its western limit here: the barred warbler. Sometimes, we hear it from dense bushes. But it is about as secretive as the little crake of Bialystok. I just managed to see its tail, and movements indicating that it was cleaning its feathers. Others had more luck.

Another traffic victim, this time a sand lizard.

A speckled wood butterfly. The first one which I see in Poland; more common more to the west.

Again, tree frog sounds as the evening approaches.

Bialystok fish pond birds, Poland

This video is called Little Crake, Bialystok Fish Ponds, Poland – 20.05.15

Poland, 19 May.

After Siemianowska lake, we go to Bialystok.

Just outside the city, there are fish ponds.

This artificial habitat is surprisingly rich, including in birds.

Closest to the city is a big black-headed gull colony. One female nesting in the colony has been ringed in Britain.

Also, white-winged black terns and whiskered terns are flying around.

Then, we hear the sound of a very rare and very elusive bird: a little crake. As usually, it hides in the reedbeds. Nevertheless, some of us see a glimpse. A photograph manages to “catch” only part of the bird’s small body.

This video says about itself:

Little Crake at Apaj, Kiskunsagi National Park, Hungary.

A sparrowhawk and a marsh harrier fly past.

The sound of many fire-bellied toads (see also here).

Two Caspian terns flying across the ponds.

Two black-necked grebes; see also here, and here.

A kestrel.

The sound of a bittern.

A penduline tit nest.

A red-necked grebe.

This video says about itself:

Two birds [red-necked grebes] displaying courtship rituals and mating at Dalkarlskärret, Uppsala, Sweden.

A Caspian gull.

Poland: In Górażdże mining sites at least 3 species threatened at the EU level are breeding on islands, i.e. Common Tern, Little Tern, Mediterranean Gull together with some other important species like Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Little Ringed Plover. But the accessibility of islands for birds is often restricted, because of limited number of islands or their unfavorable structure, caused for example by overgrowing vegetation: here.

Siemianowska lake, Poland

Poland, 19 May.

After our last morning in Bialowieza, our bus departs.

Just outside the village, two lesser spotted eagles circling.

Thrush nightingale and yellowhammer sounds.

We arrive at Siemianowska lake.

A brimstone butterfly.

Three tern species nest here: black tern; white-winged black tern; and whiskered tern.

On the lake, mute swans, coots, a tufted duck and a pochard are swimming.

A whitethroat is singing.

A honey buzzard flying.

Great egrets.

Black-headed gulls.

A reed bunting.

Yellowhammer sound.

A gadwall flies past.

A lapwing. A penduline tit.

A citrine wagtail feeding the chicks at its nest.

This is a video of a citrine wagtail.

The great reed warbler sings.

An orange tip butterfly.

We go to another spot along this reservoir lake.

Great crested grebes swimming. Linnet sound.

A yellow wagtail: first on the dam where we walk, later on grassland.

Three common terns.

A hooded crow.

A skylark sitting on a pole, singing.

A grey plover.

Bialowieza, last morning

This video is called Białowieża National Park (Poland).

Bialowieza, Poland, 19 May.

Our last morning here.

A little tern flying over a palace park pond.

This is a video of a red-backed shrike couple in the Bargerveen in the Netherlands.

On a shrub on the clearing, a male and a female red-backed shrike sitting together.

A female marsh harrier.

Back in the palace park: tree sparrows. White-collared flycatcher. A common treecreeper (see also here) climbing a tree.

Just outside the park, house martin nests on the post office building.

At the river bridge, a great reed warbler singing.

A beautiful big butterfly, an old world swallowtail, is sitting on sandy soil. Wings spread out, in order to catch morning sun warmth after the wings have become cold in the night.

This is a video of an old world swallowtail emerging from its pupa.

Poland’s environment ministry may destroy the ancient Białowieża Forest: here.

Dutch report on Bialowieza: here.

Amphibians of Bialowieza, Poland

There are 18 amphibian species in Poland.

Of these, 12 species occur in Bialowieza national park. Narew national park has about the same amphibian species.

Sometimes, cars or bicycles kill them on roads.

The species are: great crested newt (see also this video, and this one). Common newt.

Natterjack toad. Common toad. Green toad. European fire-bellied toad. Common spadefoot toad.

Common tree frog. Pool frog. Common frog. Moor frog. Marsh frog.

16 amphibian species in the Netherlands: here.

Giant Fire-Bellied Toad’s Brain Brims With Powerful Germ-Fighters – RedOrbit: here.

Intensive [common] frog farming takes giant leap forward: here.

Bialowieza, second late morning and afternoon

Bialowieza, 18 May. Later in the morning than described in the earlier blog entry, a common rosefinch in a tree. A species which is rare in the Netherlands: here.

A lesser spotted eagle circling in the sky.

On the opposite side of the road, a whinchat and a whitethroat.

We pass an abandoned beaver home. A yellowhammer.

We arrive at Stara Bialowieza. Here are a few score of ancient oaks, named after Lithuanian dukes and Polish kings who used to rule Bialowieza.

We hear a golden oriole singing.

A squirrel.

Prunella flowers.

We arrive at a beaver dam. A piece of birch wood with a beaver‘s tooth marks on it.

A black stork flying.

A bit further, a dead beaver and yellow water-lilies in the river.

Roe deer footprints on the bicycle track.

To the bridge over another river. Marsh harrier flying around. Pied wagtail.

Common rosefinch, wood warbler and cuckoo sounds.

Bialowieza forest

This is a video about European bison in Poland. Recently, for the first time, two European bison calves were born in a Dutch nature reserve.

17 May 2009.

Like yesterday, early this morning we went to Bialowieza national park.

Still in the village, a great tit, a starling, and a greenfinch in a coniferous tree.

And a thrush nightingale singing.

In the palace park, the song of a wood warbler.

Also, cuckoo sounds.

We left the palace park through a path crossing a clearing.

A blackbird. Corncrake sound. The first one of many Burgundy snails. A yellowhammer singing.

This is a video of a Polish great spotted woodpecker hammering away on a steel pole.

Just before the strict reserve entrance gate, a great spotted woodpecker, hammering away on an English oak.

Water avens flowering.

The entrance of the strict reserve is a wooden gate, built in the 1920s by a southern Polish architect in the style of his native region, not Bialowieza. It is said to have been the inspiration for the entrance gate to the Jurassic Park in the film of that name.

The core of Bialowieza, the strict reserve, is primeval forest, unique now for the northern European lowlands.

The highest tree in Bialowieza is a Norway spruce, 54 meters high.

Important tree species in the forest are English oak, small-leaved lime, and common hornbeam. Also elms, Norway maple, and ash. Hawfinches here like to eat ash fruits.

Among the many plants of the undergrowth: woodruff, and Solomon’s seal.

This morning, we do not see the big mammals which Bialowieza is famous for, like European bison, elk, wolf, and lynx (see also here). However, we do see a red squirrel, eating a Norway spruce cone.

A common treecreeper climbing up. Common in Britain and Poland, but not in continental western Europe.

Many fungi. A blackbird singing.

Ramsons flowering.

A red-breasted flycatcher singing.

Beard lichen growing on a Thymelaeaceaen shrub.

Herb Paris flowering.

Then, a middle spotted woodpecker and a three-toed woodpecker, together on the same tree.

A sulphur shelf fungus.

Then, a white-backed woodpecker, low on a big tree. Like the three-toed woodpecker, this species indicates healthy big forest.

Cardamine bulbifera flowers.

A Fomitopsis pinicola fungus on a fallen small-leaved lime tree.

A parasitical plant, toothwort.

As we pass the entrance gate, now exit gate, a yellowhammer singing on a tree.

A whinchat on the field, flying from grass stem to grass stem.

Middle spotted woodpecker in the Netherlands: here.