6-Day Poland Birding Tour
Get ready to spend 6 days with us on an expert-guided Poland Birding Tour.
Next Group Tour Departure Date: To be confirmed
Full Itinerary – Poland Birding Tour
Arrival in Warsaw and transfer to Białowieża
Welcome to Poland!
You will be picked up from the airport in Warsaw and we will journey to Białowieża.
If it is possible it really is worth it to spend some time in Warsaw, the capital city of Poland. It has a fascinating history that spans centuries. Despite significant destruction during World War II, the city has been meticulously reconstructed, blending modern architecture with historic landmarks. Exploring the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must! Warsaw is also a vibrant cultural hub with numerous museums, art galleries, theatres and music venues. The city is also known for its green spaces and well-maintained parks. Łazienki Park, the largest park in the city, features a stunning palace, gardens and a lake. The people of Warsaw are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. Visitors often appreciate the friendly locals who are eager to share their city’s history and culture. The city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and international community make it an inclusive and diverse destination.
Our drive to the northeast is approximately 3 hours long and we will have time to get to know each other and learn a bit more about Poland!
The country is in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and Lithuania and Russia (the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad) to the northeast. It also shares maritime borders with Sweden and Denmark.
The national motto of Poland is “Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna,” which translates to “God, Honor, Fatherland” in English. This motto reflects the values and ideals of the Polish people, emphasizing the importance of faith, honour, and love for their country. It has been used as a guiding principle for the nation throughout its long and complex history. Over the centuries, Poland went through periods of expansion, partition, and occupation, including the devastating impact of World War II. The country experienced significant political and social changes in the late 20th century, leading to the end of communist rule in 1989 and the establishment of a democratic government. The country has a vibrant tradition of art, literature, scientific discovery, music and cuisine.
The country has diverse geographical features, including the Carpathian and Sudeten Mountains, many forested areas, numerous lakes and extensive plains. These features all contribute to Poland’s rich biodiversity. The country has established numerous national parks, nature reserves and protected areas to safeguard its natural heritage. These areas play a crucial role in preserving biodiversity and providing habitats for various species.
Many animals that have since died out in other parts of Europe still survive naturally in Poland, including European Bison, Brown Bear, Elk (Moose), Eurasian Beaver and even large carnivores (Grey Wolf and Eurasian Lynx).
Although not having any endemic birds on its official list, Poland is the most important breeding ground for a variety of European migratory birds. Out of all of the migratory birds who come to Europe for the summer, one quarter of the global population of White Storks (40,000 breeding pairs) live in Poland. The country does boast 13 Globally Threatened species among its total of well over 350.
We are heading to Białowieża today; it will be our home for the next 4 days. Situated on the border between Poland and Belarus, Białowieża Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last and largest remnants of primeval forest in Europe.
We will get together for our Nature Travel Birding welcome dinner and set out our target species for the trip, ensuring all participants a fantastic time. Remember to try some traditional Polish cuisine like pierogi (dumplings), bigos (hunter’s stew) and various sausage and meat dishes.
After dinner we are off to bed for a good night’s rest; tomorrow the birding tour starts in earnest!
We have three full days of birding in and around wonderful Białowieża.
It is a unique and ancient woodland straddling the border between Poland and Belarus. It is considered one of the last and largest remaining parts of the primeval forest that once covered much of Europe. The Białowieża Forest has a long and storied history. It has been a royal hunting ground since medieval times and has served as a nature reserve and national park for over a century. The forest is closely associated with the history and culture of the region. During World War I, the forest was a battleground between the German and Russian armies, resulting in significant damage. It was later restored and became a protected area.
Currently, the 3,085.8 km2 (1,191.4 sq mi) forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an EU Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation. Białowieża means “White Tower” in Polish. The name stems from the white wooden hunting-manor established in the village by Władysław II Jagiełło, the Grand Duke of Lithuania and later King of Poland who enjoyed going on hunting trips in the forest, which was then part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
Białowieża Forest is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and is home to numerous plant and animal species. It is particularly famous for its population of Near Threatened European Bison, the continent’s heaviest land animals.
When it comes to birdwatching, Białowieża is a true paradise. The forest and its surrounding areas provide a diverse range of habitats, including dense woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and rivers, attracting a wide variety of bird species.
The forest serves as a habitat for over 250 bird species, including flagship species like the rare White-backed Woodpecker, unique Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, striking Black Woodpecker, small Eurasian Pygmy Owl, cryptic Hazel Grouse, peculiar Eurasian Wryneck, Black Stork and European Honey Buzzard.
Other species include Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, White Stork, Common Crane, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater, Syrian, Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Middle Spotted, Grey-headed, Black and European Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Treecreeper, Fieldfare, Redwing, Thrush Nightingale, Woodlark, Red-backed and Great Grey Shrike, Tree Pipit, Collared, Spotted, Red-breasted and European Pied Flycatcher, Icterine, Garden, River, Savi’s, Barred, Marsh and Wood Warbler, Eurasian Nuthatch, Hawfinch, Common Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Common Firecrest, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, White Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, Red Crossbill, Yellowhammer, Marsh and Long-tailed Tit, Common Rosefinch, Common Reed Bunting and many others.
The forest also hosts several rare and protected plant species, such as orchids and mosses.
Exploring the Białowieża Forest will allow you to immerse yourself in a true wilderness setting. The forest’s ancient character, with its towering trees and untouched ecosystems, creates a truly unique atmosphere!
Evening birding might produce Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Great Grey, Boreal, Tawny and Long-eared Owl, and more!
Overnight every night will be at Białowieża where, before we go to bed we will enjoy a fabulous dinner and update our trip lists.
Morning at Białowieża and transfer to Biebrza Marshes
This morning will be our last in Białowieża, making sure we get all our target birds here or perhaps better photographs of species we have already seen.
We will then transfer to Biebrza, about 2 hours away to the north. On the way we might stop at a site near the city of Bialystok to look for species like Red-necked, Black-necked and Horned Grebe, Savi’s and Great Reed Warbler, Little and Black-headed Gull and many more.
The largest of Poland’s 23 national parks, the Biebrza National Park was created on 9 September 1993. Its total area is 592.23 km2 (228.66 sq mi), of which forests cover 155.47 km2, fields and meadows covering 181.82 km2 and marshes with an area of 254.94 km2.
The Biebrza Marshes are the most precious part of the park. The wetlands as well as the Narew River valleys are very important centres for birds’ nesting and feeding. In 1995 the park was designated as a wetland site of worldwide significance and is under the protection of the Ramsar Convention.
Full day exploring Biebrza Marshes
We will have a full day to explore this water wonderland!
The Biebrza Marshes area encompasses river channels, lakes, extensive marshes with wooded areas on higher ground and well-preserved peat bogs that occupy around 1,000 km2. The area shows a clear succession of habitats from riverside fen through to raised bogs, grading into wet woodland. Because of this unique succession, the area supports a wide diversity of wildlife with large numbers of birds and mammals.
The marshes offer various observation points and well-marked trails. These trails take you through different habitats, allowing you to explore and encounter diverse bird species. Information boards along the trails provide educational insights about the local birdlife and the park’s conservation efforts.
Over 250 species of birds have been recorded here, more than 80% of the Polish avifauna! It is the most important breeding area for many wetland bird species in Poland and amongst the most important in Central and Western Europe. A very important bird here is the Vulnerable Aquatic Warbler; 85% of the global population of this species breed in Poland, with 25% of these breeding in the Biebrza Marshes.
Apart from the Aquatic Warbler, we will hope to see species like Bald, Golden, White-tailed, Greater Spotted, and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Montagu’s and Western Marsh Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Short-eared Owl, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Northern Raven, Black Stork, Great Egret, Great and Common Snipe, Corn Crake, Common Crane, Black Grouse, Greater White-fronted, Taiga Bean, Greylag and Barnacle Goose, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Eurasian Bittern, Black-winged Stilt, Ruff, Terek and Wood Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, White-winged, Common, Little, Black and Whiskered Tern, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew, Northern Lapwing, Grey Partridge, Eurasian Magpie, Marsh, Sedge and Common Grasshopper Warbler, Black Redstart, Tawny Pipit, Eurasian Penduline Tit, Whinchat, Citrine Wagtail, Bluethroat, Bearded Reedling, Ortolan and Corn Bunting, and many others.
Among the mammals in the Biebrza Marshes are Moose (Eurasian Elk), Western Red Deer, Western Roe Deer, Eurasian Wild Pig, European Hare, Eurasian Beaver, Grey Wolf, European Pine Marten, Stoat and many others.
Biebrza’s picturesque landscapes and abundant birdlife make it a paradise for wildlife photographers. The park’s tranquil and untouched surroundings provide ample opportunities to capture stunning images of birds in their natural habitats.
Biebrza to Warsaw and End of Tour
We will enjoy a final morning of birding in the marshes before heading back to Warsaw.
At the airport we will say our goodbyes after our fantastic time together in historic Poland. Hope to see you again very soon!
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