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Situated about 30km to the north of Bialowieza this large reservoir is an ideal addition to birding trip to the forest adding a range of species to a trip list and a change of scenery. The banks of this man-made reservoir vary from muddy, with pools to grass-covered or concrete slopes.
It is a large (over 32 sqkm) reservoir on upper Narew river. Although this is an artificial lake (since 1970), it is quite popular birding spot among Polish birders. Wildest part of the country, variety of birds, vast reedbeds and marshes around, surrounded by old woods and wet meadows, atract variety of rare birds and birders as well.
The lake extends from north-west to south-east, crossed at its eastern part by railwaytrack (reaching the most remote railway station in Poland) that divides reservoir into two parts. The railwaytrack is the most favourite and the most visited spot by birders, as the dykes that come along the railway provide quite easy walking and good views for both sides of the lake. The best areas to visit are eastern parts, where the edges of the lake end with hughe, muddy plains and wet meadows. To the south, the lake touches the norhern edges of Bialowieza Forest.
All three marsh terns breed here in summer, both storks, Red-necked Grebe and Black-necked Grebe as well as [[Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Garganey and Common Teal. However, there are two species of particular interest to European birders, Marsh Sandpiper and Citrine Wagtail, both have recently begun to breed here.
Passerines of interest in the area include Crested Lark, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch and Ortolan Bunting. Passage periods bring a range of waders including Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit.
Birds you can see here include:
Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, European Honey Buzzard, White-tailed Eagle, (PM), Western Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Northern Hobby, Common Quail, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Corn Crake, Common Crane, Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, (PM), White-winged Tern, (PM), Whiskered Tern, (PM), European Nightjar, European Roller, Eurasian Wryneck, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, Citrine Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch, Ortolan Bunting
Areas of Interest
The eastern end, where the vegetation is densest, is generally the more productive and the wet heathland just beyond the eastern tip of the reservoir is excellent for raptors.
Another excellent birding place nearby, are the beautiful Bachury fishponds (just beside northern shore of the reservoir). Red-footed Falcon and Merlin are quite often seen there, as well as rare grebes and marsh terns. Unfortunatelly, this is private area, so fishponds are closed to the public (unless you know its owner...).
It is also a very good birding area during migration periods for waterfowls and waders (ie Terek Sandpiper), rare raptors, gulls (Mediterranean Gull and [[Pontic Gull) and terns (including all marsh terns). A flocks of Divers (Red-throated Diver and Black-throated Diver) can be seen here on spring at the open water.
Some - although very few - Black Grouse lekking males can be seen on very early mornings close to Narewka and Siemianowka villages. More of them are seen during winter in Grodecko-Michalowska Niecka.
Access and Facilities
Siemianowka village is situated close to the south shore of the reservoir and can be reached by road from Bialowieza via Hajnowka . Alternatively follow the track from Stara Bialowieza north to Nareka via Janowo. The best birding areas are the south and east shores but those wishing to try the northern side of the reservoir can reach it by leaving Siemianowka village westwards to Juskowy Grod and from there east to Ciskowa. Most visitors incorporate Siemianowka into a trip to Bialowieza and find accommodation there.
valdi99's review Here is detailed trip report http://www.travellingbirder.com/tripreports/view_birding_tripreport.php?id=30
- birds and birds!
- The end of civilisation ;-)
Content and images originally posted by Steve