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Slonsk Reserve - BirdForum Opus

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In the west of Poland close to the German border is a large area of marshes where the Warta, Odra and Postomia Rivers meet. This area is a Landscape Park, a Ramsar Site and the Slonsk Reserve, an extremely important passage stopover and wintering site for tens of thousands of waterfowl and other birds.

In addition the area is the most important wetland in western Poland for breeding birds and around 160 species have been known to nest out of a total of more than 240 species recorded. The reserve covers more than 4000ha of rivers, oxbows, a reservoir, shallow lakes and drainage channels set in a landscape of regularly flooded meadows and pastures.


Notable Species

Lesser Spotted Eagle can be seen in summer as well as both kites, Marsh Harrier and Montagu's Harrier breed and White-tailed Eagle, a former regular breeder, is now mainly a winter visitor.

Summering waterfowl include Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler. Breeding passerines include Thrush Nightingale and Fieldfare, Penduline Tit and Hawfinch.

Warblers are numerous and varied with Grasshopper Warbler, Savi's Warbler and River Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Reed Warbler and Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler and sometimes Aquatic Warbler in the wetlands and Barred Warbler, Icterine Warbler and others in scrub and woodland.

A wide variety of waders and waterfowl visit these marshes on passage and the area also attracts Common Crane in good numbers. Slonsk is an important wintering ground for geese, particularly Greater White-fronted Goose and Bean Goose, and also for large numbers of Whooper Swan. White-tailed Eagle is present in winter.


Birds you can see here include:

Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Tundra Bean Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Red Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Common Pheasant, Common Crane, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Little Crake, Corn Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, White-winged Tern, Whiskered Tern, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Thrush Nightingale, Common Nightingale, Black Redstart, Whinchat, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Eurasian River Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Aquatic Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Willow Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreeper, Penduline Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Magpie, Hooded Crow, Northern Raven, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Common Rosefinch, Hawfinch, Yellowhammer, Ortolan Bunting, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

Areas of Interest

There is a dam from Slonsk north towards the River Warta which gives good views but ask permission at the pumping station before walking it.

Access and Facilities

Some of this area is rather inaccessible and much of the reserve requires a permit to visit. However, there is a road from the north-west of Slonsk village that passes through part of the reserve and much can be seen from the roads to the east of Kostrzyn.

There is a border crossing from Germany at Kostrzyn which is only a little over 100km east of Berlin.

The nearby town of Gorzow Wielkopolski has hotel accommodation.

External Links

Birds in Poland Warta & Slonsk

Content and images originally posted by Steve