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This vast estuary in the far north-west of Poland, on the border with Germany, is one of the most important areas for migrant waders in Europe but the wide range of habitats here makes it an excellent birding area at any time of year.
As well as the bay or lagoon itself which holds good numbers of ducks and seabirds, there are several river deltas, islands, marshes and reedbeds, peatbogs, farmland and Beech and Oak forest.
There are several protected areas around the bay including two islands. The centre of Wolin Island at the north-eastern corner of the bay is protected as the Wolinski National Park and Karsibor Island was the first reserve to be established by OTOP, the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds.
Karsibor Island lies to the south of the port of Swinoujscie. There is an ornithological station at Lake Swidwie, a reed-fringed lake surrounded by wet meadows on the western side of the bay near the German border.
To the east of Swinoujscie there is some woodland worth exploring and a breakwater with migrant waders.
Breeding birds include raptors such as White-tailed Eagle and Red Kite which can be seen throughout the area and both are present throughout the year. Northern Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier and Hen Harrier, Osprey and Lesser Spotted Eagle and Short-toed Eagle are present in summer.
Oystercatcher and Dunlin nest in the area, both scarce breeders in Poland, Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit are among the other breeding waders. Common Tern, Little Tern and Black Tern breed, sometimes Mediterranean Gull, and the marshes and reedbeds have Little Bittern and Great Bittern.
Passage periods attract grey geese and other waterfowl, Common Crane, waders and various passerines.
Birds you can see here include:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Grey Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Bewick's Swan, Tundra Bean Goose, Taiga Bean Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Scaup, Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Red-breasted Merganser, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Red Kite, White-tailed Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Common Quail, Water Rail, Spotted Crake, Corn Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Feral Pigeon, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Great Eagle Owl, Common Swift, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Blue-headed Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Tawny Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Black Redstart, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Aquatic Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Crested Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Red-backed Shrike, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Hooded Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Common Rosefinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting
History and Use
Areas of Interest
The Karsibor Island reserve was set up to protect one of the largest breeding populations of Aquatic Warbler in Europe. This Eastern European speciality can also be found in the valleys around Kamien Pomorski.
Karsibor Island can be reached over a bridge to the south of Swinoujscie and the reserve has an observation tower.
Access and Facilities
The large city of Szczecin, at the southern end of the bay, is about 500km to the north-west of Warsaw but only 150km from Berlin which lies to the south-west. The area can also be reached from Scandinavia via ferry, docking at Swinoujscie. This port and seaside resort can be used as a base from which to explore this area which to cover thoroughly requires several days.
Nearby Miedzyzdroje also has hotel accommodation.
Lake Swidwie is located to the north-west of Szczecin near Stolec.
Content and images originally posted by Steve
see my report athttp://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=55714
www.clanga.com will give you all the details. Cheap flights from Stansted to Szczecin www.ryanair.com
- cheap numerous birds
- organising bus
- tram and minibus travel is a little tricky