- Fly from London to Warsaw, where we will meet our guide and drive some 250 kilometres east to Bialowieza, stopping for birding and scenic landscapes on the way.
- We will see numerous white storks on the fields as 25% of the world’s population live in Poland, and we also look for grey partridge, quails, rooks and jackdaws. We stay at a hotel in the village of Bialowieza, and after a welcome dinner, we enjoy a walk to look for corncrake and grasshopper warbler.
- Accommodation: Białowieza, 4-nights on full board basis
- The primeval forest of Bialowieza is one of the largest areas of virgin lowland woodland on the continent. In the company of our local guide we wander amongst the forest giants of oak, lime, ash and spruce, accompanied by the trill of wood warbler and the fluting of golden oriole, while flocks of hawfinch fly overhead. This is a very open, light forest, with a rich ground flora.
- We visit in prime breeding season, when all the late-arriving species, including red-breasted and collared flycatcher, river and aquatic warblers should be in full song, but not too late to see some of the key woodland residents, including all the woodpeckers (an incredible ninw species breed here). Pygmy owl is another local speciality, and we’ll take a dusk walk in the company of a local owl-guide to look for this elusive bird.
- One evening we visit the lek, or display area, of one of Europe's most elusive and declining waders - great snipe.
- The forest is probably most famous for its re-introduced herd of European bison, and we may see some of these huge but surprisingly elusive beasts during our stay. The range of other mammals includes red and roe deer, pine marten and red squirrel.
- Today, we drive to Biebrza Marshes, stopping at a range of excellent birdwatching sites. Our first stop is Siemianówka Reservoir – an artificial lake on the Narew River, breeding site of several species and home to migrating waders. The reservoir also attracts a diversity of butterflies.
- Our next stop is a fishpond complex, where we look for a range of waterbirds, which are more difficult to spot in the reeds and marshes of the Biebrza region.
- Accommodation: Biebrza, 3-nights on full board basis
- The vast expanse of the Biebrza Marshes form one of Europe's largest stretches of marshland, extending for nearly 100 kilometres. A maze of channels intersects a landscape of pools, reedbeds and wet meadows, which together form one of the most bird-rich habitats on the continent.
- The marsh also holds an excellent range of mammals, and we hope to see elk, otter and wild boar, as well as European beaver. This area is also fantastic for dragonflies.
- We drive back to Warsaw, and may have time for some final birding en route before taking our return flight to London.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- Guided activities
We spend four nights in a hotel at Bialowieza, followed by three nights at Biebrza. Al rooms are en suite. A limited number of single rooms are available.
All meals are included.
We visit Bialowieza in prime breeding season, when we have a good chance of seeing at least five of the nine species of woodpecker that live here. We will also hope to spot the elusive pygmy owl and great snipe.
As well as abundant bird species, Biebrza Marshes has an excellent range of mammals. Amongst the mammals to be seen at Bialowieza is the possibility of reintroduced European bison, and if we are lucky, we may also spot wolf or lynx.
- Wild boar
- Red deer
- Eurasian beaver
Aside from the incredible birds and mammals, we will also encounter a beautiful range of butterflies and dragonflies.
- Violet cooper
- Marsh fritillary
- Camberwell beauty
Our tour takes us to wild ancient forest and Europe’s most unspoilt marshland. We travel through an unchanged landscape where working horses still pull wooden carts and animals run free-range amongst the buildings.
Mostly easy, short walks on level ground. Wellington boots will be needed for walking in marshy areas.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Warsaw – London.
Ground transportation is by minicoach, with driver.