Saturday 25 July 2015

Weekend near Wolin, Poland

I spent last weekend with my aunt and friends on the island of Wolin, Poland:

Having never been eBirded nor being a destination for birders I wasn't really sure what to expect in terms of birding. Turns out that the island is very well preserved with large well-preserved forests, a large lake (where I saw hundreds of Little Gulls!), and large estuaries. Unfortunately I had less than 48 hours to bird the area...

The highlight for me was meeting Grzegorz Kiljan - a local ornithologist who does a lot of bird banding. We set up 4 nets in a marsh near where I was staying helping me get great looks at secretive species that are difficult to identify!

The Great Reed-Warbler looks more or less the same as the Eurasian Reed-Warbler, except that it's a lot larger! Both were lifers for me.
Here's the greater of the two:

Sedge Warbler - another lifer. We only caught juveniles which can be aged by faint spots on their breasts.

Another highlight for me was my first ever female Garganey. The vast majority of Garganey records in North America are males. Probably partly due to the males being quite distinctive, but also maybe because males tend to wander a bit more. Surely some females are being over-looked. The dark facial stripes, darkish body, and white spot at the base of the bill help pick them out.

Lots of Red-backed Shrikes were in the area - including a family on the property where we stayed.

This White Wagtail was eating damselflies:

Adult Red-backed Shrike:

Another juvenile RB Shrike:

Bearded Reedling - I wish we caught the male! If you think this bird is cute you're missing out!

We also came across a family of Barred Warblers. Here's one of the juveniles:

One more week remaining at the hospital (which has been an amazing time itself) before I have a week of birding in one of Northern Europes top shorebird destinations. Stay tuned ;)