Wednesday, July 08, 2009

North-east Poland

The blog has been quiet this last month, mainly as I have been out in the field a lot. Mid-June I had my annual field course at Kindrogan in Perthshire and I’ve just returned from a trip to Poland. More on both these trips later.

Firstly here are a few photos from north-east Poland where I was camping in the Bialowieza Forest and Biebrza Marshes, birding, sound recording and chasing butterflies and dragonflies. It was a magical experience waking up to yodelling Golden Orioles every morning, stumbling though ancient forests of cathedral-like proportions, finding seven woodpecker species and surprising a Pygmy Owl. Dusk forays produced rasping Corncrakes and reeling River Warblers but the everyday birds were just as impressive with Red-backed Shrikes everywhere, and White Storks and Black Redstarts in every village. Fields full of wild flowers were heaving with butterflies, particularly fritillaries. Later in the Biebrza Marshes, a huge wetland but with little visible water, Aquatic Warblers were my main quarry but Great Snipe was sadly missed. It was hot and humid with temperatures up to 31C and after several hours in the forest dodging mosquitoes and in need of food, I started to think I was back in the tropics. An impressive meteorological feature most days were the towering cumulus clouds building in the late afternoon, cumulating in sometimes impressive thunder and lightning storms. These, and their preceding strong winds, often cleared with an hour or two as cooler, more pleasant evening was ushered in. I caught up with one of my favourite species again, the Eurasian Crane, and their evocative bugling sounds was a feature around much of Biebrza National Park.

A full trip report will appear here within a few days:

Bugs'n'beasties names..
Eurasian Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum
Elk Alces alces
Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa
Club-tailed Dragonfly Gomphus vulgatissimus
Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva
Scarce Copper Lycaena virgaureae
Pearly Heath Coenonympha arcania
Heath Fritillary Mellicta athalina
Lesser Marbled Fritillary Brenthis ino


Anonymous said...

My favourite photo is the last one! hehehe. ;-) xx

Warren Baker said...

Sounds like a paradise Fraser..................Red backed Shrikes everywhere!!

Livewheatgrass Limited said...

I love your photos. Would it be alight if I put some of them on the Natura International website. We are starting a project next year on Lesser Spotted Eagle in Bialowieza and Knyszynska Forest. Pls get in touch:

Fraser Simpson said...

Hello Zagloba

Sure, you can use any of the photographs above. You can download them at 800 pixels here:

Please include a credit and the weblink as follows:
Fraser Simpson/

Neil said...

I believe you could count that as a successful trip! Great photos