This is our "classic" tour, which starts and ends in Warsaw. We focus on two renowned destinations: Bialowieza, the last remnant of European lowland primeval forest, home to European Bison, and Biebrza - the largest continuous expanse of riverine marshland left in Europe. The tour takes 6 days, shorter than other tours organized here but exactly enough to comfortably spot all important species. It is really worth to come here again and again in different seasons - early spring, late spring, autumn, even winter - to enjoy all the riches of this unique treasure of European nature.
Day 1: Late afternoon meeting at Warsaw Airport, and then transfer to Bialowieza, where we stay for three nights.
Days 2 & 3: Walking the trails that crisscross the magnificent mixed woodlands in search of elusive bird and mammals species. Ancient Limes, oaks and Norway Spruces look truly impressive. Bialowieza forest still retains a near complete natural assemblage of animals and plants, from top carnivores, like wolf and lynx, through large herbivores, in particular European Bison and elk, and down to an unparalleled diversity of higher plants, mosses lichens and fungi. Nine species of woodpeckers occurs here all year round, including the Black, White-Backed, Middle Spotted and Three-Toed. Other all year residents are owls, Hazel Grouse and Nutcracker. During the breeding season, you can see four species of flycatchers, including the Collared and Red Breasted. Open meadows in river valleys are home of Corncrake, Rosefinch, Thrush Nightingale, Barred, River and Marsh Warbler, and a feeding place for Honey Buzzard, Goshawk, Lesser Spotted (and occasionally Short-Toed) Eagle. Special evening excursions are organized to observe Pygmy Owl and beaver.
Day 4: We travel further northward, with a stop at Siemianowka Reservoir. It is a superb area of open water and marshes. Black, Whiskered and White-Winged Terns all breed here, as well as Garganey, Great White Egret, Little Bittern and Citrine Wagtail. On sunny days it is not unusual to see as many as 10 species of raptors, including Hobby, Osprey and White-Tailed Eagle. Our next stop is at the reed-fringed fishponds near Bialystok – a breeding place for Penduline Tit, Red-necked and Black-Necked Grebe, and occasionally Slavonic Grebe and Whooper Swan. In the evening, we reach our hotel in Goniadz, in the centre of Biebrza National Park, where we stop for next two nights.
Days 5 & 6: We explore Biebrza Marshes - a maze of channels, flooded meadows and huge areas of marsh. Each village surrounding this area has at least several nests of White Storks. Flocks of Common Crane are also a regular sight. Biebrza has a good population for elk and they are relatively easy to see. The two bird specialties of the area are Aquatic Warbler and Great Snipe. A number of rare waders, terns, ducks, raptors and passerines can be seen here as well. By the evening of Day 6, we travel back to Warsaw, where the last night is booked in a centrally located hotel.
Day 7: Return flight or continuation of your stay for another tour.
In 2015 we offer the following departures:
NE-1 5. - 11.04.
Easter Holidays - it is the perfect period to observe rare woodpeckers during the peak time of their activity. Also, the first breeding woodland birds arrive - elusive flycatchers are seen on the trees. Light green leaves do not yet encumber the view. At Biebrza Marshes, high floods and thousands of migrating Ruffs are present.
NE-2 3.-9. 05.
The breeding season in full. Early May is better for rare woodpeckers and flycatchers, and it is also the best time to see Great Snipe in low sedges. The end of May also gives the best opportunity to observe some late breeders (Roller, Golden Oriole) as well as a large variety of wild flowers and butterflies.
In mid-summer we do not organize tours in northeastern Poland, as the lowland forests and wetlands do not offer worthwhile observation opportunities. If you are going to visit us in June or July, we highly recommend our southern tour (see below).
Early autumn is the the traditional season for observation of mammals. It is a good period for searching Pygmy Owl, Hazelhen and migrating passerines, waders and raptors.
Price: £ 590 in shared twin, £ 670 in single room.
Our price includes:
- 6 nights Accommodation and half board in hotels and pensions (two or three star standard, rooms always with private facilities)
- Transportation from/to Warsaw, guiding, and all entrance fees.
Not included are: flight to Warsaw, lunches and drinks.
Extra night in Warsaw before or after the trip: £ 60 for twin bedded room, £ 46 for single room Bed & Breakfast.