Gdansk - the major tourist hot spot of the Polish Baltic coast, historical Hansa town and birthplace of Solidarity movement, is also mecca for birders in late summer and autumn. The nearby mouth of Vistula, Poland's biggest river, is the equivalent of the Scilly Isles in the UK - in no other place have so many rarities been recorded. This part of coast lies on a major migration route, with millions of birds passing through on their southbound journeys. There are direct flights to Gdansk from more than 15 British airports, so why not come for a short birding break?
Day 1: Meeting at the Airport and a short transfer to a comfortable hotel on Vistula Spit, the peninsular stretch of land which cuts off the Vistula Lagoon from Gdansk Bay.
Days 2 & 3: We visit various habitats along the Spit and the Vistula mouth: sandbanks, dunes, pools, reed beds and coastal marshes. Passerine movement can be particularly impressive here. Among the commoner migrants like Wheatear, Whinchat, Red-backed Shrike, Tree Pipit and Pied Flycatcher, we have the chance of finding some of the more unusual species which include Red-throated Pipit, Ortolan Bunting, Scarlet Rosefinch or even Wryneck, Icterine Warbler or Firecrest. Bearded and Penduline Tit are not uncommon in the reeds. Of special interest is that we observe a handful of species being ringed at a ringing station. Waders move along the coast in large numbers too. The commonest are Dunlin, Sanderling, Ruff. Little- and Temminck Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Greenshank and Bar-Tailed Godwit. Mediterranean and Little Gull can be also seen here.
Day 4: We travel 50-100 km into the mainland and stop at various lakes and fishponds. This may be the best chance for White-Tailed Eagle, Osprey, Merlin, Red Kite and flocks of migrating cranes and geese.
Day 5: We visit the coast again, now a bit northward from Gdansk, near Rewa Village, where we walk along a sandy mile-long headland. The nearby pools and salt meadows offer excellent views of resting waders such as Curlew, Whimbrel, Grey-, Golden- and Little Ringed Plover and others. This can even produce such rarities such as Citrine Wagtail or Collared Pratincole. The Baltic Sea itself is a major wintering ground for divers, Slavonian and Black-Necked Grebes, sea-duck, skuas and gulls, many of which begin to arrive in September. In the evening, we drive back to Gdansk, where we enjoy a dinner in an old town restaurant.
Day 6: End of the tour. Departure or continuation of your stay in Gdansk, which has a classic old town and very good tourist accommodations.
Tour dates in 2014
BA-1 22.08. - 27.08.
The first departure can be booked together with the southern tour SO-4, the second one can be a continuation of NE-4.
Price: £ 460 in shared twin, £ 520 in single room.
Our price includes:
- 5 nights accommodation and half board in hotels and pensions (two or three star standard, rooms always with private facilities)
- Transportation from/to Gdansk, guiding, and all entrance fees.
Not included are: flight to Gdansk, lunches and drinks.
Extra night in Gdansk before or after the trip: £ 60 for twin bedded room, £ 46 for single room Bed & Breakfast.