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Bison Safari In The Białowieża Forest, Oct 2017 Trip Report

Bison Safari in the Białowieża Forest, Oct 2017 trip report

Tour Leader: Andrzej Petryna (Andy)
Participants: Dani, Douglas, William, Elizabeth & Erika (USA)

Text by Andrzej Petryna & Mariola Przyborowska
Photos by Andrzej Petryna

This time our stay at Białowieża coincided with the tail-end of hurricane Grzegorz. The weather conditions were poor when we arrived, fortunately the following days were much better, and we could safely continue our daily excursions and exploration of Białowieża Forest.

Birdwatching with Wild Poland in the Białowieża Forest, photo by Andrzej Petryna

Our group was focused on Bison and birdwatching, and we were very successful in both aspects. We had a remarkable sightings of wild Bison, including very close encounter with a single bull at the outskirts of the forest. Moreover, we saw a large herd of young bulls and cows with calves feeding at the meadow in the north part of the Białowieża Forest. 22 animals in total, and a pretty good chance for seeing them at close. Here is a herd of Bison patiently watching a group of people 😉

Herd of european bison watching our group, photo by Andrzej Petryna

As mentioned, the birdwatching was very successful as well. We observed the late phase of bird migration with the last flocks of Cranes and Starlings, and also numerous Redpolls, Siskins and Mistle Thrushes. We saw birds of prey, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Montagu’s Harrier. Most interesting passerines we saw were Crested, Willow and Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch and Hawfinch. However, the undeniable highlight of our birdwatching was spotting a Pygmy Owl during our pre-breakfast walk. Perched at the trunk of a dead tree next to the road, he looks so tiny.

Pygmy owl in Białowieża Forest, photo by Andrzej Petryna

The visit in the Strict Protection Area of the National Park was limited to the main tracks due to the strong winds, nevertheless, we made the most out of our walk. During only 3 hours we saw a few rare species of woodpeckers including Grey-headed, Middle Spotted and a Black Woodpecker. It was a great reward for any inconveniences!  

Autumn sighting of a Black Woodpecker in Białowieża Forest, photo by Andrzej Petryna

Whatever the weather, autumn always has its charm. We visited Białowieża when the foliage was still in its autumn colors, and the landscapes of Eastern Poland were spectacular. A small sunny spell is enough to create some very picturesque scene.

Autumn aspect of Białowieża Forest, photo by Andrzej Petryna

We finished our short tour with a visit at Warsaw Old Town. As usual, we walked around a little, and had the most tasty lunch at the atmospheric restaurant serving Polish and Jewish dishes, an outstanding cultural touch to our wilderness time.

Please, enjoy a little photo gallery:

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