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Spring Wildlife Watching Festival 2017

Spring Wildlife Watching Festival 2017

Guides: Andrzej Petryna (Andy), Piotr Dębowski (Peter), Tomasz Jezierczuk (Tom), Łukasz Mazurek (Luke), Irek Smerczyński, Joanna Smerczyńska, Bogdan Jaroszewicz (UNESCO site), Tomasz & Kamil (Beaver boat), Tomek (Dawn patrols)

Participants: Susan & Lindsey (IE), Eugenia, Joanna & James (NZ), Kevan, John, Penny (UK), Danielle & Monique (NL), Sailí (IE), Julianne (AU), Carmel (UK), Patricia & Peter (UK), Goetz (DE), John & Bev (UK), Alice & Alison (US), Yan & Chris (UK), Lorna (UK), Maurice (UK), Sam (BE), Kate & Michael (UK) and others

Text by Łukasz Mazurek
Photos by Tomasz Jezierczuk & Łukasz Mazurek

Another year and another Spring Wildlife Watching Festival in Białowieża has passed. Another great success indeed! We have had over 40 particpants from all over the world and even the heavy logging that is currently going on in the Białowieża Forest could not stop us from seeing some fantastic wildlife!

Wildlife: 160 bird species recorded, 19 mammal species seen (incl. Bison, Wolf and Lynx), numerous wildflowers, butterflies, amphibians and reptiles.

Full checklist here › (pdf, 120 kB).

Bison at dawn in the Białowieża Forest

We started off with Bison Safari, dawn and dusk patrols for large mammals, birdwatching in the forest and a visit in the Strict Protection Area of the National Park, a core area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just in the first two days of the festival most participants have already seen their Bison in the wild as well as Badgers, Raccoon Dogs, the rare White-backed Woodpecker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers, Barred and Icterine Warblers and a lot more.

Black woodpecker in the Bialowieza Forest.

We have also organised a few two-days excursions to the Biebrza Marshes. These were also very successful with plenty of Elks, Beavers, birds like Aquatic Warbler, Bluethroat, Black and Red-necked Grebes, White-tailed Eagles, Ruff, White-winged and Whiskered Terns but also amphibians like Fire-bellied Toads and reptiles like Adder seen.

Elk (Moose) in the Biebrza Marshes

Some of the most popular trips were those to the Strict Protection Area of the National Park, the UNESCO site core area, for we had some of the best guides leading them, i.e. Dr Bogdan Jaroszewicz from the Warsaw University.

Ramson (wild garlic) growing in the Białowieża National Park

Finally, we have finished the festival with a series of dawn patrols for Wolf and Lynx in the last days and the effort has paid back – two sightings of Wolf and one of a Lynx were a great reward for those getting up at 2:30 am 🙂

Wolf in the fog at dawn in the Białowieża Forest
Lynx in the Białowieża Forest seen on our last dawn patrol of the Festival. Photo by Łukasz Mazurek

We closed the festival with a farewell campfire dinner in the forest with a traditional Polish cabbage stew (bigos), potato cake (babka ziemniaczana) and sausages cooked over fire (kielbasa).

Please enjoy a few more photographs below.

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