Issue 2010-3


Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 171–181

A total of 1570 of nest record cards from Polish Nest Record Scheme, collected in 1970–2008 in Poland, were analysed

Paweł Czechowski

Abstract: Most data (about 50%) came from south-western Poland. The majority of nests were built inside outbuildings (81.1%). Other were placed on building entrances (5.3%) and facades (1.7%), and under bridges (2.2%). Most nests were located at supporting beams (33.2%) and on walls (22.8%). They were frequently supported by various objects, e.g. lamps, electricity cables, small boards. The nests were built at the mean height of 2.6 m (SD=0.9; range 1.2–15 m). Two peaks of laying were distinguished: in late May (first brood) and early July (second broods). Mean laying dates advanced throughout the study period. Clutch size ranged 1–8 (mean 4.6 eggs, median 5 eggs) and decreased over breeding season. Breeding success was 85.3%. Nests containing eggs failed more often than nests with the young. Most common reasons for nesting failures were: nest desertion (23.6%), disappearance of eggs or nestlings (21.8%), nest destruction (17.3%), and death of nestlings (20.9%). Unhatched eggs were main reason responsible for partial nest losses.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 182–194

Wintering of the Water Rail Rallus aquaticus, Snipe Gallinago gallinago and Woodcock Scolopax rusticola in northern Poland with comments
on their detection method in winter

Arkadiusz Sikora

Abstract: Wintering of Water Rail, Snipe and Woodcock was studied during 12 winters (1998–2010) in Gdańsk Pomerania and western part of Warmia and Masuria (northern Poland). All three species wintered regularly in the area, but they were a few times more numerous in Gdańsk Pomerania than in Warmia and Masuria. In total, 52 wintering Water Rails, 173 Snipes and 88 Woodcocks were recorded. The most frequently 1–2 individuals were seen, and only Snipe occurred in groups of 4–7 ind. Water Rail and Snipe were the most numerous along midfield ditches. Woodcocks initially had been recorded in similar habitats, but during the last season most birds were found in woodland areas with groundwater outflows. 37% of Water Rails and as many as 90% of Snipes were detected visually. The proportion of Woodcocks found visually amounted to 43% in 1998–2009, and 60% during the last winter. Some Water Rails and Woodcocks were recorded using footprints and traces of probing left by birds on the ground. The results suggest that Woodcock numbers wintering in northern Poland are much higher than it has been assumed so far. The present-day knowledge is incomplete mostly due to the species secretive habits and preference for habitats rarely visited by bird observers. The author’s experience indicates that wintering Woodcocks are best searched for in the areas of woodland groundwater outflows during daytime in January and February. Chances for finding birds are higher in periods following cold weather and fresh snowfall, which reduce the number of suitable wintering places and forces birds to concentrate in unfrozen groundwater outflows.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 195–203

Seasonal and long-term changes in numbers of the Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Caspian Gull L. cachinnans and Yellow-legged Gull
L. michahellis in the Upper Vistula River Valley

Damian Wiehle, Grzegorz Neubauer

Abstract: The paper presents results of year-round surveys of three species of non-breeding large gulls in the Vistula River Valley, Małopolska region (S Poland). 522 field surveys were conducted between 2001 and 2008 resulting in 26 110 large gulls recorded in total. The mean number of large gulls per survey increased significantly during 8 years of the study, which was caused mainly by the increase in size of winter concentrations. The wintering population of large gulls in Małopolska is estimated at 2 000–4 000 individuals in recent years. Throughout the year the dominant species was Caspian Gull, which constituted 90–99% of all gulls. Herring and Yellow-legged Gulls were much less numerous, with the former occurring mainly during winter (up to 12 ind. at one site), while the highest numbers of the latter were found in summer–autumn (up to 41 ind.), a patterns similar to that recorded in central Poland. The Caspian Gull dominance over the remaining species is much more distinct in Malopolska compared to central Poland.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 204–219

Numbers and distribution of geese in Lower Silesia during migration
and wintering in 2009/2010

Andrzej Wuczyński, Bartosz Smyk

Abstract: Last records of geese populations migrating and wintering in Lower Silesia come from the 1990s. In November, January and March 2009–2010 morning censuses were conducted during periods of peak abundance of geese in Lower Silesia. These peaks corresponded with the time of their autumn migration, wintering, and spring migration, respectively. A total of 72 000–75 000 individuals was recorded in November, 7 000–8 000 in January, and 120 000–130 000 in March (excluding Anser anser). Extremely high geese numbers in March and low in January resulted probably from non-typical weather conditions. A total of 8 geese species from the genera Anser and Branta was recorded. During each census the most abundant were the Bean Goose A. fabalis and White-fronted Goose A. albifrons. The share of the latter species in mixed flocks varied throughout the year, and constituted 9.3% in November, 0.3% in January and 13.9% in March. The key role of the three formerly known sites of geese concentration (the Otmuchowski Reservoir, the Mietkowski Reservoir, the Barycz Valley) was confirmed. This study indicates that Lower Silesia is now one of the most important stopover sites for geese in central Europe.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 220–225

Changes in the abundance of chosen breeding species on the fishponds
of Siedlce in 1997–2009

Artur Goławski

Summary: Between 1997 and 2009 the numbers of selected species of water birds were being monitored on the fishponds in Siedlce (E Poland). Each year, during the birds’ breeding season, the open water surface and the area overgrown by vegetation were also estimated. During 13 years of study, a clear increase in numbers was noted for Greylag Goose Anser anser, Mute Swan Cygnus olor and Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, while opposite trends were showed by Garganey Anas querquedula, Pochard Aythya ferina and Tufted Duck A. fuligula. These changes, however, were not correlated with the changes in area of habitats within the ponds. On the other hand, the numbers of Lapwing Vanellus vanellus and Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius were significantly correlated with the area of open, muddy of ponds. Despite the study spanned for a relatively long period, it did not enable to detect any relationship between the numbers of birds and the habitat structure, which had been indicated in other papers based on similar methodology. Therefore, either other local factors, e.g. predation, can be responsible for observed changes in abundance of monitored species, or these fluctuations might result from the situation of the species over larger areas.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 225–229

The second and third record of the Black Scoter Melanitta americana
in Poland. In 2008–2009 Black Scoter was recorded twice on the Polish Baltic coast

Zbigniew Kajzer, Michał Skakuj

Summary: The first bird was spotted on 11 October 2008 near Jastrzębia Góra (the eastern part of Polish Baltic coast). The second individual stayed between 19 October and 13 December near Międzywodzie and Świętouście (the western part of the coast). Both birds were males, and their photos were taken. These observations were accepted by the Avifaunistic Commission as second and third records of the species in Poland. The first observation was made on 8 February 1995 in Władysławowo, located only a few km away from the second record. Apart from details of both observations, distribution and record phenology of the species in Europe are presented.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 230–234

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos and Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus in the Beskid Średni Mountains
(SE Poland)

Marcin Matysek, Łukasz Kajtoch

Summary: Distribution and habitat preferences of two rare European species: White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers were investigated in central and eastern part of the Beskid Średni Mountains (western Carpathians, southern Poland) in 2009–2010. The studied forest area was about 135 km². There were 7–8 breeding territories of White-backed Woodpecker and five of Three-toed Woodpecker (with the densities of 0.5–0.6 and 0.4 territories/10 km² of forest area, respectively). White-backed Woodpecker inhabits 80-year or older beech forests (four territories) and multispecies deciduous forests on valley slopes (four territories). Three-toed Woodpecker occupied managed spruce forests, partially decayed as a result of Bark-beetle outbreak (four territories) and older than 60-year fir-spruce forests (one territory). Both species were detected mostly above 650 m a.s.l. on steep slopes where forest exploitation is limited, and in nature reserve (where many old trees and relatively high amount of dead wood still exist). In the whole Beskid Średni range, the total number of breeding territories of White-backed Woodpecker and Three-toed Woodpecker can be estimated at 10–15 for both of them. This data supports earlier findings that White-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers are relatively common in mountain managed forests of the Carpathians.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 234–236

Records of hybrid Grey Heron Ardea cinerea and Great White Egret
Egretta alba in the Warta Mouth National Park

Zbigniew Kajzer, Sławomir Rubacha

Summary: A hybrid between the Grey Heron and Great White Egret was recorded at the Warta Mouth National Park on three occassions: 3.06.2007, 26.04.2008 and 23.04.2009. Presumably, all these records concerned the same individual. Hybridisation between these two species is extremely rare and there are only three such cases known from the Netherlands, Latvia and Italy.

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 237–238

Mystery bird 60: Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus

Jan Lontkowski

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Ornis Polonica 2010, 51: 239–240

Chylarecki P., Sikora A., Cenian Z. (red.). 2009. Monitoring ptaków lęgowych. Poradnik metodyczny dotyczący gatunków chronionych Dyrektywą Ptasią. GIOŚ, Warszawa

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