Issue 2011-2


Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 75–84

Number and distribution of the Grey Heron Ardea cinerea colonies
in the Wielkopolska Province in 2006–2010

Przemysław Wylegała, Andrzej Batycki, Tadeusz Mizera

Abstract: The study describes the number and distribution of the Grey Heron in the Wielkopolska Province, gives basic data about the habitat and colony characteristics and compares current results with the previous ones. Most of the data were collected during the 2010 regional census of heronries, but it also uses data from 2006–2009. A total of 34 colonies with 1629–1650 pairs of Grey Heron were found in 2010. The average density of the species in the Wielkopolska Province was 0.9 colony and 42 nests/1000 km². Over the last decades, Grey Heron population can be considered to be stable. The average colony consisted of 48 pairs (SD=43.8, median 37). Four colonies were mixed-species with the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. The Grey Heron nested on 25–165 year-old trees. Most colonies (79.4%) were localized on trees younger than 80 years. The Grey Herons built their nests on 10 tree species, mostly on pines (76.8%), willows (6.5%) and oaks (5.9%). On average, heronries were located at a distance of 295 m (range 45–950 m) from human settlements, and 710 m (range 0–2200 m) from foraging grounds. Most colonies were located up to 500 m from the buildings (81,6%). Of 10 colonies which changed their locations in recent years, 9 moved closer to human settlements, which resulted in shrinking of the average distance from the buildings from 1060 m to 260 m. The 11 out of 40 known colonies in 2006–2010 were located in large forests (6.5–75 km²), 2 colonies – on islands at the lakes, and the remaining 25 within small woods (0.1–200 ha).

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 85–96

Numerous nesting of the White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
in Poland in 2010

Łukasz Ławicki, Sławomir Niedźwiecki, Wojciech Sawicki, Piotr Świętochowski, Artur Goławski, Zbigniew Kasprzykowski, Marcin Urban, Przemysław Wylegała, Paweł Czechowski, Marta Prange, Tomasz Janiszewski, Sebastian Menderski, Wiesław Lenkiewicz, Michał Jantarski

Abstract: During the country-wide census, 167 White-winged Tern colonies were found in 2010 in Poland, totalling for 11 900–12 200 pairs (about 8% of European population). Main nesting grounds were located in eastern Poland: North Podlasie (8 055–8 155 pairs in 82 colonies), Lubelskie Region (1 503–1 718 pairs in 23 colonies) and Mazowsze Region together with South Podlasie (1 281–1 283 pairs in 28 colonies). Biggest numbers were found in the river valleys: Narew (4 135–4 235 pairs in 33 colonies), Biebrza (4 080 pairs in 51 colonies) and Bug (1 770–1 940 pairs in 31 colonies), which together gathered 83% of the 2010 Polish population. 956–1 021 pairs in 32 colonies nested in western Poland, mainly in the valleys of  Warta (437–452 pairs), Bzura (165 pairs) and Noteć (95–105 pairs). 92% of colonies were in the river valleys, while remaining breeding sites were the lakes, dam reservoirs and peatland. The biggest colonies in the valleys of eastern Poland gathered 300–700 pairs. Average number per single the location was 73 pairs. Small (11–50 pairs) and medium (51–100 pairs) colonies predominated (together 71%), while large (>100 pairs, 15%) and very small (1–10 pairs, 14%) colonies were both rare. About a half of White-winged Tern colonies were single-species (53%), but almost equally numerous (47%) were multispecies colonies, where White-winged Tern bred with Black Tern Ch. niger, Whiskered Tern Ch. hybrida, Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus and Common Tern Sterna hirundo. Exceptionally high number of the of White-winged Tern in 2010 was probably caused by (1) intensive spring migration coupled with (2) common ocurrence of favourable nesting biotopes in the valleys of big rivers due to spring overflows and floods, resulting in a high water line across the breeding season.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 97–106

Wintering of the Jackdaw Corvus monedula subspecies in selected Polish towns and cities

Paweł Mirski, Michał Polakowski, Michał Budka, Tomasz Królak, Marek Latkowski, Jerzy Michalczuk, Piotr Nagórski, Stanisław Rusiecki

Abstract: The paper describes the Jackdaw subspecies composition wintering in several towns of different parts of Poland. During two subsequent winters (2007/2008 and 2008/2009) all three European Jackdaw subspecies were noted in Poland. Subspecies monedula was the dominant one, reaching up to 100% of Jackdaws in some cities. The second most frequent (up to 20%) was the north-eastern soemmerringii, which was the most numerous in northern and central part of Poland. Birds identified as spermologus were the rarest and found predominantly in south-western Poland. The paper presents also the main identification features of Jackdaw subspecies.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 107–116

Decline of the Rook Corvus frugilegus breeding population in the Leszno Province

Marcin Tobółka, Paweł Szymański, Stanisław Kuźniak, Sławomir Maćkowiak, Szymon Kaczmarek, Janusz Maliczak, Waldemar Michalak, Janusz Ratajczak, Paweł Sieracki, Janusz Stępniewski

Abstract: The study describes numbers and distribution of Rook colonies in agricultural landscape of the Leszno Province (western Poland). The research was conducted in 2010 within the area of 4 154 km². A total of 35 colonies were found, including 1706 nests (density of 41 pairs/100 km²). In comparison to the previous census from 2002, the number of colonies declined by nearly 40%, while the number of nests declined by approximately 35%. All rookeries were located within human settlements: 24 (69%) colonies were found in the cities or big towns, 5 (14%) in small towns and 6 (17%) in villages. The average colony in 2010 consisted of 48.7 (SD=65.4) nests, and was slightly bigger than in 2002 (45.7; SD=85.5 pairs). These results provide further evidence for the continuing breeding population decline of the Rook over the period 1986–2010 in the study area.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 117–149

Rare birds recorded in Poland in 2010

Komisja Faunistyczna

Summary: This report includes 410 accepted records from 2010, as well as 40 earlier ones, concerning 95 species and subspecies. Two new species have been recorded for the first time in Poland: the Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis and Ross’s Goose Anser rossii; the Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa was a new breeding bird for the country. Highlights of the year were: the second record of the Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus, the third of the Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, the fourth of the Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus and the fifth of the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus and Radde’s Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi. Noteworthy are also high numbers of: the Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis (32), Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus (24), Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (9), Dotterel Charadrius morinellus (19), Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos (7), Purple Sandpiper C. maritima (9), Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius (8), Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum (13) and a large influx of the Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus.
Records of each species are first presented regionally in alphabetic order of the provinces, afterwards chronologically; they contain: date, number of individuals, sex and age (if known), documentation if present (photo, phono, video, specimen, etc.), location, district, and in brackets names up to three observers, further brief comments and references in some cases. The number codes following the species name mean: the first one – number of records slash number of individuals till 2009 inclusive, the second one – number of records slash number of individuals in 2010; “ca” means approximate number of records or individuals, “n” instead of a number – unknown number of those. The report includes an appendix (Aneks) containing records not accepted, and a list of revisions, i.e. reconsidered records.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 150–154

Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa – a new breeding species in Poland

Marek Keller, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Bartłomiej Woźniak

Summary: In the breeding season 2010, two breeding pairs of Great Grey Owl were found in the Sobibór Forest, eastern Poland. They occupied old nests of raptors (Goshawk and Buzzard), built on pines in 60-70 years old damp forests. Breeding attempts of both pairs were successful, they raised one and two young, respectively. Because population of Great Grey Owls in southern Belarus and northern Ukraine tends to both increase in numbers and expand its range, authors suggest that these two broods could represent the first signs of permanent colonization of Lublin Polesie by this owl species.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 154–157

The first and second record of the Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
in Poland

Zbigniew Kajzer

Summary: The first bird was seen on 22 March 2010 in Odra River valley at Cedynia. The second one was spotted on 20th April 2010 at Police near Szczecin. Both birds were males in breeding plumage, and their photos were taken. Details of observations as well as description of birds are given. Both records were accepted  by the Avifaunistic Commission.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 157–158

The third record of the Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis in Poland

Tomasz Maszkało, Małgorzata Pietkiewicz

Summary: A drake Green-winged Teal in breeding plumage was first seen on 30 March 2011 at Brzezia Łąka near Wrocław. Later was recorded by many observers until 16 April. Details of observation as well as description of bird are given. This record was accepted  by the Avifaunistic Commission.

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Ornis Polonica 2011, 52: 159–160

Mystery bird 63: Common Tern Sterna hirundo

Jan Lontkowski

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