Issue 2012-1


Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 1–22

Changes in abundance of breeding avifauna of the Milicz fish ponds between 1995 and 2010

Józef Witkowski, Beata Orłowska

Abstract: The paper describes changes in abundance of breeding bird species of the biggest in Poland fish breeding ponds (6,500 ha) in the Barycz River Valley over last 15 years. Since previous work has been published in 1995, no significant habitat changes took place in the area. Among all 180 breeding bird species in the Barycz River Valley, changes in numbers of 24 waterbirds were noted. 13 species declined (three species of grebes Podiceps sp., Great Cormorant Phalacrocoarx carbo, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Greylag Goose Anser anser, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus, Little Crake Porzana parva, Coot Fulica atra, Sand Martin Riparia riparia and Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus). Common Crane Grus grus increased strongly, while Ferruginous Duck A. nyroca and Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus are slowly increasing in numbers. Numbers of newly breeding species – Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, Goldeneye Bucephala clangula and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida – are either stable or increasing. Two other recent colonisers – Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans and Mediterranean Gull L. melanocephalus – are still very scarce.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 23–38

Distribution, characteristics and conservation status of geese roosts
in Poland

Łukasz Ławicki, Przemysław Wylegała, Andrzej Wuczyński, Bartosz Smyk, Wiesław Lenkiewicz, Michał Polakowski, Robert Kruszyk, Sławomir Rubacha, Tomasz Janiszewski

Abstract: In total, 106 roosts of geese were recorded in Poland in 2000–2011. Each place gathered minimum 1,000 birds, mainly the Bean Goose Anser fabalis and Greater White-fronted Goose A. albifrons. The majority (83%) of roosts was placed in the western part of the country, mainly in the Wielkopolska (35), Silesia (24) and Pomerania (22). Most of them gathered up to 10,000 geese (56%). These gathering 10,000–30,000 inds were less numerous (37%). There were only eight roosts where the number of the geese regularly exceeded 30,000 birds. The two largest were the Kiszkowo ponds near Poznań (up to 85,000 inds) and Warta Mouth National Park (up to 120,000 inds). The roosts were situated on backwaters and pools in the river valleys (31%), on lakes (26%) and fishponds (22%). Most of the roosts functioned in spring. Those used during autumn migration and in winter were less numerous. The roosts were usually located close to the appropriate resting places and feeding grounds in areas with milder climate conditions. 65% of roosts is protected as a Special Bird Protection Areas Natura 2000. Occurrence of geese qualifies 29 bird areas of international importance in Poland (IBA). The available evidence indicates that new IBAs could be established at nine more reservoirs as qualified by the number of geese roosting. The major threats to geese roosting areas in Poland involve hunting and raising high objects, such as power lines and wind farms in the areas adjacent to roosts. Minimization of such threats should be included into the conservation plans for Natura 2000 areas that are crucial to geese.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 39–49

The avifauna of the Lower Noteć River Valley – current state and changes
in numbers

Przemysław Wylegała, Andrzej Batycki, Adam Kasprzak

Abstract: In 2011, selected bird species were censused in the Lower Noteć River Valley between Drezdenko and Santok (an Important Bird Area within the Natura 2000 network). The Lower Noteć River Valley constitutes an important refugee for several waterbird species at a national scale: Greylag Goose Anser anser (81–90 pairs), Garganey Anas querquedula (40–45), Spotted Crake Porzana porzana (83–90), Corncrake Crex crex (111–120), Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (80–90), Common Crane Grus grus (52–55), Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago (260–270) and Bluethroat Luscinia svecica (98–110). The valley’s importance for migrants and wintering birds (e.g. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus – 1,250 inds, Northern Pintail A. acuta – 1,500, Eurasian Wigeon A. penelope – 2,500, Eurasian Teal A. crecca – 1,300, Garganey – 300, Northern Shoveler A. clypeata – 600, Bean Goose A. fabalis and Greater White-fronted Goose A. albifrons – up to 9,500) is also remarkable. Among 46 wetland bird species, 18 increased, 19 declined, while remaining 9 were stable in numbers compared to 1981–1982. Observed trends are mostly caused by the environmental changes like disappearance of oxbows, overgrowing of a floodplain terrace by willows, the abandonment of farming intensity and locally appearing secondary wetlands. The biggest decline was found in birds inhabiting periodically flooded meadows (Anseriformes and Charadriiformes) and in species requiring open water surface (grebes, Aythya ducks, Eurasian Coot Fulica atra and Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus). Increases were mostly noted in species which increase in numbers in the whole Poland. Strong increases of Corncrake, Spotted Crake and Bluethroat noted are probably not mirroring their national trends.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 50–57

Changes in number of breeding wetland birds in the Gopło Lake area in 1988–2011

Przemysław Wylegała, Bartosz Krąkowski, Andrzej Batycki, Daniel Cierplikowski

Abstract: In 2011, an inventory of breeding wetland birds in the Gopło Lake area was performed. The results were compared to data from 1988–1995. Of the 36 analyzed species of wetland birds, decrease in number, increase in number and no significant directional changes were recorded in 21, 8 and 7 species, respectively. Four species (Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Black Tern Chlidonias niger and Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus) ceased to breed, two species (Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Corncrake Crex crex) started to breed between 1988–1995 and 2011. The strongest decline was noted among all species of grebes, most species of ducks, in the Coot Fulica atra and Charadriiformes species. The increase was mainly observed in species that had increased in number in the whole Poland (Greylag Goose Anser anser, Bittern Botaurus stellaris, Crane Grus grus, Corncrake). Changes in number of birds were related both to population trends observed at the Polish and European scale, as well as local changes in the Gopło Lake environment. The most important environmental factors include increased tourism pressure, intensive building development and abandonment of meadows cultivation at the lakes edges, loss of underwater vegetation, increased water pollution in the Gopło Lake and probably also mammalian predator population growth (especially American Mink Neovison vison).

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 57–59

Overnight roosting of the Great Tit Parus major in snow

Katarzyna Jarska, Dariusz Wysocki

Abstract: Between 12 and 26 February 2010, in Bartoszewo (10 km north of Szczecin, NW Poland) regular overnight roosting in snow was observed in the Great Tit Parus major. Two entrance holes were found, placed ca 3 m apart from each other, placed over the drainpipe – the layer of snow in the drainpipe was about 25 cm thick. First roost was noticed (possibly birds roosted there also before) when the temperature was about –10°C. Later, birds spent nights there when the temperature was higher, –1°C. Birds arrived at the roosting place 30–60 min. before darkness. In the case of slips of snow or heavy snowfall causing burial of the shelter or just hiding the entrance hole, tits rebuilt it three times in the same places. During the rebuilding the birds entered and exited the openings several times, but they never were observed carrying out clumps of ice or snow in their bills. When the roost was occupied other birds were chased away if they attempted to enter it (one such observation). Roosting in the snow is a norm in galliforms which live at high latitudes; it has been, however, rarely described in passerines.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 59–61

First record of the Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
in Poland

Jacek Betleja

Abstract: In 29 October 2009, a juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher was observed and photographed at Przeręb fish ponds near Zator in Małopolska region. The bird was observed by many observers until 1 November. Description of the bird is given and occurrence of the species in 2009 in Europe is discussed. This observation was the first documented record for Poland, accepted by the Polish Avifaunistic Commission.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 61–63

Second record of the Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
in Poland

Paweł Szymański

Abstract: On 29 September 2011 a juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher was seen and photographed at Objezierze fish ponds in Wielkopolska region. However, it was recorded by many observers at the same location until 17 October. Detailed description of the bird is given and occurrence of the species in Europe is discussed. This observation was the second fully documented record for Poland, accepted by the Polish Avifaunistic Commission.

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 64–65

Mystery bird 66: Bonaparte’s Gull Chroicocephalus philadephia

Jan Lontkowski

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Ornis Polonica 2012, 53: 66–67

Review: Viksne J., Svazas S., Czajkowski A., Janaus M., Mischenko A., Kozulin A., Kuresoo A., Serebryakov V. 2010. Atlas of Duck Populations in Eastern Europe. Akstis, Vilnius.

Łukasz Ławicki

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