Issue 2013-2


Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 77–95

Changes in numbers of selected species during the non-breeding period in the central Północnopodlaska Lowland, in 2000–2011

Łukasz Jankowiak, Michał Polakowski, Tomasz Kułakowski, Piotr Świętochowski, Tomasz Tumiel, Monika Broniszewska

Abstract: To investigate changes in numbers of selected bird species during the non-breeding period (November–February), surveys were conducted in the river valleys of the central part of Północnopodlaska Lowland (a total of 107.5 km of routes along Narew, Supraśl and Biała rivers) in 2000–2011. 32 species were surveyed, mainly waterfowl and corvids and increasing trends were found for 13 of them. Significant declines were noted in the Kingfisher Alcedo atthis, while moderate decline was found in the Grey Partridge Perdix perdix, Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus and Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor. The occurrence of some invasive species has been described, especially most irruptive migrant like the Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus and Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea.

Key words: changes in numbers, non-breeding period, river valleys, waterbirds, corvids, invasive species

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 96–108

Spring migration of swans in the Biebrza Basin

Michał Polakowski, Monika Broniszewska

Abstract: The Biebrza Basin is an important stopover and foraging site for waterbirds during spring migration. The aim of this study was to investigate the numbers of 3 species of swans and distribution of their main foraging grounds in this area in 1995–2010. The birds were regularly counted in spring (from the second decade of February to the first decade of May) in 2011 and 2012. In total, 13 significant foraging areas were found, gathering 41–320 swans. Wizna Basin and Lower Basin were the most important areas. The Mute Swan Cygnus olor was the most numerous species. Its spring migration began in February with maximal numbers of individuals recorded in the middle of March; the end of migration was difficult to determine, due to presence of non-breeding individuals. Migration of the Whooper Swan C. cygnus began in the mid-February and lasted until mid-April. Maximum numbers were recorded in the third decade of March. The spring migration of the Bewick’s Swan C. columbianus was shorter and lasted from the early March to the second half of April with the peak number recorded in late March. Flooded meadows represented the most important foraging area for all swans during the spring migration, only Whooper Swans foraged occasionally also in the farmland. The Biebrza Basin is an important stopover site during spring migration for three species of swans in Poland.

Key words: spring migration, Biebrza Basin, swans, stopover site

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 109–150

Rare birds recorded in Poland in 2012

Summary: This report includes 731 accepted records from 2012, as well as 68 earlier ones, concerning 108 species and subspecies. None new species has been recorded, although a Central Asian subspecies of the Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca halimodendri/blythi was recorded for the first time in Poland. Highlights of the year were: the second record of the White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis, Ross’s Gull Rhodostethia rosea and Iberian Chiffchaff Phylloscopus ibericus, the third of the “Black Brant” Branta bernicla nigricans, the fourth of the Blue-winged Teal Anas discors and Baird’s Sandpiper C. bairdii, and the fifth of the Semipalmated Sandpiper C. pusilla and Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus, finally the first since 62 years appearance of the Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax. Noteworthy are also the highest ever numbers of the Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus (57 records), Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (7), Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus (34), Pectoral Sandpiper C. melanotos (18), Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus (17), Iceland Gull L. glaucoides (12), as well as the unprecedented influx of Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla (146 records, 826 individuals in total). The Little Egret Egretta garzetta and Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus bred for the second time in the country, the Common Eider Somateria mollissima for the third time, whereas high numbers of Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta (8 pairs) and Great Grey Owls Strix nebulosa (8 pairs) were recorded as well. 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 2010 inclusive, the second one – number of records slash number of individuals in 2011; “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. The following terms and abbreviations are used: os. = individual/individuals, para/pary = pair/pairs, para lęgowa = breeding pair, para z gniazdem = pair with nest, lęg = brood, lęg mieszany = mixed brood, karmiący = feeding, schwytany = caught, martwy = dead, r.kal. = calendar year, lato = summer, zima = winter.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 151–156

Numbers and breeding results of the Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus in the Augustów Forest in 2011

Dorota Zawadzka, Grzegorz Zawadzki, Grzegorz Myszczyński, Adrian Bagnowski, Krzysztof Bednarski

Summary: The Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus is strongly declining species in Poland, its total number is estimated at 400–450 individuals. Isolated populations inhabit Carpathians, Solska Forest and Janowskie Forest, Augustów Forest and Bory Dolnośląskie Forest. According to surveys in 2011 in Augustów Forest, there were 8 active leks with 19 cocks and at least 20 hens. During the summer of 2011, 8 hens with chicks and 5 hens without broods were observed in Augustów Forest. Production of young was 4.2 per hen with chicks and 1.6 per all hens. The data indicate that the breeding success was 62%. Juvenile sex ratio (males to females) was 1.0:2.1. The values of breeding parameters in Augustów Forest in 2011 seem to be higher than the long-term average (1996–2010) and may result from hot weather in June and only moderate levels of human pressure (mushroom and bilberries collectors).

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 157–158

Mystery bird 71: Common snipe Gallinago gallinago

Jan Lontkowski

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