Issue 2013-3


Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 159–169

Cuckoo’s Cuculus canorus hosts and timing of breeding in Poland: analysis of ringing and nest records’ data

Tomasz Wesołowski, Tomasz Mokwa

Abstract: Data from 181 ringing records (1932–2009) and from 140 nest records (1970–2009) were analysed. The Cuckoo nestlings were ringed in nests of 17 species, most frequently in nests of Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus and Great Reed Warblers A. arundinaceus (almost 55% of ringed young in total). Among regularly ringed species the most frequently parasitized ones were Reed Warbler (3.2%), White Wagtail Motacilla alba (2.0%) and Great Reed Warbler (1.4% of ringed broods). On the other hand no ringed young Cuckoos were reported from other hosts such as Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Whinchat Saxicola rubetra, Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita, Wood Warbler Ph. sibilatrix, Garden Warbler Sylvia borin, Lesser Whitethroat S. curruca, or Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina, despite intensive ringing of young in their broods was performed. Nest recording scheme data revealed a set of hosts largely consistent with the one indicated by the ringing data. Parasitized broods were most frequently found in nests of Reed Warbler (c. 15%), the other frequent Cuckoo hosts were Marsh Warbler A. palustris, Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio and White Wagtail. Altogether, Cuckoos were found in 26 hosts in Poland. Cuckoos commenced egg-laying in the first days of May and continued till the beginning of August. The laying period spanned over three months, but 50% of eggs were laid in just the first three weeks of June, June 10 on average. Distribution of egg-laying dates varied slightly across consecutive time periods, but no long term trend in the timing of breeding was detectable.

Key words: Cuculus canorus, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Lanius collurio, nest success, host of breeding parasite

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 170–186

Valuable and scarce breeding birds of the Special Protection Area Knyszyn Forest

Tomasz Tumiel, Paweł Białomyzy, Grzegorz Grygoruk, Michał Korniluk, Piotr Świętochowski, Marcin Wereszczuk, Michał Skierczyński

Abstract: Selected bird species were investigated in the SPA Knyszyn Forest (1395,9 km2, north-eastern Poland) in 2011. Population sizes were estimated with the use of survey sampling, based on 34 representative study plots 2×2 km (24 forest and 10 open landscape plots).  Four daytime and two night surveys were carried out on each of forest plots, while two daytime and one night surveys were performed on open landscape plots. Apart from sampling, several species were censused. Knyszyn Forest supports important (>5%) percentages of national populations of the Hazel Grouse Tetrastes bonasia (2100–2500 p), Great Snipe Gallinago media (25–37 males), Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola (1–2 p), Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum (110–150 p), Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus (100–140 p), European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus (450–650 p), Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus (49–54 p), White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos (25–27 p), Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola (4–5 p) and Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides (18 males). Additionally, at least 1% of national population of Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus (3–4 p), European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (60–80 p), Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus (13–15 p), Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina (55–60 p), Corncrake Crex crex (860–950 samców), Common Crane Grus grus (120–140 p), Grey-headed Picus canus (25–40 p), Middle Spotted D. medius (150–200 p) and Black Dryocopus martius (550–600 p) woodpeckers, Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva (800–1300 p), Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix (13 males), Common Snipe G. gallinago (380–450 p), Green Sandpiper T. ochropus (240–280 p), Stock Dove Columba oenas (300–400 p) and Redwing Turdus iliacus (5–10 p) breeds here. 156 breeding and probable breeding species have been recorded in SPA Knyszyn Forest in total, fourteen of which are red-listed in Poland.

Key words: Knyszyńska Forest, Special Protection Area, inventory, breeding birds, sampling area

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 187–195

Breeding bird community of the Błędów Desert in the succession gradient

Damian Kurlej, Michał Ciach

Abstract: The Błędów Desert (12 km2, southern Poland) is one of the biggest active deflation areas in Europe. Plant succession causes substantial changes in the breeding avifauna over the last decades. In this paper, species composition and numbers were assessed in the Błędów Desert, in habitats variable in respect to succession stages. Fieldwork was performed in 2012, with the territory mapping technique on three study plots, representing subsequent succession stages. In the open desert, 11 breeding species were recorded, in the desert overgrowing by bushy vegetation – 14, and in the pine forest – 12. The densities of breeding pairs were similar on all three study plots (11.3–12.7 pairs/10 ha). Densities of the Woodlark Lullula arborea, Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris and Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus are high at a national scale. Compared to the 1990s, the number of open-habitat species and their densities have declined. The plant succession is thought to be the main factor responsible for the long-term changes in breeding bird community of the desert.

Key words: breeding bird community, plant succession, arid environments.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 196–204

Increased detection of the Jay Garrulus glandarius by sound stimulation

Tomasz Wilżak

The aim of this study was to determine the usefulness of sound stimulation in assessing the number of breeding and wintering Jays Garrulus glandarius in forests. In the pine forests of the Sandomierska Forest single counts of Jays using sound stimulation (tape-recorded jay calls replayed every 270 m), were conducted in April and May 2006 along 5 routes with a total length of 39.0 km and one count in January 2007 along the 6.5 km long transect. On each route were recorded spontaneously occurring Jays (Psp) and the reaction of this species to sound-stimulated presence of another individual. In the breeding season, based on the spontaneous occurrences and provoked, Jays were recorded total of 48 places. Results were of spontaneous occurrences (5 cases), provoked (31), or both correspond to the two types (12). The use of sound stimulation in the spring significantly increased the detection of Jays. On the basis of spontaneous occurrences birds were found in 35% of the sites, whereas after sound stimulation in 90%. Comparing data from different transects was found that the difference between the detectability Jays with and without stimulation (Ppr/N*100 minus the Psp/ N*100) increased with advancing the breeding season – from 12% in the first half of April to 81% in the second half of May. The use of sound stimulation has proved necessary to determine the number of Jays in winter – when counting in January without stimulation found no individuals. In the study was proposed a method of calculating the Jays based on their mapping on sample plots, which an essential element is the use of sound stimulation. The proposed minimal area of the study plot should be 200 ha and is advised to perform there at least three counts with the use of sound stimulation from the beginning of April to the end of the first half of May. Call replaying points should be located approximately every 250 m.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 205–208

High density of the Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria in the Biebrza Basin in 2012 and 2013

Michał Polakowski

A high density of the Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria (3.3 pairs/km; 8.22 pairs/ km2; 9% of dominance in the whole breeding birds community of the same habitat) was recorded in its optimal habitat in the Biebrza Basin (NE Poland) in 2012–2013. Our results confirm the role of Biebrza Basin as a major breeding ground of this species in Poland. Similarly as in case of other rare breeding birds in the Biebrza Basin, large-scale studies are required to verify this statement.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 208–212

High numbers of the Spotted Crake Porzana porzana at the Rozwarowo Marshes IBA in 2011 – a comment to survey methodology

Dominik Marchowski

In April-July 2011, seven night surveys dedicated for the detection of the Spotted Crake were performed at the Rozwarowo Marshes IBA (NW Poland). Along with two surveys in May as suggested by the common methodology in Poland, five more were undertaken (Table 1). The highest counts (12 and 41 males recorded, 20 and 70 estimated, respectively) were noted during surveys in mid April and early July. While the record count in July can be explained by unusual water conditions in 2011, the high counts in April may suggest that in western Poland – as in Germany – the optimal survey dates fall earlier than in the rest of Poland owing to climatic differences and earlier arrival of the Spotted Crake. In general, it is also worth to consider undertaking the early July survey which can be highly effective – Spotted Crakes seem to increase calling activity which can be related to the second brood.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 212–217

Occurrence of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco in Warsaw in 2005–2010

Jakub Gryz,  Dagny Krauze-Gryz

Inventory of the Tawny Owl Strix aluco was carried out in 2005–2010 in the whole area of Warsaw with the use of standard methods. Its aim was to assess abundance and density of the species in question. In total, 75–85 breeding pairs were recorded with density of 1.4 to 1.6 pairs/10 km2. In comparison to results of earlier studies abundance of the Tawny Owl in Warsaw seems to be stable or to slightly decrease (especially in the city center). Decrease in the number of its prey (the House Sparrow Passer domesticus) and increasing urbanization affect size of the studied population negatively.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 217–219

Second record of the Ross’s Gull Rhodostethia rosea in Poland

Piotr Nagórski, Magdalena Hadwiczak

On 14.04.2012, an adult Ross’s Gull was observed and photographed in Sobieszewo, on the coast of the Bay of Gdańsk, Baltic Sea. The bird was observed the last time in 18 April. It was the second record in Poland. The description of the bird is given and occurrence in Europe is discussed. The record was accepted by the Avifaunistic Commission.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 219–221

Record of the Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax in the Lublin province

Marcin Przepiórka

On 8–9.09.2012 , two Little Bustards were observed and photographed on arable fields at Machnówek, Lublin province. It constitutes the first record of this species in Poland since 1950.

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Ornis Polonica 2013, 54: 222–223

Mystery bird 72: Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos

Jan Lontkowski

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