Issue 2015-1

Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 1–24

Numbers and distribution of Common Cranes Grus grus at autumn roosting sites in Poland in 2009–2013

Arkadiusz Sikora, Łukasz Ławicki, Przemysław Wylegała, Wiesław Lenkiewicz

Abstract: To estimate numbers and distribution of Common Cranes Grus grus during autumn migration in Poland, counts of the species at 88–103 roosting sites were performed in 2009–2013. In 2009 two counts were carried out, and in subsequent years – three counts each season. A total maximum number of Cranes at all roosting sites was 93.000–120.000, and the numbers increased by about 7% a year. All roosting sites were located at lowlands, and the peak numbers were recorded in the northern and western Poland. In 2012–2013 46 and 53% of birds were found in the northen lake districts, 28 and 23% on lowlands in central Poland, and at the coast – 22 and 26%. At 6 sites flocks of more than 5.000 birds were recorded: the Warta Mouth National Park, the Lower Odra Valley, the Barycz Valley, Słowiński National Park, Nietlickie Marshland and the Middle Noteć Valley. Common Cranes roosted most often in river valleys – 47% individuals, at fish-ponds – 13%, lakes – 12%, peat bogs and calcareous marshes – 7% and flooded areas – 6%, while they used other habitats (fields, an open pit, sewage farms and sandbars in the river-mouth near a sea bay) much less frequently. In 2012–2013 in northern Poland (above 53°40′ N) maximum numbers were recorded only in September, while to the south of this line the largest flocks were generally observed in October. In 2009–2013 the share of young birds ranged 8–12%. The families had on average 1.30 young. In flocks consisting of up to 10 birds, the proportion of immature undividuals at foraging and roosting sites was 28%, and gradually declined with the increase of flock size, reaching 10% in groups of more than 100 birds. Among 123 sites visited in 2009–2013 and hosting at least 100 birds, as many as 74 (66%) are under some form of protection. About 20% of the global Crane population migrates across Poland, as well as about 25% of European population and about 30% of birds passing through central Europe using western and Baltic-Hungarian route.

Key words: Common Crane, Grus grus, roosting site, autumn monitoring, Poland

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 25–31

Nesting of the Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus in oak-lime-hornbeam stands in the Odra river valley, Opole Province (SW Poland)

Grzegorz Hebda

Abstract: The paper presents the densities, subspecies composition of breeding pairs and nest site characteristic of the Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus breeding in oak-lime-hornbeam stands in the Odra river valley, Opole Province (SW Poland). In 2003 on two study plots (165 and 192 ha) densities were 0.9–1.0 pair/10 ha and 0.4–0.6 pair/10 ha, respectively. In 22% of 45 breeding pairs one mate belonged to A. c. europaeus subspecies or at least one parental bird showed mixed subspecies plumage; in the remaining pairs both mates represented nominate subspecies A. c. caudatus. In 2001 and 2003–2005, 44 nests were found, including 75% nests on oaks, 11% in climbers. 45% in forks of branches or a trunk, and 30% of nests were abutting a trunk. On average, nests were located 9.7 m above the ground (range 0.5–22 m), and the height of nest location was positively correlated with the height of plant with a nest. High plasticity of nest placement might represent an anti-predation strategy against predators visually locating their prey.

Key words: Long-tailed Tit, Aegithalos caudatus, breeding density, nest sites, predation, Odra river valley

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 32–43

Wintering of the Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in the Vistula Valley near Gniew

Arkadiusz Sikora

Abstract: In winter 2013/2014 in the Vistula Valley near Gniew in Pomerania a total of 280 Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata were present. During the same period in the whole country a total of about 510 individuals were recorded, which probably was related to an extremely warm December of 2013. Birds spent the day in the fields and green areas, and nights at sandbanks and shallows in the river valley. Numbers recorded near Gniew during the day and flight to the roosting sites were significantly different. On days without snow cover and temperatures above zero foraging birds constituted 77%, resting ones 16%, and the remaining 7% were busy with other activities (bathing, vigilance). When temperatures dropped below zero the majority of birds rested in the morning and foraged in the afternoon. Most birds foraged in meadows and pastures (55%), winter crops (26%) and rape fields (17%), as well as cut corn and ploughed fields. During warmer periods 47% of Curlews were found feeding in green areas, while after cooling 94% of birds were observed foraging in meadows and pastures. Some wintering birds had features typical of orientalis subspecies, 43% of individuals (N=30) had pure white axillaries, and 40% with single dark spots. Additionally 87% individuals had dark primaries (1 – 5), without any pattern but with notches, as in arquata subspecies. However, lack of signs of moult of primaries from mid November till end of December excludes the possibility that the birds represented subspecies orientalis.

Key words: Eurasian Curlew, Numenius arquata, wintering, daily activity, habitat, subspecies

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 44–47

A pair of European Scops Owl Otus scops recorded in the Narew river valley (NE Poland)

Kamil Kryński, Agata Urbanek, Przemysław Obłoza, Sławomir Rubacha, Wojciech Okliński

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 47–51

A slug Arion sp. as a probable cause of death of the Whitethroat Sylvia communis nestlings

Katarzyna Turzańska, Justyna Chachulska

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 51–56

Nesting of the Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica in covered parking of shopping malls

Adam Zbyryt

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 56–59

Habitat selection of foraging Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus during autumn migration in central-eastern Poland

Emilia Mróz, Artur Goławski

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 60–63

Numbers of waterbirds on the Bay of Gdańsk between September 2013 and April 2014

Włodzimierz Meissner, Mateusz Ściborski, Andrzej Kośmicki, Cezary Wójcik

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Ornis Polonica 2015, 56: 64–65

Mystery bird 78

Jan Lontkowski

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