Issue 2017-2

Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 61–72

Breeding wetland birds in the agriculture landscape of the Mazovian Lowland (Central Poland)

Andrzej Węgrzynowicz

Abstract: The survey of breeding Non-Passeriformes associated with wetlands (water reservoirs, watercourses, marshes, midfield overflow areas etc.) was conducted in 2014 and 2016 at the study plot (320 km2) situated in the northern part of the Mazovian Lowland (Central Poland), in a typical agricultural landscape. In total, 19 species were recorded. The dominant species were the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (density of up to 116 pairs/100 km2), Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (up to 27–29 pairs/100 km2), Coot Fulica atra (25–28 pairs/100 km2) and Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (18–20 pairs/100 km2). In the “wet“ season of 2014, the coverage of these species was relatively high (particularly of Moorhen and Coot – 54% and 43%, respectively); they often reached high habitat densities (up to 1.5–1.7 pair/ha for Moorhen and Water Rail and 4.7 for Coot). The level of groundwater has been recognized as a key factor affecting the number of individuals and species richness – the numbers of most species (especially Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Moorhen, Water Rail and Coot) differed significantly between two seasons differing in this variable.

Key words: agricultural landscape, wetland birds, habitat preferences, Mazovian Lowland

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 73–82

Wintering bird community of build-up rural areas of S and SE Poland

Arkadiusz Fröhlich, Wojciech Mrowiec, Michał Ciach

Abstract: Transformations in agriculture, which have been intensifying in recent years often lead to changes in avifauna. One of the changing elements in farmland landscape are human settlements, which are increasingly used for residential purposes. This, in turn, leads to the disappearance of traditional agriculture. The aim of this study was to investigate the structure of wintering bird communities in build-up rural areas of S and SE Poland. Birds were surveyed using line transects (a total of 95 km) in 42 randomly selected villages in 2010 and 2011 winter seasons. Thirteen localities (38 km of transects in total) were visited in both years. In all localities, 44 bird species were recorded (range 2–22). The House Sparrow Passer domesticus (42% in 2010 and 25% in 2011), Great Tit Parus major (18% and 23%) and Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella (8% and 11%) were the dominant species. The Blackbird Turdus merula, Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus, Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus and Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto were subdominant species. The total densities of birds reached 44.0 and 49.3 ind./10 ha during the two subsequent winters respectively, remarkably fewer than in other regions of the country. Results of this work demonstrate that species typical for farmlands are replaced by forest and synanthropic species in build-up rural areas. This phenomenon may be more intense in winter because of common bird feeding, which promotes plastic species. As a result, the avifauna of farmlands begins to resemble an urban bird community, losing its original diversity.

Keywords: wintering avifauna, farmland landscape, urbanization, rural areas

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 83–116

Rare birds recorded in Poland in 2016

Komisja Faunistyczna

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 117–139

Methods of estimation of the numbers of nesting diving ducks Aythyini and dabbling ducks Anatini

Michał Jantarski

Abstract: In this paper I review all methods of counts of the breeding diving ducks Aythyini and dabbling ducks Anatini, and describe their major methodological problems. The most important difficulties in duck counts constitute the overlapping of timing of spring migration and breeding, as well as breeding and after-breeding movements. Other problems include the lack of territorial behaviour, brood parasitism, variable sex ratio and strong habitat preferences in the Common Teal Anas crecca, Garganey A. querquedula and Northern Shoveler A. clypeata. This paper provides evidence that using only one method of duck counts may lead to strongly biased results. The author recommends using a narrow time window for counts of each species, considering their timing of breeding and migration. Large-area counts, combined with surveys of nests and distressed birds at key breeding sites, have been found the most effective survey method for the diving ducks and the Gadwall. This study has revealed that meadow ducks can be successfully counted at carefully selected study plots of 5–10 km2 in the flooded river valleys within a very short time window. In the diving ducks and Gadwall the number of females is equivalent to the number of breeding pairs. However, in the Garganey and Northern Shoveler counts have to rely on the number of males, whose numbers (due to sex ratio) cannot be equated with the number of breeding pairs. The paper draws attention to the need of duck monitoring in the valleys of most valuable, flooded river valleys, and surveys of the Common Teal in its optimal habitats. The author underlines that studies analysing numbers and temporal trends of the diving and dabbling ducks should describe in detail the methods of counts to allow for their future replication and obtaining comparative data.

Key words: methods of estimation of numbers, diving ducks, dabbling ducks, sex structure, habitat selection

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 140

Mikulica O., Grim T., Schulze-Hagen K. & Stokke B.G. 2017.
The cuckoo: The uninvited guest. Wild Nature Press, Plymouth (UK).
160 pp. ISBN 978-0-9955673-0-6

Piotr Tryjanowski

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 141–142

Mystery bird 87

Jan Lontkowski

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