Issue 2017-4

Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 215–243

Breeding avifauna of the Chełmskie Torfowiska Węglanowe – changes in species composition and numbers in the period 1986–2015

Tomasz Buczek, Alicja Buczek

Abstract: This paper presents the results of avifauna surveys conducted for 30 years (1986–2015) on Chełmskie Torfowiska Węglanowe (E Poland), which is a Special Protection Area Natura 2000 PLB060002 (4309 ha in size). The alkaline nature of peat determines the occurrence of unique vegetation communities, e.g. rushes of Cladietum marisci (753 ha). These marshes owe their status to Great Snipe Gallinago media (10–12 displaying males in 2014) and Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola (270 singing males in 2014). In 1986–2015 the number of the following wader species: Lapwing Vanellus vanellus (145 pairs in 1987 – 12 pairs in 2011), Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (73 pairs in 1987 – 9 pairs in 2011) and Redshank Tringa totanus (23 pairs in 1987 – 3 pairs in 2011) have declined in the bogs Bagno Serebryskie, Brzeźno and Roskosz. The last record of the Curlew Numenius arquata breeding (max. 8 pairs in 1993) was observed in 2003. Some decrease has been noted in the population of Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (65 pairs in 1992 – 10 pairs in 2015) and Montagu’s Harrier C. pygargus (43 pairs in 1987 – 2 pairs in 2015 and 0 pairs in 2016). Among species nesting occasionally are White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucopterus (max. 515 pairs in 2013) and Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (max. 11 pairs in 1990). The breeding populations of Bittern Botaurus stellaris (6–7 males in 1985 – 22–23 males in 2015) and Crane Grus grus (1 pair in 1987 – 9 pairs in 2011) increased in number during the studied period. The number of Aquatic Warblers is generally stable in plots, in control areas as well as in the whole area of studies. Increased predation pressure, landscape changes (cutting down trees and bushes), changes in vegetation structure due to reed Phragmites australis expansion, local changes in water level owing to beaver Castor fiber activity, discontinuation of meadow use and conversion of meadows to arable land have been recognized as the local causes of disappearance or changes in the number of the studied avian species.

Key words: Chelm Calcerous Marshes, Special Protection Area, breeding birds, eastern Poland, Great Snipe, Aquatic Warbler

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 244–273

Non-breeding avifauna of Konin Lakes – current data and changes

Sławomir Mielczarek, Aleksander Winiecki

Abstract: This paper describes non-breeding avifauna recorded in the area of five lakes and two artificial water bodies, including fish-ponds near Konin (central Poland). These water bodies, connected by canals, are used for cooling coal-fired power stations. The lakes have considerably elevated temperatures, and host many foreign and expansive plant and animal species, especially fishes and bivalves. The study was carried out from autumn 2010 to spring 2011. The results have been compared with unpublished data collected in the past during three seasons, including the data gathered at the turn of the 60s and 70s of the 20th century. Both present and past bird species richness result from the low depth of the lakes, high biomass of benthic fauna, and the absence of complete ice cover even during severe winters. These conditions attract high numbers of benthophagous (Coots Fulica atra and diving ducks Aythya sp.) and ichthyophagous bird species (herons Ardea sp., cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo, grebes Podiceps sp., mergansers Mergus sp.). The most important water bodies for these species are two the shallowest and constantly heated lakes Gosławskie and Pątnowskie. A significant decrease in the Coot numbers throughout the study years may result from the population fluctuations but also a decline of the breeding populations. The important increase in the numbers of fish-eating species, especially the Great Cormorant, is related to the species expansion, and locally – to high food abundance. Large flocks of migrating and wintering gulls and geese have been formed as a result of global changes, the presence of advantageous roosting site (warm, unfrozen waters) and close proximity to good foraging sites (garbage dumps, fields and meadows).

Key words: waterbirds, abundance changes, heated up lakes

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 274–282

Owls Strigiformes of Białystok city (NE Poland) – distribution, numbers and changes

Adam Zbyryt, Edyta Kapowicz, Oliwier Myka, Michał Polakowski

Abstract: The owls Strigiformes are relatively poorly studied in cities of Poland. In 2015 the owl survey was conducted within the administrative boundaries of Białystok city. The results were compared with historical records, mostly from the 1990s. In total, 28 territories of 3 species of owls were recorded during the study. The Tawny Owl Strix aluco was the most common species (21 territories), showing preferences for parks and forests rather than built-up areas (69% vs 31%). The density of Tawny Owl in the whole area of the city was 2.1 territory/10 km2, per forest area – 5.2 territory/10 km2, per built-up area – 1.0 territory/10 km2. The average age of forests inhabited by the Tawny Owl was 77 years (range: 55–99; SD=14), and most of the forests (86%) were pine stands. Moreover, 6 territories of Long-Eared Owl Asio otus (0.6 territories/10 km2) and a single territory of Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum (breeding was not confirmed) were recorded. The results show an increase in the Tawny Owl and Long-Eared Owl populations in Białystok, but also population extinction of Little Owl Athene noctua and Barn Owl Tyto alba. The densities of territories of Tawny Owl and Long-eared Owl found in this study are similar to those found in other cities in Poland.

Key words: Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, owls in cities, urbanization

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 283–289

Wintering of subspecies of the Great Grey Shrikes Lanius excubitor ssp. in the northeast Poland

Adam Zbyryt, Edyta Kapowicz, Jarosław Banach, Monika Broniszewska, Michał Polakowski

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 289–296

High number of the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida in the Biebrza Marshes in 2017

Łukasz Krajewski, Piotr Marczakiewicz, Piotr Dombrowski

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 296–299

The first and the second records of the Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus in Poland

Paweł Czarnul, Maciej Pieńkosz, Tadeusz Stawarczyk

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 300–303

The first record of the White-crowned Wheatear Oenanthe leucopyga in Poland

Krzysztof Pietrasz, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Teresa Łybko

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 303–305

The second record of the Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes in Poland

Justyna Staworko-Petka, Krzysztof Petka

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 306–309

Dudzik K. 2017. Łabędź krzykliwy. Monografie przyrodnicze. Wyd. Klubu Przyrodników, Świebodzin. ISBN 978-83-63426–15-6

Marek Stajszczyk

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Ornis Polonica 2017, 58: 310–311

Mystery bird 89

Jan Lontkowski

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