Issue 2022-1

Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 1–11

Current distribution, abundance and trends of the Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans in Poland

Marcin Przymencki, Klaudia Litwiniak, Jacek Betleja, Grzegorz Neubauer, Mateusz Ledwoń, Łukasz Bednarz, Jakub Szymczak, Marcin Sidelnik, Paweł Grochowski, Joanna Pomorska-Grochowska, Paweł Kołodziejczyk, Juliusz Pietrasik, Tadeusz Stawarczyk

Abstract: Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans started to nest in Poland in the early 1980s. Since 1989 this species has started to nest regularly, but no complete survey of breeding population has been done so far. To describe abundance trend, we collected data on numbers and distribution of breeding Caspian Gulls until 2020 from the whole country. The census in 2021 allowed to estimate complete or near-complete breeding population at 5,554 pairs nesting in 44 places in total. Nesting sites held from 1 to 1,924 breeding pairs. About 91% of pairs bred in 9 colonies with more than 100 pairs. There were 21 nesting sites with ≤10 pairs, including 10 single-pair sites. 66% of the sites were located in southern part of the country, but increasingly more pairs started to settle in new places, including central Poland. The average annual population growth rate in 1989–2021 was estimated at 14.8% (95% confidence intervals: 12.3–17.3%); the Caspian Gull is characterized by the strongest increase among all breeding bird species in Poland. We predict that the abundance of Caspian Gulls in Poland will further increase, as many potentially suitable breeding areas are not yet colonized, particularly in the northern and western part of the country. This spectacular increase is also probably linked to multiple factors, including availability of landfills as important foraging places, which may affect high productivity and survival. The case of the Caspian Gull population increase is a good example of large-scale changes in bird populations in the period of Anthropocene in Europe.

Key words: Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans, abundance, population trend, distribution, breeding pairs

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 12–28

Occurrence of the Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in Poland

Adrianna Muszyńska

Abstract: The study summarizes occurrence and breeding of the Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in Poland after 1945. Only 10 occurrences of this species were recorded between 1945 and 1977. Since 1977 avocets have been occuring in Poland every year and their breeding takes place more frequently. The earliest records of Pied Avocets were reported at the end of March and the latest in mid-November, with wintering birds recorded just twice. In comparison to the period 1945–1993, the period 1994–2020 was characterized by a dynamic increase in the number of the Pied Avocet occurrences in Poland, although there are still large fluctuations between years. Since 2012, the number of individuals observed during the year hasn’t dropped below 38. The largest number of individuals was observed in 2019 (179) and 2020 (175). Observations of single birds (43.6%) and single pairs (31.4%) dominated in the records of this species in Poland. The biggest flock among recorded in 1994–2020 consisted of 15 birds. From 1945 to 2020, 20 cases of avocet breeding (including two repeated broods, after loss) were recorded at 16 sites in Poland. In 2012 the greatest number of cases of Avocet broods (5) was found in the country. In total, counting all broods in history, Pied Avocets raised 44 chicks and 28 of them were ringed. Successful broods were recorded in 10 cases. Nest flooding was the most common cause of brood loss. So far, no permanent breeding sites have been found in Poland, the birds still nest ephemerally.

Key words: Pied Avocet, abundance, phenology, broods, occurrence

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 29–44

Rozmieszczenie i liczebność lęgowych ptaków wodno-błotnych w dolinie Białego i Czarnego Dunajca w latach 2015–2016

Stanisław Broński, Włodzimierz Cichocki

Abstract: The paper presents species composition, distribution and abundance of waterbirds nesting in the valleys of two submontane rivers – Biały and Czarny Dunajec, and on adjacent ponds in Krauszów and Ludźmierz in the area of the Orava-Podhale Depression in 2015–2016 (Carpathians, southern Poland). 22 species of wetland birds were found in the valleys of both rivers, of which 12 species were breeding: Goosander Mergus merganser, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos, Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus, Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis, Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia, Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris, Great Reed Warbler A. arundinaceus, White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea and Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus. There were 10 breeding species at the Biały Dunajec river, including 7 in the riverbed, while on the Czarny Dunajec river, a total of 11 breeding species was recorded, of which 8 species inhabited the riverbed. On the pond in Ludźmierz, two breeding species were found: Common Tern Sterna hirundo and Mallard. The densities of the four breeding species (Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, White-throated Dipper and Grey Wagtail) are comparable or much higher than those recorded in the valleys of other Carpathian and lowland rivers. This indicates a significant role of the Biały and Czarny Dunajec for the mentioned species in the Polish Carpathians.

Key words: Biały Dunajec, Czarny Dunajec, distribution, abundance, species composition, breeding birds, submontane rivers, Orava-Podhale Depression

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 45–57

Awifauna lęgowa koryta Wisły pomiędzy Szczucinem i Zawichostem

Tomasz Wilk, Łukasz Bednarz, Arnold Cholewa

Abstract: The aim of the study was to survey the waterbirds breeding along the 95-km section of the Vistula riverbed, between Szczucin and Zawichost (SE Poland). The fieldwork was carried out during canoeing trips over the course of three years – 2018, 2020 and 2021. Breeding of 12 waterbird species was confirmed in the riverbed. The results of the study show that the surveyed section of the Vistula is especially important as a breeding site for Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (4–6 breeding pairs) and Little Tern Sternula albifrons (44–65 pairs) holding respectively 18% and 6% of the national population. Other taxa recorded during the study, i.e. Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula (1 pair), Common Gull Larus canus (9–13 pairs), Common Tern Sterna hirundo (120–165 pairs). Population of the above mentioned five species are the most numerous in the region of SE Poland. Due to the lack of data, evaluation of long-term trends of the avifauna is not possible, except for the Eurasian Oystercatcher, which inhabited this area probably in 1990s and since then its population has been increasing. The short-term (10 year period) trend shows strong decline of two species of gulls – Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus and Common Gull, probably as an effect of local habitat loss, human disturbance and increased predation. The avifauna of the most important/valuable part of the studied section of the Vistula riverbed, situated between Połaniec and Tarnobrzeg, is not effectively protected, despite the fact that the place fulfils criteria of an Important Bird Area. The Special Protection Area of Natura 2000 network should be urgently established and proper conservation measures should be implemented.

Key words: Vistula, waterbirds, gulls, Larinae, terns, Sterninae, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 58–62

The first and second records of the Audouin’s Gull Ichthyaetus audouinii in Poland

Marcin Faber, Michał Piotrowski, Paweł Malczyk, Tadeusz Stawarczyk

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 62–67

The nesting of the Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta in Ziemia Leszczyńska with remarks on breeding biology

Adrianna Muszyńska

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 67–71

Record concentration of Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus roosting in Warsaw

Marcin Sidelnik, Jan Rapczyński

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 72–78

Longest birds monitoring – Białowieża National Park

Wanda Wesołowska

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 79–81

Adriaens P., Muusse M., Dubois P.J., Jiguet F. 2022. Gulls of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. An Identification Guide. Princeton University Press. Princeton and Oxford. ISBN-13: 978-0-691-22283-7

Tadeusz Stawarczyk

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