Issue 2022-3

Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 177–198

Population size, trend, and predictors of abundance of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocoptes medius in the Natura 2000 Special Protection Area Krotoszyn Oak Forest in 2010–2020

Ziemowit Kosiński, Marcin Kempa, Przemysław Żurawlew

Abstract: Analysis of population size and trends is an important step for the conservation and management of species of conservation concern in the Natura 2000 Special Protection Areas (SPA). In this study, we examined the population dynamics of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocoptes medius and analyzed its trend in SPA Krotoszyn Oak Forest (KOF) (34,245 ha in size, including 14,757 ha of forest area) in 2010–2020. Furthermore, we attempted to identify which factors related to the area of different forest stands affect its abundance. We also investigated whether the changes in abundance of Middle Spotted Woodpecker in the whole KOF were similar to those occurring in a smaller part of this area (Łówkowiec Forest), in order to determine the usefulness of double sampling for the calibration of data obtained through periodic censuses. To estimate population size and determine the model describing the abundance of Middle Spotted Woodpecker, we used data from 19 randomly selected 1 km2 sample plots. Birds were counted most frequently during one or two surveys in each study plot using the call-playback method recommended for the censuses of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker. The estimated population size of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker in KOF varied between 587 pairs in 2010 and 823 pairs in 2015 and 2019. The non-significant trend suggests stable population. The rate of population growth between 2010 and 2020 was 1.338 (95% CI: 0.924–1.714), and the mean annual growth rate (λ) was 1.030 (95% CI: 0.992–1.055). The patterns of abundance index were generally similar in KOF and Łówkowiec Forest, except for the beginning of the study period. The abundance of the studied species was positively affected, with decreasing importance, by the area of three age classes of oak forest – ≥120 years, 80–119 years, and 40–79 years, and area of other deciduous stands; however, the effect of the last variable was very weak. Our data confirm that SPA KOF is the second most important area for the Middle Spotted Woodpecker, after the Białowieża Forest, in Poland. In the long run, the greatest threat for this woodpecker population in KOF could be uneven tree age distribution, with a disproportionate ratio of the old and middle age classes, especially in the Jasne Pole Precinct, fragmentation of old stands, and process of oak dieback which, in turn, can increase the intensity of sanitary felling and salvage logging. Our findings suggest that annual monitoring data from the Łówkowiec Forest could be useful to calibrate and improve interpretation of data from periodic censuses in KOF. This would reduce time needed for monitoring of birds using large-scale sampling.

Keywords: population size, trend, double sampling, Dendrocoptes medius, Natura 2000 Special Protection Area

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 199–214

Use of beaver ponds by breeding Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus and Mute Swans C. olor at Górowo Heights (north-eastern Poland)

Arkadiusz Sikora, Dominik Marchowski, Waldemar Półtorak

Abstract: In the year 2021, in water bodies at Górowo Heights (402.4 km2) in north-eastern Poland 91 breeding pairs of two species of swans were re­corded, including 35 pairs of the Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus (density 8.7 pairs/100 km2) and 56 pairs of the Mute Swan C. olor (13.9 pairs/100 km2). In the study area, 31% of 2 x 2 km sample plots were inhabited by Whooper Swan, whereas Mute Swan inhabited 40% of plots; in 10% of these areas, both species were nesting simultaneously. The strong increase of the Whoop­er Swan (from 1 to 8 pairs) at Górowo Heights in the years 2007–2021 is convergent with the increase of population in Poland which was estimated in the year 2021 at 290–330 pairs. The swans were breeding on 86 water bodies, out of which 32 were inhabited by single pairs of Whooper Swan and 51 by single pairs of Mute Swan, on two bodies of water there was one pair of each species and on one – 3 pairs of Mute Swan and 1 pair of Whooper Swan. Beaver ponds were the main habitat of breeding swans, whereby they were more frequently occupied by Whooper Swan (74% of breed­ing sites were located on ponds) than Mute Swan (50%). Recommended conservation measure for both species’ breeding populations is to protect the beaver ponds in the study area and in the entire Special Protection Area of Ostoja Warmińska. This area is one of the most important Whooper Swan breeding grounds in Poland, gathering a dozen or so percent of the national pop­ulation. It is also recommended to use drones for the monitoring that species in inaccessible areas of beaver ponds.

Keywords: sympatry, expansion, waterbirds, conservation of species and habitats, Natura 2000 Special Protection Area Ostoja Warmińska

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 215–244

Abundance and distribution of waterbirds wintering in Poland in 2020

Włodzimierz Meissner, Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Łukasz Wardecki, Paulina Siejka, Jacek Antczak, Wiesław Bagiński, Jacek Betleja, Dawid Cząstkiewicz, Paweł Czechowski, Maciej Filipiuk, Andrzej Górski, Paweł Grochowski, Grzegorz Grygoruk, Robert Hybsz, Zbigniew Kajzer, Adam Kaliński, Marcin Łukaszewicz, Dominik Marchowski, Patryk Rowiński, Włodzimierz Szczepaniak, Kazimierz Walasz

Abstract: In January of 2020, counts of waterbirds wintering in Poland were conducted encompassing 2,390 waterbodies of different kind. In total, there were 1,289,455 individuals observed, including 1,180,513 birds of identified species that were present on different sites, 39,634 individuals in flight and 69,308 birds of unidentified species. The most numerous species was Mallard, accounting for 41.9% of all observed birds, and its abundance exceeded 500,000 indiv. The total number of individuals of every consecutive species: Bean Goose Anser fabalis sensu lato, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, Coot Fulica atra, Greylag Goose A. anser, Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Herring Gull Larus argentatus sensu lato and Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo exceeded 40,000 indiv., and percentage of each species did not exceed 3%. These most numerous species accounted in total for 78.5% of all sighted birds. Bird concentrations of more than 20,000 indiv. were recorded on 8 sites gathering in total 21% of birds recorded during the counting. Number of birds observed in Szczecin Lagoon with the Świna Delta, the Outer Puck Bay and in Włocławek Reservoir exceeded 40,000 birds. The described winter season was extremely mild which certainly affected the obtained results since the abundance of birds wintering in Poland to large extent is dependant on the harshness of winter. Lower winter temperatures in eastern Poland usually result in lower number of wintering waterbirds compared to the western part of the country. These variations in many species were also seen in January of 2020, when temperatures were exceptionally high. However, in comparison to harsh winters, higher numbers than usual were recorded in eastern Poland of Teals Anas crecca, Mallards, Mute Swans Cygnus olor, Greylag Geese and Grey Herons Ardea cinerea. The very mild winter also caused the occurrence of species rarely wintering in Poland such as Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos and Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis. The weather conditions were also favourable for numerous occurrence of such species as Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Curlew Numenius arquata, Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago, Green Sandpiper T. ochropus, Water Rail Rallus aquaticus and Bewick’s Swan C. columbianus.

Key words: wintering, abundance of population, water bodies

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Observers participating in the counting of wintering water birds in January 2020


Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 245–281

Rare Birds Panel in Poland – report of 2020 for non-breeding species

Przemysław Wylegała, Szymon Beuch, Arkadiusz Sikora, Łukasz Ławicki, Robert Cymbała, Paweł Czechowski, Stanisław Czyż, Piotr Dębowski, Andrzej Dylik, Grzegorz Grygoruk, Wojciech Guzik, Krzysztof Jankowski, Zbigniew Kajzer, Łukasz Matyjasiak, Bartosz Smyk, Marcin Wężyk, Tomasz Chodkiewicz

Abstract: This third report of the Rare Birds Panel in Poland presents the occurrence of 38 rare, non-breeding species in Poland in 2020. In 2020 record numbers of the Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus, Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Arctic Tern Sterna pa­radisaea (only inland), Blyth’s Reed Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum and Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus were noted. There were also a large number of records of the Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides, Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus (outside mountains) and Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus. The very low numbers of the Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris noted in 2020 extend the ongoing decline of this migrant. In Vistula Fens (aluvial delta area of Vistula river) the largest wintering flock of the Canadian Goose Branta canadensis in Poland, amounting to 2700–3000 ind. was found. Noteworthy were also a record flock of 8 Purple Sandpipers Calidris maritima and the more numerous than usual spring migration of the Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (maximum flock – 19 ind.). The second and third wintering cases of the Pied Avocet as well as the first wintering of the Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola in Poland were also noted.

Key words: rare non-breeding species, distribution, number, phenology, regions, Poland, report 2020

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 282–288

The first record of the Northern Shrike Lanius borealis in Poland

Piotr Zabłocki, Agnieszka Mulawa

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 288–289

Early brood of the Water Rail Rallus aquaticus in Mrągowo Lake District

Andrzej Dombrowski

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 290–293

Late broods of the Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus in the Stołowe Mountains as one of the problems related to the methods of species inventory

Romuald Mikusek

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 294–295

Bryan Benn 2021. Short-eared Owls. An extensive study of Short-eared Owls in Britain. Bryan Benn. ISBN: 978-1-8384800-0-4

Romuald Mikusek

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Ornis Polonica 2022, 63: 296–299

Life for birds. In memory of dr. Stanisław Kuźniak (1933–2022)

Grzegorz Lorek, Jakub Kosicki, Krzysztof Kujawa, Paweł Szymański, Marcin Tobółka, Piotr Tryjanowski

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