BUBO in POLAND - part 5
Today was our final day in Bialowieza Forest as we were moving north into the marshes for the rest of the holiday. We didn't rush out of bed today and spent our early morning packing up and having breakfast. Rather than racing off, we decided we'd have a final few hours in this area and thought that another visit to the Town Park was in order, on a much sunnier day than before. We started at the park lake where we saw a larger bat sp. flying around high overhead. Our walk through the trees was pleasant and we had many of the bird species we'd seen previously here, including calling Grey-headed Woodpecker and drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, but unfortunately still no flycatchers were in. We did have more excellent views of Wood Warbler however.
This time we continued right to the very north end of the park and took the track across the rough fields towards the famous special ancient forest reserve. This is a restricted area and you can only go in on special organised tourist trips. In hindsight, we should have probably looked into this more before we travelled, as we'd have liked to have gone inside the fenced off area. But we went to the gate anyway and had a look inside. It did look very "pristine" in there but the habitat didn't seem much different to what we had already seen. The fields between the park and the forest contained our first Tree Pipits and Whinchats of the trip, and we were lucky to see another White-backed Woodpecker fly across.
We walked back through the Park and saw more of the same species. In the trees around the car park we had some good views of the northern-raced Long-tailed Tits with their pure white heads. After a cool drink at the Cafe, we were soon on our way towards the Biebrza Marshes.
After two days in the small roads of the forest, we were out on the open roads again, breezing through the Polish villages with their standard bright-coloured churches. Some of the birds we had not seen much of so far were now more in evidence, especially Cranes which were often seen flying over or walking round the roadside fields. As we crossed the Narew River, we saw a bird of prey circling above us and we were very lucky that it came really close - a superb Lesser Spotted Eagle. We watched it eye us up from the air above until it floated away.
We were heading towards the city of Bialolystok which we had to pass through on our way north. Two White-tailed Eagles were noted flying over some trees on the way. We managed to negotiate the complex highways of the city and made our way towards the town of Tykocin, and the nearby small hamlet of Kiermusy, which was to be our base for the next two nights, for us to explore the extensive Biebrza Marshes.