Poland is the most obvious destination in Europe to watch and listen to Aquatic Warbler. Forests and coppices provide shelter for all species of European woodpecker. Wetlands are an important stopover point for migrating waders, geese and other water and wetland birds, while wet meadows are a perfect location to hear rasping Corn Crake. The population of White Stork in Poland is counted amongst the largest in Europe.
Birding in Poland is both for those planning a longer birdwatching trip to Poland and for those visiting bigger cities for business, with only a few hours or half a day to spare for birdwatching. For them, we have described in more detail the sites in Warsaw and Kraków – the two cities probably most often visited by foreigners. We have also included descriptions of sites near other cities, such as Lódz, Poznan, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Bialystok, Bydgoszcz, Lublin and Rzeszów.
The authors are 46 ornithologists, birdwatchers, and local avifauna experts from Poland. Birding in Poland provides a description of 119 sites and 164 maps. It includes such famous sites as the Bialowieza Forest, the Biebrza River Valley and the Warta River Mouth, but also other sites, probably unknown but definitely worth visiting.
Birding in Poland also includes a general description of avifauna in Poland, practical tips on birdwatching and travelling around, a chapter on the legal aspects of birdwatching and two articles on Aquatic Warbler and White Stork, as well as photos of typical habitats and a checklist of the birds of Poland.
"[...] At nearly 600 pages, Birding in Poland is a big book. Happily, it is designed with the user’s convenience in mind [...] the Swedish publishing house Oriolus is to be congratulated for making available what is instantly the must-have title for anyone planning an expedition to see Aquatic Warblers and Great Snipe—or just looking forward to a day in the countryside in the course of a business trip or cultural vacation."
– Rick Wright, Birding 47 (6): 66, December 2015
"[...] This book is highly recommended for anyone wanting to watch birds in Poland. [...]"
– Andy Musgrove, BTO book reviews
In a recent survey of travelling British birdwatchers, about one third had visited Poland, making it the fifth most-visited European country by them. Interestingly all of them said that they would recommend their visit to a friend – which has to be the highest accolade in birding tourism. Poland is perhaps a bigger country than most people would imagine – it is a third larger than the UK. It is heavily forested with almost 30% of the land being covered. In addition there are about 10,000 bodies of water covering more than a hectare each.
It comes as a surprise that until now there has not been a book outlining in detail the many sites that you can visit. In my experience, most visiting birders have tended to focus on the prime areas of the Biebrza Marshes and Białowieża Forest. These are the two sites that provide easy access to the target birds that many of us want to see. But this book provides a much wider approach, with 119 sites in total.
A team of 46 people worked together to create this book, which is split into 14 chapters, often, but not always, covering the main provinces of Poland. Each of the sites is described in detail, and for some there are GPS references to enable quick identification of access points and major features. Key species are listed within a very readable text which often runs to over 1000 words, with sub-sections by habitat or season. Other animals and interesting plants are also mentioned in a separate section. There is plenty of detail on access possibilities and a description on how to reach the site. There are also links to useful websites and published articles. Each site is accompanied by at least one map.
A checklist of 449 species gives the status of each, while a further 62 species of uncertain origin are listed separately. There is also an alphabetical species index which allows you to search for sites where these can be seen. There is an overall map of the country showing every site within the book, but maps of the 14 chosen regions in more detail would have been useful.
With flights now operating from the UK to eleven widely-spaced Polish airports there has never been an easier time to explore this wild and exciting country. This book will be a great asset to visiting birders.