Poland in Spring: 10th – 17th May 2019
Tour price £1395, Single supp £195
Only 2 places left!
The extensive forests and marshes of eastern Poland have long been a favourite of birdwatchers. This spring tour focuses on two of the country’s very best wildlife reserves, the primeval forests of Bialowieza and the extensive marshlands and floodplains of the Biebrza National Park. Within these two contrasting areas we hope to enjoy such avian delights as Aquatic Warbler, Citrine Wagtail, displaying Great Snipe, Pygmy Owl, Spotted Eagle and up to eight species of woodpecker! In May the forests of Bialowieza will be alive with birdsong as newly arrived warblers and flycatchers compete for territory, whilst the adjacent wet meadows echo to the bizarre ‘crex crex’ call of the Corncrake and all three species of marsh tern hawk for insects over the flooded fields that edge the Biebrza River. As we explore these pristine habitats we may be silently — and unknowingly — watched by a Wolf or Lynx, both of which still patrol the forests, or perhaps come across a small herd of European Bison. Indeed, although birds will certainly take centre stage on this holiday, we will not ignore Poland’s wealth of other wildlife which should include Elk, European Beaver and perhaps Wild Boar, plus an interesting variety of butterflies, dragonflies and plants.
Romania’s Danube Delta & Carpathian Mountains: 2nd – 11th September 2019
Tour price £1695, Single supp £295
Only 4 places left!
Situated on the western shore of the Black Sea, with the Ukraine on its northern borders, Romania has a surprising variety of habitats. From the extensive wetlands of the Danube basin, to the high peaks of the Carpathians; from the evergreen forests of the north-west, to the rolling plains of the east, Romania boasts a remarkable abundance of wild flowers, interesting butterflies and mammals, as well as a long list of exciting birds. Furthermore, its Black Sea coast, running from north to south, is part of a major flyway for migrating birds travelling between their breeding grounds in Eurasia and their winter quarters in the Mediterranean, Africa or further east.
Our holiday is centred around the Danube Delta and the Carpathian Mountains. About 90 kilometres from the mouth of the Danube, the river divides into three channels. Enclosed between them lie 3,000 square kilometres of reedbeds, shallow lakes and forested islands which we will traverse in our comfortable floating hotel. It is a wetland area larger than the Carmargue and the Coto Doñana combined! Within the delta nest over 4,000 pairs of Cormorants, 3,000 pairs of Night Herons, 2,000 pairs of Squacco Herons, 1,200 pairs of Purple Herons, 1,500 pairs of Glossy Ibis and a large percentage of the European population of Great Egrets, Pygmy Cormorants, and Dalmatian and White Pelicans. Good numbers of grebes, ducks, terns, geese and five or more pairs of White-tailed Eagles make up the supporting cast! Needless to say, the delta is a truly wonderful place and, in ornithological terms, probably deserves the title of Europe’s single most valuable habitat.
The Transylvania Carpathians are alpine in nature, with high rocky peaks rising above dense forests of spruce and beech. We will be based in a guesthouse on the edge of Zarnesti, an attractive small town that offers easy access to the surrounding peaks. From it, we will be able to explore the local pine woods and rocky crags in search of woodpeckers, Nutcrackers, Black Redstarts and alpine passerines such as Wallcreepers. In the evenings we will watch for the Brown Bears and occasional Wolves that descend from the forests in search of food.
For more information about both or either holiday, or to book, please call the Naturetrek office on 01962 733051. For more information about the company please visit www.naturetrek.co.uk