Do you know that: the great snipe Gallinago media is in Poland a very rare bird. The number of its population inland has been calculated to amount to merely 400-550 tooting males. The breeding population in the Polesie National Park equals 5-8 tooting males, i.e. over 1% of the national population. Only males toot – on peat bogs and swampy meadows. Tooting males produce quiet tooting sounds which are accompanied by jumping, ruffling and revealing some feather parts.
Pociągi Meadows – since the Polesie National Park returned extensive faming, Charadriiformes have been back.
Existing environmental protection forms: the Polesie National Park, Nature 2000 protection area of Polesie (PLB060019), Nature 2000 protection area of Ostoja Poleska (PLH060013).
Directions: From Urszulin we drive along the national road no. 82 towards Włodawa to the village of Kołacze. At the road crossing in Kołacze we turn left towards Sosnowica and drive through Stary Brus, Laski Bruskie to Wołoskowola. Roughly in the middle of the village of Wołoskowola we turn left in a dirt road to the village of Wielki Łan (GPS coordinates: 51○28’57.50’’N; 23○12’33.77’’E; elevation: 179 m) – at this point the “Great snipe” Trail begins.
Bird watching equipment: binoculars or spotting scope.
Transport: on foot or by bike.
Difficulty level: mid difficult in terms of the distance and swampy ground – in the spring roads may be watery or flooded, therefore, rubber boots or other water-proof footwear is recommendable.
Length of the trail: about 8 km.
Periods for bird watching
|bird watching period|
|the best season for birding|
Trail description: The trail begins in the village of Wielki Łan (GPS coordinates: 51○28’57.50’’N; 23○12’33.77’’E; elevation: 179 m) and runs southwards through a road towards the river Mietiułka in the Polesie National Park. Having passed this small river we turn right and move westwards along the marked cycling trail “The Mietiułka Trail”. Going along Mietiułka we reach a small forest – at this point the trail ends. We come back using the same trail and arrive in Wielki Łan again.
The most important bird species to be seen or heard during the best season for birding: the great snipe, the common snipe, the little crake, the Eurasian eagle-owl, the spotted crake, the water rail, the corn crake, the great egret, the white-tailed eagle, the great spotted eagle, the lesser spotted eagle, the common redshank, the northern lapwing, the ruff, the crane, the little ringed plover, the green sandpiper, the Montagu’s harrier, the whiskered tern, the white-winged tern, the black tern.
The best observation points: 1 – a spot for the observation of Charadriiformes, e.g. such species as: ruffs, common redshanks, northern lapwings, common snipes, green sandpipers. With a bit of luck we may see even great snipes, which have their tooting-grounds on vast meadows. Additionally, great egrets, white-tailed eagles, lesser spotted eagles and even great spotted eagles may be seen here. In the spring or autumn, at night, the Eurasian eagle-owl tends to be heard. In the spring, especially in May, European fire-bellied toads are to be heard as their population on these meadows is highly numerous; 2 – at this point especially great egrets, which have their breeding colony in a weedy pond north from this place, may be seen. Moreover, little crakes, spotted crakes and water rails may be come across here; 3 – since the Polesie National Park embarked on extensive farming Charadriiformes have started to appear on swampy meadows, including such species as: ruffs, common redshanks, northern lapwings, common snipes, green sandpipers and even great snipes. What is more, great egrets, white-tailed eagles, lesser spotted eagles and even great spotted eagles occur here.
The ferruginous duck Pieszowolskie Ponds
Great Snipe Pociagi
Borders of the Polesie NP
Bodies of water
The “Great snipe” and “Little crake” Trails (The “Perehod” Nature Path)
Other attractions in the vicinity of the trail: North from the trail, in the Polesie National Park, a nature path “Perehod” has been designated. The village of Sosnowica is also worth visiting as white storks live there – on pylons there is a great number of nests. Apart from that in Sonsnowice and Libiszów there are fishponds where many aquatic bird species may be seen. In the past Tadeusz Kościuszko and Władysław Reymont visited Sosnowica and Libiszów. In Wytyczno we may visit a historic post-evangelical church removed from Michałów. In Łowiszów there is the Monument of the Soldiers of the Border Protection Corps killed in 1939 as well as, in the vicinity of the Monument, there is an old Orthodox cemetery. On the east side of the Lake there is a Nordic walking trail “The Wytycki Trail.” Around Lake Wytyckie, across Wytyczno to the tower in the Durne Marsh, there is also a cycling trail “The War Trail,” and on the Lake a canoe trail has been marked out. Near the forester’s lodge in Łowiszów a cycling educational trail “The Mietiułka Trail” and a blue hiking tourist trail begin. Moreover, in the southern part of Lake Wytyckie, near the village of Kochanowskie, there is a watch tower, a roofing and a place for a bonfire. At this point the trails “Ferruginous duck” around Lake Wytyckie as well as “Aquatic birds of Polesie” begin. By the Monument of the Soldiers of the Border Protection Corps there is also a roofing and here ornithological trails “Great grey owl” and “White-backed woodpecker” begin. In the vicinity of the forester’s lodge of the Polesie National Park in Łowiszów a tourist information point is located. In this place there is also a roofing, a place of recreation and a place for a bonfire.