After a large meal and a couple of Polish beers, I returned to my super accommodation before an early start the following morning. I planned to walk the road to Hel and back to begin with, some 20 miles via footpaths, beach and cycle tracks. Most of the way was through conifer forests, so crested tit, siskins, crossbills, great spotted woodpeckers were all noted. However, the highlights were on Gdansk Bay where 100's of goldeneye, goosanders, red breasted mergansers, mute swans, mallards and huge numbers of long tailed duck. All in superb plumage.
|2 male long tailed ducks|
|3 drake and 1 duck red breatsted mergansers|
|diving long tailed duck|
|The last mile to Hel|
|Jastarnia harbour and long tailed duck|
|Great spotted woodpecker|
I awoke before first light and headed off to check the harbour. The sun was rising brightly and it looked like being a much better day, light wise. I then set off for Chalupy and back, the middle part of the walk. Again, same habitats, with added interest in a few open areas holding large numbers of skylarks. Overhead, there was a regular passage of both tundra and taiga bean geese along with a common buzzard and plenty of siskins and crossbills. A nuthatch made the list but no hoped for crested tits showing well for a photo. The sun was bright for most of the day, so better photography but not so many birds. Out on the Baltic, more long tailed duck, herring and black headed gulls, common and velvet scoter along with an occasional great crested and black necked grebe.
|sunrise over Jastarnia|
|mute swan movement|
|early morning black headed and common gull|
|3 bean geese migrating north east|
|flyby greylag goose|
|Distant velvet scoter|
|WW2 gun implacement. Plenty of military history left in the woods|
|acorn eating jay|
|pair of goosanders|
|Not a lot of use, but at least you can make out what it is, just!|
I did eventually make it but travelling took so long, no more birding was possible, apart from a few hours in parks around Wroclaw.
A super trip and, although the weather conspired against my photography, a list of 54 species is certainly not bad for this area in February. I now intend to return in autumn for the migrant passage, maybe early September. Lovely part of the world.
|whooper in fog|
|black headed gull|
|female long tailed duck|
|flyby ltd in misty conditions.|