Birding in Poland

Edited By Adam Sterno | Oriolus Forläg | Hardback | April 2015 | I 610 Pages | 20 Plates with 40 Colour Photographs | 164 Maps | SBN: 9789197865210

The Publisher’s View: 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 woodpeckers. 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.

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.

The Author: The authors are 46 ornithologists, birdwatchers, and local avifauna experts from Poland.

Fatbirder View: This really is the most comprehensive guide I’ve ever seen with incredible range and detail. I know they are old fashioned features, but ribbons to mark places and a ‘thumb index’ along the page edges make this a very useable guide too. A comprehensive index supports the Poland regional map so you can look at sites in the area you intend to visit. I think the regional map would have benefitted from being larger, spread across a couple of pages and with some colour to help you get your bearings, but that is a minor quibble.

Of course, packing so much in has meant reducing paper quality and this in turn affects the maps which, while clearly based on the equivalent of ordnance survey, lose a little to grey scale and their relatively small size. Perhaps losing some detail in the style of familiar guides would make sense but this is such a brave attempt to make birding accessible in Poland I would not dwell on these minor shortcomings.

Frankly the introductory pages themselves would justify the purchase price and I think this is set to be a standard for those who want to really delve into the detail of birding in Poland. Highly commendable indeed!

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