Volume 47 • Number 1 • 2006
1 Breeding biology of the Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio in the extensive agricultural
landscape of eastern Poland.
Abstract: The research was conducted in 1999-2003 on three study plots (jointly 855 ha ) situated 10-15 km north-east of Siedlce. The breeding season was divided into two periods: basic (the first egg in a nest laid till 14th June) and additional (delayed or repeated broods). The density of breeding pairs was 0.6 pairs/10 ha on average. Red-backed Shrikes laid their first egg between 11th May (2001) and 9th July (2001). With the progress of the breeding season, the average number of eggs in a clutch was decreasing by 0.04 egg/day. In the basic and additional breeding season the birds laid on average 5.6 and 4.5 eggs respectively, with an average number of 5.4 nestlings hatched in the former and 4.0 in the latter period. In the basic period, 2.3 young fledged per breeding pair, and 1.7 in the additional breeding season. When calculated only for successful pairs, the values were 4.7 and 3.8 fledglings respectively. The mean breeding success in the basic season reached 50.6%, and 53.4% in the additional. Both the density of breeding pairs and breeding parameters of the Red-backed Shrike in the study area rank among the higher values recorded for the species in the literature. This can be explained by the highly mosaic landscape with frequent aerial transmission lines and fences, which can serve as both foraging and nesting places for this species. Also, the low intensity of fertilization and small amount of crop protection chemicals used undoubtedly contribute to rich food resources available to the species.
11 Numbers and distribution of Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria and Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in Poland in autumn 2003. Włodzimierz Meissner, Arkadiusz Sikora, Jacek Antczak, Sebastian Guentzel
Abstract: Counts of the Golden Plover and Lapwing were performed on 11th October and 9th November 2003 (the day after a full moon), with a tolerance of 5 days. In total, ca 22 and 9 thous. Golden Plovers, and ca 51 and 12 thous. Lapwings were recorded respectively in October and November. The greatest number of Golden Plovers were observed in the northern part of Poland : in October 81% and in November 44% of all birds recorded. In October Lapwings were most abundant in the north - 53% of birds, and in November in the east - 55%. During both controls the flocks of Golden Plovers most commonly numbered 11-100 inds. Lapwings usually grouped in flocks of 101-500 birds in October, whereas in November the greatest number of flocks comprised 11-100 inds. In October Golden Plovers were most frequently concentrated in ploughed fields, in November occupying all the habitats distinguished in corresponding proportions. In November Lapwings were relatively more numerous in meadows, whereas in October this species occurred in similar proportions in different habitats. On the European scale, Poland is an important roosting ground for Golden Plovers and Lapwings during their autumn migration.
23 Autumn migration of the Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula in the Bay of Gdańsk
Włodzimierz Meissner, Seweryn Huzarski
Abstract: In the period 1984-2001, the Ringed Plover autumn migration over the Bay of Gdańsk started in the 1st decade of July at the earliest and terminated in the 2nd half of October. Both the dynamics and phenology of the species migration showed a high interseasonal variability. In most seasons, maximum numbers of birds were recorded in August or September. Adult birds moulting remiges were caught exclusively in July. The moulting indices were low, not exceeding 18 points (in a scale 0-50). In the first phase of migration, until the turn of August, more adult than juvenile birds were observed. An analysis of data about timing of the two subspecies in Europe indicates that at this stage the ones to migrate were adult Ch. h. tundrae and Ch. h. hiaticula as well as juvenile hiaticula from the first broods. Later on, the proportion of adults rapidly dropped. In September adults of the subspecies hiaticula were still recorded, but probably mainly those which had had a second brood in the season. The percentage of adults estimated through counts was higher than that based on the number of captured birds, because young, less experienced birds are probably easier to catch in walk-in traps than adults. Although both methods provide data which well reflect changes in the proportions of age categories during migration, the fact mentioned makes direct comparisons between the numbers of captured and counted juveniles unreliable. Our data correspond with those about the migration of Ringed Plovers along the Baltic and North Sea coasts.
32 Numbers and distribution of the Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus in the Elbląg
Plateau and its expansion in Varmia and Masuria .
Abstract: In 2004-2005 the abundance, distribution and habitat selectivity of the Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus breeding in the Elbląg Plateau (ca 420 km2) were studied against the background of the species expansion in the region of Varmia and Masuria . The area under investigations represents the easternmost morainic plateau of the South-Baltic Coastland, in ca 38% covered by forest, with beech woods predominating. In the season of 2004, 17-19 pairs and 17 single birds were recorded, and in 2005 - 18-23 pairs and 14 individuals. The species abundance in the Elbląg Plateau was estimated at 25-35 pairs. The minimum density was at least 6 pairs per 100 km of landscape area, and ca 16 pairs per 100 km2 of forest area. Great-headed Woodpeckers were most numerous in the north-western and eastern part of the Plateau, preferring forest communities with the European Beech Fagus sylvatica predominating - 87% of sites (N=48). The age of the stands which predominated in the species breeding territories was 125 years on average (range of 100-150 years, N=66). In 2004 a hybrid between the species discussed and the Green Woodpecker P. viridis was found in the Elbląg Plateau. The Grey-headed Woodpecker started to spread in Varmia and Masuria as well as in the neighbouring Elbląg Plateau in the mid-1990s, its population in the last region mentioned ranking among the largest in northern Poland .
43 Abundance of birds of prey Falconiformes and the Raven Corvus corax in the vicinity of Rogów,
Jakub Gryz, Dagny Krauze, Jacek Goszczyński
Summary: The studies were carried out throughout three breeding seasons, in 2001-2003. The total investigation area covers 105 km2 of a mosaic of cultivated fields (59%), woodland (23%), grassland and orchards; villages, roads and wasteland account for the rest of the mosaic. The woodland is represented by 7 forest complexes with the Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris as the dominating species. The main forest types are fresh deciduous forest and fresh mixed deciduous forest. Nests and nesting territories were searched for throughout the year with all signs of birds' presence noted. Abundance of nesting species and their densities were as follow: 30-31 pairs of the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo (mean density was 12.6 pairs/10 km2 of forest area), 11 pairs of the Goshawk Accipiter gentilis (4.5 p/10 km2 f. a.), 16 pairs of the Sparrowhawk A. nisus (6.5 p/10 km2 f. a.), 3 pairs of the Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus (1.3 p/10 km2 f. a.), 2 pairs of the Hobby Falco subbuteo (0.8 p/10 km2 f. a.), 8 pairs of the Raven (3.3 p/10km2 f. a., 0.8 p/10 km2 of total area). Also, 3 nesting pairs of the Kestrel Falco tinnunculus were noted (0.3 p/10 km2 of total area).
47 Nesting of the Common Swift Apus apus at natural sites in Poland.
Przemysław Kurek, Michał Ciach
Summary: Breeding of Common Swifts at natural rocky sites and in tree hollows is very uncommon in Central Europe . The paper presents cases of such breeding recorded in Poland . Preliminary controls performed in 2002-2004, and careful exploration of potential nest sites in the period June-August 2005 revealed broods of jointly 53 pairs at 12 sites. The species breeding in rocks was observed almost in the whole Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. Rocky sites in the Kraków-Częstochowa Jura included both groups of rocks and island mountains. The birds preferred bald sheer rock walls, avoiding the sections of rocks covered by vegetation; they also inhabited alpine rocks. The species occurrence on Mt. Kominiarski Wierch in the Tatras was confirmed, whereas no broods were discovered on Mt. Babia Góra or in the Bieszczady Mts. Commons Swifts breeding in forest seems to be a comparatively frequent phenomenon in north-eastern Poland ( Białowieża Primeval Forest , Augustów Forest , Czerwone Bagno bogs). There, the birds prefer mature tree stands, occupying mainly hollows after woodpeckers. At natural sites in Poland Common Swifts do not make large breeding aggregations, except at some sites among rocks. In the east-European populations, nesting of the Common Swift in tree hollows seems to be common; the belt dividing synanthropic populations from those breeding at natural sites presumably runs across Poland .
53 An unusual breeding site of the Roller Coracias garrulus.
Jerzy Grzybek, Tadeusz Sobuś
Summary: In 2001-2002 the authors discovered a non-typical location of a Roller nest. In Wydrze, district Łańcut, Podkarpacie region, a pair of Rollers bred in a building which housed raised hens. The nest was located at a height of 5 m above the ground in a small recess of the wall between the tin roof of the building and the wooden beams supporting the roof construction. In 2001 two fledglings successfully left the nest, in spite of the noise prevalent at the site. The brood of 2002 was a failure: in the phase of feeding, the nestlings died probably due to a heat-wave. Till then only two cases of the Roller breeding in a building had been recorded in Poland .
55 Antagonistic behaviour of a Snipe Gallinago gallinago towards a Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes
Summary: On 19th, 23rd and 26th April 2004, eight attacks of a Snipe at a Jack Snipe foraging in the vicinity were observed. Three different types of aggressive behaviour of the Snipe were noted. The response of the Jack Snipe was to get motionless and escape. Active foraging of Jack Snipe during the day in the open place is also noteworthy.
58 Mystery bird 42: Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina.
60 Wintering of waterfowl on the Bay of Gdańsk in the season 2004/2005. Włodzimierz Meissner, Piotr Rydzkowski
Summary:. The spell of low temperatures started in the 2nd half of January. During the February controls the ice cover occupied the whole inner section of the Bay of Puck ; in mid-March the ice covered here a coastal belt ca 300-500 m wide. Compared with previous years, an increase in the numbers of the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo was noted, both in autumn and winter. In September an exceptionally large flock of the Coot Fulica atra, amounting to ca 25 000 individuals, was observed. This concentration ranks among the largest of the species recorded from Poland . In February over 5 000 Mute Swans Cygnus olor were staying on the whole Bay of Gdańsk, a number which constitutes about 2% of the population wintering in north-western Europe. Like in the previous seasons, the most abundant species among the wintering gulls was the Herring Gull Larus argentatus. The Caspian Gull L. cachinnans numbers must have been underestimated due to the difficulty in distinguishing this species from Herring Gulls in the flocks of several hundred birds.
64 Burfield I. , van Bommel F. 2004. BirdLife International: Birds in Europe. Population estimates,
trends and conservation status.
66 Danko S., Darolova A., Kristin A. (eds). 2002. Rozširenie vtákov na Slovensku (Birds Distribution in