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Great Snipe locations (1 Viewer)

Suffolkringer

Inland birding is hard work!!
Hello

I am wandering if Great Snipe change there Lek every year or weather they are faithful to a site for a year or two?

If they are faithful to a site can anyone tell me where they Lekked last year? I wouldn't mind catching up with them.

Also if anyone knows any good sites for Aquatic that would be nice aswell.

Cheers
Jon
 

jurek

Well-known member
Snipe I don't know, but aquatic warblers were easy from the track between Laskowiec and Zajki in Biebrza. There is dirt track going north towards the forest, drive or walk it. Lots of white-winged terns, too. Also singing but not seen from new-ish wooded walkway in Bagno Lawki north of Laskowiec.
 

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
I am wandering if Great Snipe change there Lek every year or weather they are faithful to a site for a year or two?

If they are faithful to a site can anyone tell me where they Lekked last year? I wouldn't mind catching up with them.

Also if anyone knows any good sites for Aquatic that would be nice aswell.

In the Biebrza, the Aquatic Warblers are very easy to see - from about 4 p.m. onwards (and perhaps early morning too), they climb stalks and sing in full view (during the day, they can seem absent) - from Jurek's description, I guess he is talking about the same location, but I will check my maps and get back to you, if nobody has added more information in the meantime. The Great Snipes have been a little trickier in the last few years. They are faithful to locations and a viewing platform exists overlooking the most famous site ..but the area got burnt three or four years ago and it seems the snipe are not so keen on it now. Yet still, a few birds seem to lek there, but now there are significantly more difficult - usually appearing when almost totally dark and quite distant (dark shapes jumping up and down). This is a pity, as the locality offered viewing without disturbance, I am sure there are other reliable localities in the immediate area, but I would guess viewing would entail disturbing the birds so the site is likely to be kept quiet, rightly so. I didn't visit Brebrza last spring, so I might be a bit out of date.

One other thing to note, the Great Snipe lek is fairly limited in duration, go a little ater in the season and you will not see them, but the Aquatic Warblers are easy throughout, and the whole valley is amazing anyhow.
 

johnraven

Well-known member
Last year's Great Snipe viewing location was in the Narew river basin, near the town of Narew (between Bialowieza and Biebrza), slightly to the NW I think. Frankly, you wont find it without a guide, as it involved driving down a sandy track at the end of a factory car park, through lots of trees (taking various non-obvious left and right forks along the way) to a small parking spot, where we parked and then walked on an obvious track right out across the fen.

The viewing was distant, definitely a scope job, and there was no risk of disturbance (and the birds were clearly not disturbed). There were plenty of other birders there, including a big group.

You'll need to hire a local guide, unless you can find someone who has carefully mapped the route. Arek, a Bialowieza guide, took us, for a perfectly reasonable fee. I'm sure all the bird guides know it.

John
 

valdi99

Active member
> I am wandering if Great Snipe change there Lek every year

No, Great snipes are very 'site loyal'. That means when they've set up the lek - they will come there year by year, through dozens of years. But they are very sensitive for any disturbance and when flushed - can easily abandon the lek for years, if not forever... This is what most probably happened to one of the most well known lek on Biebrza Marshes. Luckily, there is couple more lek sites deeper into the marshes, but hardly accessible for humans.

Actually, Great snipes males usually visit couple of lek sites (if present) nearby, during one mating season. Just to maximize their chances to meet a female. Both sexes fly into a proximity of a lek site, about late afternoon and sit still somewhere near in a grass until it's getting dark. Then - if they feel safe - they walk sneaking through the grass to a lek and take positions for displaying. About one hour after sunset the show goes on. Males climb up on tuft of grass, standing up almost on their toes, chests puffed, tails spread in a fan shape, wings lowered and flap the beaks frequently (very odd, weird sound but hardly audible). As the displaying continues, they get so excited that they jump above the sedges, and make short 'parachute' flights and this is for what birders come to ;-)

Late April and turn of May they might start to display earlier, I mean before sunset. On June they may still be on a lek, but hight of a grass and other vegetation is mostly to big to spot the birds, even when they jump. So the game is over about mid-june.
 
Last edited:

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Last year's Great Snipe viewing location was in the Narew river basin, near the town of Narew (between Bialowieza and Biebrza), slightly to the NW I think. Frankly, you wont find it without a guide, as it involved driving down a sandy track at the end of a factory car park, through lots of trees (taking various non-obvious left and right forks along the way) to a small parking spot, where we parked and then walked on an obvious track right out across the fen.

The viewing was distant, definitely a scope job, and there was no risk of disturbance (and the birds were clearly not disturbed). There were plenty of other birders there, including a big group.

You'll need to hire a local guide, unless you can find someone who has carefully mapped the route. Arek, a Bialowieza guide, took us, for a perfectly reasonable fee. I'm sure all the bird guides know it.

John

I now it's quite some time ago, but I would just like to thank you for this post, as your description of the reasons why I won't find it without a guide was specific enough for me to find the location without a guide :)

It is also easier to confirm it's the right place now that there is an educational table and and observation platform .... but there is no other way of finding out their precise location online than using the hints in this very thread (and I even understand Polish reasonably well), there is no marked trail leading to it, nothing.
 

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