Bialowieska Forest

BIALOWIESKA FOREST

This unique European Forest is the only place where you can find all woodpeckers, 4 species of Flycatchers, both southern as well as boreal species (eg Tengmalm's and Pygmy Owls). Whole Forest covers 595 square km, with twice as much in Belarus. Bialowieza National park has only 103 square km what means that most of the Forest is still logged! Many efforts are undertaken to preserve all the area of Bialowieza Forest and ban logging.



Bialowieza National Park - Strict Reserve
The area is a fragment of the forest which was not logged for hundreds of years. It is accessible only with licensed guide via entrance located north of Bialowieza village. Depending on the timing it's possible to see here Three-toed Woodpecker, White-backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker as well as Collared, Pied and Red-breasted Flycatcher. Lots of other singing birds possible (Greenish Warbler in VI-VII, Icterine Warbler, Wood Warbler common). Lesser Spotted and Booted Eagles possible at the meadow by the Park


Zebra Zubra Trail - ca 4 km
The trail leads from the edge of the forest west of Bialowieza village to the Bison's enclosure located by the main road to Hajnowka. The trails runs trough alderwood and some wet spruce forest and requires sometimes better shoes to walk. Several woodpeckers breed here (Three-toed, White-backed, Middle Spotted), Hazelhen possible in more "mossy" part of the trail. Neighbourhood of the encolsure also surprisingly good for woodpeckers, including also Grey-headed.

Oaks Trail - ca 4 km
As a continuation (back to Bialowieza from the enclosure) of "Zebra Zubra" you may choose wooden trail through oak-hornbeam forest leading E from the corner of the parking lot near the enclosure. Good numbers of old oaks and other broad leaved trees speak for themselves. Nutcracker, White-backed Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpeckers possible.

Getting there
From Warsaw 250-300 km depending on the chosen road. Usually plan 3-4 hours for driving.
Accomodation
Numerous hotels including highest standards ("Zubrowka" Best Western) and cosy pensions like "Unikat", "Wejmutka" or "Ostoja".

SPECIAL BIRDS


Pygmy Owl is quite abundant though elusive bird staying in older parts of the forest, often by with spruces and pines. Active mostly at dusk. In the spring time its activity starts as early as February and ends in Late May. August till October is a period of autumnal activity. It reacts well at whistling and may be easily attracted though bear in mind that birds dont like this to often! Pygmy Owls prefer mixed old forest with good amount of spruce as well as nieghbourhood of some streams.









Three-toed Woodpecker - breeding in wet stands with dead wood, especially spruce. Late breeder - youngsters leave the holes late June. Often very approachable, rather quiet.










White-backed Woodpecker - prefers broad-leaved boggy forests with many dead trees.













Rarities recorded
Great Grey Owl - almost annual visitor form Belarussian part of the Forest
Hawk Owl - winter 2002/2003
Bonelli's Warbler
Olivaceous Warbler
Blyth's Reed Warbler