W serwisie AVESTOM publikuję obserwacje ptaków z Północnego Podlasia i ptasich wyjazdów a także informację o tym, gdzie i kiedy warto ptaki oglądać.
AVESTOM publishes bird news from NorthEast Poland as well as some birding trip reports, tips and site description.
Feel free to contact me at tomaszkulakowski (_at_) gmail.com

About me

My birdwatching hobby started in erly 80s when Poland was still under communist regime. Good books, binoculars and other equipment was expensive and hard to get. In 1989 I got a nice guide for beginners and contacted local bird protection society which soon accepted me as a member. In the meanhwile I was organizing workcamps for youth from various European countries. We worked in Bialowieza, Narew, Biebrza on some restoration projects. I work closely with PTOP (Polish Society for Bird Protection) as a member of the board and president (since 2008).

In the ninetiees
I started my real activity in the society which resulted in coordination of youth workcamps, guiding birdwatchers from abroad and preparing our newsletter.
Almost every weekend is currently spent on birding and taking photos. Most often I visit Biebrza Valley, Siemianowka Reservoir, Bialowieza Forest, Narew Valley and Dojlidy Fish-ponds. Bialystok is located really fortunate as you may within one hour reach 3-4 national parks and within 15 minutes drive outside the town and listen to Tengmalm's Owl:)
Although business and family activities are tough I try to maintain a database of non-breeding birds as well as phenological data.
As one could expect also all holidays are planned for birding. So far I've visited 16 european countries, twice Asian and African edges. Recent trips are described in my "Podroze (trips)" page.
Since the beginning of my birding activity I try to keep field notes so every year my shelves welcome one new notebook full of new records, phenological data, sketches etc. I always tried to share my observations with others and share my knowledge so when the internet age came to Poland in early nineties I joined EUROBIRDNET discussion forum and soon after its polish version called PTAKI ('birds"). In the beginning of XXI century, when Internet became cheaper and more common I managed to start my own website. It was first only in Polish but soon after I realised that our part of the country is od real interest among foreign birdwatchers. This forced me to work on English version of some parts of my website.
In 2000 I met Gabriela and after some years spent on travelling, birding together we married in 2004. On 25th of July 2005 our daughter Lidia saw the light for the first time. Since then she joins us for almost every trip to Bialowieza or Biebrza. 

2005 On 25th of July 2005 our daughter Lidia saw the light for the first time. Since then she joins us for almost every trip to Bialowieza or Biebrza. 
Autumn 2005 - vice-president of Polish Bird Protection Society, longest established Polish "bird" NGO. 

During short winter of 2006/2007 we made a memorable walk in white countryside near Pierozki village (Belarus border) in search of Bison herd. We found their piles of droppings, numerous tracks. Lidia first happy with her snowride later got seriously bitten by cold. 
During 2007 we made several walks including those to local Dojlidy fish-ponds, where Lidia focused her attention to plants, reeds and stones on the road. 

Despite waiting for son Stanley(Stanislaw) we managed to make succesful trip to Turkey and meet some nice birders in May. Stanislaw was born 2nd July 2008 and joined our field forces soon.

After regular winter and several illnessess of our kids we have nice spring here! New project run - Roller protection (risk of extinction) - byPTOP (Polish Bird Protection Society). Great Snipe site managed by PTOP attracts numerous birdwatchers (up to 70 persons per evening). Family birding in Marsa Alam (Egypt). End of the year brings large scale protection projects in NE Poland devoted to Black Grouse and Lesser Spotted Eagle.

March - meeting with Prince Charles in Bialowieza, short talk about environmental issues.

We spend weekends and holidays mostly in countryside nowadays. Village of Ostrówek is located near Belarus border in extensive farmland. We have a small swamp just outside our fence. Good area for birding and running , also in winter. Bisons may be observed in the fields outside the village