Wildlife Watching, Tracking & Photography in Southern Poland
Next Trip September 2017

Poland in Autumn


Poland in the autumn is fantastic for fungi
Autumn in southern Poland is atmospheric, to say the least. Whether it's exploring the forest in a cloud or gazing across the valleys at the beautiful autumnal colours, it's a lovely time of year to be there. If we're lucky, we might even get to see/hear the red deer rut.

An added bonus is the abundant fungi to be found in the forest, which can include chanterelles 6 inches across and covering an area of 25m2, ceps as large as dinner plates, chicken of the woods and lots of orange milk-caps. There are russulas of all colours, some edible and some not, panther caps, horn of plenty, hedgehogs and all manner of strange brackets and fingers as well as a multitude of puffballs and inkcaps.

On our autumn trip we'll be learning from my Polish friends which mushrooms they use, how they prepare and preserve them and how they cook them. This promises to be a fascinating and tasty adventure, deep in the Magura National Park.

Click on the images below to see some of what we've found in previous autumn visits.

Salamander
Salamander
Candle snuff
Candle snuff
Coral
Coral
Hedgehog
Hedgehog
Red deer stag
Red deer stag
Stinkhorns
Stinkhorns
Tree fungus
Tree fungus
Horn of plenty
Horn of plenty
Chanterelle
Chanterelle
Lost
Lost?
Chicken of the woods
Chicken of the woods
Cep
Cep
A week in Poland, full board including me as your guide is £600 (flights to/from Rzeszow not included)
Dates are 17th - 24th September (option for 24th September - 1st October)
Book your autumn adventure in Poland, 17th - 24th September 2017
Book your Adventure in Poland now
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me

Poland in Winter


Poland in the winter is a magical place



The first time I visited Poland was in February 2013 and it was magical. Every tiny twig had its own layer of snow and the sunlight glistened on the frozen landscape under a flawless blue sky.

Tracking wolves was amazing and we could even tell which sex some of them were by the position of their urine marks in relation to their paw prints.

We even found what could have been a lynx track as well as possible wildcat tracks and the ubiquitous wild boar had turned over large areas of ground, creating large craters in the snow.

While I obviously can't promise we'll have perfect, or indeed any, snow it's worth taking a gamble on the weather for the prospect of tracking wolves and other wildlife, including bears which were confirmed in the valley where we stay, in January 2017.

On one of our walks in the snow in 2017, we heard a pack of wolves howling in the forest. What an amazing sound that was!

If you click on the thumbnails below you'll see some of our photographs.



Wolf tracks
Wolf track
Wild boar diggings
Wild boar diggings
Wild boar diggings
Wild boar diggings
Wild boar bed
Wild boar bed
Young wild boar
Young wild boar
Wild boar group
Group of wild boar
Fox in the snow
Fox in snow
Wolf in the snow
Wolf in snow
Wolf faeces
Wolf faeces
Wolf tracks
Wolf tracks
Pygmy owl
Pygmy owl
Magura National Park
National Park
A week in Poland, full board including me as your guide is £600 (flights to/from Rzeszow not included)
Next Winter Trip is in 2018 - dates to be confirmed
Call me on 0333 9000 927 or email me if you'd like to come
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me

Poland in Summer

If you want to see lots of wildlife, this trip is by far the best one and that's why this year we went for two weeks.

Whether you're primarily interested in birds, butterflies, wild flowers, reptiles, amphibians or mammals, there's something for everybody in early summer.

If you're like me and are interested in all species of wildlife, you certainly won't be disappointed. We've seen and/or heard some really special animals, including corncrake, mole cricket, golden eagle, lesser spotted eagle, honey buzzard, golden oriole, red-backed shrikes, black storks, black redstarts, purple emperor & lesser purple emperor butterflies, more fritillaries than I've ever seen before, beavers, sand lizards, wolf tracks & signs and wildflower meadows everywhere.

Add to all that lots of dragonflies and damselflies, fire salamanders, warm sunny weather and beautiful scenery and one week just isn't enough. Why don't you join me next year?

If you click on the thumbnails below you'll see some of our photographs and videos (thanks to Annie Haycock who came in 2016 for her videos of the lesser spotted woodpecker, butterflies on wolf faeces and beavers).


Wolf pack
Wolf pack
Lynx
Lynx
Butterflies on wolf faeces
Butterflies
Lesser spotted woodpecker
Woodpecker
Beavers
Beavers
Red-backed shrike
Red-backed shrike
Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle
Lesser-spotted eagle
Lesser-spotted eagle
Beautiful demoiselle
Demoiselle
Green lizard
Green lizard
Purple Emperor
Purple Emperor
Black stork
Black stork

Poland in the summer is amazing for wildlife

Check out Annie's account of her trip in 2016
A week in Poland, full board including me as your guide is £600 (flights to/from Rzeszow not included)
Next Summer Trip is in 2018 - dates to be confirmed
Call me on 0333 9000 927 or email me if you'd like to come
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me

Wildlife in Poland

The wildlife in Poland is simply amazing, especially if you're used to the impoverished biodiversity to be found in the UK and many other 'developed' countries.

My own favourite place for wildlife in the UK is the Caledonian Pine Forest in Scotland, which has some amazing habitats, scenery and wildlife, but the simple fact is that there are several species missing.

Along with the beaver, which is slowly being re-established in the UK, there are the lynx, bear and wolf which are unlikely to be reintroduced to the UK anytime soon. These four species are fairly common in southern Poland and/or neighbouring Slovakia, along with other species rare or absent in the UK such as corncrake, lesser spotted eagle, black woodpecker, lesser spotted woodpecker, red-backed shrike, black stork, white stork, black redstart, golden eagle, golden oriole, sand lizard, purple emperor & lesser purple emperor butterflies, mole crickets and more amphibians than you can shake a stick at.

It's actually more affordable for me to go to southern Poland than to go to the Highlands of Scotland and I know that I may get sightings of wolf (I've seen two so far, one in the middle of the day at 5m away), wild boar (best sighting so far - a huge male 6m away in the snow) or lynx. There are also wildcats, pine martens, red squirrels and we now have confirmation of bears in the forest where we stay.

During our February 2017 trip, we were out walking in the snowy landscape and heard a pack of wolves howling in the forest up the hill from where we were walking. Amazing!

Check out the videos below and you'll get more of an idea about what's there. I hope you'll join me on one of these trips soon.

Magura National Park wildlife
Camera 1
Magura National Park wildlife
Camera 2
Magura National Park wildlife
Camera 3
Magura National Park
Magura
Beavers
Beavers
Summer wildlife
Summer

The forests are home to wildlife including lynx, wolf & bear
Autumn in Poland ~ one week
Book 17th - 24th September 2017
£300 deposit plus £300
Book your Adventure in Poland now
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me

History & Heritage in Poland

The history of Poland is both fascinating and sad, with many battles having been fought in the forests around where we stay. You may come across old mortar shells or other remnants of these battles and there are many areas that appear to be where dugouts were constructed to protect soldiers from the enemy.

The Russians were apparently stuck here during the winter, unable to push forward due to the heavy snow and extremely difficult terrain. Having traversed the same terrain myself, in all seasons, I can attest to the difficulty of getting around and navigating accurately.

Many villages were completely cleared, with their people forced to move away or die. Sometimes a whole ethnic group would be removed, such as the Lemko people.

In this area there are a lot of beautiful churches, many of which are timber-built, and visits to some of these can be arranged during your stay. During these visits you can learn about the history of the building and its contents and about the people that built and used them. Some of these churches date back to the 18th century and may contain artefacts that are much older.

We are also offering an optional trip to visit the city of Krakow with our Polish host, who will drive you there and guide you around this beautiful and fascinating city.

Check out the photographs below and you'll get more of an idea about what you'll see in Poland. I hope you'll join me on one of these trips soon.

Lemko church concert
Lemko concert
Olchoviec church
Olchoviec church
Kotan church interior
Kotan church
Iconography
Iconography
Krempna church interior
Krempna church
Mortar shells
Mortar shells

There are lots of old wooden churches to see; this is Kotan
Autumn in Poland ~ one week
Book 17th - 24th September 2017
£300 deposit plus £300
Book your Adventure in Poland now
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me

Where we'll be staying


Salamandra, Jacek and Agnieszka's home

If you would like to have a trip on different dates to those shown, we can arrange this as well as single-person or group trips, with or without a guide ~ email me
We'll be staying with my Polish friends, Jacek and Agnieszka, either in the upper floor of their home, down the road in the Old School or further up the road at Huta Polanska.

The rooms are basic but comfortable and there are four rooms available with ensuite facilities in Salamandra and the Old School, so book early to get one of these. Each room contains a double and a single bed (or single beds that can be put together to make a double), so if you'd rather not share a room with someone you don't know, bring a friend or relative with you.

There is also a room in the Old School with several beds for those who enjoy meeting and sharing with new people or who wish to bring a group of friends with them (discounts are available for groups sharing this room). This room does not have ensuite facilities, but there's a shower and washroom available.

If we're full at Salamandra and the Old School, we can use accommodation up the road at Huta Polanska, but we'll usually all be eating together at Salamandra or Old School.

Rooms will be allocated when we arrive and if you would rather come on your own and have a room to yourself, there may be a single room supplement, depending on how many people book for that week.

One of the nice features of the Old School is the beaver pond at the bottom of the garden, where you have a good chance of seeing beavers in the evening.

Click on the images below to see Salamandra (Jacek and Agnieszka's home), the Old School and some of the surrounding area. Bear tracks were found in the snow recently near Huta Polanska church in the valley where we stay.

Salamandra
Salamandra
Salamandra
Salamandra
Salamandra
Salamandra
Old School
Old School
Polany church
Polany
Huta Polanska church
Huta Polanska
Fallen tree
Fallen tree
Beaver dam
Beaver dam
Baranie
Baranie
Wysokie
Wysokie
Tatra mountains
Tatras
Setting a trail camera
Trail camera

Flights, Travel & Food

When you've booked your place, by paying your deposit, I'll confirm that it's OK to book your flight and give you the information you need.

We fly from Manchester but it may be possible for you to fly from elsewhere (such as East Midlands or London Stansted) and we'd then meet you in Rzeszow. Normally, we all meet at Manchester airport.

The airport transfer (included in the price) takes about 90 minutes and when we arrive in Polany you'll have a chance to settle in. By the time we get there you'll know everybody as you'll have been chatting in the vehicle.

When everybody is settled in it'll probably be time for lunch or dinner, depending on flight times, so this will be your first experience of Polish food unless you've been to Poland before.

There will be ample food at each meal, but please let me know if you have any special requirements. We usually take sandwiches with us for lunch as we'll be out all day.

The Polish currency is the Zloty, not the Euro, but you probably won't need to spend much unless you want to sample some Polish vodka or suchlike. The Bisongrass vodka is very nice, but let me know if you want to stop off for this on the way down, as there will be few (if any) opportunities to get to a town or big supermarket during your stay.

If you need to know anything else, or just want to chat about the trips, give me a call on 0333 9000 927.

I look forward to taking you to this unexplored area of Poland.

Warm Regards,

Martin.

Book your trip now, while you still can!

Autumn in Poland ~ one week
Book 17th - 24th September 2017
£300 deposit plus £300
Book your Adventure in Poland now
Other dates are available if you want to come alone or as a group ~ email me


Wildlife & Countryside Services ~
Wildlife Watching ~ Wildlife & Nature Photography ~ Nature Discovery Expeditions
Wildlife & Countryside Services, Pentre Lane, Rhuddlan, LL18 6LA
0333 9000 927