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Key species

Black Stork 
Black Tern 
Ferruginous Duck 
Grey-headed Woodpecker 
Little Bittern 
Little Crake 
Night Heron 
Red-backed Shrike 
Red-crested Pochard 
White-winged Black Tern 

Upper Vistula River Valley


The so called Upper Vistula Valley spaces about 1400sqkms in the southern part of Poland along Vistula (Wisla) river itself, between the Beskidy mountains and Pszczyna Forests. Although this area have been transformed by people for centuries, a lot of birds breed there. At present the valley is widely known as target location for many southern rarities that are observed there quite regularily, as Black-winged Stilt, Spoonbill or breeding there Avocets, Purple Herons and Little Bitterns.

Zatorskie ponds, also included within Upper Vistula Valley, are placed near Zator and Spytkowice, between Oswiecim (better known as Auschwitz concentration lager) and Wadowice. This is one of the best birding destinantion in the area! Full of backwaters and fringed by dense reeds fishponds that space about 3000sqkms in total.

The Goczalkowice Reservoir and Zatorskie ponds are the most important birds' refuges in southern part of Poland. Goczalkowice Reservoir is the biggest (32sqkms) drinking water reservoir in this part of the country. It has been built in 1955 on the upper Vistula river. Accordingly to supplying drinking water to a lot of towns nearby, it's strictly protected and there are no swimming, sailing or any other recreation activity allowed, except of birding and limited fishing.

Currently water level of the Goczalkowice Reservoir is very low, so usualy there are vast, widely open muddy plains, that provide excellent terms for migrating birds. The best parts of this reservoir suitable for birding are its western and southern banks.



Birding map of PolandTopographic map of THIS area

English, German and Polish description. Pocket sized 13x20cm (60x77cm unfolded) 1:100 000, covering 40x70kms. Full of details, recently updated, simply the best map available!

It's strange but it's really hard to buy a map suitable for birding in Poland. Here is the best one for Eu19.00 only, including shippment within EU.

Buy this (or any other) map online...





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